Oh dear . . just read some very critical reviews before posting this one. Mrs. Mineworker and I are definitely in the "50+" category, so bear that in mind when reading this review!
We stayed here for a week in August - at the height of the holiday season. We paid a little extra for a sea-view room and we felt this was money well spent. Our room had sufficient hanging space and a small(ish) safe, just big enough for a tablet or small laptop. The safe was free - hooray! I can never understand why some hotels charge extra for a safe, when it's an essential holiday component. There was a minibar stocked with soft drinks and water. And here's the first minor issue: all the soft drinks were loaded with sugar. When we asked if they could be replaced with sugar free options we were turned down. Surely it wouldn't be too much for the hotel to replace the branded cola bottles with diet cola. The refusal was polite, but it was a refusal nevertheless.
Yes - the guests were a cosmoplitan crowd. There were Brits, Germans, and Russians in the mix. But we didn't find the buffet restaurant catered for one nationality at the expense of others. Actually, we found the buffet restaurant very good. Apart from the usual meat and fish options, the salad bar was excellent - really fresh and with an excellent variety. Our package also included the opportunity to book one evening meal at each of the three speciality restaurants (so, three in total for our week). Here's our first tip - if you fancy these, book them as soon as you can. We left it 48 hours before booking and by then only the fish restaurant had some spaces left. We were very impressed with the fish restaurant evening: the choice was good, the portions were generous and our meals were beautifully presented. One other point: I enjoy red wine. The last time we went to an all-inclusive hotel, the red wine on offer was almost undrinkable. At the Alba Royal, however, the house red was a very enjoyable Shiraz: it was full-bodied and mellow. This was a positive bonus for me.
The swimming pool was excellent. There were sufficient sunbeds and parasols available for shade. The hotel asks guests not to reserve sunbeds with towels before 8am. Here's our second tip - if you wait until 8am to reserve sunbeds, the best spots will be long gone. I'm an early riser and went for a walk at 6.45am on our first morning. When I strolled past the pool, I could see that some sunbeds had already been reserved. By 7.30am when I was walking back past the pool, at least half the beds had been taken. Bear that in mind if you intend to spend your days lounging by the pool (and there are worse ways of spending your time!).
The evening entertainment was pretty poor - and that's a shame because there aren't many other entertainments within walking distance of the hotel. Turn left at the road next to the hotel and within 10 minutes walking there are some basic bars and some touristy shops. Turn right at the road next to the hotel and within 10 minutes walking there are some basic bars and some touristy shops . . . .
If you decide to visit Side, then do try the "dolmus" (basically a shared minibus) that travel between Colakli and Side. They're cheap and regular (they'll stop if you wave them down) and you can pay in Turkish Lira, Euros, or US Dollars. We visited Side on one evening and enjoyed our dolmus ride.
That's about it really. It's a good hotel, but some minor issues means that I can't give it 5 stars. However, the positives certainly outweigh the negatives at this good hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Only 14+ Adult Only Hotel in Antalya ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Alba Royal Resort All Inclusive
- Alba Royal Hotel Turkey/Colakli, Antalya Province