Dear Steemit friends :
Our recent travels have taken us to the south of Turkey where contrary to popular opinion, we've been able to side step the shallow pretences of the area being a holiday resort.
Sure enough, we encountered many instances of Turkey's rich historical heritage; Kaleici, Aspendos and Perge to name a few, proving that the area is more than just a winter's escape filled with commercial and westernised hotels and resorts. It is an area of Turkey with it's own categorically important landmarks, each etched into a part of Turkey's historically populous timeline and contributing it's own unique backstory.
Today however, we'll be exploring "the other side" of Antalya - the Hotels and Resorts. My original plan was to stay in Antalya for a few days, and enjoy the holiday facilities and amenities before doing more adventuring in Anatolia. One hotel which drew my attention was Rixos Downtown Antalya.
Rixos is a hotel chain that was founded in Antalya in 2000. Since then, it has become the largest hotel chain in the East Mediterranean Europe Region. In the 17 years since it's inception, Rixos has opened 27 luxury hotels, many outside of Turkey, including countries like Georgia, Egypt, Russia, Azerbaijan, UAE, Ukraine etc.
Knowing that the Rixos grass roots are right in the centre of Antalya, the five star Downtown Antalya was a natural choice. Like most accommodation in Turkey, the prices are very reasonable, and you will find yourself paying more at some 3 star places in other parts of Europe. Star ratings are nothing to go by these days.
The first thing you'll notice, is the streamlined design of the exterior. It's arc-shaped atrium design echo the silhouettes of modern dream liner cruise ships. This one, permanently "docked" just a few minutes walk from Konyaalti Beach. It's non intrusive modern design blends in with the lush green nature which surrounds it, the serene landscapes the hotel nestles within, disguises the fact that it is in the city centre!
Inside, the hotel rooms are accessible via these golden capsule lifts. The mezzanine at the centre allows maximum natural lighting from the glass top, bringing attention to the proliferating plant growth on the walls between the levels.
It was like walking into a near future dystopian green-house, built to weather an apocalypse.
Four golden capsules shuttle the guests to their respective floors, whilst offering them a view of the mezzanine through the capsule glass.
This is the main lounge area at the foot of the lifts. I admire the daring carpet colour and design. Too often we see a shade of red represent the luxury and class of a hotel, yet the Rixos seems tame and more "human".
At the other side of the lounge, there is a bar area which again uses the bronze and golden colours similar to the capsule lifts. The marble texture on the sides of the bar with it's swirls and elegant designs gave it that extra touch of class. The Grand Piano in the corner sealed the deal.
This is the hotel's own "luxury" concession. It always baffled me why people would go shopping for this kind of stuff inside a hotel. It's completely non-essential to your stay and is more expensive than buying it from the official retailer.
I'm not sure why this vintage rotary dial phone was put here. Clearly it is a decoration, but one which is devoid of consistency with the rest of the hotel. Still, seeing one instantly reminded me of my childhood and how excited I would be to ring my friends with the telephone, just so I could play with the rotating dial of numbers.
The hotel also has a fitness centre in the basement which doubles up as a spa. Strangely, I feel more conducive to Spa treatment in the Winter so I didn't go inside to see what the facilities were like.
Still, the place looked like a cave dwelling. It turns out that cave style living is is not an exception to the norm in many parts of Turkey. We'll see later on examples of cave dwellings in Capadoccia.
Outside, the hotel is lush with many palm trees and other vegetation. It's very much in line with their green motif and thankfully, serves as shade from the sun.
This little place just beside the pool has Shisha. I didn't actually try it this time, but I could smell the good scents all around.
Big cushions as an alternative to the many chairs around the swimming pool.
Some people said that the kittens and cats in and around the hotel make it look very tacky and and unprofessional. Not deserving it's star rating. I disagree. I think it's lovely seeing them look after strays. This little guy reminded me of my dear Bruno when he was young.
Here are the views from up high in the hotel of the pool, and conversely, of the hotel from the pool.
A very reasonably sized room, considering this is the cheapest one they offered. It's almost the size of a suite. The bedroom and the resting area is separated with small modesty dividers, when pulled apart, the room opens up and feels very spacious.
The TV is positioned in front of the sofa, and not in front of the bed. This is to allow for a sizeable dressing table with a large portrait mirror. I'm not much of a TV person so this arrangement was perfect.
These are some shots outside.
The sea view is probably the best. You can see the mountain ranges in the distance as well as the sea. Also, from here you can see just how much 'forest' there is in town.
You can make out more of the city and it's buildings in this picture. Also, you can see some tennis courts. Those also belong to the hotel, but you have to pay to book a time slot to use them.
At night time, the area lights up, and the whole hotel becomes a light show. The pool is illuminated from below, all around, there is ambient lighting with just enough intensity to bring out the main features of the hotel, even accentuating the hotel in some ways making it look more edgy at night.
The city is also really bright with lights. Part of the reason is that just down the road, there was a carnival with lots of rides. That's why there's the extra bit of lighting from that direction.
This is me inside the capsule lift. Doesn't it look so futuristic? The rooms on the other side look like futuristic living quarters in a self sustaining green house Noah's arc.
Rixos has several options for food. For most, the main buffet restaurant is the best option. Only an additional 10 euros or so a night, and you have access to the buffet restaurant.
I will say, I was really confused when I first entered the restaurant. The was no staff to direct me to a free table, nor was it clear how the staff check whether you have a meal package or not. I have heard that some guests have come to eat at the restaurant but didn't pay, whilst others have only paid once and come to eat two or three times.
Needless to say, the food is prepared very meticulously, and there is such a broad selection to choose from. I won't describe each, but I did take photos of pretty much all that was on offer.
Doesn't all the food look so delicious and healthy? At least they're doing their part on curbing obesity through over eating junk food right？
Next up, they have the 24 hour lounge on the second floor which serves foods from all over the world, cooked to order.
As you can imagine, the 24 hour service is better suited to people looking for alcoholic beverages. I came down late at night because I have this habit of eating in the middle of the night.
After around 10pm, the 2nd floor restaurant is completely empty, leaving me to soak in the ambience of this majestic and elegant place myself. Of course, food is still the main reason i'm here, and so let's proceed.
Probably a little excessive but really necessary! I always need something to kick start my hunger, and I was more than happy to start off with the sesame seed bread. They were warm to the touch and smelt like passing by Subways. Inside, the bread was almost hollow which although is disappointing if you're looking for something more hearty, is perfect as an appetiser.
Bruschetta with sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and pesto sauce.
This is like the second appetiser after the fresh bread. I love the pinch of pesto on top, mixed with the olive soaked bread.
Caesar Salad with Grilled Prawns.
By now you must have figured out that where possible, I always order a salad. I was told that the seafood was very fresh because of the Antalya's proximity to the Mediterranean sea and I'm glad it's true. Every bit of juice from the prawns tasted like the sea and the barbecue aroma only added to the appeal. I ate this salad with most of the cheese removed. Just the prawns and salad together make a perfect combo.
Turkish Manti (Ravioli).
This dish is often eaten with garlic yogurt sauce. I prefer to eat it with just the red pepper powder seasoning. Because it's cooked with butter, there is already a rich buttery taste. I also like that they're a bit smaller in size than their Italian counterparts. The bite-size ravioli makes them difficulty to resist. One leads to another... until the whole plate is gone.
Grilled Beef Steak with Mushroom sauce and Mashed Potato.
Mushrooms have an intoxicating aroma to them and whichever food they are served with tends to taken on a shroomy character. The steak here is no exception. It's "well done", so you won't be tasting the beef's rawness. Instead, it's a blend of mushroom and grilled beef.
The obligatory mid night fry up.
For some reason, the habit of eating fried unhealthy food persists. As much as I like eating nice food, I can always appreciate some good fries when I'm hungry.
Pina Colada and Iced Coffee
Beef Steak with Mushroom Sauce and grilled pepper and tomato.
This was my friend's choice. Exactly the same as mine except for chunky potato chips and grilled pepper and tomatoes instead of mashed potato.
This Turkish delight is never going to go out of favour for me. Pistachio is somewhat difficult to obtain where I live and therefore, it's not something I get to eat very often. That's perhaps why the Baklava is so appealing to me. In my travels in Turkey, I have come across some Baklava served with far too much syrup or honey. Here, the emphasis is on pistachio and just a hint of syrup and honey. I think this is the right balance.
Please check out my video tour!
Thank you for joining me on a tour of Rixos Downtown Antalya. For those looking for a classy and yet affordable location to stay, this is a good choice. Not only is it situated minutes walk away from the beach, it's also a few minutes walk away from a large shopping centre. From here, it is only 4km to Kaleici, and best of all, as a guest staying here, you get a free shuttle bus and entry to the Land of Legends - a large water park build inside Rixos' other major hotel in Antalya. In another blog, we'll get to see this in more detail.
For food lovers, the range of options for foods are well covered. Having tried both the Buffet and the Lounge Restaurant, I can attest to the quality of the food. Especially taking into account the affordability, then Rixos is a no brainer!
Don't come to Antalya to stay at the Rixos, come to Antalya to visit the Old Town(Kaleici), the ancient cities etc. and stay at the Rixos for a taste of luxury at absolute bargain prices.
Hope you enjoyed my post, please give me an upvote if you liked it, a follow if you want to see more, and a comment to let me know what you think!
这家酒店其实非常重视公共区域，无论是户外空间或者室内休息区，都是全心全力去打造的。户外的休闲区非常自由非常大，浓浓的度假风情花园，半圆弧状的超大型游泳池，一层层递进，像泻湖一样，让人很有跳下去游泳的欲望。最特别的是，酒吧一般被设计在游泳池旁，供大家休息的时候享用美酒，但是在土耳其，除了酒吧还多了一个水烟吧。抽水烟是土耳其最与众不同的民俗文化，所以我也试了一试。这个鸟语花香的大花园其实也是土耳其猫咪们的最爱，当你在院子里散步，总会遇见被太阳晒得慵懒的小猫咪，正躺在你脚边打盹呢，瞬间幸福感爆棚。酒店的房间宽敞整洁，双人沙发和电视作为房间独立划分的空间安排很科学，拉开窗帘可以俯瞰整个酒店的夜景，充满魅力和气氛。从泳池边传来阵阵现场乐队歌手演唱的爵士乐，欢快而迷人。远处隐约看见Konyaaltı Beach海滩和Taurus Mountains山脉，充满了自然的生机。白天如果你有兴致，还可以乘坐酒店的免费班车去海边游玩，大约300米的路程非常方便。