We travelled to the Barut Lara in August 2013 with 2 children aged 6 and 19 months. We booked with First Choice, and we're lucky that our son went back to school a little later than most so that brought the price down slightly, that said, we paid the same price for our 6 year old as for us! But obviously didn't have to pay for the little one's flight.
First Choice were excellent. The rep informative but not at all over bearing. The flight great and on time, we had paid more for good flight times. The transfer is around 20 minutes and this hotel is the first drop off and first collection on return (we'd hoped it would be last on return, but it was no big deal. The coach was air conditioned and comfortable.
The hotel is on the largest plot in the Lara Beach area. The hotel doesn't look as grand and glitzy as others along the stretch but don't be fooled by this.
I had emailed the hotel direct, prior to going, with various requests and was granted all of them....even a free upgrade to a suite which I didn't ask for!! The staff on reception are helpful, they give you a hotel map and all the information you'll need.
The all-inclusive element includes pool/beach towels! this is invaluable when travelling with small children! you are given a card and just collect and return your towels each day from the hut on your way to the pool or beach.
Our room was upgraded free of charge, it had a spacious lounge, bedroom and bathroom with hallway. Easy to use air conditioning, kept spotless and the mini bar (good sized fridge if you want to put anything else in), is restocked every day with cans of pop, beer, water and tea/coffee and a kettle.
The bathroom had a bath, separate shower cubicle and window looking in to the bedroom to keep an eye on the little ones while you get ready (you can close the blind in the window if you like). There was a tv in the bedroom and lounge. The safe was free to use, plenty of storage for clothes, but not many hangers, (that is my only tiny gripe of the entire holiday)!!!!
There are 5 pools, one of them being in the back area where the larger suites are. The main large pool has a small, shaded toddler pool next to it. There is then the pool with the slides which my 6 year old absolutely loved. The slides close for lunch each day and the place quietens down around this time. We didn't go to the beach much as a family in the day. the sand is dark and too hot to walk on and the sea is quite rough and it's quite breezy (though this is great due to the heat). There are boardwalks all the way to the beach, and all around the sun beds which is truly brilliant when you've got a pram!! There is no shortage of sun beds at any pool or at the beach, plenty of shaded areas, even if it's from trees. The staff will pull your subbed to your desired location, we found ourselves at the same place most days and the 'sunbed guy' saw us coming and had our beds ready for us. People do go out and put towels down on beds but this is more reserving a preferred area of the pool than the necessity to reserve the bed, there are more than enough.
The pier on the beach is lovely. Again, always a sunbed to be had and there is a shaded part of the pier. It really is lovely.
The entertainment staff are brilliant. They are not pushy, they walk around announcing what's taking place and if you want to get involved, do, if not that's fine. There are games and events which take place around the big pool after lunch for an hour or so, with music and full on commentary. This was always great to watch, it is lively though so if it's not your thing, you can easily find a quieter part of the beautiful grounds to sunbathe.
The grounds are amazing. Very we'll maintained and the cat house was a hit with our kids. There's a buggy which you can take from the main building around the grounds, down to the beach. We didn't use this as we preferred to walk everywhere....but the friendly driver took me and my toddler on a little drive one day as the little one just wanted to.
The food is excellent. We only ate in the main buffet restaurant as our kids are lively and we didn't think it fair to impart them on others in the al a carte restaurants. We did speak to others though who said the food is nice everywhere. There is plenty of choice on the buffet, never samey and always delicious. The cakes are amazing! We sat in the same area each meal time, the staff very quickly get used to you and our coffee was on the table before we were. The pizza/burger/crepe/jacket spud food outlet is great! Drinks at the bars are served quickly, you never have to queue as such, maybe a minute or so wait here and there. There is staff going around the pools in the day with a cart bringing drinks so you don't really need to get off your sun bed if you don't want to. If you want branded drinks you do have to ask for them, asking for 'gin' or 'beer' will get you local stuff. Kids can go to the bars and there are steps for them to be seen, brilliant.
The Turkish people absolutely love kids and are fantastic with them, friendly and with brilliant English. The kids club is run with fantastic staff who are helpful and again with great English and doing fab activities. Our 6 year old enjoyed it. There is a play area within the kids club that you can take your kids on and supervise yourself at any time outside of kids club hours.
The entertainment is brilliant. It's not performed by the entertainment team, there are outside acts who come in and they really are fantastic. We'll worth watching for the hour in the outdoor theatre. Our boy absolutely loved them all.
There really is absolutely nothing at all that I can fault at this hotel. It is number 1 in the Antalya area and rightly so. Like I say, it hasn't got the gold towering turrets of other hotels on the strip.... It doesn't need them.
We were fortunate enough to be there for Gala night at the back end of August, when the Turks celebrate. We didn't know it, but this was truly out of this world. The preparation for everyone to eat together, in the gardens and at the same time is just unbelievable. The food was extra special this night, the presentation just amazing and the firework display terrific. There were lots and lots of people there....I hadn't even realised that this many people were staying in the hotel at the same time as us as the grounds are so spacious. There was not ever a time when it felt crowded, there were queues for food or waiting to be served. NEVER.
We loved it and my sister and cousin and a friend are all going this year on recommendation. Sadly for us....at £6,200 for 1 week, it's outside our budget and I won't take the kids out if school. It is expensive, and paying full price for kids is galling when they don't eat as much as you or drink any alcohol, but the place is gorgeous.
We didn't leave the hotel so I can't comment on the surrounding area, but I believe there's a shopping centre nearby and Antalya isn't far away and is beautiful.
I am notoriously difficult to please, everyone who knows me says it and I honestly could not fault any element of this holiday. We will be returning next year, we've booked 5 star Fuerteventura for this year....at half the price of Barut Lara..... I know I'm going to be sorry!
Don't even waste your time reading the reviews of the other hotels, if you want to go to Lara Beach.....it has to be this hotel, expensive.....and worth every penny. (Incidentally we did tip staff at the hotel in euros, but it's not expected and you don't have to at all, you could go and not spend a single extra penny. ENJOY!
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- Also Known As:
- Barut Lara Hotel Antalya
- Barut Lara Resort Spa And Suites
- Hotel Barut Lara
- Lara Resort Spa
- Barut Lara Turkey