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Royal Dragon Hotel
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Reviewed December 23, 2013

Just came back from a 7-day holiday in yesterday and couldn't wait to share my wonderful experience.

This was our first family holiday with a 2-yr old and we wished we had stayed there longer.

The hotel.
The hotel has a Chinese-themed design with buildings shaped like Chinese pagoda and dragons on the rooftop. But this is not a Chinese hotel! You couldn't even find Chinese dishes in the buffet. Its a true 5-star Western-style resort to the highest standard.

The interior is lavishly decorated, with marble everywhere. We love the furniture they chose. The whole environment made us feel comfortable, relaxed, and enjoyable. Throughput the hotel, from lobby to the room, pools to the garden, restaurants to ballroom; everywhere is meticulously clean and superbly maintained. It lives up to its 5-star rating in every single aspect.

We loved the spa. We had two hamam sessions. Its more expensive than if you go outside but the whole experience worth the difference.

We were disappointed with the shower in the room at first. But we ended up never using it - the Turkish bath was a much better experience.

The Food
The buffet was huge - more than 100 different selections. The salad was fresh and the meat was tender. There were probably 30 different desserts which were beautiful and delicious.

To be honest we didn't touch 80% of the dishes, not because they were not good but because we didn't even have enough room for the 20%. My favorite was the grill - I had the best beef and lamb skewers there! I also love the freshly baked Turkish naan. For the popular dishes, like grilled beef steak and giant shrimp, the hotel made sure they have enough supply. The chef would cook in front of you when the stock runs low.

Surprisingly, as a ocean-front hotel, the seafood selection was light. On average 1 fish dish per night and we had shrimps only 2 nights while we were there.

We tried the Italian a la carte. The restaurant was lovely with Venice-themed design. But the food was average - the lamb chop was too dry and the beef tenderloin was hard. We booked the Far East restaurant but there were not enough booking that day and they moved us to the Italian restaurant.

The Staff
We have been to other 5-star hotels around the world that probably had similar "hardware" as Royal Dragon. But what made our stay really special was the people we met there. The restaurant staff was friendly and attentive. The animation staff were friendly and energetic. We like the lovely couple of Dalia and Selcon (?) who host the kids mini-disco.

In general, we found everyone we met, both in the hotel and outside, was very nice. We were never hassled or harassed. We love Turkish people.

The Guests
We were there between 15/12-22/12. Its a low season and most people there were elderly couples from Germany. There were a few families with kids but not many young couples. But everyone was polite and nice. People just relaxed and having a good time.

The Improvements
We love the hotel to bits. No complaints whatsoever. But just FYI:
- the spa / gym closes at 7pm! And the towel desk finishes at 5pm. So make sure you exchange the dry towels before 5pm.

- the TV has only 1 channel and its for hotel information. To be fair, we never had time for TV. There were always interesting activities throughout the day - belly dancing, zumba, evening show, dart competition, beach volleyball, etc. The hotel also offers free wifi. But why bother even putting a TV set in the room?

- the pillow felt knotty. The cushion was more comfortable

The excursions
We bought Turkish bath package from the hotel spa, the one offered by Thomas Cook, and the Spa 2-min away from the hotel.

In terms of the whole experience, the hotel spa is the most enjoyable and relaxed - that's the whole purpose of getting a Turkish bath, right :-) The cost for 120 min is 60 Euro (peeling and foam massage, mask, and 60-min body massage).

In terms of value for money, the Spa across street from the hotel is the best. For 35 Euro, we got the same service as the one offered by the hotel. The interior of the Spa is not as luxurious as that of the hotel (the Turkish bath is 1/4 of the size of the one in the hotel, and there was no relaxing music). But equally nice and clean. There was no hidden fees or tourist trap. They genuinely want to give you a good time.

The package offered by Thomas Cook was the worst. It costs 30 Euro and claimed 120-min. But the 120-min includes 30 min transfer time and the spa itself is more like a public bath house than a spa! For 30 Euro, I got only 20-min body massage and i had to pay another 20 Euro to get another 20-min massage. I was really unhappy about the experience - I paid almost the hotel spa price and got half of the service and none of the experience.

I also went on another day-trip to Perge, the national park, and roman theater (i forgot their names). It was nice but I don't think worth the £45 per person price.

Overall
The best way to summarize our experience was like the title said - 7-day was not enough! This will be one of the places in the world we will come back again and again.

This will be 1 of those experiences our family will refer to again and again, starting with "do you remember the time we were in Royal Dragon...."

Room Tip: Stay in the main building if possible. We had a sea-view room in A-building. It was nice but had to walk 10-min from the restaurant to the room (change lift twice). I guess they reserved the main building for elderly people to reduce their walking time, which I respect.
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank LondonWX2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2013

We stayed at the Royal Dragon between the 3/12 to 10/12 and as this was our first visit we were initially very impressed.The design of the buildings and the grounds were stunning and the level of cleanliness outstanding.We were allocated a room in one of the two wings attached to the main building and although the room 1160 was large clean and more than adequate here we found a problem.At reception we were informed that the main dining area was located on floor-2,we were not informed however that the elevators in the wings only service the rooms in that wing and no area of the main hotel can be accessed from them this caused much head scratching from new guests until further explanation is given.In our case it meant we had to walk the length of the wing climb two sets of stairs,walk along a corridor into the main area and use the elevators there to get anywhere within the hotel.I believe this would cause less mobile guests a real problem.
The food choice at the hotel is amazing and there is no doubt everyone will find something that will suit their taste.Such is the amount of food on offer there is a problem with ensuring that proper temperatures are maintained,on a number of occassions we witnessed people complaining regarding cold food.
The animation team tried their best but with the majority of guests being in the older age group the daily entertainment programme was poorly attended but no fault can be levelled at the team,however I have to say that the standard of the evening programme held in the theatre ranged between bad to awful it can only be hoped they use the winter period for exhaustive practise before the summer season.
The last section of this report must be for the staff who work throughout the hotel.They are second to none, no matter who you approach or on what matter nothing is a problem to them they are the most professional group I have found on my many trips to the Antalya area.
Although I have highlighted some areas where improvements could be made we enjoyed our holiday and Icould happily return for a second visit.

Room Tip: Rooms in the main building much more preferable..
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank ianauldbarclay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2013

As a family we have been to the Royal Dragon twice my daughter has been a further two times this year and we all have had superb holidays here . It may not have all the a la carte restaurants that some of the other hotels have and the main restaurant gets really busy but there is something very special about this hotel. We have had many holidays on this coastline from Lara Beach to Side and the beach here is just superb, no stones no rocks in the sea and soft golden sand guaranteed. The staff are very helpful and friendly and one of the staff Kamil demands a special thankyou he made our evenings when he was in the bar with his bottle juggling and his attention to detail. There is a fabulous water park and a fun fair for the children which keeps the youngsters happy. Evening entertainment is very good and the beach bar has some great entertainment after the evening show. All in all this is my favourite hotel ever .

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Just back from a weeks holiday here. Huge, impresive hotel, immaculately clean, very well staffed with friendly, helpful people. Yes it is predominantly patronised by germans, but when you let them know you're Scottish, not English, you're like one of the family... Waiters, bar staff, chefs, reception staff are all attentive, friendly and very welcoming. Rooms are huge... a double and a single for two and carpeted, a treat for my feet. Outdoor facilities are great, huge pool area, lots of loungers, plenty bars & snackbars and just a hop, skip and a jump from a lovely sandy beach, with lots of loungers, a bar and watersports. The indoor pool, spa and fitness centre were all of an impressive standard and where a fee was required they were all reasonably priced. A short walk to the main road and the Dolmus bus took us into Side and Manavgat for 3 Lira (£1.00). Tipping is expected, but it needn't cost a fortune, a lira every couple of drinks and the staff were happy. The entertainment team was the largest I had seen and were active all day and night. They, as well as all the staff we encountered, made a point of talking to everyone and unbelievably remembering our names, where we came from and previous conversations. I've been to a good few hotels in the Belek and Kadriye areas and I would rate this as the best. I would come back here in a heartbeat, by far a superior hotel.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms, but our room on the side of the Seamalia Hotel was very quiet.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Angela T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

We stayed here for ten nights in October with our six year old son. The hotel itself is very impressive, you walk into reception which is huge, marble everywhere and a very nice welcome drinks table awaits. Staff were very attentive and we were shown to our room with our bags taken on a trolley. Room was very nicely appointed, spacious with a lovely bathroom, balcony and daily stocked fridge with water, juices and beer. The beds unfortunately were awful, so hard and very uncomfortable to sleep on, not what I expected from a 5* hotel at all. The resort is very noisy in the evenings either from the surrounding hotels or from the hotels own ampitheatre where nightly shows are held. The walls between rooms are paper thin, we could hear tv's, showers, people snoring and even using the loo! After a long day keeping a six year old amused we just wanted some peace and quiet however I can honestly say I did not have one decent sleep our whole day and was truly exhausted by the end of our holiday.

The food is fantastic, there is endless choice at the buffets from fish, meats, salads, pastas, breads, cheeses, pizzas, local and international dishes. Even as a vegetarian there was always something from the hot dishes I could have and I tried lots of the many salads on offer to accompany it. The variety of deserts is quite spectacular however sometimes they look better than they taste! The waiters were very attentive towards us and we ended up being waited on by the same waiter each day, he was lovely and always had the same table laid out for us with drinks and a smile waiting, many many thanks to him!

The outdoor areas are nicely set out and the swimming pool is beautiful to look at with its blue floral tiling. It was very very cold though and I could not smell any chlorine. Our son caught a tummy bug towards the end of our holiday and I'm convinced he caught it from the pool, it's so big with so many small coves and corners it must be impossible to keep it completely clean. Sun loungers were aplenty however everyone seems to smoke in the outdoor areas and even around the children, not nice when surrounded by cigarettes when trying to relax in the sun.

Aqua park was very good although the water was still very cold, our son could only manage a few slides before he'd come back to the lounger and wrap up in his towel to warm up.

We didn't use the Luna park very much but it looks fine for young children.

The beach is lovely, very clean with plenty of loungers.

The outdoor eating areas are good with lots of choice and the Turkish Tent was great with two ladies making fresh filled Turkish pancakes.

We didn't use many of the other facilities such as the bowling or spa but our son did like the arcade games after dinner.

The hotel is pretty much used by German tourists which we knew of before going, I enjoy other cultures greatly but unfortunately the manners of most of the German tourists was difficult to cope with at times. They could be so rude to the hotel staff too, it was awful to see. The staff will assume you are German also!

All in all a great hotel with plenty to do for young children, the all inclusive is great, you could eat and drink 24/7 if you wanted to. Expect to tip for almost everything though, ten Turkish lira is approx £3.

Would recommend going slightly out of season as we did as the hotel was still quite busy in October.



Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
Thank Jennifer R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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