I was extremely pleased with check-in etc at Manchester airport and we all got a surprise when we boarded our unexpected, long-haul flight style plane – the seats were comfy, leg-room was adequate for the guys and service was very good. Flight was brill, collection of cases went smoothly but the transfer to the hotel was marred slightly by lack of organisation on Thomas Cook’s behalf and a faulty bus (most buses were small – take a bottle of water with you!) We got to Colakli and the Alba Royal Hotel eventually.
The transfer home went smoothly but expect more than one security check at the airport.
Check-in at the hotel went smoothly, however, we were surprised to find that we were not allocated rooms in the same part of the hotel – being essentially a one party booking!!!! We booked this holiday months ago in January with my brother and sister-in-law as a group booking, requesting adjacent sea-view twin rooms. This is the underlying theme of my review as we had been allocated a room on the top floor – yes it had a sea-view if I stood on tippy-toes but sitting down all I saw was a concrete wall – not what we had booked, plus it was not a twin-room either! We went straight down to reception and requested a room change – we were told to return the following morning. Therefore I didn’t unpack. We just managed to have our evening meal as that closes at 9.30. Then went for a good strong drink!
The following morning (after bagging our sunbeds – essential I’m afraid) we went to reception at the required time …. Sadly we really had to dig our heels in and be very persistent and luckily we had brought our invoice with us, which confirmed it was a group booking and that we had not been given our booked room!!! Sea-view, twin-bed room adjacent. Finally after trying to communicate with reception staff who really couldn’t give a dam, and spoke “not good enough English” for reception staff to deal with problems, we were allocated a family room but I had to sign a paper ensuring we would vacate this room on June 13th by 12 0’clock, when we would be allocated yet another room! The Thomas Cook rep wasn’t at the hotel at the right time to use her communication skills.
This room was okay, with mini-fridge and tea/coffee making facilities – but for a family room the balcony was much too small – but at least I could see the sea when drinking my early-morning cuppa, or pre-evening meal drink! I DID unpack at this stage – not fully but we did. Sitting al-fresco on a balcony, looking out to sea is an important, if not essential part of a holiday to me!!! Some people may not care but I do!
The hotel in itself is a good hotel, it’s kept extremely clean, at some point, somewhere, part of the hotel is being cleaned or maintained. The gardeners keep the landscaped gardens looking pristine and the pool area must be swept clean on a running programme daily. The resort is situated in a beautiful spot, if all you want is that, as the surrounding area doesn’t have much going for it. Therefore, we spent our fortnight at the hotel, we couldn’t summon up the energy to be bothered to venture further and visit Side – we hadn’t come on holiday to shop and to be truthful the allure wasn’t strong enough! There are a few shops in the hotel providing essential items and jewellery, plus a photo service.
The pool area is kept very clean, as is the pool which is a good size and of equal depth – I couldn’t stand up anywhere so it’s a good job I can swim! Sunbeds are bagged from very early in the morning from before 6 a.m. onwards, so I’m afraid I joined the rat-race and we always got a decent spot, despite our many morning room changes. We noticed that quite a few people make sure their area is theirs by bagging 3 sunbeds! This holiday I was often at the pool before 6 but went back to bed on many a morning as a 6 a.m. start takes its toll eventually!
Our brother and sister-in-law went to the beach every day and always got a good spot but found others encroached on their shade so recommend getting 3 sunbeds so your space/area is your own.
The all-inclusive offer is very good and definitely value for money as the food was good offering a varied choice. We could always find something to suit our palette for all meals. The drinks were on the whole very good, especially the Tuborg Gold beer, and in the end we ordered vodka and cokes/tonics separately as you could create your own concoction/strength that way. Wine was sweet except for the red. Unfortunately slim-line mixers were mostly unavailable. Food was on offer in many areas so you can never really be hungry, plus each area offers something different, however bars do like to close on time even if it is stated they will be open later. The disco wasn’t open and the card room etc closed early at 10 p.m. This is the first hotel where ice-cream, waffles & ice-cream, cornettos and lollies are part of the all-inclusive package – very good! Crisps and nuts are served with drinks as the norm which was a welcome touch. The only negative regarding the food was the opening times of the main restaurants and the difficulty to book the specialist restaurants so we didn’t bother in the end.
The beach view is gorgeous with water-sports etc. However we noticed packs of dogs roaming freely.
Staff – We both found the staff very pleasant and accommodating – we did tip on a nightly basis but they deserved to be tipped, as in general they work very hard. The staff prefer to be tipped with euros and in the shops euros are the first currency, but will accept others. Our rooms were all cleaned well. One member of staff did ignore our drinks order so we left the bar and went to another, where we were served immediately. The bars where the Wi-Fi signs are displayed were both good and the Wi-Fi worked well. Management staff we found to be disinterested in general.
Entertainment – The Animation team worked hard during the day around the pool and depending on the clientele the enthusiasm they received was varied. I thought the games they contrived were good. If you prefer to enjoy a more peaceful environment - the end of the pool away from the bar, near the lunchtime buffet restaurant is best.
We were very disappointed in the evening entertainment, being past Thomson Gold, Sensatori and Couples guests. The Animation team put on shows in the separate auditorium which was hugely uninviting, as you can’t be served drinks or not disturb other guests should you wish to leave. However, when the duos played around the pool bar, guests danced and had a great time, but this didn’t happen often enough! The hotel really needs to take on board this aspect as I believe they will have more return guests, and actually be able to charge more, as I would have paid more for good entertainment …. not one comedian in the whole two weeks!!!? Duh!! Maybe guests from other countries don’t expect entertainment as part of their holiday?
The hotel showed the World Cup in various venues and also erected a huge score-board in the hotel grounds which was a good touch and was a talking point for many of the guests as they passed by!
Spa – We didn’t use the spa, except to change towels, but I object very strongly to a complete stranger approaching me when sun-bathing and prodding my very sore legs, telling me that I potentially have heart disease (which I don’t!) The spa-team strut their stuff, like peacocks around the pool, stopping frequently to encourage guests to use their facilities. I noticed that they are all very tactile, appearing to assume it’s okay to touch people even if they don’t always ask permission first! If that’s your thing then okay but I found them to be annoying, intrusive and in the end told them to leave me alone in no uncertain terms!
The room saga continues ….. on the morning of the 13th I packed (after securing our sunbeds,) so we went down to reception after finding that there was a note pushed under our door from ‘The Management.’ We were informed that we could have that room for a day longer ….. we stuck our heels in again (after all we had signed our lives away only a few days earlier promising to vacate it on that very date) and for God’s sake I’d spent over an hour packing that morning!!! So he gave us a new room – guess where – back where we were allocated in the first place i.e. concrete jungle – oh no – no way!!! Again we had to be very persistent and awkward which we don’t wish to be on holiday especially. Eventually after much smirking from the receptionist who’d made us sign the ‘promise letter’ we were allocated room 1200 – very nice view, near the stairs and lift – but just think if we hadn’t bothered being awkward, I wonder where we would have ended up? Mark my words, stick to your guns! It still wasn’t a twin room – we never got that but hardly important in the scheme of things. I could actually lay in bed and look out to sea! Sleep quality was good – we both enjoyed good night’s sleep as the beds are comfy, however the duvets are a bit small. We weren’t disturbed by the zoo next door …. In fact I would love to know which bird makes the tooting sound.
Air-conditioning was restricted during the first week of our stay so if like me you have long hair I had to get ready between 6 -7 0’clock, using the hair-dryer etc. when the air-con was on – but this was changed during the next week and the air-con was less restricted despite frequent electricity cuts – remember to put the air-con back on when the electricity cut ends!
You are not supplied with many bathroom toiletries but it is usually clean. If you have problems stepping in and out of a bath make sure you mention this when booking as the side of the bath is quite high. The shower pressure was one of the best we have experienced on holiday! The voyeur window can be shut off with the blind!!! ;-)
The mini-fridge is replenished daily and works well, just wish they did more ‘light’ options.
During our two week stay from June 8th – 22nd the weather was mostly glorious, occasional clouds and a few spots of rain, but the humidity was quite high.
In my opinion this hotel can improve by:
• Ensure that guests are accommodated in their stipulated booked room. (We witnessed a number of guests debating with reception staff regarding their rooms!)
• Improving the standard of evening entertainment, which includes nightly live music for dancing. The hotel disco was mostly closed during our stay.
• Facilities being available at stated times
• Updated bathrooms – maybe some with walk-in showers.
• Reception staff with improved English language communication skills
• Efficient Wi-Fi in guest rooms
• Spa staff to be trained to approach guests in an appropriate manner
• Serving more slim-line drinks and supplying sweeteners as well as sugar in restaurants and bars
• Serving better choices of wine
• Make sure the hotel caters to ALL their guests requirements, whichever is their home country
Unusually I was more than ready to return home – I usually have to be dragged away from the pool, but there are only so many late nights of drinking one can take!!
We would be hard-pressed to return to this particular hotel despite the all-inclusive offer being one of the best in our experience, mainly because of the lack of good entertainment, poor location and booking faults.
Trip Advisor score overall very good but location, evening entertainment and management less than good - there isn't an option for what I wanted to convey.
However, maybe we will return to Turkey sometime in the future, but to an alternative area.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Only 14+ Adult Only Hotel in Antalya ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Alba Royal Resort All Inclusive
- Alba Royal Hotel Turkey/Colakli, Antalya Province