This will be a long review as I think it is useful for people on Tripadvisor not to just get a general overview but also a detailed one. I will mention the things I liked, disliked as well as giving management an option to review my suggestions.
Selecting this year’s holiday was a lot easier compared to 2012 when we visited the Akka Alinda hotel in Kemer, Turkey, and we (2 adults, 2 small children) based our decision on the majority of reviews here on Tripadvisor and on reviews of 3rd party websites. The hotel seemed to offer everything we could wish for, taking into consideration that it would be a very family friendly hotel with lots of pools, kids entertainment and nice food.
On the 6th of June we booked/paid the holiday at a very competitive price (last minute) and our holiday lasted from 08.06.2014 to 15.06.2014 and we had a Standard Room Land View. We flew from Bucharest to Antalya (1,5 hours) and we easily found the mini-bus which brought us to the hotel. The Long Beach Hotel (”LBH”) is located around 100 km passed Antalya, and the trip is quite long (2,5 -3 hours with one stop) but don't let the distance/duration put you off!
We arrived in the late afternoon, and I was aware that next to the LBH they are building the Long Beach Hotel Harmony Hotel, which is still under major construction and to open somewhere in the next month or so. The construction site (next to the hotel) was securely fenced off and there were absolutely no noise issues during our stay. We got our bags offloaded and headed to the reception desk. Unlike the people at the Akka Alinda Hotel, the people at the LBH reception desk were absolutely charming, nice and helpful. The whole checkin procedure took probably 5 minutes in total. We received a room key and 4 towel cards (you pay 15 EURO per card if you loose the card or the towel!) and we headed to our room.
Our room was on the 3rd floor at the back of the building with a land view over an orange orchard. We choose land view as some reviewers complained about the noise coming from the road (on the sea-side part of the hotel) but probably a sea view would have been OK as the noise from the nearby road is something you wouldn't notice after a day.
Our room was big enough (33 sqm) with 1 matrimonial bed, 1 single bed, a couch (which could even be used as a bed). Within 5 minutes after calling the reception desk (call 7777) they brought us a baby cot for our 5 month old daughter. The room itself was looking modern and had a flat screen tv with dozens of tv channels catering for almost all nationalities (including Dutch), a water cooker with an assortment of tea and Jacobs coffee. The room had a mini-bar (with one Pepsi, one bottle of water, 2 fruit drinks, 2 small mineral waters, etc) which they would refill whenever needed.
A safe was present in one of the closets which you could easily set with a 6 digit code (ending with a # would set the code). The save is big enough to fit an iPad/tablet which for us was very helpful. The bathroom had a hair blower and probably around 6 or so towels. They used soap dispensers mounted on the wall (near the sink) and mounted near the bath tub (shampoo and shower gel), which I think was a great solution. The bath tub didn't have a plug, and we had to ask the reception desk to bring us one. Maybe this is common practice, but why not provide these in the first place, or mount them so they cant get stolen ?!
After we left the room (late afternoon) we were a bit overwhelmed by the sheer size of the resort and it was difficult at first to find out where one could find a bite to eat (as dinner would start at 18:45). We later found out that they serve pancakes and watermelon in certain locations both near the swimming pool and near the beach pool. But we only figured this out later.
The hotel and grounds are huge, but not crowded (even with +1200 guests). The majority of guests are Russians, Germans and Dutch and this hotel is really focussing on families (including grandma’s and grandpa’s) rather than young couples which has a positive influence on the overall behaviour of all guests. It is constantly cleaned, and the hotel grounds are spotless.
There are actually 8 levels in the hotel. The -2 level is where you have the indoor entertainment room (you pay for what you use), a cinema (5 movies a week, free, twice a day - Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Rainman, Grease etc) , the towel station, as well as a podium where they were showing the World Cup matches (and they made a special announcement sheet which was a nice touch!)
On this same floor there are a number of shops (watches, memorabilia) but also a little supermarket where you can buy anything from German/Dutch newspapers, pampers, to cigarettes and other drinks. The prices were absolutely reasonable and not at all overinflated, which I think is a big plus. What is though a big big minus, is that the shop owner (not related to hotel management, I assume) has decided to cheat its customers in two ways. One way is that the price (in EURO) on an article does not always correspond with the price on the shop’s computer. Therefore make sure that if the price for two products is 2 x 1,5 EURO, you don't pay 2 x 2,0 EURO. It happened to us, and surprisingly they manually adjusted the price if you would ask!. The second little scam is with regards to the exchange rate. In my perception any product sold in EURO, but paid in Turkish Lire should be at a normal exchange rate of 2,80-2,86 to the EURO. The shop though rounds everything down to 3,00 to the EURO at their convenience and without asking, therefore taking an almost 10% extra for any product you buy. If you insist on correct pricing, they will do so, but they don't seem to like it (not my problem though!)
On the -1 level, you will have access to the dining facilities, as well as direct access to the hotel’s outside swimming pool. Also on this level are located two a-la-carte restaurants (which we did not try). Just outside the main entrance to the swimming pool they serve a late breakfast from 10:00 - 11:00.
The lobby level (0 level) is where you will find 2 large bar areas (left and right) an ING ATM as well as a large seating area. Then you have level 1 to 6 which gets you to your room on any of the designated floors.
Our first dinner (sunday evening) was of course pretty overwhelming in a sense that they had so much food to offer that it was hard to make a choice. My advise to anyone going to dinner is though to not wait at the door at 18:45 as it can get pretty busy, but to arrive at around 19:15 - 19:30 when the majority has settled down. Of course this does mean that you don't always get your favourite spot (inside or outside) if you arrive later. The food offered was of great quality, and they really had a large variety of dishes, salads and deserts. Great fish (prepared in various ways), veal, chicken, Turkish kebab/meat etc. During our week it tended to get a bit repetitive, but I don't think this is solid criticism from my side as their was enough variety to make each dish different. They did though serve some ”specials” (roasted lam in the oven with a superb sauce) as well as a lot of outside cooking on the grill (I loved the pan fried shrimps and turkey). Al though they had a pizza oven, they did not offer any sort of pizza. I think the hotel should improve on this as they have all the necessary ingredients to make great pizza!
The 1st night at that hotel (from Sunday-Monday) was disturbed at exactly 4:25 AM where they were driving around the hotel’s golf cart with muschito repellant. I am not sure what kind of machine they put on there, but the noise was that of 2 truck engines (in my perception). We of course closed the balcony window door right away , but we should have been informed that they were using repellants upon our arrival (as if you would have left the window open all the repellant gasses would have entered the room!). I mentioned this to the reception, and since that sunday evening they did not use this repellant machine anymore, to our delight!
By the way: air conditioning works excellently, al though we only used it a few times (the temperature during this week was between 28-32 Celcius)
Our first breakfast was on monday morning, and it was absolutely offering anything you would need. Fresh breads, all sorts of assorted vegetables and fruits, yogurts, fried eggs, cooked eggs, sausages. Hence, you could even get fried potato wedges if you wanted to (we didn't though). I thoroughly enjoyed each and every breakfast, but I really disliked the ”salami” they offered to make grilled sandwiches due to the fact that it was not really salami, but some sort of over fake processed salami. If I would be the hotel’s manager, I would ditch it and replace it with something of higher quality.
What annoyed us a bit during the week (mind you, we had 2 small children with us) is that the elevators cannot handle the amount of people - close to breakfast and lunch time) and sometimes it took ages to get us from our floor (3rd) to the dining area (-1). Taking the stairs is possible, but not an option if you have small children!
What about guest behaviour? Mind you, there are hundreds and hundreds of Russians in this hotel who caused hardly any problems whatsoever. During the whole week I have noticed 2 minor incidents. One Russian guy -who was with his wife and child- fell asleep at his table during dinner (after too many drinks I suppose) Staff had to pick him up with an actual wheelchair (haha) to bring him to his room. The 2nd incident (on the last day) was another Russian who fell asleep on a couch in the lobby, and that's about it. I have not seen a single rude or aggressive Russian during our whole stay, they were not trying to skip the que during dinner (one did, put was put back in line by staff!), neither were they taking enormous amounts of food to their tables . As mentioned this hotel is catering to families, and the Russians were not a problem at all. Other nationalities neither caused problems, and I only saw a fellow Dutch (!) person who thought it was normal to reserve 15 (!) chairs with towels at once at the swimming pool before 9:00....
What about the staff? They were friendly, understanding and I saw a lot of smiles during my stay even if they worked very hard The guy we saw at breakfast, we met again during dinner (that is a 12+ hour shift!) and they were always hard working and kind. I tipped ”our waiter” at the end of the holiday and thanked him for his services and he was pleasantly surprised. In my perception there was no language barrier (I speak Dutch, English and Romanian) even though the staff is more fluent in Russian and German. I never felt left out or ignored when speaking in English, and especially the bar staff in the lobby spoke English very well.
As it is 2014, everyone in the hotel of course had a smartphone or tablet with them (for uploading pictures to Facebook/Twitter,browsing the web etc etc) , and this had an enormous effect on the use of Wifi in and outside the hotel. There are more than 8 Wifi hotspots in the hotel (almost at any level, and at any swimming pool, including the beach area), but it cannot handle the sheer amount of users AT ALL. Just loading Google at times took more than 1 minute (!) let alone looking at Facebook pictures. This is an utter and utter shame, as I noticed the hotel is investing in a new playground (beach level) putting in 100k+ of investment, but they cant seem to put a penny in better internet speeds. I tested the speeds, and many times they were under 0,05 Mbps and even as low as 0,01 Mbps (that is worse than dial-up internet!). Only during late in the evening (or early morning) you could use the internet on your phone/tablet, but as soon as dinner/lunch or breakfast started, you’d better give up.
My sincere advise to hotel management is to invest MUCH more money in a proper internet connection which can handle the amount of people present in the hotel as for the moment it was absolutely insufficient and rather embarrassing. As ever hotspot can hold around 255 users, they should change the way internet is offered by hiring a professional company taking care of this. The overall infrastructure was in principal ok (many hotspots, and one single login would allow you to use all hotspots in the resort), but the speed or even to connect to certain hotspots was absolutely unacceptable for a 5 star hotel. Perhaps the speed is also influenced by how many people use sync services (automatic Dropbox upload of pictures, iCloud services) where the hotel should advise its guests to shut these services off during their stay in order to have less congestion.
What about the drinks? The hotel served almost anything you wanted (alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks). They serve Efes beer -which is really good beer!- and you can get many types of cocktails , spirits and also ”champagne”. The only imported alcoholic spirit I noticed was Ballantines whiskey, while all others (gin, vodka etc) was locally branded. I did not indulge in any cocktails or spirits so I cannot give an opinion about the quality. The hotel itself has a contract with Pepsi, and you will find this at any bar on the premises. Personally I don’t really like Pepsi (but it was fine during our stay), and if you really want to have a Coke you could always go to the little supermarket on the -2 level and buy it. Coffee (Jacobs) and tea was also served around the hotel and there were various soft-drink machines (pineapple, cherry , orange etc) which my daughter loved as she could mix her own drinks.
The wine I tasted was OK not exceptional, and I figured on the 2nd day out that ”mineral water” is called ”soda”. There was one issue that I think hotel management has to reconsider. If you wanted to have fresh orange juice, you had to pay 2,5 EURO per glass. But here is the odd thing, oranges themselves one could get freely from the dining area, so effectively you were paying 2,5 EURO for the use of the orange machine, which I think it unacceptable for a 5 star hotel. Probably the next time I will bring my own orange machine with me (haha) , so I can have as many orange juice as I want! My advise for the hotel: Ditch the orange juice charge, and serve it for free (as oranges are offered free anyhow!)
I will now go into a few other minor flaws, which did not have a direct influence on our holiday, but should be taken into consideration by management as to instruct certain staff to be more pro-active.
For instance in the Panorama Piano Bar (lobby level) the Pepsi drink taps (the logos on top) were knocked off/broken for many days. When sitting at the bar it kind of annoyed me that in a 5 star hotel such an issue could not get fixed. The staff shrugged its shoulders when I pointed it out, so I sent an email to the info@ address (”anonymously”) posing as a hotel visitor. The next day the taps were fixed right away! Still, the bar manager should have pointed this out, not me as a simple guest!
The ice-cream offered (between 14:30 - 16:30) was supposed to be a treat, but here hotel management has to intervene and change the brand of the ice-cream offered to guests. Reason being is that what the hotel served was some sort of paste (almost like glue) which I don't consider ice-cream, but some sort of cheap(er) knock-off. Of course kids like anything that is sweet, but this was not to be considered real ice-cream!
I also shortly talked to Guest Relations telling them that an outside lamppost had completely broken off (beach area) which could impose a danger for playing children, as well as some construction materials being left on the ground (concrete, rocks) near the Mexican Restaurant. The next day, the lamppost was fixed, and the construction materials removed. To me this shows great initiative from Guest Relations, but shows lack of the site manager or shift manager who should have picked this up in the first place. As mentioned, it hasn't had a negative influence on my holiday, but the hotel should intervene on its own instead of a guest pointing it out.
The swimming pools were absolutely lovely. The first 2 days we went to the children swimming pool and glider (hotel grounds), and we tried the salt water pool (beach grounds) and one day we went to the ”Pirate Ship” swimming pool but the water temperature was very low so we skipped it. You might not believe it, but with so many guests, the resort never looked over crowded nor were the swimming pools full of people. I think the sheer size of it allowed people to really enjoy the facilities, and it never got really too busy.
On friday there was the Turkish Night. At the previous hotel (Akka Alinda) it was a nice evening, but at the Long Beach Hotel it was a spectacle that really impressed me. So much effort, thought and care went into this, and it was absolutely exceptional (including the live band).
Talking about music, I have to complement the hotel for the fact that music during dinner, lunch or breakfast or at the pool is really background music. The music selection is mostly classic pop/easy listening orientated, and it really complements the experience. Probably not many people would even care or notice, but when walking into the tunnel (from hotel to the beach area) the background music was really pleasant (instead of loud disco music one would expect on a holiday). This musical detail on the hotel grounds shows that the hotel cares about the experience as the music was really complimentary during our stay, which I personally found very pleasant.
Entertainment? The hotel smartly decided that the majority of activities would take place at the beach area therefore if one would have a sea-view room, the noise levels would be at a minimum!. Being with a family with small children, I did not participate in these activities, but I could see others enjoying it thoroughly. The animation team is very pleasant, friendly and not pushy or annoying. They do their job extremely well! There is a kids-club on site (hotel area or beach area) where they did face painting and other activities, and on the beach area they have this huge amphitheater where at 20:30 they start with a children program (dancing, little games, a clown etc). In my perception the music was absolutely way too loud for young children, and the volume should be put down for health and safety reasons, but what they organise for children here is absolutely fantastic!
Near the amphitheatre there was a little fun fair which I think it absolutely lovely and next to that there were the huge gliders (I think 6 of them), which we didn't try, but I could see the other guests absolutely loved it!
What about the beach? Well, I have to be honest and tell you that even though they clean the beach daily, it is not the most beautiful beach that I have seen.. It has sand, yes, but I can only assume that this was put in place artificially, as below the water level there would be ….rocks! The beach to me looked a bit small. For us the swimming pools were more than sufficient to enjoy our holiday and the beach was not something we preferred because of the said reasons. We did not leave the hotel premises during our stay, as the hotel really offered anything we would need. Of course you can arrange trips to Alanya if you want to (as many guests did)
How would I rate this hotel? It’s all about price vs quality, and we were absolutely impressed with the hotel and had an absolutely lovely time. Of course there are better hotels probably, but they come at a certain much much higher price. This hotel for 8 days costs us (2 adults, 1 child of almost 5, one baby, flights and airport taxes included 1550 EURO). Yes, there were some small issues that bothered us, but it did not have an influence on how we enjoyed ourselves during this holiday! I think if hotel management would review the information I provided and improve some issues where possible, the overall experience could only get better.
To me this hotel deserves 5 out of 5 stars (price vs quality) and is much better than my previous experience at the Akka Alinda Hotel (for which I also did a review).I do recommend the Long Beach Hotel & Resort to anyone who wants to have a relaxed holiday with excellent food and drinks in a location that has so much to offer for a very decent price!
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- Also Known As:
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