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“Fantastic Neilson Resort” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Neilson Phokaia Beachclub

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Neilson Phokaia Beachclub
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Ismetpasa Mah. 2 Mersinaki Koyu, Foca 35680, Turkey   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Foca
london
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Fantastic Neilson Resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2012

So far so good…day 5 of a 2 week stint at arguably Neilsons flagship family beach club resort, and it is more than living up to expectations, possibly due to the amazing weather. Currently watching the sleeping baby whilst the wife does the aqua aerobics!

I suppose I’ll begin with the useful things, flight over here was good, completely on time and very comfortable. The 1 ½ hr transfer was fine, worth it for such a lovely location. The resort is about 2-3km from the pretty village of Foca, and you can walk there in 25-30 minutes, it’s about 10 turkish Lira (£3-£4) taxi ride back.

As for the accommodation, well we are in the main hotel with a 1 year old baby, the supplied Chicco travel cot is like new, and takes up about a ¼ of the free floor space. We are on the first floor with a fab view, there is a lift in the main hotel so it makes life with a buggy more convenient, also there are baths in the main hotel rooms, which is also makes life easier as bath time is still important for my daughter! I think a sea view room is probably a must as the rear of the hotel partly overlooks a road, so it will almost certainly be quieter with a balcony over looking the pool or sea. Some people may prefer one of the other blocks as they are a bit more out of the way. The suites are lovely and by the look of the photos of the villas on this site I’m sure they are great. The A/c unit has one setting and is not that cold, so we are sleeping with the balcony door open which is fine, as there is a fly screen and it’s not noisy. Although if we close the doors then they are very good at cutting out any noise from outside.

The rooms are pretty much all the same size, Not massive but adequate and décor and flooring is good. All have smallish balconies with a little rack and pegs for drying clothes and 2 chairs. There a small fridge, hair dryer and 20inch flat screen tv, with hdmi, pc, component & video inputs. TV channels include bbc world and entertainment amongst other channels. There is free Wi–Fi but only in the hotel foyer.

Food is good, but there could be a bit more variety for the children, other than that there is nothing at all to complain about, the staff both Turkish and English are very attentive and will try and help with any problems. The kids club is good, takes a little time to settle in but seems to be working, and gives us a chance to play tennis, bike or sail together.

My only criticism is that there could be slightly less eagerness by the waiters to remove our plates, as they hover a bit and get a bit irritating.

Otherwise it’s a great holiday. I have not commented on the activities – but they are up to Neilson’s usual very good standard, and 50 metre pool is wonderful.

Go, enjoy and have fun.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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261 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
North West England
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2012

A party of 5 of us visited Club Phokaia last week. 3 of us were complete newcomers to Neilson - we would definitely go on another Neilson holiday. It was the first week of the season and the staff were all very keen to make sure we had a fantastic holiday. If you like watersports, this review will probably be useful. We did not do tennis or fitness classes or visit the spa.

*Accommodation*

Rooms were comfy and functional - not massive but as we spent virtually no time there it wasn't a problem. We were in the 2000 block with a view of the pool. On the bus from the airport you can opt for some extras to be delivered to your room such as water for the week, supplies for your fridge and tea and coffee. I'd recommend getting the water, as it was a good value multipack and even in May it was pretty hot. Everything else is personal preference - there is ample food available at meals so we didn't bother stocking the fridge. We picked up some cans of soft drink in a supermarket in Foca instead.

*Watersports*

I am an experienced but slightly rusty dinghy sailor and chose the RYA level 3 sailing tuition - it was very good, ably led by TinTin and Ahmet. When the winds got up towards the end of the week, the rescue boats were very responsive when boats started going over. RYA logbooks were 16TL and could be obtained from reception.

If you're like me and returning to sailing after a quite a long break, be aware that RYA have juggled their levels slightly. Level 2 is now a little simpler than it used to be.

My husband reported that the level 1 sailing was also very good. I did Level 1 windsurfing and it was excellent. Ben was a patient and very clear instructor, which helped as I was not a natural!

The sailing kit was excellent; Laser Picos, Laser Ones, Bahias and SB3s. If you want to play with a RS500 you'll need to pay a supplement. We didn't bother - but lots of others did. There was an RS500 surgery for people wanting to learn more about performance boats. Staff are extremely helpful - they will rig everything for you and de-rig when you're finished, which felt a bit weird at first for me, since I'm used to lugging boats to and fro - felt quite decadent!! I only had one occasion when someone rigged the boat badly and, embarrassingly, the watchtower spotted it before I did and the rescue boat came out and fixed it .

There is a Laser One race every morning at 9.30 - well attended. On the Friday there is a regatta - everyone is encouraged to sign up, even beginners.

The club is located in a wide bay, which meant great conditions for beginners and experienced sailors. My friends had visited another Neilson club the previous year, where the bay was smaller and once clear, there were a lot of big rolling waves. Wind was light for the first few days and then went up to a force 6 later in the week.

If you're into waterskiing, you get 2 free tows per week. After that you start to pay. That's all I can say as I only had one tow - and I was dreadful!

Throughout the week, there is a professional photographer taking pictures on the beach. You can flick through them on the computers at the info centre by the beach. There were some pretty good shots. We didn't buy them - so cannot remember the price.

*Food*

Brilliant - there are outdoor grills serving up grilled meat and fish throughout the week. Inside there are different options and an area with childrens' food. Lots of different salads and more 'Western' food too. The highlight for me was the guy producing bread from scratch outside - highly recommended.

You don't need to carry money around - everything is added to your room tab and you settle up at the end. Prices are reasonable at the bar. If you need to purchase items like swimwear, sailing/surfing shoes, you can do this but it's quite a bit cheaper to get them at home. Most of the gear is Quicksilver brand.

*Biking*
Not much I can say as I only went on one ride - Biking is not Foca's strong point. Very little off road as the resort is surrounded by military land. You can choose from some challenging rides and some gentle ones with breaks. We went on an afternoon "Coffee Shop Cruise" which took us to the town and beyond via the lighthouse and then back via a coffee shop. Luke was a friendly and capable leader.

*Entertainment*

There was a meet and greet with free punch, a pub quiz, "accoustioki", music through the ages etc going on in the evenings. There's no pressure to get involved and as all the entertainment goes on in the beach bar, very little noise escapes to the blocks by the pool.

All in all a very good holiday. Only a couple of minor irritations (annoyingly squeaky bed and some drilling on the last day) but otherwise I would thoroughly recommend Neilson for a hassle free holiday with friendly, helpful staff. I would have stayed for a second week in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shropshire
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2012

The first week of the season, always a risk......not with Neilson at Club Phokaia..
The team
The hotel team were a great bunch of people where nothing was too much trouble, Lee Evans is in charge of the "crew" and she was clearly visible throughout our holiday both on and off duty. It was a well run team, with a mixture of Turkish and English staff
The beach team - all in the customary Neilson orange, so easily identified, and never slacking. We had some changeable winds during the week, offshore, cross shore, and swirling in the middle, but the team were always on hand in a relatively early season cold sea, to help you on and off the sea with kit at any time. The instruction was as is the norm, very thorough and incredibly patient!!!
The property
Well located about a mile out of the village of Foca....on a flat walk, with a fully lit pavement, and about £3 in a cab. The entrance to the hotel is pretty spectacular with an atrium reception area, and a terrace bar out of the rear of reception, adjoining the main terrace restaurant.
The bedrooms are a great size, with some adjoining rooms for families, well equipped, with modern fixtures and fittings, air conditioning, AND a hairdryer!!! The bathrooms were very modern, and clean with high quality fixtures and fittings (a rain shower head.....no less). The cleaning staff seemed to feel and operate as part of the "team" all in uniform, and incredibly meticulous
The food
The buffet was incredibly fresh, with a huge choice of salad items including some local dishes, there was also a Mexican and Turkish night as well as a gala dinner on the last evening. The weight gain on my return was not surprising!
The kit and sailing area
There was lots of it!!! I cant see this being a problem even in high season with a full resort, there was plenty of choice of very high quality kit on offer. The sailing area was perfect for those less confident as it almost formed a lake, surrounded by land spits or islands.
The mountain biking was pretty much " on road" but still offered a great opportunity to see the surrounding area, and offered some challenges even for the accomplished MTBer, The Wall for example!!!
Fitness
There was a lovely open sided fitness area, very cool, with a comprehensive range of classes on offer, Lou and Dan were great - I would recommend taking trainers though as the marble floor is hard!!!
The acid test - would we go back? You bet we would, cant wait!!!!

Room Tip: Personally I would go in one of the garden blocks as the main hotel rooms tend to be a bit noisier p...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
prudhoe
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2011

We travelled here with Neilson after many years with Sunsail. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had taken the best bits from Sunsail and added even more of their own. Accomodation with linked room for the children was perfect. Food as usual was great and dining plan fitted in with having kids. Childcare was exceptional
The wind was great and we even had a storm which provided force 5-6 winds- fantastic.
Eqpt was great but we were there at start of the season.
We have booked straight away to go back in May 2012 and the whole family cannot wait.
Highly recommended for childcare/kids clubs, equipment, food and relaxation.

Room Tip: most rooms are in stand alone blocks- quieter and away rom the main reception area/bar
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SW Surrey
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2011

This was our second visit to Phokaia - almost as soon as we had returned from the first one, I was booking for the following year.

Other reviewers have commented on the food and the accomodation, and I would agree with all of them - both are generally high standard. I am going to comment on activities.

Watersports - the resort overlooks a large sheltered bay with an island in front and smaller islands to either side. The effect is to create a sheltered sea area with very small waves which nevertheless gets some good winds, permitting fast windsurfing, smooth fast sailing, and even waterskiing in most weather conditions. All watersports are free, including the waterskiing and diving although the free goes are obviously rationed to ensure everyone gets a fair share - after that you start to pay. RYA courses are also free, and I think Neilson is about the only operator not to charge for these. The setting is also very pretty so even when the wind is light and the sailing sedate, there is nice scenery to look at.

Mountain biking: Neilson acknowledges that Phokaia is not its best resort for mountain biking. This is because there are few opportunities for off-road, as the surrounding hills are military land which is prohibited and possibly not safe to enter due to live firing exercises taking place inland. The instructors - Luke this year - have nevertheless managed to put together a decent package of on-road rides, with a bit of off-road thrown in, which marry a range of easy through to strenuous or technical rides with opportunities to admire the views or stop for a coffee or a beer in the old town. On the upside, the military land may be inaccessible but it is a big part of why the area is so beautiful - it hasn't suffered the overdevelopment which blights so much of the Turkish Aegean.

Tennis: we found Phokaia a good compromise between the Mark Warner industrial-scale tennis academies and some of the other Neilson/Sunsail resorts where there aren't enough courts or players present. My wife and daughter were kept well occupied with lessons, matchplays and tournaments against good competition.

Keep fit etc. Not my scene, but the sessions were well-attended and looked like good fun if you like that sort of thing.

Local tourism: the nearby town of Foca is a weekend/summer retreat for the better-off residents of Izmir, the nearby (and huge) city. There is little foreign tourism, and it shows, in that Foca has a charm and unspoilt nature missing in so many tourist traps. It does mean that some things like carpets, turkish delight etc are not so easy to find but they are available in the hotel (the carpet guy is excellent, by the way). Foca is close enough to walk - perhaps 30 minutes - but you can also sign out the bikes and ride there in 10 minutes. The resort asks that you don't ride alone, and that you wear a helmet, for safety reasons, but otherwise bikes are yours for the taking if not needed for guided rides - as there are about 35 bikes and guided rides tend to be limited to about 10-15 people, supply shouldn't be an issue. In town, you can get a beer, or a meal on a non-inclusive evening. You can visit the market on Tuesdays, to see a real working market instead of one of those chi-chi tourist traps we tend to see these days.

Kid's clubs: excellent, although a judgement on them inevitably depends on how well your kids get on with the other kids in the club. The kids staff are fantastic.

Social responsibility: to me, one of the most impressive things about Neilson is the way they contribute to the local economy. They don't try to finagle an army of brit staff in on "tourist" visas, instead they train their own Turkish staff to do front-end jobs like beach staff, sailing and waterski instruction etc, so thatthey can honestly meet the local recruitment requirement of 80%. The Turkish staff are excellent - their English is good, they are very friendly and obliging, and they really can instruct to RYA etc standards. Neilson is also involved in other aspects of the local community, notably dragooning guests into helping out with the litter picking on Orak island, the nature reserve which faces the resort and is home ot the mediterranean monk seal and the "Sirens' Rocks" from the story of Odysseus.

A tip: always, always wear shoes on the beach. My daughter was windsurfing, bare foot, and stepped on a sea urchin. Not especially painful at the time but the spines take absolutely ages to come out and they don't seem amenable to being tweezered. I gather you can get special windsurfing shoes, as that seems to be where the issue is, so do buy them before you go.

Room Tip: Sea views cost a premium but are worth it - you can suss whether the watersports are good today just...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swanage, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2011

Two couples, one that liked sailing and one that liked tennis and both that liked sun, see and good eating. Club Phokaia delivered on all aspects.

The resort was set out well. Everything within a short walk in very pleasant surroundings.

Training was available on all the activities and relaxing spa if you didn't want to be active. A small but reasonably equipped gym for the few wet days.

A fantastic evening boat trip to Foca with island tour on the way. The food was great and the staff really helpful. We went early October and for weather it would definitely be better late September. We all plan to be back next year but for two weeks.

Room Tip: Don't stay on the ground floor if you plan to sleep in it can be quite noisy first thing.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2011

Just returned from a week's holiday with my husband and 2 kids (2 and 1 year old). Had a brilliant time. I thoroughly recommend Neilson as a company for their childcare alone. My 2 year old was sailing, kayaking, swimming, on a speed boat, playing tennis...he had a great time! My 1 year old was also sailing, swimming etc - the nannies were so good with them (many thanks to Laura, Claire and Daisy) I had no qualms with leaving them in their capable hands.

Whilst the kids were occupied we tried sailing, mountain biking, zumba, pilates, yogalates, tennis - there was lots to do and thanks to the lovely weather we were outside the whole time. The staff (and guests) were very friendly and helpful and the whole resort has a chilled out atmosphere. Would recommend the bike ride to foca ruins as you get a lovely view across the bay.

The food was faultless - really nice every day with lots to choose from. Plenty of local restaurants to go to on your non inclusive nights.

The hotel itself is quite nice - some areas are a bit tired and in need of TLC but I assume that as it was the end of the season that this will be addressed for the new season.
Only disappointment was the spa & gym - I had thought the pool would be heated as I knew the outside one would be too cold this time of year but turns out it wasn't so we didn't go swimming or use the spa facilities mainly due to this. The gym also didn't have a treadmill which is what I like to use so didn't use it either. The outside pool was freezing, which is to be expected at this time of year, but some brave people did go for a swim in it! It was huge and would be so nice in the warmer weather.

I would definitely recommend this hotel and Neilson in particular as a holiday company. The team at Club Phokaia, run by "Frosty", are all really lovely and very helpful – the instructors were really good, the fitness classes were fun, the nannies were fantastic, the hotel staff were always on hand to help and very efficient, I find it hard to find faults as had such a great time!

Room Tip: We had an interconnecting room in block 2 - was close to the restaurant and main building but at the...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Neilson Phokaia Beachclub

Address: Ismetpasa Mah. 2 Mersinaki Koyu, Foca 35680, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Turkish Aegean Coast > Izmir Province > Foca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Foca
Hotel Class:4 star — Neilson Phokaia Beachclub 4*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Neilson Club Phokaia occupies a fantastic beachfront location overlooking a beautiful bay where you will find excellent sailing conditions. Spacious, with a wonderful large swimming pool set close to the beach, Phokaia is a firm favourite with returning Neilson guests.Highlights: Super 4 star + accommodation• Club board meals included• Wide range of inclusive activities - Fantastic sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, canoeing, mountainbiking, fitness, tennis• Consistent winds and large sailing area• Four tennis courts• Gym• Elemis Spa• International Blue Flag Beach status• Excellent for families• Full range of children's clubs• Lively, bustling local area• Traditional Turkish villages close by• Easy access to world famous historical sites ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phokaia Hotel Foca

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