I stayed in this hotel for 10 days in July 2011 and Between August 22nd and September 2nd 2012 with my family. So, I will compare and add information for both stays.
Why Amara; I was debating if I should go to Bodrum for 2012 as I was afraid of the heat and humidity of Antalya in August. So, I looked at Rixos Bodrum and Xanadu in Bodrum at first. Once I learned that Rixos Bodrum was not real All inclusive and would charge and an arm and a leg for extras on top of the already high cost, and Xanadu also did not work for us, I decided to take the chances and go to Antalya as I had fantastic time in Amara in 2011. I am glad I did as the weather during my stay was mostly mid 30’s and the humidity was not a major issue although before our arrival on August 22nd, temperature hit forties in Antalya and other parts of the Turkey due to a heat wave. We were lucky…
Reservation; Initially, I used Tripsta.com which appeared as a UK company for my reservation. I paid and received confirmation from the company. After that, I received an email from a Company in Greece which seemed like the parent Company of the Tripsta.com and told me that they refunded my Credit card transaction which was already confirmed and asked for a wire transfer for the Full Amount instead. Without any explanation, I would not send that much money to Greece. So I had to cancel the reservation and use another company in Turkey. That cost me over 2000 USD. So stay away from Tripsta.com for reservations.
Transfer; Since I was booking the vacation my self, I had to arrange my own transfers. After some research and negotiations, I found the best price in http://www.isikototransfer.com for 150 YTL each way. I highly recommend those folks. They were on time and available with phone.
Hotel; Hotel is owned by a Russian and a Turkish guy. Their primary market is Russian speaking countries like, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Central Asia Turkic republics etc… Hence you will see/hear a lot of Russian in the hotel. Based on my observation, in 2012, during the first week of my stay, 60-70 PCT of the guests were Russian speaking, about 20 PCT was Turkish and the rest from Europe mainly, UK, France, Belgium etc… In the second half of my stay, I believe Turkish nationals were may be up to30 PCT instead of 20’ish. I have been visiting Turkish Riviera for the last 15 Years and seen many resorts during this time. +10 Years ago It was very customary to see loud, and rude +60 year old “Business Man” with 20 Year old “Girl friend” in those hotels. In the recent years this has changed, at least in the resorts I visited, and it became more and more family oriented. Last year I did not see any issue nor had any complaint about that type of guests. This year, there were very few guests in that category although I personally did not have any issue. However, I missed the 2011 composition of the guests. Although the hotel has no direct control of the guests, I believe they have indirect control through the marketing strategies. I hope, Amara gets back to same quality in 2013 although is not a major issue for me.
Rooms; Hotel has 2 sets of rooms. One is called “Club” and the other is regular Hotel Room. Club rooms are less expensive and they are separate structures next to the main building. Both in 2011 and 2012 I stayed in Club rooms and I was happy in all aspects. Best part of the Club rooms is that since they are sort of away from the main structure it is very quite and peaceful in those rooms. Main hotel rooms may face to sea, pool mountain or amphitheater and I suspect may get noisy during the activities. I had a chance to visit few rooms in the main building as well. They are nice rooms with gorgeous sea views. However, both the room and some of the furniture slightly started to show its age. For the question of if it is 5 star or not, it is debatable when you compare the room with the 5 star Hotels in Major cities in Europe or Istanbul. However, when I compare the rooms with the other similar 5 Star hotels in the region I stayed, over the years I visited many hotels including WOW and Rixos chains, Amara has one of the best that I stayed so far.
Food; So much food, unbelievable… you can eat for 24 hours in many restaurants available in the resort if you dare to… Some of the food is not good, some I do not like, some is so-so and some is delicious. The problem is to find the food you like… After a day or two you will know what/where to look for. I was very happy with the food in quantity and the quality. There are few ala-carte restaurants that you can make reservation for 10 to 20 Euro Per person. In those restaurants they serve you what ever the theme of the restaurant. In 2011 I visited the Fish Restaurant for few times and the Mexican. Mexican was OK and Fish restaurant was excellent with the food and the view. In 2012 I visited the Fish restaurant only once. It was nice as usual and serves you whatever the menu is. They also offered wild caught fish for an extra. For wild caught “Cupra”, if I am not mistaken, I was asked 70 Euro per kilo. It was very expensive and not sure if it was worth. So I skipped that. I recommend the Fish restaurant but once was enough for me this year. I did not visit the other ala-carte restaurants this year and stick with the main restaurant and pool restaurant for rest of my stay. That was plenty… All drinks in the resort are free. I always asked my Bacardi-Coke with Bacardi brand and never had an issue. However, you have to ask for it. Otherwise you will get some other brand which is not as good as the one you would used to. Based on my experience Amara has the best choice and taste among its competitors in terms of food and beverage next to Fethiye Hillside.
Entertainment; Animation team is mostly Russian and Turkish. All activities are announced in Turkish, Russian and English. If you do not speak one of those languages you would have problems to understand the announcements. Pretty much all activities are announced and happen around the pool area. Animation team walks around the beach or main restaurants to announce the upcoming activities as well. They take “no” as “no” and it is up to you if you want to participate… At night they have standard Chinese Acrobats or dancers in the amphitheater. What distinguish the Amara from the other resorts is that besides the “Standard” stuff, they have very well organized entertainments at the beach theater or pool side few days a week with reputable DJ’s, singers or bands. They also have a Disco after 11:30 PM. My 16 year old sun enjoyed the Entertainment and participated some to sporting events. They also have mini-club activities pretty much all day. A lot of kids participate in those activities including games, painting, mini-disco etc. My 4 year old and we preferred her, to stay with us instead of participating the mini-club activities away from us. However, if you want to drop your kid to mini-club for few hours, your kid will not be bored… All in all, you would not be disappointed with the entertainment in Amara.
Gala Night; This was not the “Gala” you would have any resort every week or every other week. That was the August 30th which is the Victory Day in Turkey, gala. In 24 hours Amara team converted the pool area to a giant restaurant and builds a Dancing Area inside the pool. They have food and drinks from all restaurants. Amazing food and choice… They crowned the night with very nice live music, fireworks and a Multi-media show describing the meaning of the night… It was amazing… Thanks to ALL personnel made that night possible… If you have a chance to stay through August 30th, you should do so to see this event…
Staff; They all try very hard to please you. Usually “Hi” or “Hello” is enough to get things going… Although it is not required, I tipped some of the staff and I believe they deserved some extra cash for their excellent service.
Pool-Beach; First of all, I do not like the pools in general and used the one in Amara only once for 2 minutes on the last day. I do not understand why would someone use the pool while such a clear sea is available. Having said that, I stayed on August 22nd when the hotel was fully booked due to the peak season and the religious holiday in Turkey, and I did not have seat issue any time. Even on my Arrival day at 11AM, I was able to find a seat at the beach although it was far at the end. Any other day there was something available at all times. However, if you want the seats on a specific location you may need to get up early. Like any resort some people reserve some seats early in the morning. However, if you do not mind to walk a little, you do not have to go through this. Guests are disbursed nicely around the various pools. So even during the most crowded day, pool did not look too busy.
The beach is not sand as many people mentioned below. It is mostly pebble stones. As a rule of the thumb, east of Antalya, like Kundu, Side, Belek, most beaches are sandy. West of Antalya, the beaches are pebble stone or rocks. Although the sand feels better and easier to get into water, clarity of the water is impacted by the sand moved by the waves. So, the trade of the sandy beach is “Not so Clear” sea. Hence, In Tekirova, the benefit of the pebble beach is the crystal clear sea. I prefer better clarity than the sandy beach and do not mind to use the jetty to jump into water. In an average day, Amara has about 60 feet visibility in the sea. You can swim with different kind of fish and hand feed them while swimming. My 4 year old daughter loved that. If you insist to use the beach to get into the sea, beach shoes are must. During my stay in August the seat temperature was stay 26 Degrees.
Bottom line; We had a great time as a family and loved to stay in Amara. I think that we got our money worth. We are looking back to go back next year.
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- Also Known As:
- Amara Dolce Vita Hotel Tekirova
- Amara Dolce Vita Tekirova