We have been to Lykia seven times before over the years. I've never bothered to review it before - plenty of others do that!
However, this was our first visit since the change of management, rebuilding and rebranding - and there were one or two surprises to us, both positive and negative. There were nine of us altogether, including a couple of young children.
The most important point to note is that there is now a very clear, firm and policed separation between the adult (16+) section of the resort (Sentida, formerly "the hotel side") and the Liberty (formerly known as "the village"). The dividing line runs down the river bed (not down the road) - which means that the new "seaside lounges" (see below) are available for family hire (€29 per day, without service).
Adults can use the facilities on either side, but children cannot....which means that the main hotel pool is now adults only (which I didn't welcome initially, as that was the primary pool our group used on our previous visit). NOTE that the website does NOT make it clear that this particular pool is now adults only!
As before, the infinity pool near the Turkish bath on the "Liberty" side continues to be adults only - and this also seems to be better policed than it used to be (tip to the Liberty staff - get someone in security who speaks French, in case another family choose to make their own rules there and very rudely squat where they know perfectly well they are not allowed to be!)
1. The beach area on the Sentido side has been substantially upgraded and extended with more sunbeds. Nicely done! Staffing of the beach bar there also seems to have been increased (though Mehmet is still there much of the time, I'm pleased to see!)
2. There is a new "childrens' beach" below the (Oasis) infinity pool and Turkish bath, with grass parasols and a reasonable number of sunbeds in front of a shallow/safe swimming area. This looks to have been well-designed, with breakwaters to disperse bigger waves - but probably isn't big enough unless the staff ensure that only people with (young) children are actually allowed to use the beach (this point needs to be policed by staff!)
3. Substantial changes to Kids' (formerly Childrens') Paradise, involving many new sunbeds (ample capacity, though pushchair access to many of the beds is difficult) and various new features. Seems to work very well for children of all ages (including many adults using the "giraffe" slide!!).
4. Seaside Lounges (€29/day): There are about 10 of these "seaside lounges" (think "grass-roofed beach huts with curtained sides", with 4 sunbeds each) - though 8 of them don't have direct access to the sea (and the two that do both have a lot of steps whilst the others have a level entry entry area). They are mostly pretty cool inside thanks to a slight breeze off the sea for most of the day. We used one, partly to allow young children a post-lunch sleep and give their parents some time sunbathing. Worked well. Not great value though, overall.
5. The old "Village Restaurant" is now completely closed! The Sentido/hotel restaurant has been very tastefully and well upgraded (with extended outside seating areas) - and is quite a different dining experience from the Marina - available to adults only. The Marina restaurant has also been very substantially extended - and now has two levels. There are also two air-conditioned areas at the Marina and the tables under cover towards the dive school are cool for lunchtime use by larger parties (such as ours). Staff should keep an eye on the mix between group sizes - once or twice we got the last available large table (the new layout doesn't lend itself to putting tables together in most places). TIP: if the Marina restaurant looks crowded, head for the upstairs deck - there is a separate serving area there which (though the range of food is only about 30-40% of what is available on the lower levels) makes for a much more civilised lunching/dining experience, relative to the bunfight below. Didn't use any of the speciality restaurants this time, so can't add anything about them.
6. LIFTS. Yes...lifts!! There are two big lift blocks,each with two lifts, cutting out the need to use very long runs of stairs to get to the beach or the Marina restaurant. One is just above the Marina restaurant and the other just above the main beachfront cafe. Also a lift between levels in the Marina restaurant - useful for pushchairs. The lifts were a surprise - but actually we used them a fair bit!
7. Menus: In general the range of dishes available seems to have been expanded. However, I particularly missed having bacon available at any breakfast. Also seemed to be fewer varieties of cereals (and rolls) than used to be available at the closed Village Restaurant. I also missed the focus on fish at the Marina - the new "Fish counter" at the opposite end, by the kids football pitch, often seemed to have limited or no fish available, whereas the old one used to have 3-4 fish dishes. Similarly the dietary corner looked a bit more restricted (though the healthy-eaters in our party had no complaints).
8. Safety. In general standards of safety seem to have gone up, perhaps in part due to the various refurbishments. However, I did notice one serious flaw in safety in one very small part of the Marina restaurant, where the lower-level restaurant decking ends abruptly 3m above the concrete road below- inviting a vertical 3m fall onto a hard surface for any small child unwary enough to fall over a single (very low) rope. This is EXTREMELY easy for a small child to do - and I pointed it out to Marina staff after our 3 year-old very nearly toppled over it only a few feet from our table, but nothing had been done about it when we left three days later. It is imperative that the hotel fixes this before a child gets killed or seriously injured, and I hope the hotel will confirm on here when they have done so! A 1.5m piece of safety glass between two stainless steel posts (as now tastefully installed elsewhere along the front) would do the job!
9. Cafe on the seafront - substantially upgraded, with more seats and very good staff. Also the boardwalk along the whole seafront has been reinstated and raised above the sea (though is pretty bumpy for those wheeling pushchairs to the childrens' beach)
10. All-inclusiveness. Apart from the speciality restaurants and the new seaside lounges, there are limited ways to spend money (unless you like spas etc etc). The knock-on from this is that the bars have become much busier than they used to be!! We found it PARTICULARLY difficult to get served at the main "village" bar - and also in the evening bar on the hotel side - even when there were relatively few people using it in early evenings. My wife especially noticed the lack of attention from the bar staff at the main bar - and I'd suggest that the staffing levels and training gets seriously looked at for that bar! There are subsidiary bars open at certain times in the central area (where the ice creams and little shops were), but perhaps they only relieve some pressure later in the evening than we made use of?
11. Reception in the Liberty (village) side is now in an airconditioned area. We found that they tried to split our party up on arrival (offering one of the adult-only groups an "upgrade" to the Sentido side, which suggests that they are under-occupied with adult groups (not too surprising - though the Sentido side is now pretty attractive even in "Childrens Week" for those without kids!)
12. Minibars now all-inclusive. Though adequately-stocked rather than well-stocked (couple of beers, couple of several varieties of soft drinks). Enough really, given the wide availability of drinks elsewhere at most times. Water is now freely available too throughout the resort and can be taken on demand from large fridges in small or large bottles (previously large bottles had cost 3 lira). I think they got the water distribution about right, though at some times some water fridges were empty for brief periods (but often another was close by!).
13. Transport - the old two-bus system has been renewed with minibuses that take about 50% more passengers (but the set-up is otherwise little changed)
14. New yoga deck in the pine wood on the Sentido/adult side. Good idea.
In sum we were very happy with the upgradings and the additions. As others have said, the tennis courts are looking run-down but frankly they could do with removing most of them and upgrading a few in the next phases as they are very under-used (impossible for anyone to play in 40 degree temperatures, so 10.30-17.00 is almost tennis-free).
Would we visit again? Yes - it is a great place for larger groups, even with very mixed ages. Plenty for everyone to do and you can see as much (or as little) of each other as you choose to! In my experience that combination makes Lykia a pretty unique resort!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Residence section has 266 rooms and Village has 609 rooms ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lykia World Oludeniz Hotel Oludeniz
- Lykiaworld Hotel Oludeniz
- Lykiaworld Resort Oludeniz
- Lykiaworld Fethiye