Hubs, Little Man and I spent a week at the Titanic Deluxe hotel in Lara beach Turkey in May. It is a hotel that I have wanted to visit since spotting it on the travel channel years ago, and when a friend went last year and came back raving about it we decided to give it a try. As the name suggests the hotel is shaped like a giant boat, and throughout the hotel there are lots of boat themed pieces dotted about, which I thought sounded fab! We booked via Direct Holidays and it cost us just over £1500 for the week during term time.
Arrival and check in
We were the first drop off as the hotel is one of the first along the strip of hotels in Lara Beach. The transfer was only about 20 minutes which was great having just spent 4 hours on the plane with a 4 year old! On arrival our cases were loaded onto a hotel trolley ready to be taken up to our room. The check in staff were really friendly, and were very apologetic that our room was not yet ready. They directed us to the lobby bar just around the corner from the desk, and gave Little Man some sweets and told us that they would collect us in a few minutes, which was fine with us as it gave us time to have a cold drink and use the facilities. We only had about a 15 minute wait before we were escorted to the lifts and up to our room.
Our room was on the 4th floor, not too far from the lift which was great as it meant Little Man didn't get tired out walking from the room to the lift with his crutches. In the Room was a large double bed and a single put me up bed. The beds were quite hard but not uncomfortable. There was a decent sized TV, although the only English channels were the news channel and the film Titanic, being played on a loop 24 hours a day! We don't go on holiday to watch TV so wasn't bothered about this but I did hear some moaning around the pool. There is a large wardrobe with lots of hanging and shelf space. There was also a safe which was included, and a large fridge containing Coke, Fruit Juice, Water and Beer which was refilled every day. The bathroom was large, with a good selection of toiletries (including cotton buds which I always forget!), and the bath had an inbuilt shower. We had a large balcony with a great view over the gardens, pool and partial sea views which was lovely.
There was one main buffet restaurant which was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was quite large and there was also seating outside so although it was busy it never felt too packed. Breakfast is always my least favourite meal on holiday, but they had an abundance of pastries and breads that you could watch them baking which were gorgeous. There was no bacon due to it being a Muslim country although they did have a type of sausage. There were many different types of eggs and freshly made omelettes and pancakes which were lovely. Dinner was my favourite meal - there were lots of freshly made kebabs and steaks which are nothing like the kebabs here. It is all lean meat, either grilled or spit roasted. I would go back just to get some more of their chicken doner! There was lots of show cooking, with casseroles and fish dishes. The dessert bar was fabulous, with lots of little pastries , big gateau's and mousses. The baklava was divine! Lunch was a slightly scaled back version of dinner. There was also a kid's buffet which had a selection of chips, pastas as well as the meats with less seasoning which Little Man loved. There were also children's plates and smaller knives and forks and an abundance of highchairs. There was also an ice cream stand in the main restaurant serving cones with up to 6 different flavours of ice cream.
There were two snack bars open by the beach if you did not want to go to the main restaurant for lunch. One was the Olga which served Turkish pastries which we did not try, and the Grill which served amazing spit roast chicken, and crispy chicken strips. In the afternoon there was a cafe in the lobby which served sandwiches, cakes and coffees which was lovely. There is also a Turkish and Italian a la carte restaurant which cost 10 euro per person, but we did not try these either as I didn't see why we should pay extra when we were perfectly happy with the food provided.
There were 5 main pools (I think) dotted about outside - A freeform one, a proper lane pool, a heart shaped one at the front of the boat, the water park and the kids pool. There were lots of sun beds dotted around them with fixed parasols so there was a lot of shade available. The kids pool seemed to be the busiest but we managed to get a sun bed whenever we wanted one near the shallow part of the kid's pool, and there were always beds available around the complex. Little man used to paddle in the shallow water and I would swim in the heart shaped pool. The pool water was cold at first but was a welcome respite from the sun. The water park has a good selection of straight and curvy slides which you rode with a ring or mat, and there was a big boat in the kiddie pool with various slides which were a bit too advanced for Little Man, but there was also a toddler slide which he loved.
Each hotel had its own private area on Lara Beach. There were probably about 100 sun beds with mattresses under large fixed shades. We tended to spend the afternoon at the beach as it was always pretty quiet down there. The sand was a little grainy but fine for building sandcastles with, so Little man loved it. The sea was really warm and once you got past the tide where the sand was being churned it was really clean. There are lots of activities going on down at the beach - volleyball, pedaloes , parasailing and various games. We didn't partake in anything but had great fun watching! There is a nice bar at the beach, which was the only place that seemed to serve draught drinks, rather than bottled with ice, so it was the best place to get a cold drink. There was a decked pier with lots of beanbag chairs, which was lovely but always very busy!
Entertainment and Bar
There were lots of evening activities at the hotel, but unfortunately it didn't get started until about 9 which was too late for Little Man. A lot of the evening shows were Titanic based including the Mr Leonardo show, and Titanic the Musical! They also have a fireworks display once a week, which we enjoyed from our balcony, and we also sat out there and listened to some of the musical acts and they all seemed to be a decent standard.
We tended to sit in the Lobby Bar and chill out after dinner and let Little Man walk around with his crutches. The bar has waiter service, but I often went up to the bar where the lovely barmen made me a different cocktail every night! The alcohol is mostly domestic brands however the Malibu is the real deal! You can get the proper brands for a few Euro extra if you want to, but I didn't see the point. All the soft drinks were branded which was mainly what I was drinking anyway. The only downside is Diet coke was the only diet drink available but that is the same as pretty much anywhere.
Things to Do
As well as lots of activities going on in the pool and beach area there was a bowling alley, internet are, pool tables, arcade machines, kids club and playground. We didn't use any of these apart from a quick trip to the playground, but they all looked pretty standard.
There are a few shops on site at the hotel, but the prices are pretty high due to the rents charged by the hotel. There is a gift shop, several clothes shops, a photo studio, and opticians. There is a block of shops just to the right as you come out of the hotel. There are wild animals (dogs, cats, giant Turkeys!) wandering about, and Little Man liked feeding the ducks when we went for supplies. There is a little petrol station with a supermarket which is less than half the price of the hotel. You can get gift boxes of Turkish delight - I recommend the Methe and Lemon ones and I don't like Turkish delight - for 5 Lira (about £2). There is also gift shops and a very helpful pharmacist down there as well. We didn't venture any further afield than this as we just wanted to chill out in the sunshine at the hotel.
This was the first holiday which we took Little Man's wheelchair so we were a bit worried about getting around. The hotel is totally wheelchair friendly with lots of lifts and ramp access. There are accessible rooms available if you require them but we don't need one yet. There are tables at the front of the restaurant reserved for wheelchair users, and they do seem to enforce this as we had a staff member rush over when we put our stuff on a table one night as he hadn't seen the wheelchair as it is smaller than an adult one. He was mortified, but it wasn't a problem for us - we were impressed that he checked. The staff at the hotel bent over backwards to offer assistance and made a fuss of Little Man wherever we went!
We loved our week at the Titanic hotel and I wouldn't hesitate to go back although there are some other hotels on the Lara Beach strip I would love to try first. I had heard that the staff could be miserable but this was definitely not our experience. There are lots of nationalities at the hotel, and they were mostly lovely especially the Turkish and the German guests who would come up and ask about my boy and talk to him - he had a fan club wherever he went! The hotel is spotless and I could not fault the facilities in any way. It was a great place just to go and relax and we came home feeling like we had had a break! Sorry it's been a bit of an epic - if you want to know more please feel free to send me a message.
To start with I must apologise, I seem to have written a novel.
We have very recently returned from our summer holiday. This year we thought we would try Turkey as we have never been there before. After looking through the brochures we settled on a hotel at Lara Beach, Antalya. This hotel was called the Titanic De-Luxe Beach and Resort Hotel and is all inclusive. After checking out the resort on Google Earth, I duly set off to book the hotel at our local Thomson travel agent. The hotel does seem quite popular, as I normally only book our holidays 3 weeks before we want to go, however I couldn't do this so ended up booking about 7 weeks in advance. This was fine as it did give me a bit more time to get the washing and packing done at my leisure and to lose those last few extra pounds to fit into last years summer clothes which were the summers before clothes and probably the summers before, in fact some of them could date back to our 1st holiday abroad in 2000 to Egypt.
Fully packed and ready to go, 24 May duly arrived. We set off about 7 o'clock in the morning to get to Manchester airport in time for the 2 hour check in period. Parked up in the Airparks Car park caught the transfer bus to the airport, checked in, boarded the plane and arrived at Antalya airport in Turkey.
On my god what a place. We had arrived in Hell. We waited for the plane to empty before moving. Collected our hand luggage, grabbed our daughter (two and ½) and walked into the arrivals lounge and duly joined the queue waiting to get our visa. (Luckily, my sister-in-Law had already told me that we would need a 10 pound note each to get the visa.) We were about ½ way down the queue when another English plane landed so they also joined the queue. The airport had about 10 visa desks but only two were open and they seemed to be moving at a reasonable speed. However within 15 minutes another 5 planes had landed from various other countries and unfortunately these people had obviously never heard of the concept of queueing. This meant a mass of over 1000 people in the arrivals lounge all trying to get visas from the two desks. Around these two desks there was a semi-circle of people, all pushing and fighting, and when I say fighting I mean fighting, punches were actually being thrown. Even the security staff did not know what to do, other than just stand there with a camera and take photos. The lounge was hot and so were the tempers! No pushchair (as this was to be collected after getting the visa), hand luggage everywhere, tired children (it was about 9.00 at night) what a nightmare. Two hours later from being half way along the queue we ended up at the back of the queue and was second from last to get the visa. We sailed through passport control, probably because there were more desks open and by the time we got through there were no queues. Next came luggage collection and with the plane landing two hours prior there was no waiting about. I went off to find a trolley to put the luggage on but could I find one, in a word NO. By this time I was about ready to commit murder and get the next plane back to England. So 3 large suitcases ( which Darren my husband managed to do a balancing trick with, two hand luggage and a toddler in a pushchair, we struggled outside the building only to be watched and laughed at by the Turkish airport workers. By this time as you can imagine, steam was coming out of my ears and the most incredible foul language was was erupting from my mouth. I'm not exactly the calmest of people. A Thomson rep came bouncing over, all jolly and full of the joys of spring and informed us where our coach was waiting, so I informed her that I wanted to go home and never ever set foot in this country they call Turkey. After a 10 minute walk we found the coach and a lovely long queue of empty suitcase trolleys. Antalya Airport make a note, please employ somebody to just walk around the coach park and collect the trolleys and take them to the luggage collection area!
Now I've got that off my chest I'll start my review.
Titanic Resort and Hotel.
The hotel as you may or may not have guessed is built to resemble the Titanic ship that sunk in 1912. It is situated in the resort of Lara Beach, in Antayla, which is on the south west coast of Turkey and is 10 km from the airport about a 20 minute drive. It was opened in the summer of 2003 and the complex covers an area of 95,000 m2. The hotel has nine floors and and looks out onto the Mediterranean Sea. The resort has a total of 586 rooms. The hotel has 513 standard rooms, 7 disabled rooms, 12 colonel suites, 9 junior suites, 4 admiral suites and 1 presidential suite. I would say 60% of the rooms have a partial or full sea view. In the grounds there are 10 villas and 30 family rooms, these however have no sea view. The hotel has 1 main restaurant which is the all inclusive restaurant and 4 A la carte restaurants, numerous bars situated all over the resort, a snack bar, patisserie and the Otag tent that serves Turkish Specialities. Also on site are various shops, a Wellness and spa centre, swimming pools and other activity areas. I shall get to all of these later in the review.
On arrival at the hotel, you drive up the long drive way which serves two other hotels and through the barrier of the Titanic. The area where the barrier is, is built to resemble the bow of a ship. We arrived very late at night so did not really notice what the hotel looked like from the front. We disembarked the coach and walked into the lobby where the reception is situated. The first thing I noticed was the 5 glass lifts, great I thought I hate lifts, I'm glad I asked for a room on a low floor. The reception had marble floors and one large desk with 4 people waiting to check you in. Check in was very quick as there were only 3 other families on our coach stopping at that hotel. You are given a form to fill in which consists of name, address and date of birth of the person who the reservation is in, telephone number and email address, and the names and ages of the rest of the party. They ask for your passports, write a few details down, then give you your room key, which is in the shape of a credit card and ask you if you would like beach towel vouchers. You have to pay a 10 pound per towel deposit which is given back to you when you check out. As we had not eaten since about 3 o'clock on the plane, I asked if there was anywhere we would be able to get anything to eat, knowing full well that the restaurant would not be open. He informed us that we could either order from room service but there would be a charge or we could wait ½ hour for the midnight snack restaurant to open. Your luggage is off loaded from the coach by the conceriege who then wait for you to be given your key. You show them which your luggage so they can write the room number on and take you up to your room. My husband asked what floor we were on and my heart sank when he said the seventh floor. Oh my god I'm going to have to use the glass lifts.
So with heart thumping at the thought of a ride in a lift, made worse with it being a glass lift, we set off up to the room. We hadn't noticed on arrival but when you look up to the roof of the hotel there are lights cascading down from top to bottom. Obviously in the lift you get a very good view of this. The kind gentleman took us up to the seventh floor, now I had requested a sea view so once again my heart sank when he took us to the back of the hotel, tut no sea view then I muttered to myself. He unlocked the room using the key card then showed us how the put the card in to get electricity and showed us where and how the room safe worked. Five minutes later all our luggage arrived at the room. Just time for a quick visit to the toilet and freshen up before heading down to find the midnight snack area. This was situated on the same floor as reception in one of the A la carte restaurants.
The midnight snack was not too bad. It was a small buffet and you had the choice of hot dog sausages in a roll, toasted sandwiches and some salad. There was waiter service for alcoholic and soft drinks and there was a coffee machine to help yourself to coffee. I noticed that most of the people in this restaurant were Turkish and were probably staff.
To tired to look around the hotel at one o'clock in the morning we went up to bed.
Our room was a standard room which consisted of two double beds both having a light over them and a bedside cabinet with one draw and cupboard area between the two beds. One lounge type chair with foot stool and a round coffee table. A dressing table, one end had 3 large draws and 1 small draw, the other end had 1 small draw and the fridge underneath it, this small draw was useless to use because it had the fridge under it and was very hot. A Stool half way along the dressing table with a round mirror over the top, rather like a port hole of a ship and the TV towards one end. The fridge contained the free mini bar and was restocked daily with 2 cans of beer, 2 cans of coke, 2 bottles of still water, 2 bottles of sparkling water, 1 can of Tango and 1 carton of cherry juice.
Next to this was a fixed wooden bench for you to put your suitcases on. Then came a large fitted wardrobe, one half containing 8 shelves, although one shelf was taken up with the safe, and the other half containing a bar and hangers for you to hang your clothes from and a small shelf above where we kept out shoes and anything we needed to keep out of Holly's way. When you opened the door to the wardrobe a light automatically came on. The carpet to the room had a dark blue water effect pattern on it. There were a couple of power sockets and the air conditioning controls.
The bathroom consisted of the toilet, sink with a mirror over it and bath with a shower in it. One hand towel and one bath towel person and one floor towel to stand on On a shelf just under the mirror were 6 little bottles, 3 containing shampoo and 3 containing shower gel, 1 bar of soap and 1 shower cap. Under the square sink was a storage area and red rope lighting that only came on when all the room lights were turned off, enabling you to go to the toilet at night and it gave out just enough light to see what you were doing.
The patio doors in the room lead out on to the balcony, which had two plastic patio chairs and a plastic patio table. At the side of the patio was a pull out rack for you to dry any swimwear or washing. The wall of the balcony was about 3 foot high with a rail going around the top.
The room was cleaned every day and I must admit the cleaner did make quite a good job. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the maintenance staff. We had a problem with the air conditioning, it was fine for me but not cold enough for my husband. He left a note for the cleaner that it did not work properly, so the maintenance way of sorting this was to stick a piece of card in the electric switch so that the electric was on all day even when we were out of the room. This was not good enough for Darren, so with him being an electrician, he took a knife from the restaurant, unscrewed the vent and moved a cover, thus turning the room into a fridge! The other problem we had was with the patio door. The lock broke one evening before dinner, so I asked at reception if it could be fixed whilst we were at dinner, due to us having a toddler who was able to reach the handle and open the door, we did not want her going onto the balcony alone in case she stood on a chair and toppled over the side of the hotel. They did actually do this to a fashion but on the last day the lock broke again.
As I mentioned earlier I had booked a sea view and we were at the back of the hotel. I had not realised that the back of the hotel was shaped like a fish tail, so I could not believe my eyes when I opened the curtains on our first morning, we had a fantastic view of the sea, not just a partial view but a complete full view.
One thing that was missing from the room was a kettle and tea/coffee. I spotted a note sitting on the dressing table that stated "It is forbidden to use an iron and a coffee machine". I presume this must be a health and safety issue.
The hotel has one main restaurant (Park Fora) which is the all inclusive restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is situated on the ground floor. It was a very large restaurant with ample seating for everybody, although at busy times you would have to walk around to find a seat. Half of the restaurant was taken up with seating, consisting of round, square and oblong tables, seating between 2, 4, 6 or 8 people. They had clean table cloths that were replaced after somebody had vacated the table and then relaid for the next person. The restaurant was divided into sections of about 20 tables with 2 people clearing tables and serving drinks. The first section you came to was the children's area, with lower tables for the children to sit at and if you lucky you may also find the smaller knives and forks. The next 4 sections were no smoking and the rest of the areas were smoking. Each section had a small area where dirty plates, cutlery and glasses were kept. There was also a bin in each area for the waste food. In a cabinet in the seating area were kept clean serviettes, table cloths and cutlery. On top of this cabinet, the drinks and clean glasses were kept. Every other section had a coffee machine where you were able to get either coffee with or without milk or hot water. Herbal and fruit tea bags were available to the side of the machine, with the sugar, cups, saucers and teaspoons. The coffee was Nescafe and was drinkable. The restaurant was kept very clean, however they did let themselves down on some of the glasses and cups. They seemed to struggle to remove lipstick and some of the cups were quite badly coffee stained. High chairs were available. These were on wheels and people took to putting their children in them, placing a plate on the tray and pushing the children round when collecting their food.
The other half of the restaurant was where all the food was kept, in bain-maries and large bowls or plates.
Three of the A la Carte restaurants are on the first floor, which is the floor where the reception is found. These restaurants are an Italian restaurant (Sapore), a Turkish restaurant (Hasir) and the Barbecue restaurant. There is also a fish restaurant (Capari) but in the two weeks we were there I never found this one. I only found the Barbecue restaurant by chance, but when we went it was not open, I think it must only open during high season. The A la carte restaurants have a charge of 10 Euros per adult, 5 euros per child and under 3 are free. The A la Carte restaurants had a set menu and had to be booked before 4pm. We only visited the Turkish one and I will get to that one later.
Breakfast was served between 7 am and 10.30 am. Cooked and cold sections were available. Nearly every conceivable way of cooking eggs could be found, including 5 minute boiled egg, fried eggs with either runny yolk or fried both sides, cheese omelettes, Turkish style scrambled (slightly spicy), scrambled with spicy meat and scrambled with spinach. The other hot dishes were frankfurter sausage in BBQ sauce, fried potatoes, freshly made pancakes and waffles, eggy bread, hot rice pudding and soup. Our rep told us that as the country is Muslim, bacon would be unavailable but for some reason they had warm ham available. All the hot dishes were constantly being topped up. Either cheese or cheese and spicy meat sandwiches were available along with a sandwich toaster that took around 90 seconds to toast. The cold section consisted of 6 different types of cereal (Cornflakes, Rice Krispies, Coco pops, Frosties, Special K and Bran Flakes) , 3 different types of yoghurts, (plain, cherry and apricot), tinned fruits (cherries, pears and prunes), loads of different cheeses and cooked cold meats. The sauce section had Chocolate sauce, jams, marmalade, and fresh honey in a comb. Loads of different breads and rolls next to a toaster that was so rubbish you could either have it white or burnt. Oh and my favourite breakfast item, freshly cooked naan bread, you could actually see this being cooked. A limited amount of fresh fruits were available (Red and Green apples and oranges) and a very small amount of salad (Cucumber, tomatoes, onion and lettuce).
You helped yourself to tea and coffee and fruit juices, the juices did taste rather watered down.
Lunch was again served in the Park Fora restaurant between the times of 1pm and 3pm. Again this consisted of hot dishes including soups, casseroles, kebabs, grilled chicken or turkey and fish, a Turkish dish, boiled fish, boiled and fried rice, chips, grilled vegetables, freshly made pizza, pasta and a pasta sauce. The cold section included cheeses, no cooked meats though, a salad bar with grated carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce some separate and some mixed together, fresh herbs, pickles and Turkish salads. A large bread and roll section. There was a massive selection of cold deserts cakes, pasties and a fresh fruit bar consisting of apples, oranges, water melon and galia melon, some Turkish fruit I had never seen before and any other seasonal fruit available. There was also a small diet buffet consisting of boiled meat, boiled vegetables and boiled rice, a small salad section and French toast. I don't know about you but when I'm on holiday the last thing on my mind is my diet, however I did see a few young ladies filling their plates from this section. A kids buffet was also available but this was only served between 12.30 and 1.30 and seeing as Holly always seemed to be having a nap at this time we never got to the restaurant until 2 - 2.30, so I can't comment on this.
The waiters served the drinks of either beer, wine, water or fruit juices and you could help yourself to tea and coffee.
The ice cream bar was in this restaurant and is only served during restaurant hours.
This was open from 11am until 4pm. We did pay this a visit on one day at about 2pm and found it packed with no spare tables available, so it seemed quite popular. Towards the end of the holiday it was about 2.45 when we went for lunch, so wandered down and found the bar fairly empty so gave it a try.
This is complete waiter service and you ordered from a menu. This menu consisted of soup, spit roast chicken, grilled chicken, grilled meatballs, lamb skewer, beefburger, cheese burger or fish. All of these were served with chips, peas, sweetcorn and broccoli. Baguettes filled with cheese, chicken, ham, and tuna, these were again served with chips. There was a small salad bar from which you helped yourself. I must point out that this snack bar is outside and I was tempted to get a bit of side salad, that was until I looked and saw the birds helping themselves to the croutons and the sweetcorn! A small selection of deserts were available, baked rice pudding, chocolate pudding, a pastry of the day and a fruit plate.
Again the waiters serve the drinks to the table.
It did make a nice change to eat there but it would have been better if they put something around the salad bar to frighten the birds away.
Dinner was once again served in the Park Fora restaurant. It was served between 7pm and 9.30pm. The food served is basically very similar to what was available at lunch time, apart from chips were not available, these were replaced by roast potatoes or a thick type of chip with its skin on. We tended to go down for dinner at about 8.30. We did try one day at 7.30 but found were were walking around looking for a table and then having to queue for the food. The kids buffet is available between the hours of 6.30 and 7.30 but again we never made it on time.
The waiters serve the drinks at the table and tea and coffee is available for you to help yourself.
Turkish A la Carte Restaurant (Hasir)
This is one of four A la Carte restaurants and is the only one we visited. This is not included in the All Inclusive and to eat in there it costs 10 Euros per adult, 5 Euros per child and under 3 are free. When my husband realised we had to pay, he was not to keen to visit, however after 9 days of nagging from me he finally gave in. We booked the visit on the Monday only to be told that the restaurant was closed on the Monday so we made the booking for the Tuesday at 8pm. The restaurant opens at 7pm, when we got in there was only 3 other families in. Luxury, peace, quite and relaxing. This restaurant is located on the 1st floor at the front of the ship, we sat outside on the deck.
All of the A la Carte restaurants have a fixed menu. In the Turkish one we started with lentil soup, followed by a basket of 3 different types of home made bread, then came some little pots of pickles, then a plate of cheese and tomato, followed by a liver selection including samosas. Yes there is even more to come, then came a plate of salad, all this lot before the main course that you could pick yourself, I opted for the lamb kebab in yoghurt with mint, my husband had grilled chicken with rice, they had pasta and meatballs for children, so Holly had this. All this incredible amount of food was followed by a dessert, I had a Turkish pastry dish and Darren and Holly shared an ice cream. All drink was included in this, a jug of water on the table and I had Rose wine and Darren had beer, Holly had cherry juice. I am not a great drinker and I had to slow down because every time I had ½ of glass of wine left they were topping it up. I could feel myself getting rather pickled. We were in this restaurant until about 10.00 so we missed the entertainment, but all this was tonight was live music so we sat watching it from the restaurant.
There are numerous bars situated all over the resort. All served local alcohol free of charge, most spirits and liqueurs found in England were available, they just had a different name, I quite like Baileys on ice, their version was called Holiday. All imported Alcohol was charged. Water and soft drinks were available in all bars by the glass or plastic cup (if you were not sitting at the chairs and tables situated by that particular bar. Bottles of water were only available in the bar situated in the hotel itself or in the Patisserie. All the bars served cocktails, which were all named after something to do with the Titanic ( Carpathia, Anchor, Olympic, Atlantic Ocean, Admiral, James Cameron (writer and director of the film) and Titanic Wave) . I did sample a couple of these, of course only for the purpose of this review!!!, my favourites were the Anchor, (Vodka, Banana liqueur and Apple Juice) and the Olympic (Bacardi, Malibu, Milk and Curacao Syrup). One thing I was not happy about was that children were able to go to the bar and get alcoholic drinks with not a question being asked, some of these children seemed as young at 10. All of the bars had tea and coffee machines.
There are quite a few pools situated around the resort. An Indoor pool in the Well-being and Spa area. This was 1.4m deep and had two jacuzzis next to it and a kids splash pool. A half Olympic size pool 1.4m deep with a splash pool and a jacuzzi next to it . Full Olympic size pool 1.8m deep.
Finally the main pool that went from one side of the resort to the other and was next to the hotel, making the ship look as though it is in the water, this split into two, one part going to the Adult Aqua park, containing 4 large water slides and other going to the children's Aqua Park containing 3 smaller slides and and mushroom shaped object in the middle containing 3 small slides for toddlers.
The indoor pool is heated just enough to take the chill off but the other pools were a different matter. We spent all of our mornings sitting around the ½ Olympic pool, on jumping into this one on the first morning, it was soooooooo cold it took my breath away, I was actually expecting to come in contact with an iceberg. Once in, your body did become accustomed but by about ½ hour of being in the pool I was chilled to the bone. There was no way we were letting Holly in there, so we took her swimming in the indoor pool. The main pool was about as cold but the Olympic pool felt warmer. After the first afternoon I worked out why. The ½ Olympic was only in the sun in the morning, whereas the full Olympic was in the sun all day. All of the pools had sun beds grouped into 3, with one parasol umbrella, a plastic table and a large flower pot that was used for rubbish. We tended to spend the morning at the ½ pool so we could use the indoor pool which was next to it. After lunch we would move either to one of the other pools or down to the beach to catch the afternoon rays. All of the pools were cleaned alternately with all the sun beds being packed way so the marble floors could be polished and a swimming pool hover used to clean the pool itself.
The resort has its own part of the beach backing on to the hotel. Again the beach has a bar situated on a small pier with seating areas. On the beach itself there a three large canopies either side of a wooden walkway, under these canopies are the sun beds with patio tables and large flower pots for rubbish. Every time we went onto the beach we was always able to get a bed so I wouldn't say it was that busy. The Thomson brochure states white sand, this is slightly wrong as the colour is a lovely golden colour. One thing you do need to watch if you take small children down on the beach, there are a lot of stray cats around and they tend to use the beach as a rather large cat litter. The hotel have part of the sea sectioned of solely for use of its patrons, this stops you from being killed by the boats and jet skis that race around the sea. At the end of every day the staff put all the beds back in a straight line, generally tidy up and rake the sand to make it level.
Santa Marina Kids Club
The kids club is situated between to the two Aqua Parks in the base of a boat modelled on the ship that Christopher Columbus discovered America in. Unfortunately, Holly was too young to attend the club, it is for the ages of 4 and above. I had a look inside and it does have a soft play area in but this was not being used. They do quite a few activities like face painting, drawing, and water games enough to keep the the kids entertained. The top of the boat is where the children's water slides are. There is also a play area in the resort for the kids consisting of swings, a see-saw, trampolines, a large climbing frame and 6 rocking horses (the type on large springs). We visited there a few evenings before dinner when it had cooled down a bit and Holly loved going on the swings and the rocking horses. Darren and I even had a go on the see-saw which was quite fun.
The resort has 4 Tennis courts, 1 Squash court, a Football Pitch, Beach Volley Ball area, Fitness Gym, 4 Professional Bowling Lanes (extra cost), Table Tennis and Darts Board. There is an arcade area with electronic games and you can also hire electronic cars for children to drive around in all at extra cost. They also do Archery, step and normal aerobics, stretching, aqua aerobics, and diving lessons (extra charge), plenty to keep you occupied if you get fed up relaxing around the pool.
There is entertainment going on throughout the day and then in the evening at 9pm they hold a kids disco in the Amphitheatre. After this at about 9.45 the entertainment staff put on live shows, the warning that these shows were about to start consisted of 3 loud ships horn blasts. These live shows are not just singing and dancing, but are shows based on films, whilst we were there they did 4 versions of the Titanic, a Pirates of the Caribbean, a Madonna concert, comedy show, a fake Brit awards, a sixties music show. Intertwined with these were a couple of beach parties and a beer festival featuring live country music. The 15 entertainment staff were very dedicated and seem to work in a professional manner. You could tell some of the staff had had professional dance training. They tended to have Sunday evenings off and the entertainment on these evening whilst we were there was a gymnastics and acrobatics show and the following Sunday was a Magician. After the entertainment, the Submarine Disco would open. We never visited this so I can't comment on what this was like.
Are you still with me, if so congratulations you are nearly at the end.
Wellness and Spa centre
This seemed to be very popular with Turkish people, who visited for the day. The massages were at extra cost but the sauna, steam bath, shock bath, jacuzzi and Turkish bath is included in your stay if you want to use it. Also in the spa centre was a vitamin bar selling freshly squeezed orange juice for 2 euros and pink grapefruit, apple or carrot juice for 3 euros. Water and coffee was also available from this bar but no alcoholic drinks. The Wellness centre also has an on site Doctor, we had no cause to see him thank god, however this is at extra charge.
Shops on Site
The resort has quite a few shops, most of them are on the ground floor, these consisted of a Suit shop, The Titanic gift shop selling clothes, bags and novelty gifts with the Titanic on, a general shop selling sweets, newspapers (English papers for that day were available after 12.30 and cost around 4.50 euros) sun cream and essentials (Do remember to take enough, a bottle of sun cream cost 21 euros), and inflatables. A Turkish gift shop, a designer sunglasses shop, a bag shop, a leather shop, 2 jewellers (1 selling silver only and the other selling bits of everything), a camera shop and a hairdressers. Dotted around the resort were various stalls including a shoe cleaners, a 3d crystal laser etch, a man doing pencil drawings of people, a nail art stall and a trip around Turkey on a flying carpet.
Outside the Hotel.
There was a small shopping area about 100 meters outside the hotel, this contained a cash machine, a chemist, a gift shop, a shoe shop and three clothes shop. The clothes shops sell designer clothes, (I'm not sure if they were fake), I did visit on our second full day. Our 1st day there had been a thunder storm, that evening it dropped rather cold and with me thinking it was summer and had never been to Turkey before I wasn't expecting it to drop cold in the evening so I had to go and buy Holly a little jacket just to keep the chill off. I bought her a Hello Kitty jacket for 15 euros.
We met the Thomson representative on the first day. His name was Mustafa and he spoke very good English. He told us what times and days we would be able to find him at the hotel. He also went through everything we needed to know about our stay, informed us that there was a Doctor on site, where the local cash machine was. He then went on to offer us excursions to make our holiday complete. These started at £12.00 each for shopping in Antayla, going up to £120.00 each for a day trip to North Cyprus. We had gone on holiday to relax so declined all the excursions and spent all out time around the pool.
The Hotel in General.
As stated the hotel is built in the shape of the Titanic and with the pools surrounding the hotel it looks as if the hotel is floating. Dotted around the hotel there were various items from ships, on the side of the hotel there were two life rafts and life rings. There was a Television screen in the basement showing a film 24 hours a day, this film was obviously the Titanic. There were a few no smoking areas in the hotel. Now one thing I must say is the toilets around the hotel were very clean and had a lot of energy saving devices. All lights were on a PIR so as you entered an area the light came on, even in the toilets them selves they had this, the taps had a sensor on for when you washed your hands, the water came on when you put your hands under and turned off when you removed them. In the toilets themselves, ladies and gents, there were flushable toilet seat covers. On the first floor of the hotel you could sit out on the deck and enjoy a drink in the sunshine. The hotel rates itself as 5*, Thomson and First Choice rate it as 4*. The hotel is quite clean and cleaning seems to be an on going project. I would say whilst we were there for two weeks the whole of the hotel in side and out was cleaned from top to bottom.
My only moan about the hotel itself was they could have tried harder with removing lipstick from glasses and giving the coffee cups a light bleaching a couple of times a week. My other gripe was with the other patrons, mainly those from a few European countries that I will not mention (you probably know who they are). Their manners were seriously lacking, pushing and shoving and jumping the queue must be the norm for these people. One woman, on our last day, picked up a spoon out of the mayonnaise in the dinning room, stuck it in her mouth,then put it back in the mayonnaise. DISCUSTING.
If you were waiting for a lift to come you could be waiting for 5 minutes, the lift would turn up and people would rush up and push in so you were unable to fit in the lift, or if the lift was full they would still try to squeeze in causing the alarm to go off.
Greed. I have stopped All Inclusive a few times before around the world, however never in my life have I seen so much wasted food. People were walking around and getting a plateful of one type of food, sitting down then deciding that they didn't like it, or wanted something else so a whole plateful had to be binned by he waiter. Half way through the second week, they brought out cherries, people were like locusts, getting dinner plates full even before they had got their main course and eating a handful of cherries and leaving the rest. It was the same with Water Melon. God knows what the waiting staff thought.
Some people were very rude to the bar staff, they were trying to ask for drinks in their native tongues and expecting the Turkish staff to understand, when they could not they were getting very angry and shouting at them. What good will that do. I never heard many please or thankyou's, I know the hotel had only been opened to the British since May this year, and when I said please or thank you, you could see the staff just did not know what to say.
Parents and their offspring. Would you leave you child unattended on the beach?
Some people need lessons in parenting, we went for a walk along the beach, I noticed a man and woman sunbathing on the beach, a toddler was running up the beach on his own and another toddler was up to his armpits in the sea, I watched waiting for some parents to come, not realising they were the sunbathers, the toddlers were getting further and further away and after about 3 minutes the woman looked up, jumped up and did not know which way to run, get the one half way up the beach or the one up to his armpits in the sea. Eventually the man moved and retrieved the lad from the sea before a wave came in washed him under. Surely sunbathing comes second to the safety of your children, after all what sort of holiday would it be if one drowned or got abducted ! People were allowing their children to run riot around the dinning room. Holly is normally very well behaved but by the end of this holiday she had seen other children running about and thought she could do the same, I soon stopped that when we got home.
Checkout for the room was 12.00 and we weren't leaving the hotel until 6.30pm. You checkout from your room, settle your room bill and hand in your towel cards to receive your deposit back. If like us you have a long wait after checkout and before leaving the hotel, you can leave your luggage in a locked up room and still continue to use the facilities. The do a late checkout, I enquired how much this cost, but at 50 euros it was a bit too expensive. We ended up sitting at the inside bar and reading.
Pick up was rather vague with the coach. The coach was not easily identifiable and some peoples names were missing from coach list, there was also no representative at hotel to help with departure.
Back to Antalya airport. It was certainly easier to leave the country than arrive, check in at the airport was fairly quick and hassle free. There was time to get any last minute duty free shopping and a quick bite to eat. Do watch as the Airport is rather expensive, I bought a portion of chips and a coke from Burger King and did not get much change out of 15 euros. The departure lounge was rather cramped with people having to sit on the floor and window sills.
I don't think we would be staying at this hotel again and I am not even sure if we would go to Turkey again. You are stopping at this hotel for the novelty experience. All in all we did enjoy our holiday but of course it is nice coming home.
Hotel experience/stay 7/10
General staff 8/10
Cleaning staff 9/10
Bar staff 10/10
Other foreign holiday makers 4/10
Many thanks for taking the time to read this review. I'm so sorry it was so long but I wanted to cover everything. Thank you Anna
This review can also be found on Ciao along with 10 holiday snaps.
High standard hotel ,perfect for the families, couples and popular with guests all over the world, there really is something for everyone. There are several bars, shops and restaurants in the surrounding area, the historical center of Antalya is just 12 km away (easy reached by local transport) as well as the airport of Antalya.