Contributor/ Saffron Powell Brown
Best Known For
A super luxurious, ‘ultra all-inclusive’ resort spread across an impressive 1,000,000 sqm along the Mediterranean coastline in Turkey. Regnum Carya Golf & Spa was the host of the 2015 G20 Summit; they even built new villa accommodation especially for this prestigious event.
The Good Stuff
According to their website, Regnum Carya Golf & Spa set out with the vision to ‘become an indispensable brand and to let you experience a matchless accommodation where you will feel extremely special.’ Well, they certainly achieved that, just looking at the website makes you feel that way. I arranged a stay here this summer, with my husband and hard-to-please step-children. After searching high and low for the ‘perfect’ family holiday, I found it – in bucket-loads – I don’t think we’d ever been so excited about a holiday in our lives. Regnum boasts a 2,500 sqm water park, a beautiful organic spa, 3 FIFA standard football pitches, tennis courts, five a-la-carte restaurants, eight bars, a nightclub, two internationally recognised golf courses, conferencing facilities and even an adventure park. What’s not to love?
Our holiday of a lifetime came close to being cancelled (on our part) after the Turkish military were attempting a coup d’état against the government a few days before we were due to fly out. My teenage step-son was extremely anxious and was adamant that he wasn’t coming.
To cut a very long and stressful story short, we reassured him (and ourselves) with the fact the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) hadn’t changed its travel advice. From the moment we stepped into our ridiculously opulent transfer vehicle at Antalya airport we slipped into pure relaxation mode. Our ride was fully equipped with comfy leather seats, not one but two huge TVs, a phone, an iPad, ice-cold drinks and snacks – so indulgent.
This feeling continued throughout our entire stay, helped along by the staff who were all so friendly and dedicated – every single last one of them, from upper management to waiters and gardeners. The resort oozed peace and tranquility, managing the near impossible – pleasing kids and adults in equal measures. We hired a stunning pier cabana with billowing white voile curtains, jumping in and out of the sea and sipping on Aperol Spritzes – delivered at just the push of a button. By the pool, us adults enjoyed roller-skating waitresses delivering drinks and snacks whereas the kids loved the Aqua World with its water slides, wave pool and a crazy river ride.
Inside the Hotel – 10/10
Our ‘home’ for the next five days was a Baron Villa, one of the villas built for the G20 summit – as they were added to the resort earlier this year. A whopping 250m² of pure decadence, we were met with flowers, champagne, Turkish sweets and cold flannels, no queuing at reception – what a welcome! Our ‘room’ had every single thing we could possible want, let alone need. A huge 120m² heated private pool, three dressing rooms and bathrooms (complete with Bulgari toiletries), maxi-bars fully stocked with premium spirits, wine, beers and soft-drinks – all built, decorated and furnished to the highest possible standard. And the best bit, our very own golf cart to zoom around the resort in.
This hotel couldn’t have been any more perfect if it tried, they had everything I could want from a hotel, including the most vital thing – a pillow menu. Oh, did I mention that they have a helicopter on site available for trips too? Considering it’s such a big space, the place was spotless and never felt crowded. Being an ultra all-inclusive resort, the dining options were excellent. The restaurants are in the main building, the à la carte restaurants on the ground floor and the main buffet-style restaurant – aptly called Gourmet, is down one level.
We all had a great night at the Japanese inspired Chufang restaurant, sat up at the hot plate where Teppanyaki masters entertained us with utensil juggling, food flipping and flashes of fire. But our best evening by far was the ‘Red & White’ party with dance routines on an impressive outdoor stage, complete the latest club anthems and glow sticks, we scored brownie points with the kids that night.
Outside the Hotel – 3/10
Our holidays usually involve culture and wandering around the local area – despite protests from the kids. Regnum was an exception to our outlook on travel. You simply don’t leave the resort here, from what we could see on the journey to and from the hotel, there’s not much around aside from other hotels anyway. Although nearby archaeological sites include the Roman amphitheater at Aspendos and the ancient Greek city of Perge’s colonnaded streets. Staying somewhere as indulgent as Regnum meant we wouldn’t want to leave, even if there was something to go and see.