Lovely, quiet, modern, open-air concept hotel with spa in small coastal town of Boguzkent. My husband and I stayed 7 nights in a 5th floor sea view room. I believe we were the only Americans as most guests were German. Having read the reviews I knew the hotel catered to German guests and we experienced no issue with this. Yes, signs, menu items and daily activities were listed in German, but in Turkish and English too. If you are traveling outside your own country to one where the language is different than yours, be thankful when the resort caters to you, as you are the foreigner in their country. I personally was impressed by the kind and friendly staff, most which were multi-lingual.
The Good: quiet; no loud, obnoxious animation crew here. Though, during prime hours you can hear the nearby hotels turning up the volume of fun. No thanks ... been there, done that. No loud music or conga lines here, rather you'll enjoy plenty of peaceful, nap by the pool kind of days. This resort is adults only, and occassionally I'd see somone from the sister resort wander through with a kid or two, but the staff quickly and quietly escorted them out. The only other (welcome) interruption is the smiling girl pushing the snack cart. Sample cups of buttery corn, fruit parfaits and chocolate puddings throughout the day without leaving your lounger. Though know there is no cocktail service by the pool; you need to get your own drinks here, and there are plenty of bars poolside.
Overall, the food was excellent! We only ate at the buffet and grill. We've been to many all inclusives and this was by far the best food. It surprises me that some reviewers complained about the variety or taste. For every meal, there are several choices of turkey, chicken, beef, vegetarian, fish plus many traditional Turkish dishes from different regions. Cold salads, soups, meze, breads, cheeses, amuse bouches, spectactular desserts ... and on and on. If you cannot find variety here then I don't think you can be pleased anywhere.
The hotel layout and design is beautiful. Plenty of places to sit and enjoy an evening tea or coffee or sip a couple of cocktails. There are several places to have drinks, but most people congregated near the Island pool bar or on the Terrace. The Beach side bar was perfect for enjoying a sunset drink with spectacular views of the sea. From the landscaping, to the terrace overlooking the pool, to the blue and teal colored tiles of the pool, careful attention was given to every detail.
There is an inside pool attached to the spa, and I believe a hot tub next to it, but it appeared to be down for repairs. I never saw anyone use either. In the Spa, you can use the complimentary hamam, steam, and sauna rooms, or book appointments for the hamam service, which we did twice. My husband is Turkish, and he called it hamam-lite. Regardless, it was an interesting (and enjoyable) experience. The spas offers several types of massages at reasonable prices.
The staff was excellent. Since my husband speaks Turkish he was able to talk with many of the staff and get to know a little about them. Everyone was very friendly and hospitable.
What You Need To Know: while we stayed in a 5th floor (top floor) sea view room, we were disappointed with the balcony, which is a high wall that completely closed off your view unless you were standing up next to it. It's more of a sky view room. To make the best of this, the hotel could spring for a couple bar height chairs and table so you could at least sit on the balcony and enjoy the view. It appeared the best balconies are on the 4th floor. 1st thru 4th have a glass wall but only the 4th and 5th are large enough for 2 chairs. If you can get one, the 8 Lake House villas look amazing.
Our room was small, but we didn't go on vacation to stay in our room. We had, what we call in the U.S., a king sized bed. (Not 2 beds pushed together.) But for us, the matress was too hard, almost uncomfortable.
The room offered plenty of space for clothes, several large mirrors, hair dryer, safe, stocked fridge, reading lights, and tea pot. Some bottles in the fridge required a bottle opener, which was not supplied though one was delivered shortly after we requested it. No soaps, lotions, etc. in the room which I found very surprising. Room comes stocked with 2 robes, 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, bath mat, a loofah, a washcloth and small vanity kit. Would have liked a couple extra bath towels, though I'm sure they would have accommodated us if we asked. Washcloths were sporadically replaced.
We found it difficult to regulate the AC. Either too cold or too warm. We decided to go with too cold and requested extra blankets. The AC turns off when the balcony doors are open or if the key card is removed from the slot. We kept one key in the slot the whole time, but found that housekeeping would open the balcony door a wee bit to turn off the AC.
Yes, the water temperature is an issue. Forget hot, we never even had a warm shower, but I suppose that's what happens when everyone comes in from the pool at 5 pm and takes a shower before dinner.
The liitle hair dryer was barely adequate, but loved the pull out vanity mirror. The bathroom and shower walls are made of opaque glass, while not an issue for my husband and me, I can imagine some not being comfortable with this. Never fear, there are plenty of very private, very clean bathrooms throughout the resort.
The rooms are lacking basic info for guests: map of resort, what # to call for front desk, how late the pool is open, spa services, how to use the safe, etc. This info would be helpful upon check in.
The drinks were a bit of a disappointment. Usually too strong. I did not care for the house wines or local beer Efes, but that’s just me. I sampled a lot, but never found anything I really liked. Dining times are prompt 6:30-9 pm for dinner. Most folks get there right at 6:30 so it gets very crowded and warm indoors. The best tables are along the pool where it is cool, but they get snapped up by the early birds. We tried to time our meal around 7:30 after the rush. However, often we felt rushed to eat as the staff starts to break down the buffet before service is over.
Please know there are stray cats that live at the resort. You will see the same few cats around the pool, terrace, near the dining tables, even in the lobby. The Turkish people are very kind to the stays. The cats are cared for and will not hurt you, bother you or jump on you. Please be respectful, and if you are bothered or afriad, let the staff know and they will accommodate you.
WiFi is available, but only on the Terrace, lobby, and when dining near the pool. Again, we didn't go on vacation to be online, but nice to be able to check in back home.
Almost every night, there is some scheduled event such as music, dancing, casino night, movie on the beach, Events start around 8:30 and are done by 10 pm. If you are looking for low-key, this is the place. During our stay, the resort celebrated their 2 year anniversary and planned a very special night with decorations, fancy feast, and a Brazilian dance troupe. They went all out to put on a spectacular show for their guests, which was very nice.
There are plenty of nice, comfortable loungers and umbrellas on the beach and by the pool. Guests did get in early to "reserve" a spot, so if you are a late riser, your options may be limited. We'd get to the pool around 10:30 and usually found a decent spot. The shoreline is rocky, so if you plan to go into the water you will want water shoes. Believe me, I thought I could brave it without, but it hurt my little feet and I couldn't do it! Even to just walk along the water, you may need shoes.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at Sensimar Belek and would recommend it to others.
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