Once again we are in holidays in late autumn and this year we decided for Turkey. We were a week earlier than last year, last week of October, and we thought we take the risk of not that great weather and do a combination trip with one week of sun and beach and five days of exploring Istanbul. And so far it worked out fine.General information
As we booked flights and hotel separately and hence transport from and to the airport wasn’t included. We looked for something rather close to the airport so Liberty Hotels in Lara Beach, 15km from Antalya airport, sounded sensible. The taxi only cost us 50 Turkish Lira which is about 18€ and therefor fine. The trip to the hotel was about 20 minutes and yet we don’t get any flight noise. Lara beach is a town consisting of quite closely packed huge beach side hotels, some basaars or shopping malls as the tend to call them and some apartments for people working here – not much “normal” non-touristy local life. Liberty Hotels (why the “s” nobody can tell because it is just one) is located towards the outer edge of town and seems to be one of the smaller hotels here at least compared to some huge neighbors. Guests are mainly German and English with some other European nationalities especially from Scandinavia mixed in too. Many of them returned for the second or more time already from what you can hear.
Located, as all hotels here, on a rather narrow stripe of land, squeezed between two other
hotels, Liberty Hotels has one huge eight storeys high building with all the rooms and a very lush green garden and pool area (considering it is already early autumn here too that is really nice) stretching out to the beach. As land seems to be sparse here the garden and pool area seems to be rather packed. Starting with a Relax pool close to the main restaurant (probably not the best location for a quiet pool, also because it sits justs meters away from the noisy neighboring service building). If you move on towards the beach you’ll find a quite big main pool, a kids pool with small slides and some bigger slides. Unfortunately all pools have freezing cold water. And the sea is as cold. So the hotel could really do with at least one heated pool at this time of the year. In between you find lots of places where you can lie down, enjoy the sun and relax. In the middle of all is a small amphitheater where they host their nightly shows. Around it are some smaller wooden huts that are supposed to stand in a pond but unfortunately it doesn’t have water in it so it could actually look nicer. The beach front is clean and there is a small jetty with some pavilions on it that are seemingly rentable on a daily basis. The neighboring hotels have jetties too but they seem out if use which could be due to the fact that it is nearly end of season and there was a storm last week. So we think they already kind of deplanked them for the winter season.
The hotel has a huge (because 8 storeys high) entrance hall with a bar. It is quite nice and the favourite spot to linger at night because even though we have bikini weather during the day it gets quite cold at night. You can see here that the hotel is not one of the newest any more. It is not bad or anything but you can see the use of everything. I read that they will be closing for the first few month next year to renovate some parts, something they might extend to their gardens to freshen up things a little bit. There is a indoor swimming pool on the ground level next to a spa area where you can use sauna and a turkish bath for free.
Food and Drinks
The food is perfect. Michael did complain the other night that it is always the same which is partly true but what they have is quite regional food and delicious. And they have a huge offer. Even people that don’t dare to immerse themselves in lovely Turkish antipasti, salads and softly cooked meat will find their pasta, fries and there is always freshly grilled meat, fish and vegetables on the outdoor food stalls, not mentioning lots of fresh fruit and the inevitable super sweet desserts, cakes and biscuits. All regional drinks are all inclusive which means you can get basically what ever you like and I haven’t seen anybody asking for imported alcohol that you could pay for so far.
Ok, nothing can top our room last year in Egypt. But that would have been hard anyway. For some reason our room had four beds making it smaller than it actually is but we use one for ourose and one is just there so that is ok. The bathroom is clean but nothing much more to talk about.
Everyone here is very nice and attentive and seems to speak at least a little English or German. Especially at bars or the restaurant there are many waiters and you get served quickly. The animation team is hardly ever seen and don’t try to press people to join the guided fun which I think is great but I have seen people doing water gym (can’t get myself to do that as the water is really freezing) or playing soccer and boccia.
The hotel is great value for money. Food, service and location are great. If you come to Lara beach, you have to live with the fact that all hotels are very close to each other. If you can accept that everything else is good too. I hope they will use this winter for some renovations and maintenance work and then the hotel will be great value for money.