On this year’s golf trip to Turkey we decided to upgrade on the Thomas Cook flight from Bristol to Antalya and thanks to the extra leg room we arrived in Turkey feeling comfortable and in high spirits. We were driven, we believe by Louis Hamilton judging by the speed, to the Papillon Ayscha Hotel in Belek – the same location that we visited on our 2010 golf holiday.
On our previous golf break we played the golf courses at the National, Kaya Eagles and the Tat International golf clubs. Even though these courses were out of this world we thought we would go for something different this year as we have been told there are no less than 16 world class golf courses in Belek. On this golf trip we decided to play the Montgomerie Maxx Royal and the Carya courses. However due to some temporary problems at Carya Golf Club we had decided to play all of our five rounds at the Montgomery – a decision we did not regret as we again found this to be a really great golf course and in absolutely immaculate condition.
Our start times were all at either 8.00am or 8.30am so we were early to bed and early to rise but we did still have time for a 7.00am breakfast and 7.30am shuttle to the course. It was however well worth the effort as our rounds were all completed without delays in times between 2hrs 50mins to 3hrs 10mins – something not often achieved on golf holidays at popular golf resorts these days! After each round we were able to sit in the sunshine and enjoy a really nice bottle of wine on the veranda looking down the 18th fairway. It was actually quite enjoyable seeing other golfers finishing their rounds. Being somewhat elderly we did use buggies and that added to our enjoyment here and, although not a hilly course, we would recommend them for all but the young bucks. There are some really good par threes over water and we did leave a couple of balls for others to find at a later date! We were very pleased with the service here…our clubs were taken care of for the duration of the golf trip and each day, by the time we had emerged from putting on our golf shoes, the clubs were waiting on a buggy ready for us to drive to the start. Similarly after each round our buggy and clubs were taken from the 18th green so no time was wasted in advancing for our refreshment. Something we are sure to miss at our local golf club!
We had one golf free day and had thought a day trip would be a good idea. Having discussed the options with the car hire people at the hotel we decided against visiting an ancient amphitheatre or shopping in a town some way away and asked about the possibility of a trip up into the mountains. This was readily agreed to and we hired a car with driver, a really good idea, and were taken up into the hills. It was really interesting to get off the beaten track and after a glass of wine by a small lake and waterfall we proceeded up remote roads eventually arriving at an area just above some rapids where groups were assembling to go white water rafting. Our drive was a really enjoyable outing which was added to by a return visit to our previous refreshment area for a very pleasant lunch – for us and our driver. He spoke very little English but was extremely friendly and we communicated well enough and managed to stop for food or drink when required.
The hotel was excellent. Everything was spotless and the room cleaning and service were exceptional. There are five a la carte restaurants to choose from but we stuck to the self service restaurant. The dining area is huge with more than sufficient space for dining both indoors or outside – and with live music laid on every night. There was plenty of choice of food and the waiters attended with wine etc almost before you could sit down. We also noted that the ‘all inclusive’ wine was much more palatable than had been the case the previous year, which would suggest they are taking customer reviews into consideration – a good sign! The hotel is located by the beach with more than enough sun beds to satisfy any number of visitors and the pool complex is enormous with water slides etc for the youngsters. There is also a large outdoor theatre where there is nightly entertainment.
The golf holiday as a whole was a real success and we really enjoyed our second Turkish golf break in as many years. The whole trip was organised for us by Your Golf Travel and everyone we spoke to there was courteous, knowledgeable and helpful. We would thoroughly recommend your services to anyone looking to book a great value golf holiday.