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“Excellent Hotel, shame about the Thomas Cook Travel Rep!”

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Paloma Grida Resort & Spa
Ranked #41 of 93 Hotels in Belek
Reviewed 8 July 2010

We stayed at the Paloma for 10 nights over June/July and I have to say it was a brilliant experience. The hotel was clean, staff friendly and helpful with lots to keep the kids entertained (two boys ages 3 and 4) - they loved the water slides and enjoyed the Thomas Cook Kids Club. The food was excellent with plenty to choose from at breakfast, lunch and dinner, fresh and tasty. The only downside was the Russians and their lack of manners! I don't think they were ever taught the meaning of queing! Wasn't a big problem for us, we just ignored them but it's worth knowing so your are prepared.

We had a delux family room with two bedrooms (one double bed and two singles) with two bathrooms and a living room. More than enough space for us all. The TV channels are all foreign except for BBC world news. If you have kids its worth taking a poratable DVD Player in case they get bought and want to watch some movies/cartoons. We took a small netbook with movies installed which was handy.

Overall we had a wonderful time and enjoyed every minute and can't wait to return next year (but NOT WITH THOMAS COOK!!!!) we are planning on going direct. Our flights we dealyed outbound 4 hours and inbound 3 hours and we were only informed once we got to the airport and checked in even though Thomas Cook new of the delays well in advance.

As for the Thomas Cook rep (Jay - "happy days") and the excursions - what a waste of time and money. Jay, although a nice enough guy new very little about any of the excursions and constantly had to ring the office for more info. On top of that, having spent over an hour with him, he still forgot my name and could not give any meaningful info first hand. We met other families at the hotel who had similar exepriences and were not very please with the rep. We went two excursions - The Manavgat Market/Cruise and the Last Day Excursion.

Manavgat Market - we got on a coach for about and hour, jumped on a boat down the Manavgat River for about an hour, stopped at a beach for 45 minutes, back dwon the river and on the coach for about an hour to the market. The cruise itself, a total waste of time, kids were bored and so were we. As for the market, the Rep (Jay) made it out to be the best thing since sliced bread, in reality it was a typical turkish market with poor quality fake goods - we found that the shops in Belek sold better quality! The same market stalls/traders were also at the Belek market on Saturday - the same people at the different markets selling the same rubbish. Not only that but we only had two hours in the market and it all seemed very rushed. The food on the boat was no way near the standard of the hotel which was disappointing. Overall, would not recommend it especially if you have children as the market gets very hot and humid!

Last Day Cruise - Our flight was scheduled for Monday 04.10am which meant we had to check out of our rooms on Sunday noon leaving arounf 12 hours before we would be picked for the transfer. With this in mind we talked to Jay about the last day excursion. This is what he told us - we would get picked up at 9am, driven to a hotel in Antalya (3 star or 5 star depending on what you choose). There we would drop our luggage off, relax and then be picked up for a boat cruise and then back to the hotel for about 4pm where we could relax, eat, get some sleep before we depart for the airport. I specifically asked Jay about the boat and wether it would be 'child friendly' and he stated that the boat would have slides for the kids to play on - "happy days" - not really!!.

We got picked up at 9am and drove past Antalya and the Airport at which point I asked the travel company rep where we were heading. He said we had some more pick ups to do and then we are heading to the boat for the cruise. The rep was useless! I explained that we were under the impression that we were going to the hotels first (as were others on the coach). He said sorry but you have been misinformed. We had planned to got to the hotel and not bother with the cruise and spend a relaxing day in Antalya. Anyway, after about 3 hours we got to the boat, which suprise suprise had no slides for the kids and went on a pointless cruise wasting a whole day to return at the hotel in Antalya at 5.30pm. to make matters worse, we had no room booked or ready as Thomas Cook failed to book the appropriate number of rooms. After 30 minutes of raising my voice they eventually prepared a room for us. Not what we expected or wanted on our last day. We stayed at the 5 star hotel which is a 5 minute drive from the airport. Although grand and expensive looking it lacked the warmth and friendliness of the Paloma and the food was no way as good as the Paloma - give me the Paloma any day!!. The other point to mentioned is that there is very little to do or see if you stay in the 5 star as it is close to the airport with no surrounding shops, cafe etc. Your are basically confined to the hotel. As for the 3 star, that is situated in the centre of Antalya which provides the opportunity to visit shops, cafes etc.

Overall good points:
lovely hotel, lovely people, great choice of food, lots to keep the kids busy, very safe and clean surroundings, and met some wonderful people. Would highly recommend.

Overall bad points:
Rude Russions, Thomas Cook rep, Thomas Cook Excursions, Thomas Cook Airlines (completley useless).

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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6  Thank zak7521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 June 2010

First of all this is a great hotel for families with young children, i wouldn't touch this place if you were looking for a quiet or romantic time. We stayed here in June and the first 3 days were very hot (40 plus) but it went down to around 30 after this.

Pools - Amazing pools with free slides which were also very good and no long queuing either. Spent most of the time near to the smaller childrens slide pool which our 3 year old son loved. Also unlike in the UK, they let children go down the bigger slides with or without a parent, which so long as you know what your doing is great and you feel your not being restricted by the health & safety brigade.

Rooms - We booked a Family room, and at first we were given a large duplex room (would be great for family with children over 5 years), which was great apart from the stairs were far to steep for our son, so we asked to move to a 1 floor family room. We finally got a room change after 2 days (more about that later) the new room was a bit smaller than the duplex but was fine for our needs. Balconies are tiny and they might as well not have bothered. Aircon in both rooms wasn't great and it really struggled in the 3 days of 40 plus degrees. Maid kept it clean, bathroom was worst bit of room and they need updating.

Restaurants - Main one was absolute chaos most of the time, and they clearly need more staff to wait on and clear up/lay tables. Food was ok, not the best all inclusive we've had but not the worst. Grill section outside was good, but always seemed very busy. Limited selection of fruit available, eg - no bananas or grapes. Apples were not good. Had meal in a la carte twice - chinese was very average and would not recommend. Turkish was great and would recommend without a doubt. Service in these two were a lot better than in the main one.

Reception staff - When we changed rooms we were promised a new room after 2 pm, the room was the one above us anyway, which we picked to minimise the move. However even though the room was still being cleaned at 2.45pm, the time i went to reception, they said they had given it someone else (russian) because i hadn't been there at 2pm and they also said they had sent someone to our room. I pointed out to them that i was told after 2pm, not 2pm exact, that the room was still being cleaned at 2pm and that i was in my room as my son was sleeping so no one came to the room. The supervisor (dark blue shirts as opposed to white) huffed and puffed when i told them they were clearly not telling me the truth. In the end we got a room the next day, but the fact they tried to bluff their way out of a mistake instead of simply telling us has marked them down. In general reception staff were rude and unhelpful, they don't speak great english, and they are clearly geared towards the russians (some staff were russian on reception)

Staff - The only British staff were the 3 Thomas Cook kids club reps, who were great kids club is great and our son who normally doesn't want to go to hotel clubs went 3 times, the dizzy party (cost £10) from 7-10pm once a week was great and allowed us to have a quiet meal to ourselves, a bargain at £10!! The rest of the staff are not very good and as i've said before are in favour of the russians and germans.

Other guests - We met some great other british families there (hello Laura and Jay) but we also noticed the general lack of manners from the russians, but you simply have to forget your british manners and fight your corner. Sun beds are gone by 7.30am, so to get a good speck around the childrens pools you need to get there before 7am. Would agree with last person to comment, great to have no uk chavs at the hotel.

Finally - Had a very good holiday and felt that 10 days was enough, wouldn't go back as there as too many other places to visit but would recommend a vist despite the few problems.
3* rooms
3* plus food
4* kids entertainment
4* plus pool and grounds

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank cymru-am-byth01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2010

Well what can I say, we arrived here 4th june midnight with my husband and our two young daughters 2 and 4. We were given a room 'Superior Double with garden view'. This was perfect - enough space for the 4 of us (balcony rather small but never really sat out as so much else going on in the resort). We did move rooms the following day as we were not happy with the noise from the disco at the next hotel along. This was sorted out brilliantly and we were moved across the way - same type of room and no noise. Speaking to other holiday makers who had booked rooms that were 'standard' seemed unhappy as rooms were not big enough.
As soon as we explored this wonderful complex we were delighted. The pools were fantastic, we always sunbathed around the baby pool as it was perfect and safer for our young children and also right next to the play park - which all the kids loved. We did progress on to the slides as the holiday went on which were great fun - no queing and no paying.
The food was plentiful, even the buffet resteraunt had so much choice. The al a carte resteraunts were great, especially the french - we actually went there twice!
The entertainment was also fab - our children really enjoyed the kids disco and the shows which were on afterwards. All the songs were so catchy I am still humming the zum zum zum song! After the entertainment finished at about 10.30 we either headed to the zomm bar and sat out in the coutryard with friends that we met which was so peaceful and great for the kids to play. Sometimes we went to the park where alot of the families got together whilst the children played or slept in the buggys.
The shops were so expensive so a little trip out into Belek to buy any essentials (only 1 euro to get there or a short stroll, 10 mins walk will save you loads of money).
This hotel was very clean and spotless in every area.
I would definately go back to this hotel - it has so much more than I have mentioned. I have been to alot of all inclusive resorts and this is like no other - not full of chavs like some hotels, great people, alot of russians who some reported were rather rude but we didn't have any trouble. Germans also who lived up to there reputation as if you didn't get a towel on your sun longer by 7am most were taken! Obviously this is only if you want to be sunbathe in a particular area (ie the little pool).

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank susie76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2010

“Belek…” announced our on-site Thomas Cook rep. during his Welcome Meeting on our first morning in the hotel “… is probably the wealthiest town on this coast, in terms of the foreign guests it entertains, and the Paloma Grida is probably the best hotel in the area” After a few days in Turkey, having taken a tour of the other hotels on the “strip” one can certainly question the latter assertion, but the Grida (Paloma is the Group name, like Hilton or Premier Inns) is probably one of the best in terms of family entertainment and all round facilities in the area. At the end of our two weeks, on the bus back to the airport, one English “gentleman” from the biggest and clearly the “poshest” hotel actually shuddered when I told him, in answer to his question that yes, we did have lots of children at the Grida. It transpired that his only concern was how far his hotel was from the nearest Golf Club, and he assured me that thankfully, his hotel was not suitable for children. (You pays your money…)
Golf clubs abound in Belek, both the vastly manicured lawn types full of wealthy Russians and Germans, and the numerous “bags of bats” as we Scousers know them, which adorned the hotel’s outdoor reception area, making the rest of us, i.e. the non-golfers, very much out of the social mainstream. (N.B. – As I write, sitting in the hotels “main street” drinking my morning coffee, a large Polish family is processing down the street, each bearing a golf putter, in a clear attempt to keep up with their wealthier neighbours in the holiday rat-race which is the Paloma Grida) Make no mistake… this hotel is very much about who you are, and where you come from.
If you think the English operate a Class system back home “You really ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” compared to the social exclusion operated, whether intentionally or not in our experience, by not only the hotel staff, but by most of the local population in the town. Frankly, if you’re not Russian, German, or to a lesser extent Polish, you’re not even in the game, in little old Belek. We very rarely heard an English voice in the hotel.
In a local clothes shop, my wife, a most mild mannered person, was persuaded into a clothes shop with the promise that their goods were “cheaper than Asda” (The shopkeepers, or their employees sit outside their shops and harass every tourist who walks past until, unless you are very strong willed, you are forced into their emporia) On this occasion, she was interested in a plain white cotton top, to wear over her swimming costume, which she could probably have picked up in England for £20 - £30. However, she was on holiday, so in for a penny… The man started of by offering her the one she liked, together with a second one, for 200 Euros… (about 170 Pounds Sterling) and after considerable haggling eventually came down to 175 Turkish Lire (about 76 Pounds Sterling) for the single item she wanted. Feeling this was still to steep for a plain cotton top, my wife thanked the man politely and walked out, followed by cries of “The Russians would pay it…”
Another warning here. Despite what you may be told back home, everybody but everybody in Belek deals in Euros, and will only take Turkish Lire begrudgingly. This includes the hotel, the local shops, the (hugely expensive) shops in the hotel, and even the bus and taxi drivers. One little old lady who sells Candy Floss (Cotton Candy) to the children inside the hotel complex charges 2 Euros, and does not display a price we could see, in Lire. To compound the problem, none of the shops within the hotel complex appear to want to haggle (as opposed to everywhere else in Belek, where everybody expects to “do a deal”) The man in the hotel’s watch shop offered me a copy of a famous name watch for 125 Euros, (about 105 Pounds Sterling) and refused point blank to bring the price down, not that I would have bought one anyway, as these things are totally illegal in the U.K..!
In terms of the hotel itself, the rooms are adequate, although the air conditioning appears incapable of handling the sort of temperatures experienced in Turkey. We probably heard more complaints about the air conditioning than anything else in the hotel. During the two weeks we were there ( 7th to the 21st June 2010) the daytime temperature varied between 35 degrees C (97 degrees F) to 45 degrees C (113 degrees F) with our highest on one day being 47 degrees C (117 degrees F) Even at night, according to the hotel’s thermometer on reception, the temperature as we were going to bed was around 32 degrees C (90 degrees F) I described it to somebody as “You wake up sweating, you go to bed sweating, and you sweat for the whole time in between…” Still, if you love the sun that much, you’ll love this holiday..!
Granted, we did complain about the air conditioning to our Thomas Cook on-site rep, and within two hours, we had a member of the hotel staff around to look at it. (It didn’t improve it much, but at least they had a go…) That’s another thing… Our Thomas Cook rep… Jay Bridgewood, a 20 year old young man from Dudley was probably one of the best reps we have ever encountered on our numerous travels around the world. Having only been in Belek for little more than three weeks when we arrived, and having been with Thomas Cook for not much longer, he was unfailingly enthusiastic, energetic and pro-active in terms of doing all he could to ensure our holiday was all it could be. Every complaint was treated seriously, and most problems were rectified immediately. On one occasion, when a day trip we went on turned out to be nothing like the description given by Diana, the local tour company, Jay even arranged to get us part of our money back. Although we were not totally happy with this result, he had clearly put himself out to help us, as he did on numerous occasions, and we all agreed we would be happy to be “looked after” by this young man again.
The food in the hotel is plentiful and varied, with the main focus being on salads, including many types of leaves and vegetables we had never seen before, but which the Russians demolished with gusto. As it happened, I caught a stomach bug on our third day in the resort and spent the day in bed, (I’m sure this was unconnected to the delicious food) so my appetite was somewhat restricted for the rest of the holiday. The grill area, just outside the main restaurant features freshly cooked fish, chicken and meats (mainly lamb) of all descriptions and is excellent, although the queues to be served tend to be long, with many of our foreign friends not yet having grasped the concept of “queuing” (I’m 6 foot 1 inch tall and weigh 19 and a half stone (273 pounds) and I was pushed out of the way on more than one occasion by huge Russians)
Whilst I am known to be something of a “Victor Meldrew” by my family where food is concerned, I did try many new things, although some of the strange looking stews on offer remained untested in my case. The soups however were, without exception, excellent. The Turks (or whichever nationality the cooks were) certainly preferred their breakfast eggs “runny” and I suspect there was some Russian influence here, as I never once received a properly cooked egg. “Sunny side up” is fine, but not when the white part remains totally uncooked.
Drinks offered were almost all of the local variety, but Coke, Fanta, Sprite and other Coke produced drinks made with syrups were constantly available, out of the pumps, and very good too. Water (bottled by Coca Cola) is always available and is free, as are all the other local drinks. Most Internationally known alcoholic drinks are not available anywhere on the complex however, and my wife suffered because she couldn’t get a proper Bacardi & Coke anywhere in the hotel.
Having spent many happy mornings drinking coffee outside the bar on the hotel’s “Main Street” where small round wooden tables and wicker chairs invite you into the shade to just sit and watch the world go by, whilst the children are in the public furnaces which constitute the poolside concrete slabs covered in deck chairs. I learned that the Main Street was the coolest place on the complex, with a gentle breeze blowing through, and by taking advantage of the plentiful free bottles of water, I could remain relatively cool. Damla brand water, is all of course bottled by Coca Cola, as is just about everything else in the hotel. The waitresses, all small, Turkish and bustling, possessed by a demonic desire to remove all signs of human habitation from “their” tables. Whilst you always go to the bar yourself for your drinks and delicious little cakes (these being offered and eaten no matter what hour of the day it is) the waitresses job is to ensure cleanliness, wherever there are tables and chairs. This they achieve by constantly wandering around the tables, returning every two minutes or so, and, peering down into your coffee cup, then looking you in the eye for confirmation that you have finished, and she can return the table to it’s pristine condition. Very, very occasionally, this look is accompanied by the only three words of English one ever hears from these paragons of tidiness… “Can I take?”
All in all a reasonably good hotel, with a heavy bias towards the Russians and Germans. There are no British staff at the hotel, apart from the “Kids Club” girls as far as we could detect, and the Reception staff, who appear largely to be Russian are often rude, arrogant, and pretend not to speak English. We formed the opinion, having spoken to several families who came with us on the bus that the Brits were offered the poorest rooms, as a matter of course, and if you didn’t complain, you were stuck with them.
So, would I go there again? Yes, most definitely… But only if the weather were cooler…

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank PeteSouthportUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2010

this is a lovley village complex. staff are very friendly and can not do enough for you. entertainment staff work so hard and work long hours. The food really good and lots of choice. beach is beautiful. my daughter loved the kids club. i would go back.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank DundeeDan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paloma Grida Resort & Spa

Address: | Iskele Mevkii, Belek 07500, Turkey
Region: Turkey > Turkish Mediterranean Coast > Antalya Province > Serik District > Belek
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Business Hotel in Belek
#26 Romantic Hotel in Belek
#32 Spa Hotel in Belek
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Belek
#41 Luxury Hotel in Belek
#41 Family Hotel in Belek
Price Range: $127 - $566 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Paloma Grida Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 459
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paloma Grida Village & Spa is in the middle of a natural wonder with over 100 bird species. Village owns sandy beach and palm shaded romantic gardens and offers spacious accommodations with balcony, five a la carte, one buffet service (total seven restaurants) and four bars that cater every taste and four outdoor, one heated indoor (total 5) swimming pools including water park and separate kids pool. Live music, live shows and disco club available for evening entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paloma Grida Village And Spa
Paloma Grida Village Belek
Paloma Grida Village Hotel Belek
Grida Village Belek

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