7.09.2017

Holiday Village Turkey #Review





Destination: Holiday Village Turkey

Flight Time: From NCL 4hr 31mins

Resort: Sarigeme Turkey

Transfer: 20mins away from Dalaman Airport 

First time at Holiday Village Turkey, in fact first time in Turkey and really pleased we tried both.


The Dalaman arrivals was really quick (your passport has your visa logged electronically...I know now you can sleep at night) The airport is clean, modern and well set out, with a shop if you fancy getting some treats before jumping on your coach. The 20min journey is fab for families anyway but apparently this is amazing for Turkey. We arrived at 4pm and were greeting with an icy juice while they checked us in. From the first moment you arrive you feel the hotel is so spacious, clean and well ran. Every member of staff we met were all really nice and great at their jobs. They honestly seem like a proper team which is so nice, nothing is too much. We were then given a welcome pack and a map....seriously you need it.

Room. We went straight to our room, I thought we might have to stop for a snack the place is so big. Our room was to the back of the complex a 'Family room with a TV' It has a main room with a king size bed and a partition which goes into a second room with twin beds for the kids which is nice when they are asleep as feels more like an apartment. It was really nicely decorated, immaculate and had a chalk board for the boys to doodle on but also had a welcome message on from the cleaner which they loved. There is a kettle fridge and a free safe, nice little bonus. I like to get straight into a holiday, to make the most of it and I'm not sure what came over me but I had even packed a swim bag on top of the case. So we immediately hit the pool and caught the last few hours of sun and had an explore...maybe a cocktail or 3; there is a great menu including cocktails for the kids.

Straight to it!




The Complex is HUGE. 7 pools, with slides, jacuzzis, inflatables, games and activitys going on at all of them throughout the day. There is a main restaurant for Breakfast and Evening Meal, a Lunch restaurant as well as extra stations like the chill out area, several bars and an ice cream stand. Tennis courts, Footy pitches, Kids club offering things like archery and climbing too. There is a beach with complimentary loungers and umbrellas as well; its only a 5min walk from one of the bars if you fancy a cold drink. There is tonnes to do for kids and adults....or do nothing, the option is yours which I liked. It's on a plate if you want it but not pushy and plenty of chilled out areas too.



Chill out area.


FOOD is the first thing people have been asking me about. I hear you, I'm allll about food. Simply put, it's fantatsic. I couldn't see anyone complaining about the choice and quality at all, every meal. In fact I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is the best all inclusive for food I've ever visited. Big props for allergies as well. Little man is allergic to milk and I brought some chocolate soya milk with me but they have soy milk out all the time, lots of naturally fresh non dairy foods like cooked meats, chips and rice. There is also an 'allergy section' with potatoes and veggies cooked in nothing. We had no problems and just got him an ice lolly when his big bro got an ice cream but he's used to that anyway.

Breakfast there is the ultimate. An amazing selection of fresh fruit, yogurt, pastries, bread, jams, cooked items like beans, mushrooms and hash browns. Being a Muslim country no pork but there are beef type sausages, salamis, ham etc. Also a DIY toasty stand. Porridge and loads of cereals. My total fave though has to be the egg station, fried eggs, omelettes, fresh eggy bread, fat pancakes, thin pancakes and fresh DONUTS with warm chocolate sauce. Literally every breakfast item possible, the only problem is choosing I was in heaven.




Lunch is served at the pool side restaurant and is much more relaxed. There is the most amazing stone pizza oven there...I feel I can just leave it there. Seriously immense pizzas. However, there is also every type of salad and fruit. Also grilled Fish, Pasta dishes, a variety of different mains like Beef curry, Chicken Fajita, Lamb Meatballs all with rice etc. Daily staples like Burger and chips. There was even soup for the mentalists out there in 36C. If you fancy being even more relaxed or are maybe not as hungry the 'Chill out bar' near the beach is lovely with sofas and comfy chairs. A toastie and salad station, CHIPS obvs and the famous Pancake lady. It's so cool to watch how the lady makes these turkish pancakes served with sugar and lemon as standard...try to stop at one though!




Dinner is served back in the main restaurant or you can book one of the 4 Al a Carte, its the best set up I've ever seen for this because instead of queuing up at certain times of the day in reception they have machines you can book up anytime you like. There is a Turkish, Spice, Italian and a Grill house, we only tried the Turkish as the food was so nice in the restaurant and I find it better not having a booked time with the boys, some days they swam so late its easier being flexible. The Turkish food was fantastic and definetly nice to try. The main restaurant again is amazing tonnes of choice and themed nights too. I tended to go crackers on the donuts and pastries at brekky, by night I wasn't too hungry so loved the starter station to get a selection, kind of like tapas; It's lovely sitting outside with some wine.




Kids Club is amazing, several sessions a day, all free and is split into 3 age groups. It's in an air-conditioned building similar to a school and the staff are really fun but so professional. You have to register fully at first, then given a card to sign them in and out each time and the kids are given their own wiggles t shirt which they adored...you might then spend a lot of the holiday saying they can't sleep in it too but hey ho. I will put the timetables pics below but at the start of each session you que up and sign them in every time. They ask about allergies etc and where you will be during the session in case needed, I personally couldn't have felt more relaxed and happy to leave the boys in their care. It does get busy and sometime's you end up queuing for a while but the way I saw it was -
1. They are just taking every precaution which I value 
2. If the boys have a fab time and I get even 40mins peace by the time I've done the drop off its still worth it.




The boys wern't super keen to go in as LOVE swimming but they asked to go to the Chocolate party which they loved, then they made friends and wanted to go more after that. Some kids want to go in every session, its just personal choice but perfect for kids who need a bit of shade time and they get to do things they never would do at home. "Holiday Days" are lonnng as well, loads of fresh air, little sleep, tonnes of ice cream and you're together every second. I was relieved to see most kids having full blow melt downs all over the shop. My personal fave was a little girl returned with her Mum from the shop with her hair all braided and as she approached her Dad he said "Oh wow you've had your hair braided!" The girl just burst into tears then went aka "I WANTED to tell you" ...the poor Dad just said "but I can see your HEAD?!" It's also the parents holidays and nice to have a little break or a meal in peace....I know dreamy. 






The Entertainment is fantastic. I'm not one for loud games or anything loud really on holiday but the team are so good it's infectious, you can't help wanting to join in. There is tonnes going on through out the day as well as group activities for Adults and kids. We did the daily quiz, laughed along at all the pool games, Oz went on the inflatable challenge and I even did the Aqua Aerobics. The boys loved the nightly i 5 live disco...I may also know the Cou Cou move now and the shows after were really good too. The whole entertainment team are so lovely and enthusiastic, the boys loved them all but especially James and Cree (hope I spelled that right) little bromances going on there for sure. After the show if the boys weren't too tired we would go over to the bar to chill and watch the musician or maybe do the quiz there as well; again really fun. On Sundays they have the Tommy's Charity day and it's something else, so many laughs and no wonder the staff raise so much for this amazing cause. I would pay good money to see "The Fairy Boys' alone at the talent show again, you have to see it your self; fabulous. A few times I'd pass one of the Entertainment staff walking about and without fail even if I awkwardly looked away (as you do) they always made an effort to say "Hi" or ask how you are. They just make the atmosphere around the hotel so nice and upbeat; the boys haven't stopped asking to go back... and see James and Cree!

Russell is also major.


Loving the show.




Location. If you want to get out and about the hotel is situated about a 15min walk from Sarigeme centre or £4 in a taxi, of which their is plenty. It reminds me of a Western with a dusty main bustling street. There is a great chemist, lots of shops with good bargains and a few restaurants if you fancy a change of scenery. We walked in just once as I needed some eye drops and it was so nice to potter about, decided to have a meal. We went to the 'Corner Turkish' and went for a mix of pizza and turkish kebabs to share, a few drinks each, all came to £30 so can't complain. 
We also did the Mud bath and Market trip which was fantastic; I just booked it with First Choice in reception. A 30min coach ride to the beautiful Dalayan where you get on a boat to the mud spa. The spa stinks like egg as is a natural sulphuric one but it is great fun. I truly found out how different my children are at this experience. Oldest asked the guide if the mud could have any germs or parasites in it then gingerly applied a little to his arms. I turned around and the youngest had dived in head first and after eating some mud asked if it was ok... Your skin does feel lovely at the end but I would recommend a change of clothes and towels. The market after was a bit of a let down. Really grabby hard sellers who kept touching the boys and then while I was paying for spices one guy started undressing the youngest and put a footy kit on him! NO. I didn't like it at all apart from the spices stand and found the shops in the hotel had better stuff and prices. 









Poolside. My only criticism would be the sun bed situation, I have never seen anything like it despite saying no reservations until 8am. People must be out at 5am then go back to bed, even reserving beds allll day with a white room towel and not coming to the pool once. We are big pool lovers literally there until 6pm most days and while Oscar can swim we wanted a clear view of him. We ended up getting into an argument one day with a family because they had reserved 14...yes 14 beds. We couldn't get a spot by the pool anywhere after breakfast around 9.30am so I took the end 3 of 14 beds folding the 2 blue hotel towels (no personal possessions) neatly to the side and were more than happy to move when they arrived. We had been there for nearly 3hrs and ironically were about to move as the slides had started when said family turned up.

Famous 14...



I didn't have a chance to say we were moving before they started going crazy and swearing in front of all the children! It was awful, the way people speak to others considering we are talking about 3 sun beds that are not even theirs; I was horrified, totally unnecessary. There are lots of sun beds but not with pool views or completely in the shade also on busy days as we went in school holiday there were non. In my opinion they should do what another hotel I stayed at did, by removing towels with out personal possessions on to a sin bin or putting a sticker on, after an hour no return remove them. It would definitely make for a more relaxing holiday being able to sit by the pool and make sure your children are safe instead of a blocked view with tonnes of UNUSED sun loungers most the day. 






Apart from the last point I would definitely return, fantastic hotel, staff, location, weather and of course the Holiday Village experience is immense. If you fall asleep standing up at the airport its been a good holiday!



Tips

  • You may have been considering this resort over another Holiday Village like us, please be aware that you need a visa to enter Turkey and this will add around £17pp or £62.82 for a family of 4 onto your holiday price...just worth mentioning.
  • Do a bit of research about what you want to do, pools, activities al a carte etc. I hate feeling I have to stick to a plan but this resort is enormous and literally I only felt I knew the craic or had settled in the day before we left! We only ate at one al a carte, didn't do footy academy which we were going to and were learning new stuff everyday.
  • When you arrive they put tickets on your luggage and will bring your cases to your room for you which is great if you have a lot of bags and little children. We were told from another guest though, it can take a few hours and we wanted to get straight into the holiday. So we took our cases with us to the room from the coach. Straight into swimmers which by stroke of genius I had packed on top and we were poolside with a cocktail within 20mins.
  • I know not everyone can get a suite but if I returned I definitely would. It was a bit of a squeeze with two smaller children never mind if you had a baby or teenagers or more than a weeks stay. Thats just my personal opinion though. 
  • Take a full medical kit. While there is a fantastic pharmacy in the town if its the middle of the night you're a bit snookered and have to pay £50 just to see the onsite GP so a little pricey if you need something simple but vital. I haven't suffered hay fever for yearrrrs and after 3 days of thinking I had an eye infection off my sun cream I twigged. I got a few things from the pharmacy and was then totally fine, there is so much jasmine and lovely greenery I don't know why I hadn't realised earlier.
  • Stock up on good Mosi stuff. I usually get eaten alive but have never know it like this. Everyone, even people I noticed around the pool were covered in big painful bites, super itchy and they took over a week to fade so bring supplies. Everything is expensive once there as you would imagine including suncream.
  • Don't bring clothes for kids ha! I went crazy getting new stuff for the boys as everything from last year for summer didn't fit, so they needed a full wardrobe. Even just Primark I spent a fortune but the shops here are unreal for trainers, footy boots, strips, t shirts and shorts etc. Can get some real bargains, I wouldn't bring much in future and get stuff here especially trainers. For handbags I would recommend Oska actually in the hotel. There is a big fancy shop in Sarigeme but the men are very pushy, they tried to say they were from a village near me (no way) and even bought me a glass of wine to try and get a sale I didn't trust them. I got a couple of lovely handbags from Oska and they are fantastic quality as he said if he had lots of problems the hotel wouldn't let him have a shop there and people know where he is if they need to contact him.

Enjoy, wish I was there now. For more pictures check out my instagram feed ashliesugarrushed. Holiday makers feel free to leave your tips in the comments.

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