IN SUMMARY: If you go to the Delphin Diva (DD), you will not be disappointed. Great all-round hotel and deserves 5 stars (subject to a few minor tweaks). This is a full review (as a young couple visiting in August 2013), a comparison to the other Delphin hotels (Imperial and Palace) from first impressions, and a quick comparison of Lara to Belek (as this was our first stay at Lara Beach).
Our Favourite Things…
+Staff Service (very attentive and caring, genuinely want you to be happy!)
+Pier (best sunbathing spot in my opinion and excellent bar service! – not many other Lara hotels had bars on their pier like the Delphin hotels *Kamel & Muhammet excellent bar staff – see below!)
Main buffet – very large, busy and quite chaotic. Well set out with different food sections so no large queues form. Lots of choice. Usual holiday buffet practice applies – you will see kids touching food and guests piling up 10 pancakes when they will only eat 5, but you can go to the a la cartes to avoid this. Eating on the outdoor terrace was good but the ‘no smoking’ section was rarely enforced (due to hotel being busy). Restaurant has ‘theme nights’ which essentially brings the a la carte options into the restaurant for self-service. Definitely worth seeing the Turkish night (if you love to eat lamb!).
Breakfast Loads of fresh yoghurt, fresh honey (on the honeycomb!), all egg options, fresh pancakes, fresh waffles, fresh fish/salad/cheese/herbs, fresh baked breads, sweets/cakes/pancakes. Freshly squeezed juices are great. Lots of fruit. (*To be picky, you may get fed up if you don’t like eggs or sweet breakfast. Meat is all processed which is a bit of a shame – not really to British taste e.g. bacon, or even proper German salami)
Lunch: A slightly simpler version of dinner..
*Buffet timing – better to go to breakfast earlier as the omelette and waffle queue can grow quickly after 9.00am.
Dinner: Fresh salads/sides/herbs, loads of stew dishes, fresh fish, lots of meat dishes, chips/stone baked pizza. Outdoor cooking stations are good for fresh fried/grilled food. Also, aubergine (aka eggplant) features in many dishes – big shame if you don’t like it because the Turkish diet does! Plenty of deserts/cakes.: Baklava was always on offer if you have a very sweet tooth! Chocolate fountain every night.
A LA CARTES: Must note that Guest Relations were very helpful to ensure that we were booked into the a la cartes we wanted.
Service was generally good in all a la cartes but normally only 1 or 2 waiters to each a la carte. Earlier 7pm bookings were quieter, therefore better service. Meals were plentiful so no need to head to the buffet after!
Chinese – 7/10 Authentic taste. Crispy aromatic confit duck was the best course. Good service and nice to sit outside.
Italian – 9/10 Our favourite a la carte. One of the smartest restaurants, great for a romantic meal. Staff were very polite & pleasant. Great fresh Italian ingredients used.
Turkish – 8/10 Not just the same food as the main buffets which was nice. Grill made for nice kebabs. A selection of cold starters is quickly brought to your table and large fresh Turkish bread.
Mexican – 7/10 Again, quite authentic. Enjoyed the sizzling fajitas for main course.
Tepinyake – 8/10 Great mixed grill for main course, especially if you like prawns!
Patisserie (Main Lobby) – Friendly staff, good fresh coffee – the cakes on offer were nice but not as good as those at the Imperial Hotel patisserie next door (see below)
Fridges – Easy access spread around the hotel bars – helps yourself to water and bottled beer. Vitamin bar/stand outside Topaz Tea house did lovely fresh carrot,orange,apple,tomato health juices every day.
Fresh Turkish crepes/guzlema @ Pool Bar: Every day, made fresh by the hard-working Turkish pankcake ladies. Can choose savoury fillings but we introduced them to the ‘sweet pancake’ and were happy to make banana filled pancakes for us!
DRINK: Many international brands so no complaints on spirits/cocktails. Effes beer is served everywhere, Becks at lobby and pool bar. Great to see Effes Light (3%) and Effes Dark 6% too – something to satisfy all beer drinkers. House white/red was okay and the a la cartes offer cab.sav merlot and chardonnay with your meal.
ROOM: We stayed in a standard room on 5th floor (7 in total) on the side sea view of Imperial Hotel. Rooms nicely decorated, not the largest but fine for 2 of us – had a spare single bed in the room too. Free Mini bar (Soft drinks,beer,nuts,chocolate restocked daily); toiletries (toothbrush!wool pads/buds/shower gel etc). Free to use safe deposit box! Think the hotel could modernise all rooms in a few years e.g. Air conditioning is by thermostat as oppose to a digital unit so you cannot pick your ideal temperate – never affected our sleep though. If you stay on the Imperial side of hotel, live music is quite loud until 11.30pm so take ear plugs! Cleaners working hard and generally happy.
SUNBATHING: **Be aware of the policy – No Reserving sunbeds before 8.30 UNLESS you are with your sunbed. First hotel I’ve ever been to where they will remove any property at a sunbed before 8.30am if somebody is not there with it. This effectively keeps spaces free for those who like a lie in. Personally we loved the Sun Mattresses on the Beach Pier. In the August heat you need the sea breeze (but seemed many Brits preferred the pool, possibly due to having kids). If you want a Pier Bed (in high season), get there by 7.45am and don’t leave until the Reservation Guard has come (usually 8.15am) – so I did this most days and took a pre-breakfast swim in the very calm morning sea. (It was quite comical to see the husbands getting the short straw of setting the alarm as their other halves were no doubt in bed!!) It was well worth making the effort to get a spot on the pier in our opinion!!
*BEACH PIER BAR – Special mention for bar staff Kamil and Muhammet who work as a great team and very hard to keep all drinkers on the pier happy. We had loads of fun with them and are grateful for the special fresh ice coffees they would make us instead of the ready-made slush ice coffee). There is a fresh fruit bowl but no other food options on the beach – just a short walk back to the hotel or beach bar if you get hungry – unlikely!!
Service at main pool is also very very good with rollerblading staff coming to bring your drinks to you regularly and learning people’s favourites.
Plenty of sports and activities on offer everyday (beach volley, French boules, darts, pool games, Olympic beach games and a well-equipped kids club) – shame the 5-aside football just didn’t seem to happen for adults. Animation team all worked hard from day to night but would not push people into activities.
*Spa - if you are keen to keep up a fitness regime on holiday, the gym was modern enough with large cardio room and separate weights room. (Small compared to Imperial Hotel gym nextdoor – I like my fitness, so went across a few times to use it – newer equipment!)
Evening shows: Good generally with most shows worth watching. Amphitheatre can get hot. Nice to be able to get drinks at the bar outside the amphitheatre before/during show. Best shows were samba show/Breakdance-BMX-rollerblade show /Russian kids circus / Ceaser show (joke show for male hotel guests doing funny and embarrassing things).Once every 2 weeks – Gala show (with synchronised swimming show at pool) and Foam Party with bonfire. Both worth going to and are biggest outdoor shows at the hotel.
If you want a quiet one, you can even go to the cinema but English films only about 2 per week.
GUEST RELATIONS: Special thanks to Lina and her team – very caring, genuine, honest and all-round happy to help. They do a great job of taking your suggestions forward. The hotel really does listen to its guests e.g. my wife fancied some vegetables at breakfast for variety (as she couldn’t take anymore eggs!) and a few days after suggesting this, courgette (zucchini) was on offer instead of only cold salads.
* As can be expected, tipping will get your better service generally but you are not made to feel obliged. Good friendly service is a strong point of the hotel!
*Need to reserve a bed on the Pier by 8.00am each morning when hotel is busy (see above).
*Coffee – can order every type as hotel has good machines but as a fussy coffee drinker, long-life milk makes the taste a bit weird so consider taking coffee black. Cappuccino is served with cream unless you ask otherwise.
*DD loves a special occasion (e.g. birthday, anniversary) A la cartes add a nice touch for a special occasion if requested – table decorated with petals, chocolate mousse cake for dessert etc…
*TV screen in lifts shows the countries guests come from (normally 50% Russia, 20%Germany, 10%UK, 10%Holland,10%other European). We’ve always felt welcomed to Turkey as Brits and keeping a high standard of politeness and manners as you would in the UK will serve you well
LARA v BELEK
-Beach: Actually preferred Lara sands as the beach was larger but no major difference between the two. Shame about the rubbish that gets left on the public spots where there is not a 5* hotel.
-Surrounding area: Preferred the fact that lara had strip of shops/bazars outside the hotel as oppose to having to travel 2 miles to Belek centre. Belek is easier for day trips to South East of Antalya region.
-Great that DD offers a free shuttle service into Antalya leaving 9.30am returning 2.00pm (plenty of time to shop and still get back for the beach – book at reception day before you want to go!)
MINOR IMPROVEMENTS FOR DD COULD BE:
*Enforce the split outdoor dining smoking/no-smoking areas (as non-smokers we sometimes opted not to have breakfast outside when smokers would be in non-smoking).
*Pool areas – it’s true, there are many near-falls due to slippery quality of tiles. Just be careful! Add signage asking people to shower before taking a swim
*No adult-only sections at DD (we knew before our visit but think the hotel could benefit from doing this)
*Evening entertainment is solid but not exceptional – perhaps Delphin could put more money into getting bigger acts/setting better parties up.
*Buffet restaurant can be a little bit repetitive but catering on such a large scale is not easy!
Room Tip: Side sea view overlooking the Imperial’s pools was great. You probably wont sleep before 11.30pm as the live music from the Imperial can be easily heard. We raised this as an issue and the volume seemed to go down.
DIVA / IMPERIAL / PALACE?
We have only stayed at the Diva and visited the other Delphin hotels to look around a few times so these comments are first impression only!
Imperial: If you like glitz and luxury surroundings, definitely consider booking the Imperial. We often visited (1 hour per day 4pm-5pm). Largest chandelier in main reception I’ve ever seen!!! Very smart black and white décor all around, loved the coffee shop and definitely has better cakes than the Diva (which seemed a bit unfair to us!). That said, we preferred the outdoor gardens at the Diva, which were more romantic etc than the single walkway which runs from the Imperial hotel to the beach.
Palace: We visited once (allowed between 3-5) – not as impressive as the Imperial and preferred the surroundings of the Diva.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Delphin Diva Premiere Hotel with elegant and comfortable rooms, various restaurant types with luscious foods, volleyball, tennis and basketball courts, fitness and SPA center, beach volleyball place, active games, sporty entertainments, water sports at the beach, indoor and outdoor pools with slides, FREE Wi-Fi, FREE parking area and quality service are at your disposal. The hotel is situated on Lara beach being 15 km away from downtown Antalya and 8 km away from the international airport. Nature, sun and sea come together on Delphin Diva Premiere Hotel’s 230 meters long private sandy beach making it the ideal location for an unforgettable holiday. Delphin Diva Premiere Hotel will welcome you to your dream vacation.Delphin Diva Premiere Hotel’s modern and comfortable rooms with fascinating sea and mountain view are decorated in the unique DELPHIN DIVA PREMIERE HOTEL style. The quality and comfort of rooms can be summed up with such a comment “Simplicity of the skillful use of elegance”. All standard rooms with mini bar refilled daily with soft drinks and delicious junk food; direct telephone, information and music channels, satellite TV channels, central air conditioning, toilet and bathroom, hairdryer, digital safe, balcony and parquet floor are at your disposal. You can find everything needed for a comfortable stay in these rooms, which were specially designed for you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Delphin Diva Premiere Antalya
- Delphin Diva Premiere Hotel Antalya