We took our grandchildren with us, their first time there, found it hard to get them to leave the hotel to go on trips, they were so contented. Thank you very much to Freda, the children's animation team member, she made it fun for my grandson.
There is no entertainment for teenagers, but the bar staff made it fun for them.
We were given a family room on the ground floor; I must say that having been there before we knew this was a room that 4 beds were squeezed into.
We are going again next year and will find it impossible to leave the grandchildren behind.
The hotel was very clean, rooms a good size, the food was also very appetizing however the same every night, it was disappointing to find out the a la carte restaurants were closed even although the hotel was of full capacity and had also overbooked.
Our friends arrived the day before us and were asked to share a room. I don’t think this hotel is a five star I am sorry to say; the five stars in Lara Beach and side area were far superior. The service from the waiters wasn’t good at all, we had to clear the tables a few times ourselves and we felt it was a bother to ask them to serve you a drink which I have to say must have been watered down, sorry to disappoint anyone who has booked.
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
Hotel itself it nice not 5 star more a good 3* although it closes in October for full refurbishment, they say they are also putting slides in the pool for the kids which will be good. The food was good but just not to our tastes, but the two a la carte restaurants are very nice the Turkish one has great views out to sea.
Our 11 year old made friends the first day and he was always away playing and doing things with him and the other kids the older daughter made friends and went on couple trips into Kusadasi to foam party and to bar street both organised be the entertainment crew who tried there hardest to entertain. Made some great new friends too.
The water parks ok too about 25mins away by bus went to aqua fantasy although the other park has dolphins and you can actually swim with them.
Travel operator: sunwings
The staff will tell you anything you want to hear, they are lovely but all Lie!! It must be a turkey thing!!
The drinks I drank like a fish gin tonics vodka's cocktails but never once got drunk it must be watered down as everyone else says the same, the larger which I don't drink they say strong.
Ice cream only came out at 3.30pm-5pm which was so poor as there was ALWAYS a big que I'd never been to such a budget hotel if ice cream was available all the time then no question!!
Definitely not 5 star at all.
Travel operator: bookable holidays
Food/dining areas - was presented well and tasted even better! It was always hot, and plentiful. Negative was in the evening, dress code non-existent, which was a shame as it let the tone down when a pianist and violinist playing and yet people still had beach shorts on! Don’t expect dj’s but smart dress would have been good.
Also smoking area was placed in the middle of room?? When the hotel started to fill up and there weren’t any non-smoking tables available. We asked for a door to be opened. Smokers (Germans actually) complained of the breeze and the doors were closed! The non-smoking area was enlarged for the following night.
Fresh pizza at the main pool bar, are really something to taste, even though you won’t be hungry enough to really want them!
Bars/drinks - we found the pool area/bars clean at all times. The cocktails are included in the A.I price and are lovely. Drinks where at the right strength and the beer is strong so b careful.
Location – is not the best. Need to catch dolmus (across the road) to the main town, Centrum. You will need to do this for the entertainment, as in the evening it is really less than poor, but I may have just seen too many shows like "Miss Hotel" and music quizzes.
The in-hotel jewelers shop is really good. Ali is fair and honest and the prices match the town without the hassle so give him a go?
The massage and Turkish bath is simply the best I’ve ever had! Well worth the money and you really feel like a queen while you are there!
Travel operator: med hotel via kiwktravel
The hotel was a good 4 star really , we found it very clean indeed ,towels and linen were changed daily ,though not a lot of space in the wardrobes ,so be warned ,anyhow with the 15kgs luggage allowance it was ample I suppose .
Pools were clean and fresh towels every day from the friendly pool man .Every pool was clearly displayed with temps etc the whole of the outside of the hotel was immaculate.
Food was plentiful you could put together a meal of sorts from the choice of salads and hot food in the evenings ,I will tell you that even though I am a smoker myself I found other people smoking quite bad !this was mainly Germans ! There was a small area for non smokers but it needs to be enlarged or stopped as it is in UK in most resteraunts now.
It was al ovely treat to have a pianist and a violin playing whilst you dined but alas not many dressed for dinner it is a shame there is no dress code for such a lovely dining room.
The location is good if all you want to do is relax as you have to got the dolmus to centrum then when you get there all you get is hassle round the shops. We went back to hotel within and hour and never bothered to go out again ,there is a jeweller on sit and little shop I think its safer to shop there.
Entertainments team did their best but is usual hol camp rubbish we enjoyed the drinks and chat with friends we met instead.
You must try the Turkish massage second package for a treat ,look out for Hacklan he walks round with a massage tshirt on, he will explain everything to you.
I would say go and relax in this lovely hotel the staff are very obliging we had a lovely time and met some good pals and had good weather too.
We definately would go again.
Travel operator: Med hotels
As we went late in the year, the hotel was about one third full, which suited me down to the ground as I do not like busy hotels. There was plenty of food every day and the staff were really friendly. It is a pity that with such a posh looking hotel that people did not make the effort to dress for dinner, some came in with their shorts and t-shirts still on. Mind you, some of the older guests dressed well, so we did not feel out of place.
The food was all buffet style, hot and cold and of good quality. Remember you are not in England so their food is different but you must be prepared to try it - it was delicious. They did have a good choice to suit all types though.
We had no problem getting a sunbed and they had their own private little manmade beach which is accessed at the back of the hotel down some steps. There is a pier which you can walk along, fish or swim from if you wish.
There was only entertainment in the evening, understandable as there were very few children - nothing major but some of it fun. They also showed a film on a screen through a dvd player for those who just wanted a quiet evening.
You can get a dolmus (bus) very cheaply outside the hotel to Kusadasi where there is a vast number of shops to brouse around, however, be prepared to be pulled into the shops, some of them just do not take a polite no for an answer!
Overall, we had a lovely time, we could not fault the hotel or its staff. The weather was still nice but the sun did go down at about 5.30pm.
I can imagine it getting busy during the peak periods but if you are a more mature couple (40+) looking for a relaxing holiday then I would definately recommend this hotel towards of the end of the peak period.
Travel operator: can't remember
The rooms are quite basic and contain a mini bar and safe which requires a refundable deposit of £10.
The food generally was below standard, soup being the best meal available in the main restaurants.
The entertainment was very basic something common in Turkey they use animation teams, it was very weak and does not compare to entertainment in say Spain!
The staff vary in customer service standards many are not very friendly particularly those involved in bar working, they try to give minimum measures including basics like ice!
The hotel does not provide a courtesy room or allow you to keep your AI status after the noon checkout so not very friendly and bad if you’re not leaving until early hours.
Pool was very good but crowded.
Travel operator: Vision Holidays
Had fabulous time - Turkish people are friendly, fabulous scenery (especially the setting for the Hotel Fantasia)see Samos in the distance, many ruins to see and natural wonders of the world (Pamukkale)
I read all the reviews before booking this Hotel - the Hotel is excellent, very clean, excellent food, friendly helpful staff and good location - can walk to Long Beach, only 10 mins on Dolmus (very cheap) to Kusadasi.
Turkish baths within hotel- we booked massage - had mid range package approx. 1hr.45 mins - lovely to feel so clean and relaxed at the beginning of the holiday - well worth the cost.
Two lovely pools - we tended to stay by the quieter pool. Never a problem with sun beds even in the second week when the hotel seemed to be much fuller. It was lovely to swim in the sea; manmade beach (knew this before we booked).
The hotel has a promenade (with bean bags on) that you could swim to and from.
Food - excellent plenty of choice (no English breakfast or chips which was fine by me). We ate in the A la carte Turkish and International restaurant. The Turkish was by far the best for food, service and views (watched sunset).Always ate in the main restaurant breakfast, lunch and evening, usually managed to get a table outside. Children ate in Allegro once for lunch - served burgers, jacket potatoes etc but more choice of salads/ food in main restaurant.
Celebrated 2 birthdays so ordered cakes from the guest reception. The cakes were really too big - ordered 6 portion cake that catered for 10-12 people and cost 25 Euros.
Drinks - Cocktails -only had Vodka, Gin, Brandy - after 2 weeks I got fed up of the cocktails as always tasted the same (would have been nice to have Malibu equivalent to drink)- not really a drinker but like to try cocktails.
Trips- Went on trips to Pamukkale and Ephesus - recommend these. Went into Kusadasi 4 times as it is really cheap to travel by Dolmus. We didn't get hassled so really enjoyable. Went in about 6.00pm and one night the shops were empty - plenty of space to look around. Daughter did parasailing approx £50 for 3 people. The other family booked diving - went out just past the pier/ promenade- again reasonably priced. You will be offered free dive in the pool to try.
Only negative point - we would have liked more professional entertainment. The entertainment team worked hard but wasn't to our taste - silly shows, Mrs Fantasia ETC. Only professional entertainment was on the Turkish night held on Weds - this was repeated and more or less the same show. Entertainment team organise trip to open air disco, foam party in Kusadasi. I accompanied the 2 16 years olds on this trip cost 10 Euros each plus need money for drinks, transport to and from included 12-3.30 am. Girls enjoyed it - again no hassle from anyone- can really have a good dance. Disco in hotel wasn't very good and would be really hot. Not really a lot at the Hotel for teenagers - this didn't stop my family really enjoying themselves though.
There were only about 20 % British staying at the hotel which was great. Lots of Turkish, Russian, German, Dutch, Spanish, French, Belgium etc. Majority really polite and friendly. There were a lot of very young children. One little boy was allowed to roam the restaurant (aged about 2) and put his finger in all the deserts, then he broke a plate - parents just didn't seem to care about him (French).
I would certainly recommend this Hotel and the location. Can't wait to go back to Turkey but would like to try another area for a change.
Another group of friends we met up with in Kusadasi stayed the Ephesus Princess - they also recommended this hotel for views, service etc. They also mentioned that there were quite a few teenagers staying there with open air disco on the beach etc.
Travel operator: JMC
The entrance and reception area is huge and outstanding with lovely ornamental features and a twin marble staircase leading down to the Bar Lounge which is furnished with large very comfy suites. There are internet facilities and a small exchange library at the rear of the staircase (not many books in English – I’ve left mine).
The rooms are cleaned daily, sheets and towels changed daily and there is a supply of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and shower/bath gel. Hairdryer in the bathroom. Air con worked very well and is free.
There is a bar/fridge in the room, we did not use the items in it as the prices are quite pricey, but we used the fridge for our own drinks.
You pay a deposit for your room safe but unlike all other hotels we have stayed at you actually get it refunded when checking out (keep your receipt for this). This is a great idea which more hotels should adopt.
We could not fault the food; there was always plenty to eat with a good selection. You can eat at various times at various places within the hotel eg. Breakfast 0730-1000 Lunch 12.00 til 14.00 then snacks coffee cakes ice cream in the afternoon around the pool restaurant. Evening meal 19.30 til 21.30 and finally a late supper in the main dining room 23.30 til 00.30. Omelettes and fried eggs are cooked just outside the main restaurant as are some dishes in the evening always worth a check.
The Bars Drinks coffee etc
Served in the Lounge, Restaurant and the Pool Bars. The drinks are fine, if you find them a bit weak, simply ask for extra vodka or what ever and add it, and of course the Efes beer (Lager) is really nice even if you don’t normally drink beer. There are the named drinks Smirnoff, Whisky etc but they have to be paid for – we never needed to buy a drink. The bar staff were mostly very young but all were very pleasant and although they work long hours, they were always attentive and helpful.
The evening entertainment is done by the large pool and the animation team were the best we have seen in Turkey so far, that’s not to say they were perfect but we did have a few laughs and they did bring in acts some nights which was a nice change, they do work very hard for their money.
There is the usual day time activities water polo , volleyball etc if you want to get involved. We didn’t have children with us but the children’s club looked great, and all the kids seemed well catered for and appeared very fond of the organiser, who always had a smile.
There is a disco in the hotel, starts at midnight, hard to find though, it’s through the corner door next to the photographers. It’s not up to much though, dancing on a carpet and you have to pay for your drinks after midnight. No one stops you bring your drink up from the Lounge to the Disco.
As the hotel is out of the town there is not much for the young crowd to do but the entertainment team take everyone on a bus at midnight one night a week and they do a bar crawl and I think they go to a foam party on a Saturday – don’t take your best dress I have heard.
The only thing one thing we did not like was everything ending at midnight, so stock up on the drinks in the last 30 minutes and chill, there is nothing else to do but laze on the comfy sofas or you can go for the late supper.
In Town We spent a couple of nights in town which was fine. Went to Bar St worth a visit but definitely for the young generation however there is a nice Bar/Restaurant half way up Bar St where you can either sit on the ground floor or up stairs whether eating or just having a beer and where you can people watch in comfort.
Pop round in the day time and have a snack or beer and you can see their menu – They will offer to pick you up from the Hotel if you are having an evening meal with them (and include - a free beer each, starter, dessert and coffee all for the price of the main meal which is cheap anyway. Ok so you are all inclusive but it is nice to eat out at least one night for a change.
The Hotel Pools
The pools were nice and well laid out, games etc were held at the big pool, we mostly used the quiet pool, we never had a problem getting a sun bed, even at lunchtimes, and no problem with towels either.
There is also a fairly large indoor pool The man made beach area was very quiet but not much good for kids as you have to go down a slippery ladder to get into the water but it is ok for adults who want a swim in the sea. You can also walk out on the long jetty where there are some large bean bags to lie on (take a towel).
The Market near Fantasia
There is a small market with a variety of stalls in walking distance about 300 mtrs from the Hotel. If you go out the front gate turn to your right, get off the road as soon as you can and walk up the cobbled road that runs parallel to the main road.
This market is nice and quiet, little or no hassle, but don’t expect to knock the stallholders down in price by as much as in town however their prices are more reasonable than many in town.
Go up and have a look around before you go in to town and you can always go back later. We found them to be nice people and bought a few things there. If you didn’t try clothing on at the market and subsequently found an item too small etc when you were back at the Hotel there was no problem exchanging it and we found the quality of their goods ok.
Shops in Town
Absolutely loads of them
There is a small Jeweller a Boutique and gift shop in Hotel foyer. I bought a couple if nice decent quality items at a reasonable price from the Boutique.
Outside the hotel front gate and just to the right is a small shop where you can buy soft drinks sweets etc (bottles of coke are cheaper than in UK)
Transport to town is very easy by dolmus bus which you get by crossing the road outside the hotel entrance, take care, it's a dual carriageway. Stay on the bus til it arrives at its last stop (the mini bus station ) – keeping to the left walk down the straight road (dual carriageway) till you come to a junction.
If you cross over this will take you to lots of shops etc. if you turn right it will take you to more shops, Bank, and also the seafront. You need to go back to the mini bus stn to catch the bus back to the Fantasia.
They call it the Long Beach bus but the destinations are written on it and there is always a bus controller there that keeps you right. This last bus is at midnight after that it has to be Taxi which is obviously not as cheap as the buses but still a lot cheaper than a UK Taxi after midnight, best to arrange a price before you leave, you can bargain with the taxi drivers to a certain extent. There is a taxi stance outside the hotel entrance. Day time cab cost to or from town cost around £5 after midnight it was about £7.
The best place to change money is down town where there are a number of currency exchange shops. English pounds is the best currency to take to Turkey and change it to Lira as and when you need to (don’t take Scottish notes as you probably wont get them changed). You will need a few Lira or Euros for transport/coffee on the first day. You will get prices in Lira or Euro from all shops, markets, taxis, buses etc.
If you are thinking about getting new glasses in Kus I can recommend Lara Optic, The proprietor Nigel is very helpful. Unlike the UK, Opticians in Turkey are not allowed to conduct eye tests and you have to go to a specialist this costs around £25 for a test and prescription however the Optician will take you there.
My advice is to take an up to date prescription with you from the UK alternatively Lara Optik can copy the prescription from your current specs at no extra cost. My husband has just had his third pair from Nigel. I paid £160 just for lenses for my old specks in Britain in March and I got lenses and designer frames from Lara Optic for £100.
There is a very nice selection of genuine designer frames at varied prices. Lara Optic is on the main road across from the waterfront not far from the big hand statue. PS there is also a Bank a couple of doors away.
If you are interested in buying a nice and genuine quality piece of jewellery I highly recommend Jasmine jewellers ask for David (wears glasses and is a good friend of Nigel from Lara Optik) I find David fair with his prices and his unusual designs are of exceptional quality. It is easier to find Lara Optik than the Jasmine jewellers (who also sell leather items) even though both are in walking distance from each other. Rough direction from where you get off the bus at the mini bus stn- walk down the dual carriage way til you get to the junction then cross the road but instead of continuing into the shopping area turn right and follow the pavament to the left of the dual road passing a small park area til you get to where the road splits just take a left turn and Jasmine is round the corner on the left. If you are at the Optician just ask Nigel for directions.
The Airport WARNING
Turkey must have the most expensive airport shops anywhere (only the duty free is ok). Buy your soft drinks crisps sweets etc from the small shop outside the hotel before you depart for the return flight. A tube of Pringle crisps in the Airport will set you back £4 and everything else is similarly priced at around 3 times more expensive even the coffee A large pkt of Turkish delight is around £1 in the town supermarkets but nearly £6 in the Airport – you’ve been warned stock up before you get on the return bus.
We had a great holiday all round and would recommend the ***** Fantasia hotel, it is the best one we have stayed at in Turkey so far and would happily stay there again.
Hope the above is helpful and hope you too have a nice holiday if going to Kusadasi.
Travel operator: Vision
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