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.
+ 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
- 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.
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Atlantis Hotel Manavgat
- Royal Atlantis Spa And Resort
- Royal Atlantis Spa & Resort Turkey/Manavgat, Antalya Province