Friday, 16 November 2018

A Visit To Alba Hotels, Antalya

In October I had my yearly trip to Alba Hotels in Antalya in Turkey, I live for this break every autumn and there are three hotels in the resort that we go to. The Alba Royal is for adults only, Alba Queen and the Alba Resort, we alternate between the Resort and the Queen. The staff at these hotels are amazing, in fact, they are bloody exceptional! But the hotels themselves are just not like they used to be. We have been going for a few years now and over the years we have seen some cutbacks which actually do affect the enjoyment of your holiday. But before I go into all of that, let me tell you about the positives of staying at this hotel chain.

Jenny and her guest services team - if you have a problem, they get it sorted - like straight away! They are always smiling and always check that everything is okay. They really offer the personal touch to your holiday. They also help with information about the local area.

Mona and the reception team - They have the reception covered 24/7, so if you have a problem it will always be sorted. There have been times when I have lost a hotel key after a heavy night in the bar and had to go and get another one in the early hours of the morning. They are always at the end of the phone if you need them.

The waiters and bar staff - They will make your holiday fun and make sure that you always have a drink or food in your hands. Nothing is ever too much effort for them, even when they are working 8 or 12-hour shifts trying to please demanding holidaymakers. Okay, some don't like me but I can't make everyone like me.

The Animation - Again, they are a bit like marmite. You either like them or you don't. We are lucky enough to get on with them and the kid's animation specifically are fantastic. Tilly fell in love with them this summer when I took her out there.  They work from 9.30 in the morning until 11.30 at night with only rest breaks throughout the day. That's a pretty tough day!

The housekeepers, groundsmen and technical people - They obviously play an important role in the running of the hotel because without them, it would all ground to a halt. You see them all working from the early hours until late at night and if you have a problem in the room, someone is there within minutes. The housekeepers never seem to stop, they are like little worker bee's constantly cleaning up after holidaymakers.

The Beach - OMG, the hotel is so close to the beach, although the beach does seem a long way off when you just want to lie by the beach. In the summer they have parties on the beach, but when we go in May and October, they are not on. It's a shame because I would love to experience a beach party.

German Guests - There are very few English people that go to the Alba hotels and I actually love this, because the Germans actually do holidays, so much more responsibly than English people. We seem to think 'Oh... free bar....' and before we know it, we are drunk and being lairy. The Germans are so much more dignified! They also understand the rule about the sunbeds, we put our towels on a sunbed and they stay there all day.

The hotel grounds - The hotel grounds are beautiful, there are flowers and tree's everywhere. The Alba Resort has a zoo in it and it's just so relaxing to be there.

The security - These are the guys that keep us safe and make sure we get back to our hotel safely.

So with all these positives, what not to like about holidays at the Alba Hotels?

The entertainment - This is always the same! They get bands in and the bands sing the same songs, (except Alice, we LOVE Alice). And when I started going a few years ago, they had entertainment that was on a two-week loop so it wouldn't be the same for guests that were staying for a fortnight. Now its the same entertainment every week and to be quite honest - its boring! Its the same kind of entertainment year after year too. Where is the entertainment of the family shows like Grease and Aladdin? Why does the management of the hotel think its okay to have the same thing over and over again? Towards the end of your holiday, you don't want to go to the pool bar because the entertainment is the same. The animation do their best with the entertainment but there is only so much that they can do!

All access passes - Hey, what about a pass that means you can use the facilities at one of the sister hotels? For example, I like staying at the Alba Queen because the rooms are better furnished and more modern, yet we love the scenery of the Alba Resort and they have the zoo for the children, yet we are not allowed to go freely between the hotels. Offering an all-access pass for a little extra cost would bring in more hotel income (that you could use on better entertainment) and would give for happier guests.

The food - although the food was better on this last trip to Turkey, it is still so 'samey' and it is geared towards the German guests. Sometimes it would be nice to have a bit of English grub too, how about a banging cooked breakfast? It would be nice to see some different food in the Alba Queen pool bar, like some flatbread.

The WIFI - This costs an astronomical 25 Euro for a two-week stay! And it isn't very stable, it goes off all of the time and even though you are supposed to get it in all parts of the hotel, you often cannot get it. Or the free WIFI overrides the payment WIFI and the free one is even more unstable. If I didn't have my child at home, then I would probably not bother with it.

Although the positives greatly outweigh the negatives, we cannot keep going to a hotel because the staff are excellent! We need to feel like we are getting our money worth of holiday because it's not cheap to stay in the hotel. I would love to get together with the management of the hotel as a holidaymaker and suggest what the guests would love to see. After all, it's not all about the profit, is it?

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