We've just got back from a week at the Royal Holiday Palace. Words cannot describe how wonderful it was but I will do my best :-)
Rooms: we paid an extra £150 with Thomas cook for a full sea view room - which was well worth it - and were delighted to find we had been upgraded to a suite room with sofas, a bar area, and 2 balconies (1 front facing with views to the beach and pools and 1 at the side). The minibar was replenished every day with bottles of water, fanta, beers etc. Cleaning was immaculate. Soundproofing between rooms was perfect. The only thing I would mention is the constant disco from the next door Melas apartments which goes on 10am - 12midnight. But the double glazing was pretty good. We were on the 4th floor, but I imagine the views from the higher floors (up to 9th) would be great. Its definitely worth paying a bit more for a sea view (or even a side sea view room would be fine) so that you get a room at the rear of the hotel overlooking the pools and beach, as the front of the hotel just looks over a dual carriageway and some wasteland.
Views: If you want some great pool and beach photos, head for a secret balcony on the 9th floor which is just off the lobby. Take lift to 9th floor, turn right and sharp right again so you are heading behind the lifts towards the back of the hotel and there is a little balcony there with great views.
Pools: The lovely lagoon pool meanders all the way down to the beach and has been thoughtfully arranged into areas suiting different age groups depending on your family needs. There are small water slides on the righthand side suitable for ages 4-7, with a baby pool next to it. We mostly sat at the first righthand side pool area as it suited our 5 year old learning to swim and he could easily walk a few steps to the waterslide if he wanted to. The lagoon pools are all 1.4m deep but the baby pools are just a foot or so. Further down the lagoon are areas suitable for older teenagers or young couples where there are pool games, music all day; and the area by the large waterslides is for age 7+. So choose your pool area wisely depending on the age of your kids. Pools are v clean, cleaners do the rounds constantly, mop the tiles and take away drinks, plates etc. We always found free sunbeds at any time of day but you can reserve some from 9am. You are given "towel cards" to obtain pool towels from a counter in the arena.
Poolside eating: The "arena" which is the stone built theatre area has a bar and range of food outlets serving baked potatoes, toasties, pizza, kebabs, ice cream, hotdogs, waffles at various times through the day. Times are displayed on each counter but they run on one after another. Suffice to say there is not a point in the day where you could feel hungry! Waiters also come around the pools on roller skates constantly, taking drinks orders and even when you haven't ordered drinks they still come around with trays of champagne, bottles of water, crates of ice lollys etc!!
Beach: a lovely stroll through the pools brings you to the private beach with cabanas and plenty of sunbeds. Again remember to get your towels from the counter at the arena before you head down to the beach. Sand is quite pebbley and v v hot so be sure to wear flipflops. The sand shelves into water within a few feet though and the water is strong so young kids need supervision. Again plenty of sunbeds available. There is a lovely pier with a bar and sunbeds which is for adults or older children which you can swim off. Drinks can be obtained from the pier bar or the last pool bar before you enter the beach. Plenty beach showers to get all that sand off before you head back!
Food: OMG the buffet restaurant is huge, has everything you could imagine and is immaculately presented. Lovely deserts, huge variety of salads, appetisers local dishes on a different theme every night, plus general dishes (roast chicken, stews, pasta, fish etc) There is a huge ratio of waiters to guests and if you like to sit in the same area every night you will get the same waiter. Although you can help yourself to coffee and juices, if you want wines the waiter will bring them to you. Be kind and tip your waiter as they work very very hard and are very cheerful - 5 lira a night is enough. There is a dress code for the evening restaurants so don't expect to be allowed in wearing shorts and flipflops! Casual dressy shorts for men and casual shirts are fine.
Entertainment: Free funfair every night 7.30-9 for small kids. Kids club where you can leave kids or just stay with them for a wee while to get them out of the sun and do a bit of drawing if they want to. Kids play area is undercover which is also good for giving them a bit of shade. Shows every night at 9.30 in the arena were great - fireeating, Michael Jackson tribute, Hollywood dance. The arena is nice, like a mini amphitheatre and the quality of the shows was very good. The Entertainment staff work v long hours, from 10am doing the kids clubs and pool games, til midnight doing these shows so well done to them. There is a great pier party on Friday evenings with a professional DJ so that is worth a visit, and as it starts at 9.30 you can bring the kids for a wee while for a wee dance!
Language & nationalities: Every waiter, catering person, entertainment person, guest services, reception etc ALL spoke English or at least had a basic grasp of English. But if you learn a few basic Turkish phrases before you go (Hello, thankyou etc) you will find they appreciate you trying and you will be rewarded with a smile. The guests where 95% Russian/german but we found them to be well mannered in the main. The Russian ladies were vv glamerous so ladies, do bring some nice dresses for the evening!
Staff: the staff were all wonderful, pleasant, friendly, hardworking, quiet and diligent. As I said the hotel and all the pool areas are immaculate - there was even a chap polishing the crystal staircase with a toothbrush !
Out and about: There are some small shopping malls along the main road, head along to the Delphin Imperial which has about 7 different little malls outside. Don't go to TerraCity mall in Antalya, its 18km away in a taxi and is no different to any mall in your own home town, it even had an M&S and a La Senza which was a waste of time. If its authentic shopping you want, use the hotel shuttle on Saturday mornings to go to Antalya Market - 11-2pm - we got great bargains on handbags and sunglasses; its vv hot though so take some bottles of water with you. The hotel has a few shops selling lilo's magazines etc, watches, jewellery, handbags but I think they would be cheaper in the malls on the main road. 3 ATM machines along the main road, again mostly near the Imperial.
I hope this is useful, we would just like to thank everyone at the hotel for a wonderful holiday. xx
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Holiday Palace Hotel Antalya