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).
- 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