Read many stories about Turkey and with the country not being attached to the Euro there is the perception that this a cheaper holiday destination and therefore good value for money. As a generalisation I would say that you are looked at as a money making opportunity and need to be cautious when budgeting.
There were 7 in our party with the 5 kids ranging in ages from 18 to 8 so we were looking for something that could cater for all for the all-inclusive week break. Catering for transfers and hotel rooms next to each was going to be a challenge. We arranged what we could from the UK but we were in the 'hands' of the hotel on whether we would be catered for. We were open to flexibility and on the whole the Hotel Guest relations team catered where they could. We found them to be approachable and helpful. Initially the rooms were not suitable and after a forth right discussion our perferences were met. I suspect as the hotel was not fully open that this was not much of an inconvenience.
Second day saw a fire engulf the Health Spa during breakfast time. To jump out of the shower and see Hotel staff running in all directions with limited co-ordination on fire evacuation procedures not particularly comforting, we had comical situation of housekeeping staff running pass us along the smoke filled corridors. Eventually the Senior Mgmt got their act together and the guests and staff were managed appropriately. An apparent 'small' fire turned out to be more significant and extensive rebuilding work initiated immediately to get ready for the main season opening in May. As a consequence the hotel were grateful to those that didn't make too much of a fuss with complimentary bottle of wine in our rooms.
I need to point out that this hotel caters for Russian holiday makers... I was told that during the height of the season end of May - Sept 98% of the guests are Russian. So be prepared for Russian men in Speedo's, smoking in most places in and around the grounds, bars and pool areas. I would generally say that Brits are not made to feel as welcome outside of the odd staff exception. A generalised statement something to consider, English not an easy language for a lot of staff.
Food... Destinctly average and limited. A La Carte has to be booked at 10:00am for the only sit down. Set the alarm clock to get a slot in the queue otherwise you'll miss out. Whilst the restaurants themselves are authentic looking that cannot be said for the food. Vaguely resembles what it is trying to be but don't expect true 'a La carte' quality. If you go with those expectations then you'll be ok.
The main restaurant seems to cater for Russian tastes, boiled meats not the most inviting and I would suspect a 2 week holiday could turn into a nightmare for younger appetites outside of 'chips'.
Staff... As mentioned not all can speak English and men can be rude when dealing with women at the bars etc. Some individuals are great but would put that as a minority.
Entertainment... Hmmm, can only be described as shocking. Repetitive dance routines from staff who are restricted on the talent front. Entertainers who try to sing English songs that are not great with the English language. A local group offered traditional Turkish dancing which was a welcome expection to the awful entertainment.
Transfers from Airport... Takes an hour which isn't the problem the cost can be... Arranged in UK costs £40 (which Turkish driver asks for in Sterling). However transfers from Hotel to Airport becomes a nightmare. They will pick you up 4 hours before your departure time, which after the 1 hour transfer means 3 hours in a small airport..! Not ideal, when we tried to talk to the Transfer company complete inflexibility, rude to my partner and basically told like it or lump it... We made alternative arrangements and were quoted prices ranging €120 - €60... Money making opportunity and they don't like Turkish Lira...!
Beach... Stoney and small, the pier / pontoon not set up for use so real limited options on that front. Limited sea activity and a jet ski guy charging €30 for 10 mins.
Outside of resort... Again a Hmmm.... Fake everything and you'll get verbally dragged into every shop..! By the 50th request to purchase something you feel tired saying' no thank you' and you'll go into gestures only..!
Pool areas... Seperate swimming pools, slides, wave pool, kiddies pool, sun loungers, sun exposure, bars all exceptional... with the supply of endless ice cream ideal.
Hotel itself is very clean and well looked after with many ammenities (when fire damaged rectified). Plenty of space for the kids to explore and be entertained. Pool table and Bowling alley incur € cost so expect your departing bill to reflect.
Hospital... Private hospital 200 metres away. We ended up here for a 'finger slammed in a door' incident, professional and excellent facility. 20 mins seen and dressed, 1 hour to escape the Financial Director. It is expensive but you get piece of mind from the quality of service but you are expected to pay and they are not particularly pleased with the UK Insurance policy of paying an excess and the Insurance Company paying the rest. They will ask for e-mail / fax numbers and request contacting of Insurance Companys to ensure payment. At one point we were asked to pay the full bill because they didn't want to wait 30 days for the full reinbursement. Money, money, money....
Overall a reasonably relaxing holiday aand weather ideal for this time of the year. Catering for a family such as ours not easy therefore we didn't go with massive expectations. Hotel not a genuine 5 star, 3+ / 4 depending what was being graded but suitable for us before the high season starts and the equally higher prices.
- Also Known As:
- Welcome Kemer Hotel Antalya