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“Genuine 5 star at a bargain rate with minor but common niggles”

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Royal Atlantis Spa & Resort
Ranked #167 of 334 Hotels in Manavgat
Reviewed 21 April 2013

Not to be confused with the nearby Royal Atlantis Beach Hotel, the Royal Atlantis Spa and Resort is marketed as an ultra all-inclusive five star on the front row. Over and above a regular all-inclusive offering there is a 24 hour bar, all night food (sweets, cakes and soup), cocktails and even Baileys' (actually a local Irish Cream). There is a good choice of eating and drinking venues including, as I write this in April, two a la carte restaurants. Plus the room minibars are refilled daily with still and sparkling water, cola, orangeade and lemonade. It is a generous offering. i have had over 40 Turkish hotel stays, how does this one stack up?

The Royal Atlantis Spa and Resort is located in Gundogdu (the second 'g' is silent), around 20 minutes and 3.5 Lira (£1.30) by dolmus from ancient Side. That makes the hotel that much nearer Antalya airport which is appreciated after a full day's travelling here. Gundogdu is the end of the continuous coastal strip of development running West from Side and has only been developed in the last four years or so. It is exclusively touristy. That accepted Gundogdu has its merits.

There are a surprisingly large number of shops, more than there are in central Side and practically on the hotel's doorstep. Their prices are lower than central Side too - almost certainly due to far lower rents than in Side. For example and for those like me into self-indulgence while on holiday, the going rate for a haircut is €4 locally, a shave €3 and a 45 minute full body massage €12 or only €10 if you pre-pay for six as I did across the road. But also prices of knock-off designer wear and the usual tourist fodder are considerably lower here than Side too.

Talking of Euros, yes the guests in this part of the world are predominantly German and the staff in this hotel in particular are surprised to find out that we are English. The chap on reception at the Spa told us we were the first English guests he had ever spoken to here. I see from the previous reviews that we are not the first Brits to stay at Royal Atlantis Spa and Resort but it certainly feels like it and we are the only two British in the hotel now. The reaction from staff we have chatted to can best be summed up, "Why are you here????".

Almost all the staff speak some English but will default to German if they speak first. Some speak very good English e.g. The guest relations manager, the waiter in the Turkish a la carte restaurant and most of the animation team. All the guests we have had dealing with are fine with us and are not the pushy-shovey variety I have experienced elsewhere.

We are told that the hotel is currently around one third full. Consequently some of the facilities are either not in use or are being utilised a different way to how they would be in the peak of Summer. The beach bar for example is the only lunchtime eating venue - the main buffet restaurant is closed at lunchtime unless rain is likely as it has been twice - and they can't seem to settle how to run lunch at the beach bar.

Sometimes a la carte menus are placed on every table with around two dozen choices all cooked to order with a self-service buffet of salads, soup, sweets and a choice of Turkish meat and fish dishes. Other times, there are no menus and everything is buffet. Drinks however, as they are though the hotel, are all waiter-served to the table.

The hotel comprises of four identical accommodation blocks, two either side of the main public building and all in a line linked on the lower three floors. Rooms block 1 is nearest the sea and block 4 is furthest away. The design of the rooms blocks staggers rooms either side of an internal atrium such that every room has a side sea view from a rather small balcony. Our reservations indicated that we had booked sea view rooms. This meant nothing as we were placed on the far side of building with the most distant view of the sea of any room in the hotel.

As has been mentioned, the rooms are just on the small side of average but are very pleasant, well designed and decorated. They have everything you would expect of a five star hotel in Turkey, nothing more, except slippers (bathrobes are €1 per day to hire) and nothing less except perhaps BBC World - the only English channel on the TV is Euronews.

The central building houses the reception, 24 hour and patisserie, the evening-only, smoking 'CC Bar' and the Turkish a la carte all on the top floor which is ground level on the street side. One floor below is the huge buffet restaurant with a large outdoor section overlooking the pools and the sea beyond. This is symmetrical with one side duplicating the other, or it would if one side were not currently closed. Beneath this is the spa, gym, shops, indoor pools etc. and access to the outdoor pools.

The large pool outside the all-day Sonnett bar is designated the quiet pool and is one of the few places in the hotel where you can escape the constant background and often intrusive background music. As with everywhere in the hotel a waiter plies every few minutes around the pool taking and delivering drinks orders. This is an exceptional level of service and much appreciated.

Heading towards the sea, past the similarly sized but child-welcome pool, the very end of the hotel building where rooms block 1 ends, is the fish a la carte restaurant with an attractive little circular bar above. Sadly this is not open during our stay. Behind here inside is the little cinema currently featuring an exclusively German language weekly programme and, under ground, the disco/night club.

It is at this point that it become apparent that the hotel is not actually on the beach. The there a short walk through a 'green belt' backing the beach at Gundogdu to reach the hotel's beach bar flanking the rather densely packed sun beds on the broad sandy beach.

Food quality and choice at the main buffet and beach bar buffet is excellent and is befitting of the 'ultra' market to which it is aimed. My only criticisms here are the usual ones: cold plates for hot food, less than piping-hot food, excessive use of salt and dessert spoons, instead of soup spoons, for soup.

The a la carte restaurants were disappointing. The food and service were generally excellent. However, they both had the ambience of a works canteen. The lighting was bright and harsh and decoration in the Turkish a la carte especially poor. Although both were small, no more than a dozen tables, most tables remained unoccupied during our visits and it was easy to see why. These are probably the greatest blemish on an otherwise excellent hotel.

Pros
+ ultra all-inclusive extras (24 hr food & drink, minibar, a la cartes)
+ hotel-wide friendly and highly efficient waiter service
+ huge choice of quality and fresh food at all mealtimes
+ a la carte lunch service
+ (almost) on a beautiful beach
+ great beach bar
+ well furnished rooms all with side sea views

Cons
- intrusive background music throughout (except the 'silence' pool)
- poor ambience, decor and lighting of the a la carte restaurants
- tepid hot food, cold plates, salty food and no soup spoons
- rooms, balconies and bathrooms are smaller than average
- no English language films in the cinema
- only one TV channel in English (Euronews)
- inconsistent management style typical of a privately owned hotel

Overall an easy to recommend hotel with minor and mostly common faults in this part of the World.

We booked with Alpharooms for sole occupancy of double rooms with sea view on an all-inclusive basis for £25 per night. We stayed 14th to 25th April 2013.

All of this review was written during our stay. If you found it helpful, please give it a 'helpful vote'. Thanks! Tim.

Room Tip: Block 1 is nearest the sea and the rooms on the sea side have a perfect unobstructed sea view. There...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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21  Thank Tim_Millea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 18 of 127 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2013

I spent a week at this hotel in early March 2013. This was my first trip to Turkey and I am so pleased I went. The hotel is not actually in Side (as described to me) but it is easy to get a local bus to Side and also to Manavgat with its bustling and busy market. The resort itself has lots of shops and other resort hotels. One thing that is important is that the whole resort and this hotel seem to be geared to the German tourist market. If you can speak German you will have no trouble but you may have a few problems if you only speak English.

The rooms at the hotel are fairly small, but adequate, and most have a sea view. The hotel was very clean throughout. It was 'out of season' when I went so only the main buffet restaurant was open, but this was absolutely fine. There are several a la carte restaurants available in season. The food was very very good and there was a huge amount of choice. The staff in the restaurant are efficient and helpful. It was still a little chilly in March so I didn't use the outside pools but I did use the indoor heated pool and the steam room and Sauna. There are so many facilities at the hotel you really wouldn't need to leave it if you didn't want to. In addition to the restaurants and bars there is a small cinema, regular entertainment, a childrens club, daytime activities, a bowling alley and games room and of course the spa itself offering a range of treatments and therapies.

The private beach at the hotel was clean and plenty of sunbeds are available. There is also a beach bar and cafe. You can walk for miles along the beach in either direction.

Room Tip: Family rooms and those on those on the 6th floor are larger. Nearly all the rooms have a sea view.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank nofixedabode
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2012

I have just returned from a two week late autumn break in Turkey, it was a bit of luck that our friends who were celebrating their Golden Anniversary and his 71 birthday. I can honestly say if they had not been there it would never have crossed my mind to book a holiday at the Royal Atlantis, I absolutely loath regimentation and buffet type meals that you stand in line and pile as much as you can on your plate. But my partner needed a real break after major surgery and not a nice year of illness so thought this was as good a place as any.

The Royal Atlantis Spa and Resort was a real eye opener, it is spotless, the beige travertine floors glisten, all of the personnel immaculately turned out, from the porters to the head of service. They are without exception, friendly, courteous and nothing is too much bother. The restaurants staff are efficient and unobtrusive, your glass gets filled and you don’t even know it. It may have been also that the resort guests were in the most middle to Senior citizen age and as it was outside of the school holiday time a lack of young children which suited us just fine. I think that in the summer month’s life will be more than a bit hectic.

We had luck, in that we had the last 2 nights of the a-la-carte restaurants, the fish evening in the Mediterranean restaurant and an evening in the Turkish restaurant. Both fantastic, food perfectly cooked and the service first class.

No one needs to go hungry or without in this hotel, Breakfast is in the main restaurant, hot or cold, fried or cereals, fruit of cold cuts, everything is catered for. There is the beach restaurant or swimming pool restaurant for Lunch. Evening meal is in the main restaurant. If you fancy a snack in between there is always the Patisserie this is open 24 hours a day and is also the coffee/tea house of the complex. If you arrive after the meals have been finished (we arrived at 10:00 in the morning), no problem, there is a small self-service restaurant that serves warm and cold food and always has a soup on the go.

The rooms are clean and well stocked, the balconies are on the small side, but there again, I didn’t come on holiday to sit on the balcony, and there is a perfectly good pool side, garden, beach area for those that wish to brown. Though not directly attached to the hotel, adjacent are all manner of water sports, parascending, micro-light flights on the clean and safe beach. You can walk for miles along the beach.

For those that require it there is the top notch wellness centre, with Salt and fresh swimming pools, massage rooms, fitness room, sauna, Turkish baths. A Doctor is in the Hotel every day, there is a bowling alley, a dance floor, cinema, boutiques and souvenir shops.

Directly outside the are the Bazaars, for those wishing to buy new tailor-made shirts, leather wear, spectacles, jewellery, and of course the real imitation hand bags, shoes, tops, winter jackets you name it the have copied it.

Would I go again? Difficult to call, I like individual holidays, I like going to out of the way places, and this is not out of the way, I believe that Turkey has not learnt from Spain, Portugal or Greece, they are putting up massive concrete holiday silos, it doesn’t look nice (though a lot better than the stretch between Side and Alanya).

I aim to go back to Turkey but not all inclusive and not to the tourist area of the Turkish Riviera, I like holidaying off my own bat, eating in small restaurants when and what I want.
But for those that like the easy life and are happy to be fed and watered 24 hours a day with high quality food and drink, want to be waited on hand and foot, then this is the place for them and well worth the five star rating. I have a blog and if you wish to read about our holiday here then go to http://spotteddick-itsallinthegame.blogspot.de/

Room Tip: House 1 sea view, floor 3 you are then direct on the reception level
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank smithr668
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2012

Hotel is very nice, and very cleer. Axcept pool area WC is very dirty. In the restaurant and pool area everywhere are cats. In the hotel the air condition is very strong, in the resaturant,too, however on the terrace everybody are smooking, not ideal the eating.
The hotel is "german-thinking" the staff english knowledge is very weak, if you ask something in english, not understand or respond in german. Not ideal other nation, only german.
We have a duoghter 6 years old, she had an otitis during our travel. My husband, too. I think for pool water. water depth is 140 cm everywhere. Not ideal for 4-7 age children. In the kidsklub just german or weak english....
There are in the hotel a lot of elderly people, it was a little stange.
The beach is very nice, not suddenly deepering, idela for little children. but not so cleen...
Summary: The hotel is nice, the rooms are cleen, but we will not go back.

Room Tip: all the same
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank Judit E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2012

Nice hotel with two outdoor and two indoor pools. Beach is very close.
A lot of restaurants, bars with very good food. Only the juice and the coctails were not good.
The room was a little bit smaller as in a five stars hotel has to be. The rooms were not ceaned every day.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Mariann W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2012

Wow... I loved this hotel
I stayed for a week
Very big, cheap, free EVERYTHING!!!
Even minibar!!
Very modern, food was great, beach was a little chilly but good
Overall experience? 11 fingers up!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank jyh99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2010

Nice new hotel - we have spent great week there.
GOOD:
New modern hotel - you do not have to leave the hotel area if you do not want to - everything is inside (restaurants, bars, shops, bowling, large spa area,...)
Close to nice sand beach, warm sea, free sunbeds for the guests, watersports facilities nearby (parachute, jetski, bananas, etc.)
Great pool - quite long - great for swimming
No additional costs except the safe (10 EURO per week).
All inclusive +: meals, drinks for free in number of restaurants and bars. The minibar refilled for free every day.
Very nice food
WIFI free in the room

NOT THAT GOOD
Rooms are quite small for 5 star hotel.
The staff is sometimes too friendly for 5star hotel
Hotel under construction in the neigbourhood - but no disturbance at all
Focused almost exclusively on Russian and German clients

Hint: prices in hotel shops are sometimes lower than in the nearby bazaar.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Jack220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Atlantis Spa & Resort

Address: Gundogdu Beldesi, Manavgat, Turkey
Region: Turkey > Turkish Mediterranean Coast > Antalya Province > Manavgat
Hotel Style:
#42 Top resorts Hotel in Manavgat
#136 Luxury Hotel in Manavgat
Price Range: £74 - £842 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Atlantis Spa & Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Atlantis Hotel Manavgat
Royal Atlantis Spa And Resort
Royal Atlantis Spa & Resort Turkey/Manavgat, Antalya Province

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