Review of Club Gural Premier, Belek, Turkey.
Why go? Very few resorts can boast 31 tennis courts overlooking the Turkish Riviera and an impressive aqua park but this seafront 5-star hotel has both on tap making it a first choice destination for families and the young at heart. Sprinkle in the sunshine, doorstep sandy beach, and sumptuous accommodation set amidst perfectly manicured botanical gardens and you will struggle to find a reason to step outside the complex during your stay.
Tennis: If tennis is your sole reason for choosing this destination you will not be disappointed. I travelled with a group of 40 people from my tennis club led by our own club coach and we never once struggled to book our desired time slot. Regular tennis holiday trippers will be all too aware of the frustrating time restrictions that often apply when large groups play abroad but given the considerable number of courts this was never an issue. The clay was in impeccable condition; while an impressive junior zone featuring four short tennis courts and a practice wall also kept the little ones happy.
Other facilities: A particular highlight of the holiday was the water park; the most challenging decision being which way to ride the numerous water slides. Solo? With a friend? On an inflatable rubber ring? On a mat? Sitting upright? Lying down? By the end of the holiday our group has experimented with every possible variation and whilst I emerged voiceless – the stomach churning drops in the closed black hole tube certainly took their toll on my vocal cords – the park proved to be a source of endless fun for both old and young alike. By late afternoon we’d gathered on the beach for volleyball sessions played against the backdrop of a beautiful setting sun. Many enjoyable nights were spent watching the evening entertainment – wonderfully choreographed musical shows awash with trained dancers clad in spectacular costumes – or in the open air disco. Parents did not miss out either thanks to the hotel’s babysitting service.
Accommodation: Built in traditional Turkish architectural style, the rooms were surrounded by palm trees in the middle of a botanical garden complex and split into individual guesthouse blocks. I stayed in a grand, spacious deluxe room complete with a king sized and single bed, bubble jet bath, balcony, desk, huge flat screen TV and free WiFi. The mini bar, part of the all inclusive deal, was replenished every day and there were tea and coffee making facilities. The guest service facilities were impressive – within five minutes of asking to borrow a spare travel adaptor one had been delivered to my door.
What to eat: We travelled during the October half term and unfortunately The Beach Restaurant, located on the sea front, was closed due to the end of season timing. This only gave us one option for food – the main restaurant – for both lunch and dinner which became slightly tedious, although the quality of the food somewhat made up for it. Offering both Turkish speciality and international dishes, my carnivorous friends gave the meat dishes glowing reviews. The soups were both wholesome and tasty, and there was plenty of choice at the salad bar. While some local alcoholic spirits are included in the all inclusive deal, some imported drinks – such as rum – frustratingly incurred a charge.
What else can you do? Unwind by one of two adult pools, on the beach front sun-loungers or pack your golf clubs and head out to one of the many pristine courses just a stone’s throw away from the resort.
For more information:
Purley LTC arranged their trip through http://www.sportawayholidays.com
Prices began at £689 based on a 7 night stay/accommodation all inclusive sharing basis. This included transfers to and from the resort and a minimum 20 hours tennis programme. The flight was not included in the price.