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“Neilson Beach-club Foca - Another good holiday”
Review of Hotel Club Phokaia

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Hotel Club Phokaia
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Foca
Certificate of Excellence
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Neilson Beach-club Foca - Another good holiday”
Reviewed September 29, 2013

We had a good time and would consider a third holiday with Neilson.

Arrival in Resort
The outward flight was slightly delayed by half an hour meaning that our 14:15 flight from Gatwick landed late and a delay leaving the airport meant that we arrived in report at 23:45. Although we were provided with our room number and key during the coach transfer, no-one was on-hand to show us to our room or help with bags.

Accommodation
Our room was similar to that pictured in the brochure but smaller. It was adequate for our needs, although the bathroom was a little small. Importantly it was clean and functional, and we only spent time in our room to change clothing or sleep. The whole site is beginning to show signs of wear and needs some refurbishment this winter e.g. wardrobe doors not opening and closing properly, shower enclosure leaking having been previously been patched up and mould around the shower area. Roadways uneven.

Our room (5106) was on the ground floor and opposite the entrance to accommodation block 5. During the first week we experienced noise throughout the night when guests returned to their room and revelled in the corridor – fortunately those that caused the noise moved out at the end of our first week. (Thanks Frostie for assisting us with our issue).

Hotel Complex
Overall the complex is well laid out and pretty. The grounds are a reasonable size and given the number of rooms people were well dispersed and it didn’t seem crowded. The layout from site entrance to sea is basically hotel, pool, garden with trees, beach bar and beach then sea. There was a lot or Germanic behaviour with the sunbeds by the pool where guests reserved beds before breakfast and then didn’t use them until the afternoon. Some apparently also reserved beds at the same time at the beach.

Food
Dining is mainly al fresco. The food was generally of good quality but lacked excitement. The hot meals and puddings were occasionally poor and disappointing especially when compared with Adakoy which we visited last year. We didn't do the BBQ night but fellow guests thought that the food was average.

Activities
We joined in with the Dinghy sailing, Kayaking, Road Biking, Tennis and keep fit. Training was very good. Equipment was in relatively good order although some running repairs were required during our stay. Thank you to Molly for your excellent dinghy tuition, and to Richard for the laughs on the tennis court. We took part in the Sail-away mornings, but on both occasions we became becalmed and all boats had to be towed back to resort by the safety boats. On other occasions conditions were gusty making sailing more difficult for the inexperienced.

The pool is Olympic size and is not deep (standing depth throughout). Safety is paramount at Neilsons and buoyancy aids and helmets were in good condition. Although travelling as a couple, we were impressed with the care and activities provided for the children.

Excursions
Two trips were available. One to Taskoy (wine & olive oil making) with a three course meal at 47 Turkish Lira; this seemed to book up quickly. The other was a day trip to Epheseus.

Spa
The Hamman and spa areas were good and treatments very professionally executed. Discounts applied if you booked treatments at the welcome meeting and for subsequent treatments.

Shops
There are four shops on site. The first selling swimwear, beach and sailing clothing, suntan cream beach shoes, dresses etc. Second is The Carpet Man, selling silk and wool rugs, Killims etc., Third is a children’s shop selling beach toys, blow up lilos etc. and fourth is the jewellery shop selling an array of Jewellery, watches including Pandora. The latter also does tax-free shopping.

There is a good selection of shops & restaurants in Foca and costs are lower than in resort. Market day is Tuesday from dawn to dusk. All 5 restaurants that we ate at provided good food, but those away from the horseshoe harbour front were less expensive (e.g. 45 Turkish Lira compared with 145 Turkish Lira for two people)

Taxis
Taxis into Foca cost 12 Turkish Lira each way. No need to advise the driver where to go on the way home; Neilson are the only UK tour company here!

Room Tip: Go for a sea view which will be on the top floor.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Breaktaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (171)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2013

Most good hotels get the basics right, however excellent hotels get the details right too, I'm very pleased to say this hotel is just excellent. We found all of the staff friendly, efficient and very helpful making the holiday very enjoyable and fun. Credit must go the 'Frosty' who manages the staff and resort very well getting the balance right between being relaxed and very effective. Also, I was very pleased with the very professional level of instruction from the staff the their fantastic attitude to the guests.

Highly recommended, and thanks for a very good weeks holiday.

Room Tip: On,y suggestion is bring your own beach towel since otherwise you will have to hire one.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Andrew K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SHENSTONE
1 review
Reviewed September 24, 2013

The regatta on the 20th September ended with no result as someone cocked up the computer. Rather than have an overall winner based on a weird handicap system why not have a winner for each class ie Cats, picos, lazers ,bhairs etc. At the end of the day that is what you are competing against and would make the evening more fun and the races more competitive. You used to do it
Kids.
I am not against kids but at meal times when you are talking with friends having young babies screeming their heads off whilst the parents ignore them is not on. You used to divide the dining up with adults at the end why not. ?

Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
Review collected in partnership with Thomas Cook

Helpful?
Thank ELLYNO4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkshire, England
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2013

Just returned from 1 week, had a fantastic stay!

The activity staff were brilliant, Rich and his tennis team (Sam, Leah, Harry) were great and the tennis all week was brill!

The food was very good, fresh and plenty of healthy options.

Stayed in the hotel, was very noisy and would not stay again, I would advise booking the garden rooms.

Loved our trip, looking to go again in 2014!

Room Tip: Don't stay in the main hotel, very noisy!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EnglandCls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

This was our 4th Neilson beach club holiday and we found Foca met our expectations. The hotel accommodation was spacious, with lovely well kept gardens. We stayed in a 2 bedroom garden villa as there was 4 adults in our party. It was perfect, having a large dining & lounge area, 2 bedrooms upstairs with a bathroom, and a further shower room downstairs. It also had a lovely terrace, perfect for relaxing in the evening. The main hotel pool was well maintained with plenty of sunbeds for relaxing.

We found the food was excellent with plenty of choice. It was nice to be able to try lots of traditional Turkish dishes, including locally produced turkish wine. At times there were queues for the hot food, both at breakfast and in the evening, however we didn't find this too much of a problem.

Sailing and windsurfing - we joined in with lessons for both these activities and found the instruction was excellent. We were easily able to take out boats and boards at other times too without the problems encountered in previous reviews. We found the selection of "kit" was much greater than other resorts we have been to, especially for the windsurfing. The winds were light to moderate during the week we were there which we found helped our confidence although other experienced sailors may have got frustrated by this.

Waterskiing - each of us in our party of 4 only managed to have one tow during our weeks stay! On arrival the earliest tow we could book was Tues and then we were told it was fully booked for the rest of the week. On previous Neilson holidays we have managed at least 2 tows per week. It appeared that those booking the premium water ski package were getting the majority of the tows, but we felt the balance was wrong. If you're only going to get one tow you may as well go on an ordinary beach holiday and just pay for a waterskiing session separately.

Cycling - we only did one cycle ride, the coffee shop cruise, which was a nice easy ride. However we did feel,that the organisation of the cycle ride and information given was not as thorough as in other resorts we have been to.

In general the activities did get booked up quickly so you need to decide early those things you really want to do and book them on day one.

The town of Foca is approx a half hour walk away, although taxis do stop outside the hotel and cost approx 11 to 13 TL each way into town. It is a traditional Turkish fishing town with 2 port areas, one for the local fishing boats and one for the luxury yachts. We ate in the town on the dine out nights and found the locals very friendly.

Overall another lovely holiday with Neilson.

Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank HelenAnnThomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porthcawl, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2013

We chose Club Phokaia for our 20th Neilson holiday, and it was definitely the best Neilson hotel we've been to, but overall was disappointing compared to other Neilson centres we've been to.

On the plus side, the hotel is fantastic - a lovely pool area with lots of sunbeds and cabanas, spacious, well-manicured gardens, and nice beach bar and terrace bar. Although we don't have kids, there was a childrens' pool and big kids club with its own pool so if you have kids it looks like there is plenty to keep them occupied (and if you don't like kids, there is so much space that you are unlikely to be disturbed by the kids club activities).

Our room was comfortable with a nice balcony overlooking the restaurant, pool and sea, and despite other people's grumbles about sound-proofing, we found it very quiet. My only complaints about the room are that it was a bit short on storage space (with nowhere to store our luggage once emptied) and the lovely flat screen TV did not recieve any channels so was a bit pointless.

The restaurant was large, although not large enough for the number of guests, so at peak times there was nowhere to sit, and there were often queues for the hot food. We also found the service to be a bit patchy, and in a week long stay were only asked if we wanted to order drinks twice, which was annoying. The food however was absolutely fantastic, with lots of choice and a variety of hot and cold dishes on offer.

What was disappointing about Phokaia is that it's a large hotel with lots of guests and demand for the activities far outstrips the supply of equipment and spaces, so although the brochure and website gives you the impression that you can get involved in lots of activities, in reality this is limited:

The website says that Phokaia has 3 ski boats, but while we were there one was broken down, and another broke down intermittently, so in a week I was only able to have two wakeboard tows which was disappointing (in smaller centres I've often been able to have 1-2 every day). You can pay £275 (!!) for premium wakeboard (two guaranteed tows a day) but the conditions were often choppy so not worth the expense in my opinion.

Biking was hugely popular and the bike rides booked up extremely quickly - unlike other Neilson centres, guests were allowed to sign up for multiple rides at once, rather than one at a time, meaning that most of the week's rides were fully booked after the first morning. The bikes themselves were not especially well maintained, and the information available to guests about biking (details of forthcoming rides, routes, likely duration, free ride routes etc) was very poor compared to the other centres we've been to. If you are a keen biker, be aware that there is very little off-road here (most of the land is militarised) so most of the biking is on-road, and the road surface is pretty bumpy, so not especially nice for road biking.

We didn't join in with any of the windsurfing classes but went out on the water on our own, and as with other activities, there were not enough boards and sails for the number of guests, so we often struggled to get kit. The windsurfing sails were very poorly rigged and there were rarely any staff to assist with getting kit and setting it up. On the last day a member of staff watched me stuggling to carry a sail rather than offering to help which was particularly annoying.

All in all this was the worst Neilson experience we have had, with a lacklustre attitude among the staff and a real lack of capacity for the promised activities. If you just fancy trying a few things this may be a good choice, but if you're serious about biking, windsurfing or wakeboarding I would suggest you choose another centre.

Room Tip: Pay extra for a sea view room as the non-sea view rooms face the road which can be quite noisy.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PigeonBlue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sussex uk
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2013 via mobile

Fantastic sailing, the aqua aerobics everyday was good, Zumba was also fun even if your not very good accommodation was fine and food good. The staff really make this resort with their dedication and good humour and special thanks to elise the swimming teacher who is patient and great with children. We shall return!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank snips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Club Phokaia

Property: Hotel Club Phokaia
Address: Ismetpasa Mh. 354 Sk. No: 2 | Eski Foça, Foca 35680, Turkey (Formerly Neilson Phokaia Beachclub)
Location: Turkey > Turkish Aegean Coast > Izmir Province > Foca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Foca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Club Phokaia 4*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Phokaia Beachclub has a spacious feel, set amongst landscaped gardens with plenty of quiet spots to relax. Pathways wind their way through the gardens to the stretch of sand and shingle beach, where all the kit is laid out ready for easy launching. Phokaia Beachclub now boasts some of our best-dressed rooms; think a modern interpretation of traditional Turkish design with contemporary styling. It’s all about soft, natural, muted colours and exposed stone walls. With a desire to keep things local, the stone feature walls are sourced from the immediate area and the pattern in which they are laid is done in a traditional design. The Olympic size swimming pool is the focal point of the Phokaia Beachclub, have a quick dip or simply retire to one of the shady day beds, relax and take in the views. After a day on the water, bikes or tennis courts, the beachfront bar is the perfect place to catch up on the day and enjoy the stunning sunsets. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phokaia Hotel Foca

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