Suntopia Pegasos World (Manavgat, Turkey)
Well the name says it all... it is certainly a World Resort! It was absolutely massive! It is part of the Suntopia Hotels which has only recently taken it over it seems this year. This led to some bad reviews on Tripadvisor straight after the change. But then the reviews picked up again to mainly 4 or 5 out of 5. It is a 4 star hotel ... which seems about right. It is classified as one of Thompson's Platinum hotels, which means that the hotel has consistently high ratings from customers and that the hotel has an excellent selection of food and there is priority transfers from the hotel (meaning people staying there will be dropped off first from the airport). People going to a platinum hotel also get extra baggage allowance, we got 20kg each and 5kg each for hand luggage (we never had our hand luggage weighed though).
-------------- Where abouts is Pegasos World Situated? ----------------
It is situated in a place called Titreyengol, in Side in Antalya. It is an hour transfer from the airport and about a 15 minute bus ride to the main harbourside of Side. The buses cost only 2.25 lira each into the town (less than a pound each way). So it was in a very good location for catching a bus to other areas and buses came very frequently, we never had to wait long.
-------------- Arrival --------------
From the outside of the hotel is a nice sweeping driveway and security at either end of it.
We arrived about 12.30am with about 5 other families. The staff at reception were fantastic at quickly allocating us our room keys, wrist bands (we had to wear to show we were all inclusive), our beach towel cards and pointing us in the right direction with a map. A map may seem slightly extreme but it wasn't. Pegasos was a world of buildings where one could easily get lost especially in the middle of the night with relatively low lighting around the pathways. We were also advised that if we wanted to use our safe it would cost us 1.5 Euro a day. The reception was open 24 hours a day.
Our luggage was arranged for transportation to our rooms. We were a bit disappointed with how long the guys took to bring us our suitcases (nearly 40 minutes) as we obviously were very tired after a four hour flight and an hour transfer to the hotel from the airport. When they knocked on our door with our suitcases my boyfriend (Ollie) answered the door and the guy wheeled the suitcases in. The guy then stood in the room staring at us to get a tip. Ollie then went to get his wallet and I tried to stop him because I did not see how this guy deserved a tip because he left us waiting ages for our luggage (it would have been far quicker for us to have brought it ourselves) and he had the audacity to stand there waiting for a tip. I told the guy he did not deserve a tip (I speak my mind sometimes when perhaps I shouldn't). However, Ollie did not listen to me and he handed him 1 Euro. Ok 1 Euro is only about £1.00 but still it was the principle and if we kept giving such tips to all the people on the resort we'd be broke by the end of the holiday.
---------------- First impressions of the room -----------------
Well I was very disappointed. We knew we were in a family room despite us only being a couple because that was the only type of room left because we booked last minute. However, they had pushed two single beds together to make a double bed which also had single sheets and duvets on each bed so we were totally separated... not what we wanted on our first holiday together. With this I rang reception and said how disappointed I was and could we swop rooms for a double bed (also in the hope of getting a room higher up in order to get a balcony). I was told that there was nothing they could do about it till the morning which I thought was fair enough. So 9am I went to reception and enquired and the manager was luckily there who said we could move into a room two floors up at 12pm. So when we entered our new room the standard was 10 times nicer than the previous room we had been in with the furnishings. It was still a family room (so it had two single beds in the front of the room,then the bathroom and wardrobes followed by the double bed at the end of the room with a balcony. The view wasn't spectacular (overlooking a pathway and seeing the waterslides) however, we at least had a balcony which was more than could be said for the previous room.
The room had two places in which to put suitcases on to open them. There was space for a cot (with it being a family room). There was a very large shower, but overall a relatively small bathroom. The one thing that made the bathroom look cheap was the plastic soap and shower gel dispensers which you had to press a few times in order for them to dispense. The bathroom also had a hairdryer but I brought my own because I never find hotel hairdryers to be terribly powerful.
In the main bedroom were two bedside tables, a telephone, an armchair, a dressing table and chair with a large mirror, a kettle and a television.
We had a few problems with the telephone, it seemed to randomly go off with nobody seeming to ring us. We asked reception if they had rung us but they hadn't so they said it must be a technical problem so we unhooked the phone with the cable. It had previously rung six times, two of which were in the middle of the night which wasn't very funny. This annoyed Ollie beyond belief!
The air conditioning was disappointing in the room, it was not powerful enough so it was baking all night long and we both woke up several times because of the heat (we wrote about this on a feedback sheet to the hotel so hopefully they will look into it).
----------------- The Beach -----------------
Well this was literally from our bedroom door about 30 metres away, it was incredible. A stretch of long white, sandy beach which was private to the hotel. It had masses of sun loungers like the pool had and its own bar, refrigerators of water bottles as well as lots of water sports. Unfortunately the water sports were not included in the all inclusive package but this I thought was a given. For 10 minutes on the Jet Ski it was 30 Euro... yes a little pricey! So unfortunately we did not get chance to do this.
On the beach was also a place to play beach volley ball with the nets which were frequently used.
Just between the pool and the beach was a little hut to collect and exchange your towels. You could get new towels everyday but we felt we only needed to exchange them every other day. So we were given a towel card on our checking in day which for the last day we needed to get back in exchange for our towels and give back to reception (a very easy setup).
-------------------The Pool -----------------------
Now this was the wow factor for the hotel. We were told by our Thompson rep that the pool had won lots of awards for being the largest in the area. I can only describe the size of it as say about 10 large pools attached to each other. It had an island in the middle with mini walkway bridges were there was a bar, a stage (used in the evening for entertainment) and the bridges gave access to the main buffet area.
Half of the pool was catered for the children with a waterslide, pirates ship and shallowness. The other half of the pool was more catered for adults, it was deeper accessorised with waterfalls and water fountains. However, despite these so called catered areas which were made obvious, all sides of the pool had many children in. Now I do not mind children and I know it is a family hotel so children were to be expected but I do not appreciate kids jumping into the pool and soaking me on my sun lounger. This could have been prevented by the hotel if they gave areas restricted to the kids. However, I think this is more down to the parents who should have stopped their children from either bombing into the pool (or showing more consideration) or moving slightly away from where people were sunbathing... I do not think it is a lot to ask. One family were so disruptive next to us that we moved, my book had got completely soaking from sitting on my sun lounger which was in fact a good metre and a half away from the pool.
The pool also consisted of lots of children on inflated chairs, floats etc. This again isn't a problem as long as parents watch their kids to ensure they are being considerate of others. I once had hit in my face whilst swimming an inflatable boat's oars. This actually really hurt and the parents were watching the child and they did not say a word to me to apologise... pure rudeness and disrespect for others around!
There was loud pool music on all day long which could get a little annoying at times.
The pool was very clean apart from one discovery we found on the side of the pool... a condom. Not what is required around the pool area in a family resort. We asked a near by staff member to ensure it was removed.
Anyway to the more positive points of the pool area there were tons of sun loungers and umbrellas and many areas with canopies enabling those who did not want to sit in the sun at all to be shaded all day. There were many mothers with babies under these.
Surrounding the pool area was refrigerators of water bottles (to ensure we all keep hydrated - bottled water is free). There was also many stations to make a hot beverage and many ice cream booths (but these were charged at 1 Euro for a Carte Dore ice cream or different price for separately wrapped ice creams and ice lollys like Twisters and Magnums. The Carte Dore ice cream was gorgeous... I had banana most days and my boyfriend had caramel or vanilla.
Also by the pool was a small hut where pancakes were available from approximately 11am till 1pm (these were free). They included four types of fillings either: sugar, or cheese, or potato or meat. These were quite nice; I had them on two days of the seven days as a snack before lunch.
There was also a massive indoor swimming pool which was less frequently used but for anybody who wanted an extremely quiet place to swim it was the ideal place to go. However, it had large windows surrounding it so all passersby could watch you swim.
-----------------The Waterslides -------------------
There were a few very large waterslides situated away from the pool on another side of the resort. These looked very safe with children going down them all day long. I have to be honest and say I did not try them out from which my boyfriend made the remark that I was not very adventurous... how lovely! The waterslides can be seen in the photograph I took from the view from our balcony.
-------------------- Food ----------------------
Well as I'm sure we all know all inclusive options can include some very repetitive plates of food. We ate in the main buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffet area was gigantic but I suppose it had to be to cater for people of 824 rooms. There was no dress code for the buffet area, there was a complete array of what people were dressed in. Everything you had to get yourself in the buffet, including picking up a drink at the bar. Waiters were around to whip up your plates when you had finished though. Occasionally I had my plate taken away before I had finished eating which was slightly annoying.
This included very fresh bread, cereals (which I have to say were disgustingly sweet), cheese, cold meats, salads, all types of eggs, semolina, miniature pastries, funny looking quartered sausages and so the list goes on.
-------------------- Lunch ----------------------
This also included a large cold selection of salad, cheeses and meats. There was also a variety of other dishes which were very similar to dinner with chicken wings, turkey dishes, boiled vegetables, sautéed vegetables, chips, potato wedges, pasta, spaghetti, etc. Desserts included many pastries, cream puddings, watermelon and jellies (none of which were of my taste).
Further to lunch included some speciality dishes for the night which were cooked outside such as, chicken fajitas, kebabs, stir fries and again the list goes on. Desserts were the same as lunch as well but there was also vanilla ice cream and a speciality dish like apple fritters.
There were three à la carte restaurants: a Chinese, Italian and fish restaurant. These could be booked between certain times at a booth by reception. When booked what you wanted to eat also had to be given from the menu. The menus had very few options and no meals blew me away. They were very boring and were very similar to what you could get in the buffet restaurant. We ate in the Italian which was very disappointing with very soggy pizzas so we did not eat at any of the other à la carte restaurants. The Italian was inside the main hotel building. The Chinese was in the island of the swimming pool and the fish restaurant was on the beach (which I expect was very nice). All of these were included in the price of our all inclusive holiday but only for the fish restaurant did you have to pay for drinks.
Overall the food was of a good standard but eating similar things day in day out got very boring. One night we ate in the main town of Side and had gorgeous steaks whilst overlooking the main harbour which was beautiful (as shown in one of my photos) but we could not afford to do this any other nights).
There was a good selection of food for vegetarians as well. I am quite fussy when it comes to eating abroad so I tend to stick to vegetarian options.
--------------- Drinks ------------------
The drinks that were all inclusive included: hot beverages (the coffee was not good), concentrated fruit juices (which were disgusting), bottled water, sprite, cola, fanta, Troy (beer - not bottled), a very rich red wine, a very dry white wine and their made up cocktails (which were truly awful!) Other drinks cost more. So overall as you can probably tell from the list my drinks included sprite, or bottled water... hmmm.
------------------ Spa -------------------
On the second day of the holiday we had a Turkish bath in the spa of the hotel. We were told by our Thompson rep to book this via Thompson because it was cheaper and they take you to somewhere outside the resort. But I wanted to stay in the resort for this and we managed to get the price down working out to be about £32.00 per person for 90 minutes.
The Turkish bath supposedly gets the skin ready for sunbathing (getting a nice tan) by getting rid of all the rubbish on the body. So we started off in a sauna for 2 minutes and then two men came to get one of us each. Then we were taken into a room with hot marble tables and we were asked to lie down whilst a man threw warm to hot water on us. Then they scrubbed us with a big mit from top to toe which was quite a forceful scrub and it tickled in places. Then foam was placed all over our bodies and then massaged with a sponge and then water was thrown over us again. Then we were wrapped in towels that smelt of aromatherapy and taken to lie down in a dark room. We were then both taken to separate rooms for a massage and then a lady came into the room after the massage to tell us individually what other treatments we needed (to gain more money for them and we obth said we did not want any other treatments). Then we were again taken to lie down with some gorgeous hot apple tea to drink and a lady came and put what looked like a mud face mask on us which made me laugh seeing it on my boyfriend. Then we went to the changing rooms and washed the mask off and got changed. It was certainly an experience but it was not work £32.00 per person perhaps £15.00 each.
The spa had other facilities like a steam bath and it offered many different treatments.
--------------- Other facilities in the hotel which were all inclusive -------------------
There was a medium sized gym, 4 nice sized tennis courts, an area by the pool for aerobics, a place to play darts and archery. There was inside temping bowling which was quite impressive.
There was also an excellent kids club which offered lots of different activities such as, face painting, t-shirt designing etc.
There was a lot of evening entertainment, the one day off a week from entertainment for staff was a Wednesday. There were a few different locations for entertainment. The main area had the most magnificent amphitheatre which could hold of lot of guests surrounding it. There was also another small stage where less intense or quieter acts played such as, on our first evening there a man played guitar and sang (it was very nice but he did not start playing till 10.30pm which was quite late).
----------------- Facilities that were not all inclusive ------------------
There were several shops selling fake clothes at quite decent prices and a jewellery shop and sunglasses shop.
There was an arcade of rides and stalls offering allsorts like tattoos, paintings etc.
------------------- Weather ------------------
It was between 34-36 degrees the entire week we were there (which for September is very hot indeed).
It was a very pleasant heat at night, warm enough to not wear a jacket.
------------------- Access around the hotel ---------------------
There were many lifts surrounding the hotel enabling buggies and/or wheelchairs around the hotel. Ollie and I used the lift once when we were feeling lazy and we got some very horrible looks from people with buggies in when we were leaving the lift... they seem to have thought the lift was built for them and them only.
----------------------- Customer Service ------------------------
This was relatively good, the reception staff were excellent as well as the staff in the shops however, the staff working in the restaurant were less friendly but this was probably because they were so busy serving so many guests. But it doesn't take a lot to smile at least!
The maids were very pleasant and did an excellent job at cleaning the rooms. We tipped at the end of the holiday just a couple of Euro to the maids.
---------------- When we checked out -------------------
We had a nice departure from the hotel. We were allowed to check out from our room later (at 3pm with no extra charge which was quite impressive). When we left on our coach transfer to the airport two of the receptionists from the hotel put up flags (a Turkish flag and a British flag) to wave us off which was sweet.
------------------ Overall ------------------
A very nice hotel, but it was completely full of kids which was not the hotels fault, it was our fault for choosing such a family friendly hotel. However, this would not put us off going here again because the hotel is so big that you can try and get away from the kids. But for families there is something for everyone and the kids are kept occupied for pretty much the entire holiday with the kids clubs. We only stayed for one week but that was enough at this resort at one time I felt.
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Centara Grand at CentralWorld (Bangkok, Thailand)
Two years ago i stayed at centara grand for a few days while coming back from austrailia. Bangkok as you can gather is home to millions of people is very humid and ranges from endless streets of shops to shanty areas to upmarket shopping areas and hotels. This hotel is by far the best hotel i will ever stay in in my life that ... i am very sure. When you are driving along the motorway it jumps out at you as its situated in the business district and appears out of the night sky with the recognisable roof top bar that is 55 stories high with a massive blue neon above the roof top bar.
I arrived there at about midnight and we had our luggage placed in the lobby and was shown to the elevator where you go to the 22nd floor to check in. When you exit the lift you can tell how good the hotel will be with its sprawling wide open areas with a indoor waterfall running down the stone and marble wall which is common throughout the hotel.
It turned out there was a problem with our booking that was the travel agents fault but they just simply upgraded our room free of charge. My room was on the 44th floor with a obviously vast view of bangkok but you had no balcony or window to open (thats a good thing due to the smell) but the air con in the room takes care of that.
The room had a massive 40inch tv hanging on the wall in front of the bed a fridge plenty of room for clothes and a frosted glass wall that seperated the bathroom which was all marble and stone including a shower you could fit about four people in and a bath that could do similar. The glass window could be pulled back so you could enjoy the tv and view if you wished with speakers mounted in the bathroom too.
Their was a phone for room service and wi-fi connection if needed seeing as its a massive conferance centre so many businessmen use this hotel, the hotel even brought me up a gorgeous birthday cake for free as it was my birthday the second day i was there.
On the 26th(i think) floor was an outdoor swimming pool and sun lounges with a bar where you could get pool side service along with two tennis courts and football area along with another great view seeing as you are so high it feels weird being in a pool.
There are many restaurants in the hotel and bars strewn around on the 26thfloor and the 55th were the two i went into along with a massive gym somewhere and health spar which i cant remember where they were as you could easilly get lost there.
The rooms were a great price about £80 each for two nights which people think sound expensive for thailand its nothing for the sheer class of the place and when you think how much you can pay for a dive in the uk. If you wish you can even get rooms with a baby grand piano and luxuary lounge.
The hotel has a tourism section if you want to arrange trips and is connected to a shooping mall called central world that is quite frankly massive. The hotels right in the heart of bangkok as only a short walk away i had a suit tailor made and deliverd that night for hardly anything even tho that facility was available in the hotel anyway.
If i ever go back to bangkok i will stay there in an instant. The strange thing is on one of the bar balconys you can see the disparity of wealth and lack off as you see people sleeping and living in poverty which is shocking as you are in a palace.
Not to be missed tho at all.
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Grecian Bay Hotel (Ayia Napa, Cyprus)
When it comes to holidays I'm a hard one to please. I like sun and plenty of it, I like to be somewhere that has "decent nightlife" but the thought of being in the centre of an 18-30's scene actually makes me shudder (caused by a disaster holiday when I was 18 to Magaluf) and I also like to stay in a nice hotel with a little ... bit of luxury because after all I'm on holiday. So when searching for holidays Mr Lools and I were pointed in the direction of the Grecian Bay in Ayia Napa and I am glad to say we were not disappointed.
Before I start on the hotel I feel I should probably explain a little about Ayia Napa for those that have not visited before as my lasting impressions of the resort were certainly not what I was expecting.
Ayia Napa is located 25 miles east of Larnaca Airport which takes about 30 minutes coach transfer and is on the east coast of Cyprus.
Ayia Napa is renowned for its nightlife but this was certainly not the rowdy holiday resort I was expecting. I have visited many "rowdy" resort such as Magaluf in Majorca and Malia in Crete where the resorts are dominated by a very British drinking culture and you can't get away from that but that is not the case in Ayia Napa and is not dominated by the "chavs" like many holiday resorts are. The Square offers the rowdy bars and nightlife that some crave but away from that are lots smaller bars, restaurants and pubs which are great for those wanting to relax on a night-time and welcoming to families. The standard and variation of food offered by restaurants is a lot higher quality than many other British dominated holiday resorts and not just focusing on cheap and cheerful.
Ayia Napa has lots of beautiful beaches where there are plenty of opportunity to take part in water sports or go on boat trips in particular to Famagusta. There is also a Venetian Monastery, picturesque harbour and waterpark within the resort.
The Grecian Bay is a 5* hotel located directly on the beach. The hotel has 271 rooms and is set over 4 floors. The hotel has a large outdoor pool and private beach area. It also has a large indoor pool and gym with sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room. The hotel has a spa with a range of treatments available. Inside the hotel is a large restaurant and also an outdoor restaurant called the Fishermans Hut. The hotel has a children's club, hair salon and 4 shops inside the hotel. The hotel has 3 tennis courts and a 125m driving range.
The Grecian Bay Hotel is around 500m from the resort centre which is a 10 minute walk. It is located directly on the beach front and has impressive views of the beach and sea. The hotel has a number of restaurants, bars and two supermarkets located directly next to the hotel. The main road leading to the resort centre has restaurants, bars and shops all of the way up to the resort centre from the hotel so you do not feel like you are isolated
The Grecian Bay occupies a large plot and because of this is set back from the main road so also is quite quiet and you do not hear a lot of noise from neighbouring hotelsPictures of Grecian Bay, Ayia Napa
standard double bedroom or the main road.
***Price and Booking ***
We booked through Thomson Holidays in May 2008 for a holiday in mid-July 2008 (peak season). For a package holiday for 7 nights which included airport transfers and a rate of bed and breakfast we paid £495. At the time this was excellent value and the majority of room only and self catering options in other 3 and 4 star hotels for the same dates were between £400-£450 therefore we felt it was worth paying just a little extra for better standard of hotel with breakfast included.
Other travel companies that offer package holidays to the Grecian Bay Hotel are Thomas Cook and Olympic Holidays. For July 2012 Thomson holidays have priced a 7 night stay package holiday on the bed and breakfast rate at £950 per person so prices have gone up quite substantially in 4 years.
You can also book a stay here via the hotel website which is http://www.grecianbay.com . Prices vary but a one night stay at bed and breakfast rate for mid-September 2011 is 70 Euro .
We opted for a standard room when we booked with Thomson and did not pay extra for a sea view. The hotel has 3 options for a room and inland view (facing onto the garden and main road), a side sea view (with partial views of the sea) or a full sea view where rooms look out directly over the beach. Each of the standard guest rooms have air con/ central heating, a mini bar, large balcony, satellite Tv with a range of channels, a radio, private safe, telephone and hairdryer. Each guest room also has complimentary dressing gowns, slippers, towels and toiletries.
I was very surprised when we arrived in our room at just how large our "standard" room was. There were two beds pushed together which made a very large bed. The walls were all painted white, and the floor in the room was white marble. The bedding in the room was also white which gave a very light and airy feel. The room had a lot of storage in a large wardrobe in the corner which had a chest of drawers in here, space for at least 2 large suitcases and also plenty of rails to hang clothes up to keep room's clutter free. The patio doors onto the balcony were large and took up the full balcony area so you had a wall of glass. Although we had not paid extra we were given a side sea view room so had a great view of the pool and also of the bright blue sea. The balcony area had two plastic chairs and a table with a rack to dry clothes and towels on.
Not only was the room immaculate and kept immaculate by the daily maid service the bathroom was also spotless. The bathroom was decorated with white tiles and cream marble counters with a toilet, large basin and shower bath. The bathroom was new and unlike in many hotels you stay at in good condition with no cracked tiles or unsealed areas around the bath. My only criticism was that the water in the shower was often an inconsistent temperature and would alternate from hot to cold very quickly.
The rooms were surprisingly very soundproof and you could not hear the people in the rooms next to you or doors slamming which we have found a problem in most of the hotels we have stayed in when abroad. The temperature of the room was also very comfortable and even in 40 degree humid heat the air conditioning allowed the room to stay very cool and comfortable. You could actually leave the air conditioning on when you went out as the room electronics were not controlled by a key card which meant you did not have to wait 5 minutes or so when you got in to the room before you benefited from the air conditioning.
The mini bar fridge was very large and the size of a normal fridge and there was space to store your own drinks and food alongside the food that you could purchase (at a extortionate price).
The Grecian Bay has two main restaurants. The main hotel restaurant where lunch, dinner and breakfast is served for guests who have booked food as part of their package and you can also pay to dine here. The main restaurant also has a terrace area which serves lighter snacks and meals during the day. There is also an outdoor restaurant on the lawn area next to the beach called the Fisherman's Hut which serves locally sourced meat and fish dishes. The prices to dine were very expensive in comparison to the local restaurants around the hotel and a couple we were chatting to paid around £50 for a 3 course evening meal from the Fisherman's Hut whereas in a similar style restaurant on the main street you would pay around £20.
We decided on not dining on an evening at the hotel based upon reviews from other guests and also because there was so much choice around the hotel. We did buy snack meals at lunch times which were pizzas and toasted sandwiches. These were satisfactory but no better than what local restaurants were offering yet were on average around £3 more expensive per meal.
Breakfast was included in our board basis and I will say that in terms of choice and quality of the food it is the best I have experienced in the 8 years' worth of summer holidays we have been on. The amount of fresh fruit, cereals, pastries and juice was exceptional as was the quality. The cooked breakfast was also brilliant and because staff are continually stocking up the buffet breakfast food is not stale, cold or soggy. The quality of the sausages and bacon in particular were excellent and did not taste like the usual mass produced poor quality products you find on breakfast buffets. In addition to a wide range of fresh juice, varieties of tea and coffee every morning champagne was on the menu. Of course being on holiday I made the most of this!
The restaurant was large yet so was the buffet so even at breakfast when there were a number of guests dining at once you did not find big queues as there was more than one dish with each item in.
As the Grecian Bay Hotel is a 5* hotel it does boast an above average number of facilities which include a private beach area and a pool area. The pool is very large and is made from three rounded circular pools which are joined together in the middle. The depth of the pool varies but is between 1m and 1.2m in depth, therefore for younger children you will need to take care. There is a small circular pool which is less than 50cm deep which is considered a "childrens" pool. Personally I felt although there was a children's club with a number of activities if you are a family with young children looking for a hotel with suitable pool area the Grecian Bay is not it. We noticed only a handful of guests with young children and there were mainly families with young teenagers or couples staying in the hotel. The pool area was extremely clean and had a large number of padded sunloungers around it with parasols.
Probably the biggest advantage of the Grecian Bay hotel in my opinion was that you "prebooked" your sunloungers for the week and sun loungers were not taken in the usual manner by putting your towels on them after an early morning dash. On arrival you visit the pool bar and you are given a spot with the required number of sunloungers as each area has a post in the ground marking out the allocated number of each sunlounger "plot". If you wanted to use these sunloungers for the day you had to simply arrive at your spot before 10.30am and put your towels down and they were yours until you took your towels away. Any sunloungers with no towels on them after 10.30am were free to use. The pool (and beach) attendants manned this system and it appeared to work extremely well amongst guests. The pool area has a bar but the pool in general is very tranquil and relaxed and as you are not allowed inflatables in the pool it means you can actually swim around in the pool very easily.
From the pool area you can walk straight down onto the private beach. There is also the option to pre book your sunloungers for the beach. The private beach area is on the main beach and non-hotel guests can walk straight through this area but the sunloungers are set back so people tend to walk nearer the waterfront. The beach area is very clean and attendants are going round asking if you want drinks and picking up any litter.
The hotel also has an indoor pool area with a Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. I did not use the steam room and sauna (mainly because the last thing I wanted to do in 40 degree Cyprus was sit in a hot room) but I did use the Jacuzzi and indoor pool. This area was immaculate and modern which is suprising as often with hotels in "sun" locations you find the indoor facilities are not up to the same standard as the outdoor. This is not the case with the Grecian Bay and even the gym was large and modern enough to be considered an actual gym rather than a makeshift room with a few exercise bikes in. There were at least 4 of every piece of equipment all modern which included treadmills, cross trainers, rowing machines, step machines, exercise bikes an weights.
We did not use the spa facilities or hair salon during our stay.
We did browse the shops in reception however personally I feel that these were overpriced and offered the same things you could get throughout Ayia Napa just at a higher price. There was a souvenir shop, a clothing/ bag shop and a newsagent which also sold books. The newspapers were priced the same as other places in the resort but magazines were a lot more expensive and I would buy my magazines from the local supermarket adjacent to the hotel rather than this newsagent.
Prior to visiting the hotel I had read reviews which all seemed to criticise the staff in the hotel saying they were rude, ignorant and did not care about guests. Personally I found the opposite and all staff from the reception and waiting staff to the cleaning staff were extremely helpful and friendly.
Check in was efficient and the receptionist explained that after checking in we should visit the pool bar area if we were wanting to reserve sunbeds for the week around the pool or by the beach. She also explained about the local area and the town and where the main areas and sights were which I feel is beyond the usual level of service you receive when checking in.
The staff around the pool were also very friendly and would come around regularly with complimentary frozen flannels and would take drinks orders.
The cleaning staff and maids visited rooms on a daily basis and we found if you were still in your room they were happy to come back later with no grumbles.
I would firstly say that Ayia Napa is definitely not the "chav dominated" holiday resort it is made out to be. It is definitely lively but offers beautiful beaches and a wide choice of places to eat with the beautiful scenery of Eastern Cyprus. The Grecian Bay Hotel is definitely a 5* hotel offering a large outdoor pool, a private beach, large guest bedrooms with facilities like a spa gym and restaurant offering quality local food. Most importantly the hotel is clean but also brings to you little luxuries that you would expect from a 5* hotel such as ice cold flannels when you are around the pool and also the option to pre book sun loungers on the beach or around the pool so you do not have to worry about the "sun lounger rush".
I feel that we got an excellent deal through Thompson when we booked in 2008 and for £495 per person for a package holiday for bed and breakfast during mid July we got an excellent deal especially as for July 2012 prices for the same holiday and board basis are being advertised as £950 per person by Thompson!
For couples and families with older children that want a relaxed holiday in a 5* hotel with the option of nightlife I would definitely recommend the Grecian Bay Hotel.
Grecian Bay Hotel
Kriou Nerou 32
P.O. Box 30006
Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Tel: +357 23842000
Fax: +357 23721307
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5 Stars Hotel International
Hotel International / 5 Star Hotel in Agadir, Morocco.
Rating: 5 star / Hotel International / Location: Carrera 100B #11A-99, Cali Colombia / Tel: 1-800-395-7046
Hotel International / Located along the northern beach front of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
Location: On the crescent of The Palm Jumeirah Island / Hotel International / Tel: +971 4 426 0000 / World Region: Middle East / Star rating: 5
Address: Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca, Rua da Casa Branca 7, 9000-088 Funchal, Madeira / Hotel International / Tel: (00 351) 291 700 770 / World Region: Europe
Address: Kardamena / Hotel International / Kos / Greece / Tel: +30 22420 92500
Address: Tilkiler Mevkii / Hotel International / Erhan Demir Boulevard / PO Box 6 / Colakli / Turkey
Address: 55 Shanghai Street / Hotel International / Mongkok / Kowloon / Hong Kong / China / Tel: +852 3552 3388
Address: Potsdamer Platz 3 / Hotel International / 10785 / Berlin / Germany
Hotel International / Address: El Remaya Square, Giza 12561, Egypt
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