This 'all inclusive' hotel has a 5* rating in Turkey, but is rated 4* by Thomas Cook, whose Airtours and Direct Holidays companies are currently the only British ones to stay here. Although we stayed here in October, not long before the hotel closed for the season, it was virtually full with around 750 guests of around whom only 40 – 50 were British.
The hotel is built against the side of a hill, the grounds descending to the sea and man-made beach are dotted with palm trees, and there are outstandingly beautiful views to the Greek island of Samos. The centre of Kusadasi, which is now an extremely large resort, is about 3 miles away. Long Beach, which has a number of hotels, bars and restaurants etc. is about 1 mile in the opposite direction.
When the coach bringing us from the airport dropped us off at the hotel at around 2.15pm a bellboy came out and took our suitcases inside, and we were then checked in by a very polite receptionist who spoke excellent English and informed us that our room was not ready but would be in about twenty minutes, which in fact turned out to be a wait of two hours.
The spacious entrance lobby is really quite splendid, with a great deal of marble, and reminded me of being on a small cruise liner. On the right, in a recessed area is the reception desk, and on the left there is the somewhat inappropriately named Patisserie, which is in fact a small bar that opens at 9pm to service the nearby entertainment room. Chairs and tables are grouped around a very elegant twin staircase which descends to a lower level, and it crosses over an indoor pool with fountains. The hotel being built on a hillside, the entrance lobby, whilst being level with the ground at the front has two floors below it at the rear.
There are in excess of three hundred bedrooms located in two towers, with the hotel being built in roughly the shape of the letter H. Whilst some bedrooms have direct spectacular sea views, these are in the minority, and as the rooms are arranged around all four sides of the blocks some overlook the road whilst the majority are located on the sides and have side sea views.
Our room was very clean, a good size and decorated in shades of grey. There were two large mirrored wardrobes with two shelves, plenty of hangers and you could always request more. Cabinets on each side of the beds had a drawer and storage space and there was a long dressing unit with a further drawer, so there was adequate storage for clothes. There was also a table and two chairs. The room had a mini-bar, which was not part of the all inclusive package. There was also a safe, which was free to use, but to obtain the key we had to leave a £20 deposit.
We both found the beds to be very comfortable, but of course the firmness of a mattress is very much a matter of personal preference. When we arrived there was only one pillow on each bed, but we asked for additional ones and there was no problem in getting them.
The television was a flat screen and had several English speaking channels showing films and British & American TV shows, as well as the BBC World News.
There was a large free bottle of water in the room when we arrived, but these are not replaced. If you want to buy bottled water you can do so from the mini-market near the entrance to the hotel. We did this then discovered that other guests were filling up their water bottles from the dispensers in the restaurant and near the outside bars.
There was a kettle in the room and packets of coffee and creamer, but no tea bags or milk, so we obtained tea bags when we were in the restaurant and purchased a packet of long-life milk from the mini-market and kept it in the refrigerated mini-bar.
The balcony was a good size, with a side sea view, and had a table and two chairs.
Our bathroom was also a reasonable size, with two over the bath showers; one was fixed and the other had a flexible hose. There was ample space for toiletries, and the toilet doubled as a bidet. Although there was a notice in the bathroom about re-using the towels, the directory in the room stated that towels were replaced daily, and indeed they were. People in Turkey prefer to wash under a constant flow of water and so there are no plugs in the washbasins.
The restaurant is at the rear of the lobby, a pianist plays during dinner, and it has a large terrace overlooking the grounds and the sea, and we ate out there most of the time, it remaining warm even in the evenings. Food was of an excellent standard, with a good variety and was well-cooked. Some dishes were Turkish and others International. There was an incredible variety of desserts and fresh fruit was always available.
At breakfast a chef would cook omelettes and fry eggs to order outside on the terrace, but he was the only one doing this so there were often lengthy queues. At dinner there was show-cooking, again on the terrace.
My only criticism of the food was that dishes were sometimes repeated quickly, even on successive days.
Meals are buffet-style and so the waiters only take your drinks orders and clear the tables. At lunch and dinner we always asked for both wine and water, and although we usually had no problem in getting the wine, although occasionally white was brought when we had asked for red despite the waiter repeating what I had asked for, half the time the water would not come. The waiters were often over zealous at clearing the tables. They would frequently try to take away plates whilst you were still eating, sometimes asking first, but not always. There were several occasions when we had food on a side plate and would reach for it only to find that it had disappeared. One day we left two full glasses of wine on the table whilst we went to get desserts only to return and find that the table had been cleared in our absence.
This is supposed to be a 5* hotel and the service most certainly should have been much better than it was. One evening at dinner when we asked for our glasses of wine to be topped up the waiter held bottles of red and white wine over my glass and said, “Mixed only.” I think that this was supposed to be some kind of joke, but when I said that we wanted only red he turned around and walked away. There was no more wine with that meal!
You can eat at the hotel for most of the day. At lunch-time, as an alternative to eating in the restaurant you could have salads and pizzas in the outdoor Allegro bar where ice cream was served in the afternoon for an hour along with snacks, followed late in the afternoon by tea, coffee and cakes.
If it rained, which it did on a couple of days during our stay, the food was served indoors in the area between the Allegro bar and the indoor swimming pool. Late night snacks were served in the main restaurant.
The main bar is on the floor below the lobby level and has a terrace overlooking the sea. In the evenings there were beautiful views of the sunsets.
You can get alcoholic drinks from all the bars as part of the all inclusive package, but they are all local brands, and also tea and coffee, which are obtained at meal times from machines in the restaurant. Spirits such as whisky and rum are not included, and I wouldn't recommend the brandy, it was dreadful.
Waiters would come and take orders for drinks in the two indoor bars, and I found this to be preferable to queuing up at the bar myself because you could be waiting for ages to be served and then some ill-mannered guest, always from the same country, would come up, immediately shout out their order to the barman, and would then become the next person to be served. The waiters seldom paid any regard whatsoever to serving the guest who had been waiting the longest.
Outdoors, there was a bar by each of the swimming pools and one on the beach. One swimming pool is free-form and very large, whilst the other is smaller and quieter, there being music played from the bar near the main one. There was also a small pool for children.
I would not recommend this hotel for anyone with mobility problems, although there were a couple of guests using wheel-chairs during our stay. The grounds descend in tiers to the beach, and only the first tier is accessible to a wheel-chair user. From the ground floor of the hotel to the beach there are around eighty steps, but they are spread over several levels. The private beach is man-made and is in effect a platform covered in sand, which looks much more attractive than it sounds, is built over the original beach and extended out into the sea, which means that if you do go into the sea you are immediately in fairly deep water. There are sun-loungers, and the hotel provides towels. A good many sun-loungers are scattered throughout the grounds but by late morning virtually all had been taken on most days.
The hotel has a wide variety of facilities. On one side of the main bar was an Internet games room and on the other a room where guests played cards, and here there were also several shelves of books that could be borrowed.
There is a Spa and Wellness Centre where you can have massages at an extra cost, a unisex hairdressers, a Fitness Centre with a variety of exercise equipment, which was free to use, and table tennis and billiard rooms. In the grounds there were tennis courts, free to use during the day, and water sports were available at an extra cost on the beach.
Shops in the hotel include a jewellers, a leather shop, a boutique, and a gift shop where you could buy postcards and stamps. There are no post boxes in the vicinity of the hotel and if you want to post your cards you just hand them in at the gift shop. The hotel even has it's own doctor who accepts all forms of medical insurance. There is also a photographer's shop and a photographer would roam the hotel taking photos which you could view on a computer screen and then decide if you wanted to buy them.
I have to say that the entertainment was mainly pretty awful. During the day there were limited sports activities, with the adults entertainment commencing with an hour long show at 10pm followed by a disco. The shows included Mr Fantasia, Mrs Fantasia, and Men versus Women contests, bingo, and once a week a Turkish Night with a belly dancer and a folk dance troupe, which was the best of the entertainment provided but an hour of it was really too much.
Children had a Mini Club, and during the day a very enthusiastic member of the animation team who seemed to have a genuine rapport with children could be seen organising activities for them. In the evenings the children had a half hour mini-disco before the adult entertainment begun.
A drawback of the hotel's location is that there is nowhere to walk to. Close by the entrance is a café, hairdressers and a mini-market, and apart from a restaurant not far away which was closed that's about all there is apart from other hotels.
The Fantasia is on a dual carriageway, and you have to go to the centre of Kusadasi by bus, which pass the hotel roughly every five or ten minutes. You just leave the grounds, cross the road, and when you see a minibus coming with No 6 on it you wave it down, there are no bus stops. The fare is 2.5 Turkish Lira, the equivalent of about £1.18, and the journey takes around ten to fifteen minutes. I would advise giving the driver, who doesn't issue tickets, the correct fare because once you board the bus he immediately sets off and steers with one hand whilst turning around and giving the change. Once in Kusadasi, there are bus stops, they have a large letter d on them, and you just say Hotel Fantasia to the driver and he will then stop outside.
When were leaving the hotel and sitting in the lobby a bellboy alerted us when the coach arrived to take us to the airport, then took out our luggage. He smiled when I thanked him and I thought to myself if only the bar and restaurant staff had been so polite it would have made a big difference to our enjoyment of the holiday.
It does seem at this hotel to be a requirement for employment as a receptionist or bellboy to have a pleasant personality and be polite, but this is clearly not the case for working in the bars and restaurant. I frequently felt that I was being served by a robot. In the bars drinks orders would be repeated and not another word would be said. When I said, “Thank you,” all that I ever got in response was a sullen stare and it was a similar experience in the restaurant. There were some exceptions, the lady who served ice creams in the afternoon in the Allegro bar appreciated being thanked and would always say smile and say, “You're welcome,” and the maid who cleaned our room was always friendly, as were a couple of the chefs and security guards who patrolled the grounds.
I consider this hotel to be excellent value for the price that we paid, and if you want to have a relaxing holiday in an idyllic setting then it's an ideal place to stay. Despite what I certainly consider to be poor service for a hotel of its star rating I would recommend it and would certainly return at some time in the future. I just hope that the hotel takes note of the criticisms that I made of the poor service on the questionnaires that we were given when when were leaving but I have my doubts.
Note: Although Turkey is not a member of the European Union and has it's own currency you will find many of the prices in the hotel's shops are shown in euros, and if you want to pay in Turkish lira you will need to ask the price.During our stay prices in Turkish lira doubled from the price in euros.
There is a large market in Kusadasi on Wednesdays selling mainly clothing - fake designer wear, and here you will also find many of the prices shown in euros.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fantasia Hotel De Luxe has everything you need for amazing holiday. Located in unique place of Aegean Region, Kusadasi, hotel is surrounded by the ancient cities of Ephesus, Priene, Miletos and the House of Virgin Mary. It features sophisticated and elegant design and offers modern and spacious rooms. Fantasia Hotel Deluxe Kemer offers a range of dining options, including rich open buffet, a la carte restaurants and snack bars. Guests can taste the unique flavors of the Turkish and International cuisines in the main restaurant Nostalgia, while a la carte restaurants will offer dinner with the best features of Mediterian and Aegean menu. Guests can choose between various leisure activities for adults and children. Fantasia Hotel De Luxe also offers a wide variety of spa facilities, including an indoor pool, traditional hamam, sauna, health and beauty treatments. During the stay guests will experience the highest standards of service and hospitable atmosphere of Fantasia Hotel De Luxe Kusadasi. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fantasia Deluxe Hotel
- Fantasia Hotel Kusadasi
- Fantasia Deluxe Kusadasi
- Fantasia Kusadasi