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“An expensive but enjoyable holiday!”
Review of Royal Dragon Hotel

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Royal Dragon Hotel
Ranked #19 of 228 Hotels in Side
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“An expensive but enjoyable holiday!”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Travelled from Glasgow on Sat 29th June with another couple & 9 year old. Things got off to a bad start with a 5 hour delay at airport, not informed when we checked in, just displayed on board then an announcement to collect a voucher for food for £8 that we could spend in a few different places. Airline was Pegasus which we only found out when we received our tickets from Thomas Cook. We only lost sleep but there were a lot of kids aswell which must have been a nightmare for parents. Arrived in time for breakfast on the Sunday morning. Also delayed over 2 hours on return so for that reason i probably wouldn't fly Pegasus again.
Now about the hotel, good points & not so good!
Very large hotel with 3 large buildings & at least 4 floors maybe more on each, we were happy with floor same level as reception & view of the pool. Room had twin beds but we pushed together so not a big problem. Friends room upstairs had a double & a single bed & was a bit bigger than ours, Aircon worked fine in rooms & you needed it because it was so hot outside.
Food- Buffet Restaurant was massive with more food than you could imagine, most dishes had description in several languages including british but some didn't so not always aware what it was.On the first night we went for dinner just after 7pm & found a table for 5 at the start of the restaurant near the kiddies one & the waiter was very attentive with drinks etc & on leaving we gave him a tip. At breakfast we sat at same area & again good service, same waiters. When we arrived at night our drinks were already poured! This went on throughout the week & we tipped the waiter a few euros every night & were delighted with the service but on Friday night our waiter was off so we sat in another area & we were totally ignored, had to ask several times for drinks & our table was not cleared & plates piling up, if this had have been our first night we would be very disappointed, not the service expected in a 5 star hotel, the waiter was not interested at all so here is a tip, if on the first night you are not happy with the service then next night/day move to another table, if you are happy then tip the waiter & return to same area & i'm sure you will be looked after. Most guests are German, Dutch Russian etc so British not really catered for but so much choice, i loved the fish night & the steaks. One other little gripe would be that there is no menu up to tell you what food is available so you have to walk up & down & look over people's shoulders to see what's cooking. You could spend a good 10 minutes walking around to decide what to have, personally i think there was too much food & too much waste by fellow guests! There was beautiful bread & rolls but the bread was not sliced so everybody was just holding it with one hand & cutting with the other, this is very unhygenic so i never ate any of the bread just the rolls as you could pick them up with tongs, i don't understand why a very large hotel like this would allow this to go on, it definately wouldn't be allowed on a cruise ship & i've never seen this in a hotel before. I did have a sore tummy for a couple of days but everyone else in my party were ok.
There were places to eat around the pool at different times of the day, ice cream only availble between 2 & 4pm. From 12 you can get Pizza from Turkish tent & ladies making crepes, baked potatoes, kebabs from 12-3, 4-5pm you could get hotdogs, corn on cob, crepes, donuts etc
Pool/beach- Spent everyday at the beach on loungers as no loungers at the pool after 9am, cooler at the beach so we preferred this & just went up & down to the pool. There is a beach bar for soft drinks, bottled water, beer & a few spirits.
Entertainment was quite good, catering for all different nationalities, mini disco from 8.30 then main show at 9.30 then after that some singing/music at the beach bar although not enough seats at the beach bar to accomodate everyone who was in the ampi theatre watching a show. The best night for me was the beach/foam party on Thursday, it was fab so go along to that & let your hair down, all ages loved it. Others have commented on Michael Jackson show but that wasn't on so maybe that is once every 2 weeks? We also missed the comedy night on the saturday as we left hotel at 1pm. Funfair was good opened only for a few hours a day & closes at 9.30pm.
We all had a fantastic time but it was a bit busy especially in the restaurant , i would have preferred more waiter service although we did try the turkish restaurant & it was lovely & we could all eat together instead of up & down to buffet. It is 12 Euros to eat in more than one a la carte but book early. The hotel seems to work in Euros but when we asked to change money they could only give us lira? Shopping centre across the road also priced in euros but will take whatever you have. One last thing, we got a Dolmus bus 5 minute walk away from hotel, go out hotel go left then right down to main road & it is 3 lira each so less than a pound for a ride to Manavagat, it says on the bus where it goes, We then got a river cruise with trip to waterfall for 40 lira each so £14 each which we thought was ok, don't know how much hotel charge but probably more than this. Husband done the Jet Ski from the beach @ 40 Euros & we all went on a speedboat trip for an hour @ 20 euros each & 10 for children. We did not see the Thomas Cook rep at all & got flight information from a board in reception. I wouldn't call it 5 star but it was a lovely hotel & we had a great time.

Room Tip: We had room 2146 on reception level so not too far to walk & pool view, friends room 3128 also n...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Angypangy40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Lancashire
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Traveled as family of 4, 2 adults, 1 teenager 17, 1 child 7. First time visiting Turkey. Arrived 30th June for 2 weeks. Booked with Thomas Cook. After reading reviews on here was expecting great things from this hotel, but was disappointed. On arrival we were upgraded to a duplex room, but we soon came to realise why as the hotel was massively overbooked. The pool covers a large area and after 3 days could not secure any sun loungers. We had to go to the beach as it was the only area with spare loungers. Soon discovered the sun loungers around the pool area are taken by 8am in the morning! Even though it clearly states you cannot secure with towel before 9am. Hence, getting up ridiculously early to save some beds. If you cant beat em, join em! Breakfast, lunch and dinner were a bit of a nightmare. It took us about 5-10 mins to find a table in order to sit and eat and this was usually one that wasn't set so had to hunt other tables for cutlery, etc. Waiters overstretched, not able to cope with demand, so drinks orders took forever. Some Waiters friendly and polite, others quite rude. Was a bit like a free for all at meal times as there were so many people at the buffet. There seemed to be a lot of choice with food but it was a little "samey". I did mention these facts to reception, and they informed me that into our second week the hotel would not be so busy and they were willing to move us to another hotel if we preferred. Decided to stick it out here. My son contracted a bad stomach bug after 5 days and was really poorly for about 4-5 days, couldnt even keep water down. I suspect this may have been due to him swallowing too much pool water. Had to visit pharmacy across from hotel and spent a small fortune on selection of medicines, pharmacist said sickness, etc was very common (overheard another hotel user informing staff of her daughter with sickness too). We all had a "dodgy tummy" but think this was down to change of food, etc. The weather was back to back sunshine every day, but sooooo hot. Never experienced heat like this before. I can understand why people do not leave the hotel as you shuffle around in a heat induced haze. We had to get into the pool every 15- 30 mins to cool down, or retreat to the room under the aircon! The entertainment was good (when we could attend after sickness). Michael Jackson show entertaining and the Beach Party on Thursdays is a laugh. You do not need to bring towels as hotel supply every day. Hairdryers in rooms, but no irons or kettles. Rooms cleaned daily and towels changed. Kids enjoyed waterpark and fairground. Note - Pirate Ship is not as tame as it looks. Went on one excursion on a Thu - markets and river cruise, waterfalls, but it was just far too hot outside of hotel. Nearly keeled over at the outside market, it was like a sauna in there. Visited Aphrodite Restaurant in Side Harbour, very good food and service, lovely view of harbour, esp around 7.30 at sunset. Restaurant provide transportation there and you make your own way back. Would have loved to have spent some time looking around the harbour, but, again, was so hot just wanted to get back to hotel under aircon. Not many English at hotel, mainly Belgium, Dutch, Russian and it mainly caters for these groups. Agree with previous two reviews, good hotel, but, unfortunately, did not live up to expectations. Also, Thomas Cook Reps not much use, never around when you need them. Aside, from sickness, etc, enjoyed holiday, but would not come back.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Susan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Not usually one for reviews but felt the need to on this occasion to give reviewing families the opportunity to compare and contrast. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children (aged 3 and 1).

We've previously stayed in two hotels in Lara Beach: Delphin Diva and Delphin Imperial. I'm comparing the Royal Dragon to the two of them given the prices are of a similar quantity, so you would expect a similar quality.

Thomas Cook had chartered the flights out to Pegasus Airlines, a budget Turkish airline, but I chose to use this service so won't complain too much but they were VERY warm flights. The food was worse than normal and was obviously catered to the Turkish market but it was grim.

Hotel Pro's

- Good waterpark and slides for the kids of all sizes
- Always beds available (even at midday)
- Good lunchtime food available by the pools with a large variety
- Big rooms (standard included)
- Bars tended to serve quickly enough, not very personable, but did not see any branded labels
- Very clean hotel
- Funfair - great for kids (unsure why they charge for candy floss though)
- Some decent shows (Mongolian acrobats)

Cons
Air conditioning and the micro-management control of it - never experienced this in a 5 star hotel before. Red hot in corridors, lifts, meal times etc. The acid test was through the night when you only had to hold your hand to the vent to realise it was warmer and slower. Ironically, the shopping centre opposite is owned by the same company (Stone) and it was ice cold in there all the time.

Beds - like sleeping on stone

Service - restaurant was awful and there never seemed to be clean tables, or high-chairs, and probably not enough staff. Barely a smile

Breakfast and evening meals - plenty of choice if you like it stewed or grilled with some odd concoctions mustered together. Never tried the a la carte so could not comment

Exclusivity - you never really felt it here. Air con, cabanas, personable welcoming staff elsewhere, no service around the pool. You felt like they were cost-cutting too much.

Overall we enjoyed ourselves and but felt with a few improvements it could be much better. Maybe if we hadn't visited Lara Beach previously we wouldn't have these specific gripes so that's why i felt it important to explain this. I would rate this hotel as a 4 star in comparison to the others and I would not have liked to have paid 'full price' for the privilege.

Hope this helps someone make a decision before they spend their hard-earned thousands to potentially be disappointed.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Paul E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgium
Level Contributor
30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2013

Got back from a week at the Royal Dragon.
Positive items: read the others posts
Negative items (this is what I always think is the most interesting):
- Following all the reactions especially on this website and scores on other sites like zoover, we were expecting something special, something other than the other hotels, something incredible. This was a huge disappointment, standards are definitely different between people. If luxury is hot on your list, don't go here.
- Service outside during the evening was sometimes poor. Golden tip: go inside, get your drinks at the bar close to the bowling and go back out. I promise you this is quicker than waiting for the waiter (but makes you feel bad).
- No orange juice only powderwater. Golden tip, but we didn't sink this low... at the kids restaurant there's real juice available. Coffee is terrible (nescafe).
- One day our garbage bin in the bathroom was forgotten to be emptied so I called the reception. Some reception-guy said that it was not possible to clean the bin and that we had to wait for the next day and that the maid would be only available from 9am. With diapers in the bin, this was not an option, so creative as I am, I disposed of the garbage myself (but I won't go into details how or where, but it was not in the room). Problem solved.
- Elevators are a pain in the... . I think we lost a lot of time during this vacation on waiting for an elevator (we were on top floor). Golden tip: even if you have to walk a little bit further, search for the least used elevators.
- Finding a clean table was an experience, everyday again and again. One day, a waiter even refused to clean a table for us and pointed out that we had to go look for a table in another room (yes you read correctly, another room in the restaurant). The only thing he could say was "full,full,full..." but the table was empty. No maitre to point out a clean table for you. After 2 days I started myself to grab knives, forks and other stuff remaining on other tables to prepare a table for us. Again, makes you feel very silly, since this is a service you paid for, but checking every room in the restaurant for a fresh table is just too much for me, I'm used otherwise. I have to admit, the last 2 days we found a young waiter who was a little bit more motivated, so service got a boost.
- The opening hours for the restaurant are extremely strict. I've never before had this experience. We were always stressed. We came to the restaurant relatively late (2030h) and we always had to hurry to finish our meals because... poooof... lights out at exactly 21:30h. but at 2115 they start to clean and put several dishes together so they can already pick up plates from the buffets. At 2130h employees start their game of "let's look the remaining customers to the door". In my opinion you cannot state that your opening hours are 1900-2130 because when you arrive at 2130h you can't have dinner anymore. Breakfast = same story. Again, never seen this before in any hotel.
- At 1850h most guests were already fighting to get in the restaurant. At 1900 the place was overrun. At 1910h you had to queue with 20 people in front of every show cooking tabel.
- Towel change... oops... 18:02h... closed...
- Food at beach restaurant was a disappointment (excluding the pastas), worst kebap ever, I think there was cement in the meat. Service= poor.
- Airco in the rooms and then... no airco in the corridors... 30 degrees in the corridor, then waiting in front of an elevator, then a hot elevator... then a restaurant with temperatures around 25 degrees (open doors towards outside and therefore no airco or minimal).
- To mention, some dishes were not hot enough. 2-3 times.
- Some waiters are extremely friendly, others are... let's says less friendly (maybe one compensates the other)
- At the end of our stay it was still not clear what we could eat where and at what time.
- Russians making a big fuss about it that they couldn't get whiskey in the restaurant (but finally got it anyway).
- They have another idea about ocean view than we have (I think). Front view = side view.
- The shows are like any other show in any other hotel, so we didn't waste our time (but if you want to see another edition of Michael Jackson or Grease or Comedy show or Miss hotel x whatever, be my guest).
- Promenade = hotel 5* to hotel 5* to hotel 5* to... in deed, you guessed correctly, to another 5* hotel. The promenade does NOT go all the way to Side (old town).

Anyway, the kids loved it...

Room Tip: You've got 2 kids? Take a duplex room (family room) like we did but take into account 6th floor...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank TripTripBelgium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2013

Hotel itself looks very grand when you arrive, but thats where the 5 star ends, the lobby. The pools and water parks were excellent, although soon realised you had to get up early to have any chance of a sunbed. This hotel is very busy.
The main restaurant is certainly not 5 star, trying to find a clean table is a nitemare. Sat one morning 15 minutes waiting on cutlery!!, although other nationalities didnt seem to have same problem. Food good choice, but pretty bland in taste. One day no towels in room. Phoned reception, and was told someone would be up. 45 min later lady arrives with 3 towels for 4 of us. Apparently she could only give us 3. Wifi non existent. All in all the kids had a ball meeting other families. But definately not 5 star, 3 at a push.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Dougster1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stroud, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Myself and hubby stayed at this hotel in april for my husband birthday. Our second time at this amazing hotel. We just love everything about it. We treated ourself to some treatments and it was just a totally spolit holiday. We will be back next year with our friend. Well done royal dragon and to all the very hard working staff.

Room Tip: If your looking for luxury this hotel is it ! Sea veiw room top floor .
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tricia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ebbw Vale, South Wales
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2013

We have just returned from our holiday at this hotel. We all had a lovely time. The service was excellent, the staff at the hotel were very helpful and courteous. My husband and I were there with our son, his wife and our two gorgeous grandchildren. The kids loved the pool, and the slides. Our grand daughter loved the kids club. The food was lovely, with plenty of choice. The evening entertainment was very good we enjoyed the live music every night.
Whilst staying at the Dragon we were offered the opportunity to move to the Alhambra Palace. We took up the offer, with reservations because we had enjoyed the Dragon so much. We did however like the Alhambra too.

Room Tip: all the rooms are good. select by view.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ChrisandMikeEbbwVale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Dragon Hotel

Property: Royal Dragon Hotel
Address: Evrenseki Mevkii, Side, Manavgat, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Turkish Mediterranean Coast > Antalya Province > Manavgat > Side
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#14 Family Hotel in Side
#14 Romantic Hotel in Side
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Side
#16 Spa Hotel in Side
#18 Luxury Hotel in Side
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Dragon Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 568
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Also Known As:
Hotel Royal Dragon
Royal Dragon Side

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