Having never been to Turkey before, we went with an open mind. We were not disappointed. I picked the hotel over the country/location of our holiday based on all the fantastic reviews I’d read. I have stayed in many “5 star” hotels worldwide, but this truly was a 5 star. We are a young couple and visited at the beginning of May. The gardens are immaculately kept and the huge hotel lobby and restaurant are luxurious and clean. The pool is vast, a little cold in May as it is unheated but I guess perfect for the summer months. There were another couple of smaller pools on the resort too. There were plenty of sun loungers which were so comfortable and always covered with clean towel mattresses. There were always plenty of empty ones but not sure if this was due to the time of the year.
We unfortunately had a couple of days of torrential rain but were able to swim in the small outdoor heated pool, and we made use of the indoor pool which didn’t get overcrowded considering the weather conditions. There is an adjoining spa with massages but at 70 Euros, we felt they were overpriced. You can hire cars from reception which we didn’t know about until leaving, not sure of the price. There seemed to be water sports on the beach, and water slides in one of the pools, but I am pregnant so did not take advantage of them.
The staff were attentive, they couldn’t do enough for you, but I will mention that their English is limited. Maybe I am naive and just assumed that everyone in the tourist industry in Europe speaks English! My boyfriend is gluten intolereant and we were given a card to show in the restaurants so they could accommodate for his diet. We actually didn’t use it as we had the buffet for every meal so he knew what he could and couldn’t eat. We thought we would use the A La Carte restaurants (10 Euros per person per visit) as buffets can get a bit ‘samey’, but we didn’t – there was no need to, the food was outstanding, it was an excellent standard so much variety, almost too much to choose from, I needed a bigger stomach! They did all kinds of meat daily – beef, chicken, duck, turkey, fish, seafood, loads of veg and salads and plenty of pasta, rice, chips, pizza and fresh bread to choose from. As well as the buffet, they cooked food on the BBQ outside every evening. The breakfasts were also very good – cereal, hot breakfasts and lots of fresh fruit. At lunchtime we ate at the buffet mostly but also at La Turca, which is A La Carte in the evenings, free at lunchtime. It’s a poolside restaurant which was lovely, but again, a language barrier with the staff! There are fridges dotted around the pool full of cans and bottles of soft drinks and water which was so useful, and we loved the 4pm snacks on the walk down to the beach (crepes, burgers, hot dogs). Remember there is no pork/bacon here, Turkey is a Muslim country.
The bedrooms were luxurious, we had a huge bed and the room was vast and bathroom immaculate and a lovely big balcony. We were in the 3rd floor of pod 4 with a garden view. We could see the derelict hotel next door to the Calista Resort but this didn’t bother us. On the other side of the resort, a new hotel is being built, the construction was fairly noisy if we walked past it but not sure if you could hear it from the rooms there.
The resort I would say was about 95% Russians. We met one other British couple, there were a couple more, but few and far between. We were hoping that there weren’t too many screaming children as I had read it is a good resort for kids. There were quite a few children around, but all very well behaved as I think the kids entertainment seemed good.
We are cat fans and loved that the hotel had 5 or 6 residential cats. My only concern was that
they always seemed hungry and not in the best condition. Upon visiting their ‘cat house’ on the outskirts of the resort, I didn’t feel that they had enough fresh food and water, it looked old and scarce. They were never seen eating there, only loitering around guests waiting for scraps of food.
The beach was lovely – clean and plenty of sun beds. There were also giant cushions on the grass area which were perfect if you don’t want to be on the sand. There was a bar on the pier with drinks flowing and ice creams and drinks at the beach bar.
We didn’t see any of the evening entertainment as it was a bit late for us – it didn’t start until 10pm and we liked to be in bed early to make the most of the sun! We could hear it from our room though, not that it bothered us. We went to an indoor ‘concert’ one evening, a Russian singer, a bit like being at a Eurovision song contest! There was occasionally a live singer/band by the pool bar at around 5pm. It was subtle music and very relaxing.
We would definitely return to this resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Calista is named after a Goddess in Mythology, a young woman of rare beauty. She becomes so obsessed with her beauty that she would risk everything, in order to eternalize it. Then Calista dedicates herself to goodness by combining this physical beauty with the beauty of her soul. After a while, her soul becomes too beautiful to remain mortal. She becomes a Goddess. The name Calista signifies the Goddess of Rare Beauty from that moment on she reflects the pure Beauty. Calista: Perfect Beauty! The Goddess of Beauty! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Calista Luxury Hotel Belek
- Hotel Calista Luxury