Staff were all great and friendly and only too happy to help us learn some Turkish - they respond well to any effort to talk local to them however I was amazed at how easily they chatted in English.
The pool area is lovely and extremely clean, with great slides and never any problems getting a sunbed at all times of the day. Big shady areas and plenty of other beds with umbrellas.
Loads of bars serving good quality drinks - branded if required. Kids club was great and staff lovely - horse riding and banana boat was a huge hit with our daughter.
A la carte we booked easily and loved each one of them. The buffet was plentiful and again we got a seat easily. Room service also fantastic.
Entertainment was varied but some great shows namely Beauty and the Beast and the Rapid Dance group worth a special mention.
The only complaint I have is the prices in the hotel for services not included like 135TL for hair braiding its 40TL in Belek of 300 for a massage 50 in Belek - there was some noise from the next hotel but as we weren't in the main hotel it didn't bother us and can't comment on how late it carried on for.
Go you'll love this place -we did the holiday was brilliant and we will return.
Travel operator: thomas cook
The Cornelia surpassed all our expectations which were high!
We love the 5 star Barut Lara and thought we would be comparing it constantly to that hotel but in many ways we enjoyed this holiday more! I never thought you would hear me day that!
We arrived in the early hours and we were shown to our room and could not believe our luck! We had booked a standard room for 3 adults but had been given a Family room, which had a separate bedroom for us and our son was in a huge lounge area with a very comfortable long bed settee! Next morning we went WOW!! we had a panoramic view of Belek from the lounge with a window floor to ceiling that must have been almost 30 ft wide! Our room had a King size bed but had no balcony but had a raised patio door 3ft off the floor and also had a wonderful sea view! In that room was the fridge and a desk with free internet connection via a cable from reception for our laptop! I was doing my live reports from the hotel with the curtain drawn back and looking out to the lovely sea view! The 24 hour included Room Service was excellent and a fair choice on the menu, the food came hot and hygienically covered! Even the Cutlery came in a paper bag! The fridge was filled daily with a good selection of soft drinks, water and 3 beers! We like diet coke and put a note in the fridge to ask for this instead of normal coke and got this!The room was very clean and maintained that way daily and the towels were nice and fluffy and bathrobes and slipper were available ! Extra pillows were brought promptly!
I will start with the slight negative and the only thing that we were not quite so thrilled with and that is the Buffet Restaurant. It did not have the same choice of food that we have had at the 5 star Lara beach hotels! Theme nights could have had some decorations to say they were say a Turkish night! The actual food was okay but lacking in choice and presentation!
We were very lucky and had 9 al a carte bookings and the Florian Restaurant was simply superb and the service excellent! Every attention to detail and nothing to much trouble! We also loved the Hedera Restaurant and because it was a short walk away near the pool Villas it felt like a real night out! We had a very nice waiter in that restaurant called Selcuk who was a credit to the hotel ! I do not know the names of the waiters at the Florian but they also gave fantastic service! The food was very good and the musican that played was a nice touch! These two Al a Cartes are the best we have experienced in Turkey by far! Unfortunately they have changed the system and for our last few days we could not book them again! The system now only allows you 1 visit per week per restaurant.
The breakfast was nice and the usual turkish style but what a surprise!! If you got there at the right time we even had BACON !! yes and something we have never had before in turkey! It was hit and miss if you got some but nice when you did!
Lunches at the daphine snack bar were cooked to order and a very good menu choice and we never got bored with it! There were 2 piping hot Cauldrons of soup daily with nice bread and a salad bar!
We are used to having Ice cream at the 5 star AI but none was available when we got there, I was told it was to cold and makes children ill ?? This may seem strange to us but when the Turkish people still think april is winter you can understand the logic! Anyway that evening we were told by an animator Yasar that he had mentioned this to the Chef and tomorrow it would be at the daphine bar, Sure enough next day 2 flavours of ice cream were available all day! By the second day there were at least 6 flavours! How is that for customer service? Every where in the hotel the service was excellent and the staff pleasant and attentive and although we have had great service in other hotels in turkey this was the best we have had! A special mention to Elif a lovely waitress in the lobby bar for super efficency but it seems a shame to single her out because we had such great service everywhere! One tip is something we only found out about near the end of the holiday and that is you can order sandwiches at the wonderful Pattissera late afternoon. They had club sandwiches and toasties!
Animation was a new team and very eager and enthusiastic! and the entertainment was low key but again we asked for teen activities and next day they had arranged this! Our 16 year old was wishing he was at the Barut lara for the first day or two but then the holiday turned around and he enjoyed this hotel so much! Thanks goes to YASAR from the animation for all his efforts to get the teens to mix . The Animators even gave up their free time to arrange a football match for the teens!! Yasar used to play table tennis with him etc and was very good! Although all the animators were very good but not intrusive!
We really likes the Lobby bar at the Cornelia and it had a good atmosphere with live music several nights a week. Sunday they had a great group on called Golden Oldies and they were the best! Music for all taste but not for the age range the name suggests! AC-DC was in their repertoire !!!
Drinks at this hotel were great, everything was available at all bars, and a good choice of cocktails if that is your thing! All freshly made and not done on mass!! International brands like Smirnoff, Gordons Gin. Several whiskies including my favourite Johnnie Walker Red and Black label. Bacardi, and a baileys type drink! You need to ask for them by name but all are on view to see!! After a day or so they staff get used to your tipple and you get topped up quickly! Fantastic bar service even at the pool and Olea bar! There is even a Citrus bar for fresh juices in the games/ spa area! Free pool tables to use and a nice small games arcade with some free Play Station 3 consoles!
Bowling is 5 euros but while we were there you could go for free with the animation at 4.15pm but that is a winter season game so has now finished!
Pools are beautiful at the Cornelia and we used to get our sun beds near to the infinity pool which had a wonderful view, and was near to the Olea bar! It was a suntrap and we thought a prime spot, so my husband did got to secure our spot! You need not get up early unless like us you wanted a certain area! There were plenty of beds and more were being put our daily! The good thing is that many guests are off playing golf so the hotel never feels crowded! The pier had just been decked out and the beach canopies put up and it was shaping up for the summer season!
Just one thing I feel people need to know and that is if you go in April the hotels are getting ready for summer and you may see the odd bit of work being done and things gearing up for summer and all restaurants outdoors will not be open! We heard such comments but you would pay almost double in summer !
We think April/ easter is a great time to go!
There are the most beautiful manicured grounds at the Cornelia and I think a special thank you should go to the gardeners for making the grounds so visually appealing! The drive way/entrance is stunning and there seemed to be an army of gardeners tending these gardens! There are also many people doing the jobs you do not notice like the cleaning of windows and you saw them on ropes and pullies and dangling cleaning the glass lifts etc at a great height and this was a full time job because of all the glass!
The guest service staff are very good and have an office in the foyer of the hotel! if you ask they will give you a map of the hotel.
If you fancy a trip out to see the Cornelia Diamond you can go to them and they will arrange for you to go to see it at 4pm daily! The transport is provided there and back! We even got to see the beautiful Cornelia golf course! My husband was green with envy!!!
We thought the Diamond a beautiful hotel but to dark for us! The rooms are simply stunning but the lobby was very impersonal we thought! We would choose to return to the Cornelia Deluxe!
Outside the main entrance of the Cornelia is a golf course opposite which is the Gloria course.From the beach after the Sillyum now a Joy hotel there is a nice area that the locals use with some bars and restaurants and a public beach! There is a huge yellow and blue domed tent type building being built and my son and friend went to explore and it houses a huge astro turf pitch and the workers let them try it out! There are swings etc and a huge area of grass and it was nice to see the locals enjoying their time off! I think in a few weeks it will be fully up and running!
I think you can get the Idea now that we loved the Cornelia,
I would just like to point out that we noticed that not many brits give the odd tip here and there to the staff! The staff work their socks off to make you happy and I feel some people just take it for granted!
We think Belek is perfect for the type of holiday we like and is so lush and green. we intend to return many more times and cannot believe we left it 6 years to return!
A big thank you to everyone at the Cornelia!!
Travel operator: Thomas cook
The food is excellent,every night there is a huge choice and that is without the other restaurants.
The issue over booking your favoured restaurant has now been resolved with a new telephone booking system from your room,we never failed to eat in the restaurant of our choice.
The hotel is spotlessly clean and the cleaning staff are all very friendly.
We ventured out of the hotel via the Tractor/Train which picks you up from outside the hotel to do a little shopping in Belek but found that the hotel shops offered equally a good selection of gifts at good prices,if negotiated correctly.
To be truthful I couldn't bear to be away from the Gateaux,Pancakes etc which kept beckoning.
We didn't catch much of the entertainment as we found ourselves dining our time away but also talking to fellow holiday makers at one of the many bars,but what we saw of the entertainment was very good.
I can not wait to return to the Cornelia to repeat the experience.
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
The elements that were worthly of 5 stars were the animation & evening entertainment, which were the best we have ever seen (worth 6 stars really), the cleanliness which was superb, the pool and slides, the a la carte restaurants (if you get booked) and the staff overall (although a few were a bit miserable).
The main elements that let the hotel down badly were the evening buffet, the expensive and rubbish shops on site (given that the only other choice was a taxi ride away) and the way that a la carte reservations were made. Also, the hotel rooms were a bit basic for 5 star, with beds quite hard and very poor balcony furniture.
The fact that people have been reporting that the a la carte booking situation needs resolving and has not yet been done suggests that the hotel is resting on its laurels a bit.
The evening buffet was VERY POOR. We've experienced much better at 3 star hotels. All I can say is that the russians and germans who make up most of the guests must have no taste buds! The same rubbish was on every night (except gala night when they upped the standard slightly). In a 5 star hotel I would expect steaks cooked to order, flambe, seafood but all you got was fried fish, chips, sauted (insert any meat here) etc etc. This was most disappointing as with a 2 year old, we couldnt get into the a la cartes every night - which were much better. The daytime food by the pool bar was much better and made to order, although again the menu was limited. The baked potatoes at 4pm were a welcome addition and the cheese bread which is on from 11-5 is excellent and a great quick snack. Room service (once you got your order understood) was generally quick (30 mins), a bit bland but okay, although annoyingly they kept asking for the tray back which left you with loads of empty plates. They also do not seem to understand that room service trays need clearing until the maid does it the next day, which isn't really 5 star! However, just having 24hr room service was an extra that most hotels dont have.
The pools and slides were great and spotlessly clean as were the gardens and sunbeds.
Contrary to some other reports, the russians and germans were only a minor nuisance, and quite entertaining in how they dress and prance around the pool in full makeup in 35 degree heat! The worst offenders were the french and belgians who were really rude, although there weren't many of them there (probably due to the food).
Overall I wold say that the hotel is of average 4 star although the evening entertainment would grace most 5 star hotels and cruise ships.
With so much to choose from we wont be going back as we have had better for less elsewhere.
Travel operator: First Choice
My only regret is that we only stayed 1 week.
Everything about the resort is 1st class.
When we arrived we were advised that our standard room wasn't available until the following day,the reception said we could have a superior room for 1 night and they would move us the next day. After discussion that we did not want to move rooms they gave us a junior suite(what a result) the room was great with it's own access to the smaller pool area.
The resort is super clean.The food selection is vast and varied,enough choice to sort all tastes.We visited the Hedera and recieved first class service and the food was top drawer.
We would recommend this resort for couples as well as families as our 2 grandchildren aged 2 & 6 had a whale of a time.
All the staff were very friendly and helpful.
Activities are vast and varied again to suit all, and the evening entertainment provided by the accomodation team was super.On the last night of our stay (Thurs) there was a garden party with acrobats and brazilian dancers,a great departure gift to top off our holiday.
We enjoyed it so much that on our return to the UK we went straight to the travel agents and booked again,this time for 2 weeks!!
Travel operator: first choice
We went to the reps meeting at 11 the next day, but when it hadn't started at 11.20 we left.
Hovever I must say that, apart from this, the staff could not have been more friendly and helpful. We stayed in the garden rooms, furthest away from the main complex, very quiet but only a short stroll from the action.
The nearest restuarant was the Hedera, supposed to be fish but they had plenty of choice for non fish eaters. We also tried the Chinese and International restaurants which were also superb. The main buffet restaurant had an excellent choice of food but provided us with the biggest mystery of our holiday, what is it with Russians and strawberries. They piled their plates every night.
There are a few trips on offer but we gave them a miss.
Another drawback was that we had to checkout by midday but our pickup was at 1.15 am, 13 hours to kill. We were lucky and managed to get a late checkout on one of our rooms till 10pm for
Travel operator: First Coice
Not much to say as food, rooms, service, cleanliness and entertainment were all very good. The 3 al-a-carte restaurants we ate in were superb, we tried the International, Fish and Chinese.
Hotel has about 60% Russian speaking guests, and as previously mentioned on other reviews, we also found them to be rude. Saying which, would still return to Cornelia.
Only downside with hotel was Reception staff. They could not speak much English (only 11% of hotel guests) and check in was poor. It took almost an hour after arriving to get our key. This is not helped by First Choice rep. not being able to speak much English herself!!
Travel operator: first choice
The food is excellent run on a buffet style,all ways a wide variety of choice and a beatifully presented,we ate in the Turkish,the International and the Chinese A La Carte restuarant's all of which you have to book the previous day' and found them to be superb especially the International, did not try the Fish A La Carte as I am not a great fish eater but by all acounts from people we spoke to who had tried it this was excellent as well.
The hotel is situated on a long sandy stretch of coast,not much scenery as such but plenty of watersport's and a lovely warm sea that shelve's gently away making it safe for the childen to play in.
The hotel Staff from the cleaners through to the enterainment manager (Tom) and beyond are great all way's willing to help with any query or need we had
nothing was to much trouble,and the service in the bar's and restuarant's was fantastic.
Entertainment wise there is a show ever night in the amphitheatre either presented by the entertainment staff or proffesional (local circuit) act's, that are very good, after which most people went down to the pool bar where there was live music or disco music till midnight at which time the nght club would be open util 2am, but do not worry about the noise this is a little way from the main part of the hotel, every second eek on the thursday night they have gala night this is brilliant fireworks, circus act's as in acrobats jugglers, and live music,do not miss it.
On the whole yes I will definitly visit this hotel again i have nothing but praise for this place and the pictures and the descriptions on the website and in brochure's do not do it justice.
Travel operator: Eclipse Direct
The complex is very large and there was always someone cleaning, gardening, etc the complex was spotless and very well maintained.The food was very good with a main buffet restaurant and 4 a la carte restaurants which had to be booked 1 day in advance at 9am.
We always managed to get in and the food and service was excellent, especially in the Chinese restaurant.The hotel is in belek but you cannot walk to local shops, you can either get a taxi or tractor train from outside the hotel.
The beach is large and sandy with plenty of sunbeds and a peir. watersports are also available.Staff were very good, and especially with our small daughter.Entertainment goes on all day with a show each night at 10pm after the mini disco. They also have a band on in one of the bars and a nightclub.
All in all a good 5 star hotel, only thing we weren't too keen on were the russian guests were quite rude.
Travel operator: eclipse direct
If you are English then don't expect there to be many of you there! The hotel is full of Russians, most are rude and expect u not to be there!
If you book through First Choice then don't pay extra for the side sea view room because 95% of the rooms have a side sea view anyway!! So take the chance and you'll save about
Travel operator: First Choice
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