Review of the Gloria Hotels in Turkey
Posted By Gary Whelan on 10 May 2014
There are so many 5 star hotels in Turkey of such varying quality that it is impossible to know which are the better ones. I am just back from an inspection of the three Gloria hotels in Belek (near Antalya in the South), all are 5 star, all are extremely family friendly with excellent facilities for children but in my opinion of quite different standards which you would only get a hint of through price comparison – beware the 5 star bargain in Turkey!
All three hotels are owned by the same family and all are well run, have great dining options (main restaurant plus 3 a la carte restaurants at no extra charge) and an excellent ‘can do’ attitude towards service. I also really enjoyed the fact that almost all staff were Turkish (I did feel like I was in Turkey), very friendly and with good English.
Gloria Serenity, Gloria Golf and Gloria Verde Hotels
The Serenity and Golf hotels are next door, both in extensive and beautifully kept gardens with the shared children’s clubs and facilities, as well as an amazing arena for shows, situated between the two hotels within easy walking distance of both. In the image below Gloria Serenity is the closest with all the pools and both have their beach areas although everything is shared with main facilities in between.
Both hotels have between them and the beach a freshwater river. I have to admit to being a bit dubious of this before I came as the pictures make it look a bit green and murky but I actually really liked it. The bridges across are well done and the one at Serenity has sofas to relax on and a few people were fishing – no catches that I saw but apparently more luck in winter!
The children’s area is superb and if you follow the link to our website below there are more details but amongst my favourite were the extensive water slides good for 4-12 year olds, the huge indoor play room for under 4’s with lots of toys to go round, the dedicated kid’s cinema and of course the structured activities and games. Take some relaxation time while they play or spend time with them at the club, there is something for everyone.
Adults are not forgotten and in addition to the golf, tennis and spa there is a professional nightly show at the Arena and daily films at the cinema. The Arena is between the hotels and I like the fact that it is an active decision to watch rather than an unavoidable one!
Gloria Serenity Hotel
The Gloria Serenity– as the price also indicates – is the flagship property and has some unique features – I loved the statues dotted in grounds and the large walls of tropical fish by the main restaurant. Although not small (369 rooms) the extensive grounds and different areas offer a quiet yet friendly feel. As the number of children is restricted in most room types you are not over run with ‘other people’s children’.
If you have more than 1 child then the villas are perfect and quite special – contemporary with a double room and twin room, large living/dining room and large terrace with Jacuzzi pool opening out onto gardens or communal pool - shown in photos below. Sold only on all-inclusive you can choose to have breakfast served on your terrace if you prefer the privacy. A superb option that I would thoroughly recommend for a luxury family holiday, with space for everyone.
Full details of Gloria Serenity Hotel, go >>
Gloria Golf Hotel
The Gloria Golfhotel is bigger and more traditional in style (515 rooms) with a busier feel and more going on, especially for children (you can always stay at the Serenity and use the facilities though). There is a fabulous shallow pool with fountains and showers to entertain younger ones for hours, and on the beach an art school (adults and children alike) in a lovely shady area, trampolines, bungee jump and even a kid’s activity area under a canopy. These are all extra to the children’s club!
Various room types are excellent for families with suites (2 rooms) but note the bathrooms, although renovated to a good standard, are small and only have a shower over the bath in most which is less than you would expect perhaps from a 5 star hotel. This is the Family Suites area.
Each hotel has its own main buffet restaurant plus at least three a la carte restaurants – you can eat at each of the a la carte ones once per week at no extra charge. There are also their own beach bars (I loved the fresh fruit bars, complimentary to all, available through the day), bar and lunchtime options.
Each of the hotels had its own large spa with Turkish Haman and relaxation areas (open for all at no charge), indoor heated pools (children allowed in) and a wide variety of treatments.
Full details of Gloria Golf Hotel, go >>
There are few hotels that I visit where I could stay 2 weeks but this is one where the variety offered both in terms of dining options, space, activities and culture on the doorstep would tempt me. Although not in walking distance of Belek it is only a short taxi ride away to the shops and weekly market and with the bustling town of Antalya plus ruins at Side and Taurus mountains just behind I felt there was plenty to explore.
When you book you can choose to book on half board or all-inclusive and I was busy trying to decide which would be the most cost effective. There are pros and cons. In favour of the all-inclusive is that all the premium brand drinks were included and at dinner there was a wide choice of wine – no restriction to house wine! Against was the fact that children can eat lunch free anyway at the excellent children’s buffet so it really came down to drinks and our lunches. Even on half board you can eat in the a la carte restaurants at no extra charge once per week and given that there are 3 of these (Asian, French and Aegean) then I felt this was a good balance.
Don’t be misled by the ‘Golf’ in the name – they all share the 45 holes of golf on the 3 courses and you can have preferred rates (seemed very reasonable if booked in advance too) and tee-off times staying at any of the hotels – golf must be booked well in advance and it is unlikely you will get a decent time if you try and book when you are there.
So what about the Gloria Verde. Well it’s a strange one and is separated from the other 2 hotels by the golf course (not accessible on foot). It has all the facilities I have described above but for itself, and the spa area was possibly the loveliest of the three, it has a huge proportion of repeat guests which speaks volumes for the quality of its service but I have to admit to being somewhat baffled by the flowery bedspreads, lack of king size beds – they are all queens – as well as plastic furniture on balconies. Sounds bad? Well I would be very disappointed if I came expecting a 5 star hotel yet the children’s club was excellent, being smaller it is friendlier, there is an even bigger paddling pool for young ones, play areas, toys and activities for all ages plus water slides etc . Align your expectations to the price you pay rather than the star rating or you will be disappointed.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!