Just returned from a fantastic two week holiday in the BARUT LARA!
Let’s start with the positives, the main one being the entertainment and animation team. These guys work tirelessly to ensure that everyone has a great time. Special mention must go to Nemo, one of the best animators that you’re ever likely to come across (special shout out to his RIFLE SHOOTING TIMEEEEEEEE which is great fun) & Tuba who also has a great personality and whose Yoga & Zumba classes are also very enjoyable.
In terms of events, there are plenty of activities throughout the day including Volleyball, Darts, Archery, Football, Tennis, Water Gym, Pool Game as well as the ones mentioned above. Night time entertainment is by far and away the best we’ve experienced from any AI hotel that we’ve stayed in. The shows are now outsourced and are a really high standard – Mongolian Circus being our personal favourite with Moscow Kids Circus being a close second. There’s also music on at the pool bar from 10.30pm to 12 and a disco from there onwards which was surprisingly relatively busy! On a Wednesday night, the hotel alternates between a fun fare (which is a good laugh) and a Party Night (our highlight of the holiday). For this they essentially transform the garden into an outside nightclub and there was a great atmosphere. People from all ages seemed to enjoy it and the dance floor was full from start to finish.
Most of the bar staff are really friendly with honourable mentions for Regaip, Bengal & Cumali who provided an exceptional level of service throughout our stay. As others have mentioned, most branded drinks are available (Smirnoff, Bacardi, JD, Baileys, Miller etc) however you have to ask for these.
We managed to visit all of the A La Cartes throughout the two weeks and didn’t have a great difficulty booking restaurants as just used the machines at reception on the way back to our hotel at night. Really enjoyed the Akdeniz (Chateaubriand is a mist), Turunc (Fajitas are sensational) and the Barbeque (great experience!). Italian, Asian, Seafood, Turkish and Sofa were all good as well. To be honest I wasn’t a great fan of the Buffet restaurant but plenty of people we spoke to seemed to enjoy it and it was always busy.
Now onto areas where the hotel could improve. Biggest thing for me is the level of service from most of the restaurant staff. This is way below what we would expect from a 5 star hotel. On many occasions (across both buffet and a la carte) we waited too long for drinks, menus, food you name it. A significant proportion of staff weren’t particularly friendly and often they removed your plates before everyone at your table is finished.
We also had a pretty poor experience at reception when we checked in. Having previously requested a room, we were disappointed when this wasn’t fully met. We subsequently went back down and explained our issue however at the same time a group arrived at the hotel and we were asked to step aside while they checked them in. We patiently waited for ten minutes and were called over again however after another minute another group arrived and we were discarded again. By this point I was mad as it was around 11pm at night and we were exhausted. I asked to speak to a manager and was presented with a security guard that couldn’t speak a word of English. Eventually the issue was resolved but lesson for the hotel is to treat all customers equally and don’t discard (especially not twice)!
Other minor things are sunbed wars – despite numerous signs/letters you need to get up and get a towel down before 8am or you won’t get a be (whilst many lie idle for hours). And as many have said previously the hotel doesn’t look great on the eye. Also, AVOID the hotel’s photo shop. Firstly, the staff are extremely unpleasant and there prices are a rip off. One night they took pictures of us and when we had a look we decided we would like to have a digital copy of some of the photos. We expected the cost of this to be cheaper as there are no printing costs for them however they still insisted on charging us the standard 10 euros per picture. Eventually we decided we would take two and I asked that as we were paying 20 euros (and all they had to do was drag and drop into our memory card) if they could also give us the extra couple of photos that they had of us and they point blank refused unless we paid 10 euros for each. This left a real sour taste.
Have scored the hotel as 4/5 due to some of the issues mentioned above however it’s still a fantastic resort and I hope that we’ll return at some point in the future.
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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