I spent eight nights at the Gloria with my wife and our two young boys, and by the time we came to leave, we really didn't want to go - and I had to promise our children we would return next year! This was based principally around the fact that the hotel has a quite superb water park, and two excellent kids clubs (an indoor play area - the Gogi Fun Jungle - and a more traditional kids club with activities during the day). In addition, the food is remarkably good for an AI resort, and things like drinks and ice creams are real branded products.
We stayed in a Family Suite, and this was ideal for a family of our size - two bedrooms with their own bathrooms (but odd that the bathroom with a 'tub' was in the adult bathroom, and the walk-in shower was in the kids' one!), and a sitting room area built on to the adult bedroom. These are all in two blocks right by a small restaurant that does breakfast and lunch (and drinks up to 6pm), swimming pool, and the Gogi Fun Jungle (which is free to people in the Family Suites).
The food offering is vast. There are several restaurants dotted around the resort for lunches, with some lovely outdoor locations in addition to the two main buffet restaurants (which serve identical food and might as well be one). Our favourite one was the Turkish restaurant, which did heavenly lamb chops and excellent kebabs. At dinner, the choice in the buffet restaurants is vast, including cooked to order grilled fish/meat, various oriental offerings, and freshly cooked pasta with interesting sauces - plus the vast array of salads, puddings, and pre-cooked main courses.
Once a week AI guests can eat in each of the 3 a la carte restaurants, although to be sure of a booking, you have to be up at 8am two days in advance and book in person. We only ate at the Italian restaurant - and it was superb (especially given it was included in the AI deal).
There are some downsides to the Gloria, but not many, but it does take a bit of getting used to.... The majority of the clientele are Russian or Eastern European, and that can cause some cultural complications with Brits, including being often adjacent to smokers. We were not into long days of sunbathing, but I think those who like to bag loungers by the pool or beach may have some issues which need resolving - we noted that the family pool loungers were all grabbed by breakfast (admittedly a fairly late breakfast) every day.
Our two big negatives were a) the cost of babysitting. This is outrageous - 30 Euro per hour PER CHILD. We came from the Intercontinental in Istanbul, which provided a sitter for our two children for 20 Euros per hour in total, by way of comparison. We did it once, but could not afford to do it again. The other issue, b) was the prevalent attitude of the junior management and guest services team which, frankly, was offhand, and left one feeling that whatever the issue, nobody gave two hoots (I put this as politely as I can!). When you add to this that the waiting staff are manifestly over-worked (and probably underpaid), and that service at the bars and restaurants is haphazard, and comes with a smile sometimes, but with a scowl at others, that is a disappointment. (You should also not that there is no poolside service - you have to go to the bars/restaurants for service.)
Had we been there only for 48 hours, I think that the issues mentioned above would really have disappointed me. However, as we grew into how the resort worked, and how much it had to offer, we learned how the system worked, and just enjoyed ourselves more and more. We will, certainly, come back.
PS - Do not let the name confuse you. Frankly, this hotel has nothing golf-related to do with the day to day operation. The Gloria has golf courses, but it is not a 'golfing hotel' in the usual sense of that phrase at all!
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- Also Known As:
- Gloria Golf Hotel Belek
- Gloria Hotel Belek
- Gloria Resort Belek