We’ve (2 adults with 2 kids aged 5 and 20 months) recently spent a relaxing 9 day all inclusive stay at the Club Yali Hotels & Resort. Being the last week in September meant the main schools/summer holiday crush had passed and the guest profile was typically families with young children and seniors so the competition for beach/pool/restaurant seats was over. The hotel is highly orientated to French speakers otherwise we mostly heard Italian, Turkish, Dutch and German. Most of the hotel staff spoke at least some English so communication wasn’t an issue.
The name of the hotel is rather confusing when trying to look for reviews as we did. However, we can confirm that the Club Yali Hotels & Resort is the main hotel name and is actually a complex containing several hotel buildings on a large resort site and so if you are reading about the Cactus Yali, Club Marmara Yali, Yali Charme etc the names refer to the same hotel complex!
The service here was a major highlight for us. Staff everywhere where attentive, friendly and really made the kids welcome.
In terms of accommodation, we had a top floor family room with panoramic sea views (across the Agean to the Greek island of Samos) in the main hotel building (Yali Resort). The room itself was comfortable and adequate. Whilst rated locally as 5 star, this hotel would be considered as good 4 star internationally. The hotel only supplies a bar of soap and shampoo in the bathroom so bringing your own favourite bathroom supplies won’t hurt.
There is an interesting and tasty variety of authentic local food with strong vegetarian accent particularly from the ‘cold kitchen’. The buffet dinner started at 1900h which is not exactly a child friendly time. The dress code for dinner in the main restaurant seems to be very relaxed as men were allowed in wearing shorts without an issue.
Within the hotel, the entertainment program was run by a French animation team so everything was pretty much in French. The ‘Mini Disco’ was a real hit for our kids even though it started rather late at 2045h and went for 15 min. We didn’t stay on for the shows which started shortly after the Mini Disco each night. Our 5 year old wasn’t interested in going to the ‘Mini Club’ for kids so we have no comment about it. A short stroll away from the hotel is the Aquapark owned by the same group (Cactus) that owns the hotel. Hotel guests are allowed in from Mon-Fri. and food and drinks are also free once inside. The place is huge and some of the water slides are pretty intimidating even for adults and we all had a great time there. My wife had a massage at the Health Spa in the hotel which she said was rather average.
The hotel complex fronts a mostly sandy beach which is clean, pleasant and with relatively shallow waters. There is a designated swimming area around the pontoon. Inside the complex, there are several swimming pools catering for young and old as well as the pools at the Aquapark. Depending on who you book your holiday with beach towels may not be supplied and you are not permitted to bring the towels from hotel rooms. You can buy a beach towel from the hotel for EUR 7 or just bring your own.
There is an ‘internet corner’ but if you prefer to bring/use your own computer, the wi-fi reception area is limited to public areas in the lobby and parts of the 1st floor. Internet access is oddly charged at EUR 5 for 1 hour or EUR 10 for a week.
The local area around the hotel is very basic with mostly a few grim looking souvenir shops. However, it is worth going out a bit further. Hiring a car is cheaper and more flexible than taking organised tours. Through the hotel, we rented a car to go to the ancient city of Ephesus (must see) and also to Izmir for day trips. Izmir however was a great let down as it is large city dominated by ‘modern’ looking buildings and with little ancient history remaining.
The only real issue we had during our stay was that the evening entertainment program in the amphitheatre can be very loud. On some nights loud music/noise didn’t end till 2330h. We had a great ocean view family room in the main hotel building on the opposite side of the amphitheatre but could still hear entertainment blasting away. Perhaps rear facing rooms are more ‘sound proof’?
Overall, we had a great relaxing and enjoyable family friendly holiday at the Yali and have no hesitation in recommending it.
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- Also Known As:
- Club Marmara Yali Hotel Gumuldur
- Resort All Inclusive Yali
- Cactus Club Yali Hotels & Resort Turkey/Gumuldur, Izmir Province