Turkey is recently experiencing a massive decline of incoming tourist numbers from many European and Asian countries. Main reason for that is the political situation in the country. But is it possible to have a relaxed vacation here at the moment? I was lucky to travel to Belek in connection with a business event there for a weekend (Friday to Sunday) recently, so here are my experiences:
I flew to Antalya on SunExpress (Tripadvisor). From the airport I was brought to my hotel, the Spice Hotel & Spa (Tripadvisor) where I had a comfortable stay. The hotel is held in Oriental style and so are the rooms. Food and drinks here were excellent, the staff was friendly and the pool and beach area are fantastic. If you are looking for a hotel here, this one should definitely be considered. Nonetheless I saw two other hotels as events were taking place in different places.
After check-in and dinner there was a little party at the Sentido Letoonia Golf Resort (Tripadvisor) it was nearby, I was actually impressed by their big garden areas in between the buildings. The design of the hotel is very nice and pleasant while the service quality is very high. As I arrived in the evening that party in the pool area of the hotel was the last thing I did before going back to my hotel for the night.
The next morning started with a good breakfast (the omelettes they serve at the Spice Hotel are huge!) on the sunny outside area of the main restaurant. Strengthened from that I was brought to the Sentido Leetonia Golf Resort again, where they also have a small soccer area near the beach. Actually many hotels have big sports facilities of different kinds adjacent to their properties. That is why many sports teams from all over the world come here for their summer or winter training camps. Or let’s say they used to do so as also most teams have been staying away from here in the last year and did their training camps somewhere else.
I played some soccer here with a few fellow travelers. It was quite exhausting as the sunshine was intense and the heat was doing the rest. Nonetheless we played here for about an hour and had a lot of fun before having lunch and a short break back at our rooms.
Afterwards there was a pool party taking place at the IC Hotels Santai (Tripadvisor). This resort is perfect for this, besides the standard rooms in the main building it is also offering rooms which’s terrace is facing a pool directly (not a privat one). The staff in this hotel was really friendly and made the party here great. They were helpful and always on hand with drinks and snacks while all guests had a good time chatting or enjoying the pool on this sunny day.
A few drinks and conversations later there was an another break in the program that I used to relax in my room. I took a shower and emptied the minibar (that was luckily included in the room price).
In the evening another party, a barbecue beach party to be specific, was taking place at the IC Santai. Again the staff was outstandingly friendly and professional, the food was great and the beach area is perfect for some late relaxation with a drink and some good music. It was already getting a little fresh as it was windy, unfortunately I wasn’t perfectly prepared for that, but I was lucky they were handing out blankets after dinner. The party was taking quite long but due to the tight schedule I was tired and wanted to explore my own hotel’s outside area the next day, so I left around midnight.
I started the next morning with a breakfast again and took a walk through the pool and beach area of the Spice Hotel. It is pretty decent, there are big pools and slides for every age, there are big areas for children and even a cat house with the hotels own cats can be found here. No worries, the cats are all perfectly neat and healthy, they usually can’t be found inside the hotel, they roam around in the outside area most of the time.
The beach area is neat as well. There are big sun sails under that you can rest if you don’t want to get another sunburn after swimming in the sea. There is a big bar near the beach to have drinks and snacks with a nice view, especially during sunset.
After that walk I unfortunately had to check-out and end my weekend here. I was brought to Antalya Airport from where I flew home again.
My experiences here were very good, there are plenty of great resorts around, perfect for families, sports fanatics and people who just want to relax in the sun. The people have been friendly throughout my stay, staff at the hotels has all been really professional and service is a huge priority here. And all that at momentarily low prices in comparison with other Mediterranean destinations.
As there were no vacations and many tourists don’t want to go to Turkey at the moment the hotel’s occupation has not been too high. Most guests came from Russia, Ukraine and Germany.
I think taking Turkish destinations in consideration when thinking about where to travel next is not a bad thing, the tourism infrastructure and service level are good here. I felt good here during my stay and can recommend all of the hotels I have visited here. But the best way to find out if Turkey is a destination for you is to find out by yourself 🙂
How to get to Antalya?
Getting to the Antalya Region is not difficult. Antalya has an international airport (AYT) where loads of tourists arrive year by year. There are lots of charter flights from Europe, Middle East and central Asia at any time of the year. If you are travelling here individually there are also different choices to get here besides charter flights: SunExpress, Atlas Gobal, Corendon Airlines and Onur Air offer a lot of non-stop flights from Europe and the Middle East to Antalya. If those are not serving an airport near you, you can also fly here on Pegasus and Turkish Airlines (both via Istanbul), Aeroflot (via Moscow), Eurowings (via Cologne) or Lufthansa (via Frankfurt or Munich) for example. From Antalya airport you can then reach your hotel by bus transfer or taxi.
Thank you for reading, we hope we were able to give you some interesting insight into our trip.
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