Why I picked it: On the southwestern coast of Turkey, is only about an hour flight from Istanbul, and it’s like the Turkish Amalfi coast. Beautiful vistas and amazing blue water is just the beginning. Though we typically aren’t resort goers, I was starting this trip solo with the kids so I figured I wanted to make it as easy as possible for myself… Have everything in one place and lots and lots of food.
Where we stayed: Hillside Beach Club. Its considered one of the best in Turkey, and I was generally impressed. The rooms were modern and nice and a good size for a family of four.
The grounds were amazing… spread out, well kept, clean, and well staffed.
Why it’s great for parents:
- Quality of the food exceeded my expectations, even for resort style dining; enormous dessert table forced me to live in the 20% part of my diet. Nice, fresh baby food buffet for the young babies too.
- Great spacious modern gym and two different types of spas to choose from for excellent treatments
- Very quiet private adult beach and pool
- My husband said the scuba was excellent in terms of quality of equipment and instructors
- Fantastic products in the rooms… I still use my Hillsides nail file and chapstick
Why it’s great for kids:
- They have three different “youth clubs”, one for 4-7 year olds (which is where I spent much of my time), one for 8-13 year olds, and one for 13+. Kidside (for the 4-7 year olds) was superb. Even though she was too young to leave in their day program, my daughter could basically run around there by herself and I felt like she was completely safe because the pools are shallow and they have a lot of staff members and lifeguards. I didn’t have to really do much with her because she liked the staff and they always had face painting, art projects, or games. I think my daughter still calls this her favorite trip.
The thing I loved:
The “PhotoStop” idea. So they basically have professional photographers set up strategically around the entire resort clicking pictures all the time of your family. Sometimes they “lightly” pose you, but the whole experience is really great. The photos are uploaded within a few hours and you can go through everything on their easy, interactive touch screens at their photo store and of course, buy your pics. We ended up buying a ton of pics that can be a holiday card, invitation, or just something to send to the grandparents. We loved this and wished we had this on every trip. I guess I just need to hire a personal photographer to travel with us…
The things I didn’t like:
- Ya girl never wants to hear no, especially when I am traveling, and especially at this price point. Upon check-in (2pm), I had one hungry kid, and one tired and hungry kid and I was told that the only way I could get lunch was to go to the main restaurant before it closed. That was simply not happening since my son was so overtired that he was bouncing off the walls. I asked to have food sent up to the room and I was told that they don’t have room service so that wouldn’t be an option. Pissed, I called the general manager and told her to fix it because we are not going down and we wouldn’t be able to go anywhere until after 4pm. She did indeed fix it so I give points to them for that, but please, don’t even start by telling me no.
- Dinner started at 7pm and there was no real food option before then.
- Babysitters can only work a maximum of 3 hours at a time. If you need more hours, you will have to switch to someone else after that 3 hour mark. Very annoying.