Spent 11 nights, family of 2 adults and 2 children (13 & 10) during the last week of July and first week of August 2013. Like others, I was concerned about the negative reviews seen on here before we went on holiday but I needn't have worried and I really cannot agree with the poor reviews given recently. Whether or not the management or Thompson took action to improve things I don't know but trust me (and I am one hard to please customer!), this is a very good hotel and ranks right up there with the best of my (considerable) experience of Med resort all-inclusive hotels. Probably the best aspect of this hotel is the location, layout and facilities and that is why it is rated at 4T+ by Thompson and 5* by the official Turkish tourist board. Yes, I would agree that it is not 5* compared to what you get such as in the major cities around the world (Sheraton, Marriott etc) but for 'Med/resort standard' it fully warrants the 4T+ given by Thompson. The layout is lovely with large, very well kept grounds with lots of trees to provide shade, lush gardens, flowers and shrubbery everywhere. The pool set up is fabulous and kept our girls very happy, clean well laid out and very large with plenty of space. Also the beach, whilst stoney, is very clean and they have wooden deck walkways everywhere so you don't have to walk on the stones ( a pair of swim shoes is advisable to make getting in/out the sea easy - but there is a jetty that you can get into the sea from without treading over the stones). Lots of watersports (free non-powered pedalos, canoes, windsurfers but parasailing and jet skis are a right rip-off!), plenty of sunbeds and parasols. As for the 'no sunbeds' reported in negative reviews - well we never got out from breakfast and our rooms until at least 1130 and ALWAYS found 4 sunbeds + parasol with table (and a good few more dotted about) together in the lovely grassed/garden areas adjacent to the pool area and just behind the beach. Yes, you will struggle to get any around the pool if you aren't down early but this area wasn't to our liking - too noisy and busy, much more relaxing in the grassed areas or the very nice decking areas looking out over the beach (and a god-send of a nice cooling sea breeze too which wasn't always to be had around the pool). Plenty of free sunbeds down on the beach too so don't panic about getting up early! We had a standard room but decent sized, modern fixtures/fittings, comfy beds (on the firm side but that's what we like), good bathroom and cleaned nicely every day, sheets changed every 2-3 days and fresh towels every day if you want them. They even have a 'pillow menu' card where you can ask for different types of pillows. Free safe (been in plenty hotels where they want 30-odd Euros for use of a safe!), fridge stocked with bottles of water and couple of cans of coke every day and good deal of wardrobe space for family of 4 for nearly 2 weeks.
Food - some 'odd' stuff and possibly not all to British peoples' liking - but what do you expect, you're in Turkey not Torquay! There was a huge variety and particulary very good fish (sea bream, sea bass, a whole gigantic tuna hanging up in the grill area where they carve off tuna steaks and grill them, prawns/crayfish too). Lots of salads, lovely fresh bread, lovely variety of fresh fruit kept clean and cool in a 'waterfall' display. Also don't understand the problems of getting into the A la Carte restaurants, we booked 4 times and didn't ask until midday but got in every time. The Italian and chinese are best and these made a nice change. Food overall was very satisfactory, even the wine (so often pretty poor in all inclusive hotels) was quite palatable and 'Efes' beer is the national brand, again quite a decent lager. Worst about the drinks was the spirits - gin didn't taste anything like it and neither did many of the others.
Also didn't have any problems with the Russians, yes they are a bit rude to the staff and don't seem to bother with any please/thank yous when asking for a drink at the bar but they generally waited in line at the beach/pool bars and for omelletes etc and they were just like ordinary, decent families on holiday - no rowdiness or anything. One Russian chap even asked me to join in a game of volleyball on the beach to make up a team and another actually bought me a 'premium' vodka instead of the local stuff once! Also, met some very nice British people, enjoyed a 'sundowner' cocktail or two with them at the pool bar overlooking the beach after a hard day sun bathing. They all had good things to say about this hotel and holiday experience. Service from the bar/waiting a staff a bit indifferent at times but as it was Ramadan during our stay, and a good deal of the mostly male staff are muslim, they were no doubt feeling a bit downhearted/tired and working long hours for probably low pay and watching guests gorge themselves on food and drink while they had to fast! I got on friendly terms with a couple of good bar staff, I had learned some basic Turkish (hello, how are you, 2 beers please and thank you etc.) and they seemed to appreciate this. Also, gave a small tip now and again which resulted in more attentive service, drinks bought over to the sunbed and had a regular waiter in the main restaurant at night who I tipped 10 lira or so now and again and this ensured the same nice table saved for us outside away from the hussle and bussle and a full bottle of chilled wine left on the table and regular top ups without asking.
Entertainment was pretty good on the whole, always got a seat in the 'amphitheatre' and some of the shows were quite good and professional - mostly 'circus type' artistic dance/acrobatics/magic etc. Huge reception area with fairly good free wi-fi, nice quiet bar in here in the evening where we always got served quick. There is a good choice of bars all day - lobby, pool, beach, 'Phaselis' bar/restaurant - nice quiet and shady place for a bit of lunch at the northern edge of the complex and to get your drinks throughout the day. Bottles of cold water given out at all bars, as many as you like and take a few back to your room.
Downsides- not many really for us but one thing that did annoy us was the too loud, rubbishy, moronic and repetitive music thumping out around the pool and beach bar most of the time. That's why we preferred a sunbed at either far end of the complex in amongst the trees/bushes or on the beach. Some fancy beach huts with private sunbeds, table/chairs and butler service for food drinks all day are available but these are a right rip-off (£60-odd for the 'basic package') for the day. 'Butler' tried to sell one to me saying 'free lunch and drinks all day that I will bring you' - could only reply - 'well the lunch and drinks are free anyway and I only have to walk 20 yards!' not worth the fee in my opinion and only ever saw one or two being used - wonder why?
Other things - hotel shops are a rip-off, if you go out the main entrance, turn left and walk about 150yds, there is a string of local shops that, whilst still a bit of a rip-off, are considerably cheaper than the hotel. Visited local town of Kemer using the local bus service, this runs about every 15 mins, cost us 18 Lira for 2 adults/2 kids for single journey (taxi wanted 70 Lira!) and takes about 40 mins to get there as it stops off at quite a few places en-route. Not much to see but made a change for a day, quite a few shops to browse, although they get repetitive in what they sell, you get hassled trying to look round - which just puts me right off and I end up walking out, and anyway all the 'Prada/Jimmy Choo' / 'Polo' / Ray-Ban etc gear on sale is all fake and the prices are too high.
Transfer time is advertised by Thompson correctly, was 1hr 10 mins for our arrival at 0100hrs (we had our own taxi for our arrival transfer) and was 1hr 30 mins for return transfer late morning in a coach that didn't stop at any other hotels.
Strange, but they deal in 3 currencies - US dollars, Euros and Turkish Lira. Take what you like, they seem to prefer USD/Euros but nobody refused Lira either, just got the impression the conversion rate was a rip-off and seemed to make everything overpriced.
Thompson rep - 'Alum' - very helpful, readily available and very knowledgeable but we didn't have much need of him. He has set up a Thompson A la Carte night on Mondays with the hotel which almost guarantees you a table I think and is worth going to. Didn't take any excursions, too expensive for our liking!
Overall, very enjoyable holiday in a very good hotel - don't be worried by the negative reviews!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.