My wife and I needed a last minute vacation to escape from the big city life of Moscow (I'm American, she's Russian). After looking at hotels that fit our budget and needs, I decided to choose the Festival as I had stayed there before in 2004 and had a great time.
I was pleased to see the hotel hadn't changed and was more or less exactly as I remember. In fact, the same reception manager works there, and was a nice surprise that he remembered me!
Although it's not a large hotel, the property is very nice and the hotel is clean and in good repair. The pool area has many pine trees which keeps the area cool, as with the eating area. The hotel is in very good repair, although the bathrooms could use a little bit of work, mainly with the bathtub. As with russian girls, they have a habit of getting in 1 last swim before they leave, return to the room, shower and leave. Usually the room has already been cleaned when they do this, so if you find a wet pair of panties in the bath tub in a perfectly cleand room, this is what has happened (like I did). Don't be upset, just place them in a packet, and give them to reception (and see the surprised look in their eyes).
Understand this, The Tekirova and Kemer area is a hotspot for Russian tourists. If you go, expect to be the minority if you're not Russian or from a former Soviet state. You shouldn't worry, as many the staff speak English, as well as many of the guests. Most people behaved themselves well with the exception of a couple of guys who drank too much. Typical with all inclusive places, but really there weren't any problems.
Also keep in mind, this is not the Waldorf Astoria in New York! If you expect the Waldorf, I suggest you stay at the Waldorf and pay their prices.
The animation team is great! Now is headed by Elena from Moldova (english, french and Russian language. Also is Marina from Ukraine (Russian English), Waled from Tunisa (Arabic English) and Asel from Turkey (arabic, russian) and of course the DJ. These are great people and will entertain you all day. Typical animation during the day but the night shows are great and funny.
Food is also very good, and the menu varies each day. There was never a problem finding a table to eat at. Although beef is sometimes served, the other items were great, with fish and chicken the primary meat. Turkish red wine also seems to have improved from my last visit.
The beach is a 4 minute walk down a small shaded street. Never a problem finding a beach chair or umbrella and the hotels beach area is near the street. Be advised, this side of the Sea has a pebble and stone beach, so I advise getting a pair of rubber swim shoes from the local shops. There is a beach bar, but you pay for things as it doesn't belong to the hotel.
One thing I really like, the hotel does not have any "paparazzi". Those idiots who are always putting a camera in your face werever you go, then always wanting you to buy pictures. These guys are annoying. Also, the hotel staff do not bother you about tips at every meal. They have a tip box near the entrance of the eating areas.
Nescafe coffee. Some things never change.
The pool is clean and a nice size, and there's never a problem finding a pool chair. There's a traditional East European habit of marking one's territory by placing a towel or other thing on the beach/pool chair, but it's really not necessary. There are enough chairs.
As for housekeeping, they do a great job. Just remember to place a euro or two on your pillow. They appreciate it very much.
As for small kids, this really isn't a hotel designed for them. They have mini-disco nightly, and a mini-club during the prime time of the summer, but really no other attractions for them.
All in all we had a really fantastic time. If relaxation and peace and quiet is what you want, and don't want to spend a lot of money, then Hotel Festival is the place. We stayed at the Rixos Tekirova last year, and were bored to death.
Now for the bad points;
Alcohol. Probably the weak point of Festival. First, they still serve beer called 34 which they did in 2004. This is made for the hotel industry. Very weak taste and very low alcohol 1.5% (although my wife liked it). I suggest you stay with red wine or gin and tonic. Or just do what I did, get your own whiskey from town or bring it with you. 1 liter of J&B scotch is 53$.
Cigarettes in town cost 4 euro.
The Disco. After 11pm the bar closes and the disco opens. Be prepared as you must pay for your drinks (5 euro for gin and tonic from the same stuff you get for free during the day). Also not many people go there, although I've been told it happens on occassion.
A word of warning. This is not about the hotel, but about the tour operators. If this is your first time to Turkey, here is some advice.
Your tour operator on the bus will tell you all kinds of horror stories. Like to only buy excursions from her, not to buy from the local shops, etc. She will want to meet you again, usually the next morning or that afternoon about registering yourselves in her system so you don't get taken to jail if stopped by the police. It is not necessary to do this and waste 1.5 hours of prime beach time. You have your visa and hotel voucher. This is all you need in Turkey. It is only her attempt to sell you excursions and to get "kickback" money from the certain shops and excursion places. Her prices are usually 3-4 times higher than what you can get locally. I've never had a bad experience buying locally, and they are the exact same excursions from the same people!!!!! It is more a practice towards the Russian tourists. So don't waste your time. Also, on the trip back to the airport, they will always stop at the same last chance tourist trap. She'll tell you it's the cheapest, and will let you borrow a card good for 10% off. The card is so they can keep account of "kickback" money to be paid to the tour operator.
All in all, festival is a great hotel for rest and relaxation. For the money, you will not be disappointed!!
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Venere, TripOnline SA, Despegar.com and Booking.com so you can book your Jeans Club Hotel Festival reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Festival Tekirova