суббота, 10 октября 2015 г.

Pleasant journey into the past: hotel Topkapi Palace (Antalya)

The most luxurious attraction in Istanbul is Topkapi Palace. I think every tourist starts his research of this city from this place. When my BF told me that there is a hotel in Antalya, which has the similar design with famous Palace, I became very excited. During the planning every trip I am very scrupulously to choose a hotel for staying. This time I was more carefully than usually: we went to the holiday with my son. It was his first visit abroad, and everything must have been perfect.
We checked few tens of fashionable hotels in Antalya, but the most attractive for me was Topkapi Palace, which is close to Lara region in Antalya.

where to stay in Antalya
Topkapi Palace has few buildings for accomodation. To get lost there is very easy

So, in the end of September we packaged our suitcases, sat on the plane to Antalya and arrived to the delightful hotel. However, when I came inside our room I was disappointed...

where to stay in Antalya

·              It was not family room. Just a room with 2 beds (double and single). Single bed had very uncomfortable mattress. I was annoyed: even if all family rooms were reserved, it doesn't mean my son should have seen nightmarish dreams on that "magic" bed.
·                Cupboard. Better was not to open: smell could make me fainting.
·               Bathroom. Huge mirror near the washbasin was pretty dirty. Instead of hairs conditioner we got one and half bottles of shampoo. I didn't care about last point: shampoo was bad quality, I don't think conditioner would be good for my hair.
We immediately called in the reception, and asked them to remove all those limitations. In 30 minutes our single bed got new comfortable mattress, from cupboard went wonderful aroma, and on the table we found tasty candies with card-excuses from hotels manager. Of course after I tasted that candies I forgave them everything... :)

hotel in Antalya

Accommodate in Topkapi Palace are not modern - they are in traditional Turkish style. Of course, furniture there are not antique, but not luxury. As I know in every room are bathtub, TV, air conditioner, balcony and small fridge, where every morning I could find cold juice, mineral water, and beer (we didn't pay for these extra money). Free Wi-Fi just in the Lobby. For rooms its surcharge: 7euro/day, but very slow.
For those tourists, who will decide to stay in Topkapi Palace rooms design will be not important. This place - not just a hotel, but it's a huge complex where visitors can find many entertainments:
1. Swimming. There are few options:
ü    Big swimming pool. Favorite children's place. Every day we woke up about 9 a.m., had our breakfast and after tried to find free chaise-lounges on the first line of pool. For small visitors there was special area, shallow, with low slides.

where to stay in Antalya with children

For those, who want to get some portion of adrenalin, hotel can offer mini-aquapark with high slides.

If you want to get fun, you should wait in queue. But its usual thing for Aqua Park

Near the pool was bar, where adults could order alcoholic cocktails. Kids preferred to visit Punch Bar, which was just opposite. From 10 a.m. animators started their job: on the scene near the pool was aqua aerobic with festal music, after - different competitions, water polo. I don't know why, but most of the people located near that pool: maybe because of animators, maybe because of bar:)
ü    Small swimming pool. It was not crowded and just for those, who wanted to relax under the sun.
ü    Pool inside the hotel. Was very popular in that day, when was raining, but in general - almost empty.
ü    Sea. I definitely suggest to visit Antalya in September: water in Mediterranean Sea is hot! Own beach is one of the biggest dignity of Topkapi Palace. There were not too much people on the beach, and most of them were Russian tourists.

Neighbor of our hotel - Kremlin Palace. Everybody can easy understand this from this picture

2. Food. It was really some entertainment for me. Every day in dining room we found something new. Menu on the breakfast, lunch and dinner were absolutely different. I even started to drink ferments, because my stomach was not able to digest food by itself. There were also diet menu, but I couldn't stop myself. Alcohol there was served from midday (beer or wine).

We preferred to spend our time in this place on the summer playground

In the afternoon beside the beach started work snack-cafe, where people could order burgers, potato fried, some beverages. Opposite snack-cafe located Hunkar Restaurant, where possible was to try some traditional Turkish dishes (gözleme, mantı, ayran).

Besides that, on the Bayram (big Muslim holiday) on the summer playground 2 days was served special Turkish food with Raki (Turkish vodka).

Looks like not so attractive, but very tasty:)

3. Night life. Every day after sunset we had some program:
First: restaurant. For visit such place no need to leave the hotel. Topkapi Palace has 5 restaurants A'La Carte, which work from 7.30 till 9.00 p.m.:
·                    Marina Restaurant. Located close to the beach. I didn't find in menu exotic food (like oysters or frog legs), but in general I enjoyed that place. My son doesn't like any seaproducts, and he spent his time there in discovering. He learnt that near the Marina Restaurant is a small football field. In the next day we came back there to play in the football.

·                    Mangal Park Restaurant. My BF liked this place the most: he had chance to cook barbecue by himself. Waiter just brought for us some fresh meat, chicken, vegetables and white wine. Of course for visitors, who will be lazy to cook by themselves, cooker will serve ready barbecue.

Topkapi Palace

·                    Kosem Sultan Restaurant. I call this place a restaurant of traditional Turkish kitchen. I ordered there fish, salad from eggplants and was ready to eat my fingers.

Topkapi Palace
Here we celebreted our 6 month anniversary. Waiters served table for us in special way

·                    La Nazir Restaurant. Place for gourmet. There everything unusual: dishes, decorations, atmosphere, food... First we ordered mix salad from shrimps, and sushi. I didn't like sushi, so we decided to continue with a swordfish (and we didn't regret about this).
·                    Italian Restaurant. My son liked this place very much because of tasty pizza and spaghetti. That's why we visited this place twice. 

Topkapi Palace

In the same building every day were organized concerts.

Second: open area near the Italian Restaurant, where was alive music. Some people went there to drink a Turkish coffee with nuts, other spent their evening with more strong beverages. But dance floor near singers was never empty, and it was a merit of animators: they drew out people from their chairs and danced with them. It was not an audacity: visitors just got fun:) Alive music was available till 10 p.m., but we didn't back in our room after...

Third: night club. Its located in closed area, which is not good. Inside the building was high humidity: we all time went outside for taking breathe. Music was not bad, but DJ didn't try his best. Few times we ordered songs, and it was for free. Actually, there almost everything was for free. Topkapi Palace - 5* hotel with All Inclusive system: eat, drink, dance, swim... but first pay 150 euro/day for your room.

night life in Antalya

But let's back to the night club... On the dance floor all time it was crowded, and we were among them. I don't know exactly time when disco finished, but I know that Lobby worked 24 hours in a day (and barmen there made perfect cocktail with Martini and Gin).
It was our night life in Topkapi Palace. Because of such intensive lifestyle we passed our plane 2 times, but we don't complain.

4. Other attractions. With a separate fee possible was to order diving, parasailing, boat tour, fishing. Tourists, who wanted to organize luxurious explore of Antalya, could rent a premium car (150 euro/day). Even if they wanted to organize modest trip they didn't have any choice: in hotel possible was to rent just such kind of cars. There were SPA and Massage saloons, but since there were too much reservations we couldn't try. Another story with Fitness Centre: there were many free places.
So, after long vacation in Topkapi Palace I can tell that its perfect place for families with kids. Of course, like any other place, this hotel has some limitations (bad room service, slow Internet, absence locks of many public toilets), but they are not so huge and can be removed. The main dignities - animators team and impossible tasty food! But if you search luxury room or silence place for romantic evenings, Topkapi Palace not for you: just in the middle of September there were more than 600 visitors. 

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