“ Address: Begonvil Sok 9 / PK 50 Kalkan / Antalya 07960 / Turkey / +90 532 553 2006 „
Other than to do my usual trick of consulting reviews on TripAdvisor, I knew nothing more about the hotel that came as a part of our package to Turkey for a week's holiday in Kalkan. The traveller reviews suggested that there was nothing about which to be much concerned although I do know from past painful experience that Web reviews are not always the most accurate source for such information.
We had discovered the holiday through one of the many regular emails sent to us by, amongst others, Voyage Prive. The holiday itself though was booked through Anatolian Sky, who concentrate on holidays to Turkish-speaking locations. We flew from Gatwick with Monarch, to Dalaman.
When we arrived in Kalkan, the coach dropped off guests at various hotels and we were the last; The Elixir Hotel was the "end of the line". The hotel is a fair distance from the centre of the town; a walk down took us around 15 minutes but the return took nearly twice as long, from which you will gather that you have a fair old hill to climb, but then you will have a few of those anywhere in Kalkan. Those less energetic may wish to seek the services of a taxi. However, in return, you do get superb views from the hotel's roof-top terrace.
Dashing the very short distance from the road to the entrance to the hotel to avoid getting wet, we weren't really in a position to evaluate the place from its exterior but everything seemed to be in order: seemingly well decorated, clean and well-maintained, a view that was confirmed the following morning. The Reception area is typical of many such small hotels throughout the region: it is clearly not new and as such has a feeling of great character; the floors are all tiled throughout; there are comfortable armchairs where you can rest. A review on TripAdvisor described the hotel as "tired"; this is not a description I recognise in the hotel and certainly not one with which I would agree.
The welcome could not have been more friendly: the manager welcomed us as if to his own home. The normal formalities were completed and we were soon allocated our room. Our luggage was brought up for us although there is a glass-sided lift on the outside of the building, serving all floors.
We were on the second floor in room 208; there are just 21 rooms in all; they do all seem to be similar. Ours had adequate space although it was by no means roomy. A bathroom is just to the left of the entrance and, beyond, the remainder consists of the sleeping space. Beyond this is a door which leads to a tiny external balcony.
Nominally a "double", the sleeping arrangements actually consisted of two low, large single beds brought together. However, the bed frames are larger than the mattresses and so a "wedge" of soft "padding" had been inserted between the mattresses in order to avoid a "chasm" and was, unfortunately, a little higher than them, not that I think that they were really trying to discourage any hanky-panky! A single cover sheet was supplied, together with a single blanket and, despite this being October, this was perfectly adequate.
The remainder of the furniture consisted of: a dressing table and stool; a full-length wall mirror; one bedside table with lamp; a second bedside table and lamp, which could not be fitted on the other side of the bed due to lack of adequate space; and, in the entrance lobby, opposite the bathroom, a built-in double wardrobe. In addition to the glazed door to the balcony, alongside is another window with a sliding sash. There were no tea or coffee making facilities provided so a travel kettle is recommended if you, as we, are unable to rise in the morning without your cuppa. There were also no entertainment facilities although there are TVs in the public areas throughout the hotel.
The whole of this external wall was covered floor-to-ceiling with two sets of curtains: one fine net to deter mosquitoes and one denser set to reduce light intrusion but still allow a flow of air. The sash window is a strange arrangement: it has no counterweight, only a pair of clips that can be engaged in order to either lock the window closed or hold it wide-open. You have no other choice! We ended up wedging the ashtray in the gap at the bottom so as to hold it open a bit, at night. Seemingly little thought has been given to what guests might actually require!
Having said that, we managed to get a good night's sleep throughout our stay although I would still recommend that you bring with you a plug-in mosquito deterrent; there was one in the room but it was broken and turned out to have been left behind by a previous guest.
The bathroom consists solely of a shower, wash basin and toilet; there is no bath. This is undoubtedly because, as is common throughout the region, water is heated by rooftop solar panels and a bath would consume far too much water. We did find, on occasion, that the water ran only luke-warm if a shower was taken in the early evening, the available hot water having already been used up by the other guests. The water for morning showers must clearly be being heated by other means as we rarely were without hot water for a morning shower.
I do feel that if a complaint can be made it is that the hotel does not seem to have invested in adequate solar water heating capacity to meet the needs of its guests. The manager does emphasise that the hotel is in common with most others in the area on using solar energy, and this is to be applauded. However, that does not excuse inadequate capacity.
The bathroom had the same failing I find in just about every hotel I visit: too few hooks! Just a couple more, say, on the back of the door or on the wall behind the door, would have made all the difference. Also, no dish or basket in the shower in which to place your toiletries; you just have to leave them on the shower tray floor!
However, the bathroom itself was clean, nicely decorated with tiles and in good order. As usual, throughout the Med, there is the inevitable flip-top bin beside the toilet, in which you are requested to deposit toilet paper, rather than flushing it down the loo. An adequate supply of good quality fluffy towels was provided but, other than a dispenser of hand-gel, no toiletries were provided.
We were on the top accommodation floor but above is the roof-top terrace, with a covered central area which includes a small swimming pool, alongside which is the kitchen. Around the pool in inclement weather and beyond, in the surrounding open terrace in good weather, is where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. During our stay we had both breakfast and dinner, the latter, twice, due to rain dissuading us from venturing out into the town. Be aware that the central covered area is not enclosed on all sides and so when the wind blows through it can get a bit chilly.
Breakfast was the usual buffet affair although a cooked breakfast can also be enjoyed. The two times on which we also had an evening meal in the hotel, the food was well cooked and presented and very enjoyable.
At the rear of the hotel is the sun terrace, surrounding a swimming pool and jacuzzi. Neither, though are heated and, as the terrace is partly shaded by trees, the water can be a little chilly. During our stay we saw no one using the jacuzzi, which is very unusual. For guest, wooden sunbeds are provided, on which plastic cover mattresses can be laid. Poolside towels are provided by the hotel, in addition to those in your room. The pool area is also served by a bar, which is in a separate block from the main building and above which there are more guest rooms.
Alongside the hotel is another bar serving a lounge area, featuring a large flat-screen TV on which UK Premiership and European football matches were regularly shown. This area is covered but only with a canvas roof protection against the elements. Despite this being right below our bedroom, noise from the bar area never disturbed our sleep.
There is a large and airy public area indoors between Reception and the pool, with tables and chairs, settees and armchairs, where you can also relax if the weather drives you indoors. There are more TVs here, for your entertainment as well. There is also a small library of books for you to read if you exhaust your own supply. If you want to take away an unfinished book then be sure to replace it with one of your own.
I have mentioned a few minor niggles and one slightly more serious one but none are more than that and none would be sufficient to dissuade me from suggesting that this might be a very acceptable place to stay. The staff all make you feel welcome as if a part of their family and this alone makes up in great part for any other failing. We enjoyed our week in Kalkan and at The Elixir and, were we the sort of couple who ever visit a place twice (we rarely do) we would be quite happy to stay here again. Hopefully, by that time, the owners may have read this review and addressed my comments.