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Reviewed 25 June 2012

destina is great all inclusive hotel set up in the hills so breeze kept it feeling cooler. pool was great with gadget and gizmo entertaining with water polo etc. food was good-plenty of choice with excellent soup and sweets. rooms cleaned every day. 10 min walk down to hisaronu town and taxi up is only 10 lira -under £4 - talk of the town is a good night out -drag act very funny £22 including dinner and first drink. jeep safari brilliant day out for £14 including lunch- pay extra and go water rafting and wade into the gorge through the rapids-great fun.. horse riding for £12 for 2hours my first time on a horse was great fun 12 island cruise also very good but dont book trips through the rep as its cheaper down the town great holiday great hotel fantastic time definitely recommend it stayed 11th june for 10 days

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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10  Thank ann k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2012

My Fiance and I stayed at the destina with our 2 year old daughter for one week in June 2012. After reading so many negative reviews on this hotel I approached the holiday expecting the worst, but gladly I had no need to worry.
The staff are wonderful and cannot do enough for you, they are sometimes too efficient and will whisk your plates away the second you put down your fork, but this was not something that we found a problem, infact it was quite amusing. The entertainment team are fantastic, especially Gadget whom our 2 year old daughter loved! The enetertainment was just enough for us, there if you want it but not in your face. Always plenty of sunbeds and umberellas around the pool, which was important to us having a young child as it gets very hot in the afternoon. Only critisim is that there needs to be a cover over the childrens play area, because the plastic play equipment gets too hot in the sun and our daughter couldn't use it.
The reviews about the food shock me the most as I can honestly say the food is the best 'all inclusive' food I have ever had on a holiday. Some dishes were repeated, but only accompaniments such as chips, rice and vegetables, but the meat and fish dishes were different eveyday, delicious and of a very good quality. The steak diane was mouth watering!
The rooms are small but adequate as we are not the sort of people who go on holiday and sit in the room, its for showering and sleeping in and it accomodated for both of these very well, very comfortable beds.
The town is just a short walk down the hill, we did walk back once but when it's hot a taxi is the best option for just 10TL. There are plenty of reasonably priced bars and resturaunts and some good nightllife.
We would undoubtedly return to this hotel and would recommend it to families with young children, couples and infact anyone as there is something to please all!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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8  Thank emleds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2012

Initial Welcome - we were exhausted on arrival after a long day at work, evening flight and 2 hour/2 bus transfer arriving at 1.30am UK time, 3.30am Turkish time. Reception staff polite and attentive, quick check in and steward took our luggage to room. We were able to unpack and get into bed asap which was excellent.

Room - small and cramped but spotlessly clean and contempory modern decor in red and white (very basic but had two twin beds, dresser and wardrobe, bathroom with shower, toilet and WC). I have to say the shower was the best I ever experienced, so much power you could not turn it on full pelt - brilliant - especially after beach or pool). Room cleaned daily and fresh towels.
Theft - I was only aware one guy had a mobile phone stolen from his room after 2 days, nothing else to my knowledge. We locked all our stuff in our suitcases constantly and did not leave any valuables out, you can buy a deposit box in your room but not sure of price. I think locked in suitcase is sufficient as it's secure and out of view point.

Resort and gardens - clean, small and compact. Absolutely beautiful - flora and fauna, looked like Italian tuscan villas with rockety paths and flowers - just gorgeous. Clean, tidy, gardener out all day every day. Fragrance of flowers etc, just lovely especially in morning and evening.

Pool - wow, large, great for swimming lengths, clean, warm, gorgeous and pool bar in middle with mini pool and sunbathing area above (obviously a gimmick but effective although dangerous for sunburn up there).

Food - perfect for me, I love fruit, veg and salad and chicken. Breakfast was home made bread (same as all in this area of Turkey apparently), very light and great toasted on the toaster. Hard boiled eggs, selection of cheeses and pickes, olives, fresh fruit, cakes and buns, then beans, mushrooms and hot savoury things and a guy cooking either fried eggs or pancakes or omelettes on various days (you just have to see what he's cooking). Some cereal but mainly chocolate pops, dried fruits (apricots, raisins and figs), yogurt, preserves. No bacon or sausages as all hotels in Turkey abide by muslim law but you can get a full English at any cafe, round the corner from hotel for about £3 if you have to have meat.

Drinks - hotel has water, various flavours of squash and tea/coffee all day and night and the water is 24 hours and you can fill up your 1 litre bottles for the beach and pool and noone bats an eyelid (unlike some all inclusives who get funny about that). Coffee is weird, like chicory but with the creamy milk (evaporated watered down or longlife) it tastes really nice. I'm a coffee snob, have my own coffee maker at home, buy special beans and take it black - could not drink it black at hotel as awful but with the creamy milk was lovely. Had herbal teas too.

Alcohol and soft drinks all inclusive - The pool and restaurant bar are open 10am to 11pm between them. Drinks as described above plus coke, coke lite, 7up, fanta orange, soda water, red, rose, white wine (white was drinkable, rose was like petrol, did not taste red - yes I'm a wine snob too so I think this review is fair), beer, main spirits like whiskey, brandy, vodka, raki.

Non inclusive bar - did not go there but it is open 24 hours and sells everything.

Location - brilliant - to set it straight, Olu Deniz is the national park and beach area that you see on all the brochures and the photos do not do it justice because it is breathtakingly beautiful. The sand is white tiny tiny stones/ the water clear or turquoise then royal blue, you have the beach (free but you pay for sunbeds and brollies) and the lagoon which is £2 to enter and you pay about £7 for two beds and one brollie). Most hotels have a free shuttle bus to a part of the lagoon (other side) that has a tiny tiny sandy beach and free sunbeds and brollies. The Seahorse is great as has a lovely little beach shack restaurant run by an English lady (they even have evening meal excursions there). She is famous for organising loads of weddings so she's a wedding planner too. You absolutely must go to the beach and the lagoon as well as the free beach that all the inclusive hotels provide. (Bascially about 10 hotels pay for a bus to take guests from the hotels in Ovacik and Hisaronu to Olu Deniz (about 10 mins bus) every day and back so it's free. When you get the bus at end of day there is a pecking order. Green Forest hotel is first, Destina hotel is second and then the others and anyone not at an all inclusive can get it free if there is space.

I stayed at Hotel Destina, in Ovacik but at Hisonaru end so it was 8 minute brisk walk down to Hisaronu and back up again (you can take a cab for £4 back if you are a person who does not like to walk at all). Ovacik is breathtaking, I felt like I was in the Austrian Tyrol or Tuscany in Italy, Switzerland etc, it was surrounded by mountains and gorgeous especially for sunrise and sunset. You could walk 10 mins from hotel one direction to Ovacik (one street) or other direction 8 mins to Hisaronu (more lively). Great market in HIsaronu Monday day/evening - barter hard most of those leather purses and clutches should be a fiver and the bags a tenner or fifteen quid (twenty too much). Leather belts Boss, Armani £4. 8-10 large box Turkish Delight £10.

So, Olu Deniz is in the valley, beach area - lovely if you want to walk to the beach, hotter and less breezy , less mountains but still lovely. Ovacik and Hisaronu cool, breezy, surrounded by mountains, lovely sunsets, quiet, easy to walk to Hisaronu (probably more lively than Olu Deniz) but bus to beach ( no problem unless you like to walk out of your hotel on to the beach for a walk in the morning). If you stay in Ovacik, stay the Hisaronu end. Fethiye, hmm, just a town, proper shops, hot hot hot, no beach, harbour etc. A lot of boat trips go from here e.g walk along the promenade and negotiate with the captains e.g £10 for an all day (all inclusive food and non alcohol) boat trip to 12 islands. Very cheap. Market here is huge on days/evenings but not Sundays I think. Same as one in Hisaronu but larger. If you walk 20 minutes up promenade from Fethiye you reach Calis beach which is supposed to be nice but I never made it there.

Turkish Bath and Massage - you must do it, it's so much fun. We had a turkish bath, go to hotel or Turkish Baths in Hisaronu near Mama Mia restaurant. It's about £7 and takes 20 mins. The guy washes you down with soapy suds and swishes you about on a marble slap with your friend, it is funny. We paid about £20 for a one hour massage with the women and they were fabulous, I had a deep tissue massage and she was strong and it was great, she even identified a problem in my shoulder without me telling her. That was worth it's weight in gold.

Excursions - do not book any with the reps, they charge double. Just walk into Hisaronu or whatever resort you are in and negotiate, book all your trips at once and barter. Reps for Thomas Cook and others charge double, it's a rip off.

- Talk of the Town - we booked this and it was brilliant. We made the mistake of booking with Rep for £22 but if we had of booked in town it was same price plus one free excursion!

Show was fab, power went off 6 times, they restarted their routines every time, it took hours to finish, it was funny and entertaining and they worked their socks off. Highly recommended and as good as any London show and I'm an avid London Theatre buff.

Excursions - sky parasailing- well I would have loved to have booked other excursions as so many, loads of people did sky parasailing with an expert - it was about £60 for 30 mins I think but not sure. It is surely one of the most beautiful places to do it and had I have had more time I would have been up there.

Excursions - Dalan - oh what a lovely day. On our last day we left the hotel early morning as had very late night flight. We went to carpet factory (naughty as you are not told that when booking, but very interesting talk and no real pressure to buy). It's near the airport so we did the 2 hour journey early morning when it was cool. Then after carpet factory (don't buy they are shipped from China and they charge hundreds and thousands). We went to lovely little natural mud springs and thermal pool then lunch then lovely boat ride up what looked like Norfolk Broads for 2 hours except it was gorgeous hot sun, surrounded by mountains and ancient ruins/temples then reached beach with sand and waves and left late evening for boat ride back (reduced) and transfer to 1* hotel for change and dinner before pick up for airport (then only 20 minutes transfer). £45 with rep but much much cheaper if you book in town.

Turkish Men - OMG what to say. I'm a sassy, well world travelled backpacker/flashpacker/luxury traveller woman. I found this resort and the men quiet, polite, reserved etc nevertheless the only banter the hotel staff can have with you is about your eyes, that they love you etc. Totally harmless, fun, they were so sweet and just lovely to talk to . No problems there. The problem was the odd Turkish male guest, the odd Turkish guy on the street/restaurant who were absolutelyu indignant the you would not give them your room number for sex. I was infuriated by the tone of conversation that always ensued after a bit of harmless banter and the view of white English women held by the Turkish resort workers (who I suppose are not disappojnted when English women just go there for a quick thank you mam). Personally, I held my breath, smiled and carried on but secretly inside I was fuming with the absolute lack of respect that Turkish men have for women and especially white English women.

Thomas Cook rep - we had a Thomas Cook rep who was a young female. She was sassy and confident and very friendly, she talked to everyone, was always around the hotel (more than I've ever experienced on other holidays which was great.) She genuinely loved being a rep and was great with people. However she was quite abrupt and fell out a few times with the management/holiday travellers but that is probably because it was her first job so we'll cut her some slack. If she reads this I would urge her to chill out a bit and listen to her customers and be less defensive. I would also urge her to be a bit more truthful when selling excursions. That said, she was a lovely girl, natural, down to earth and very reliable.

Animation team - there were two guys, Gizmo and Gadget, they worked very well as a team, always around the hotel day and night, speaking to everyone and making everyone feel comfortable. They worked so hard in all that heat, really it was admirable although they admitted to not working in the winter at all like we do so I guess it's horses for courses.. Gizmo was quiet and lovely - that guy did not stop moving, he ran around that hotel day and night doing stuff for goests, the hotel staff - obviously worked above and beyond his contract. You could tell he was just a friendly, helpful guy and so respectful. Honestly, this guy was amazing.. Gadget was extrovert and gregarious/hedanistic so if you want nights out in town this guy will take you anywhere. I do believe he just loves people and Turkey and having a good time. He was great on the microphone and was the organiser. He's really a lovely guy. However, my only disappointment was his constant talk of sex and shagging which I found a bit draining and disrespectful after a while (honestly I'm not square, I can take a joke). It's not really my type of conversation and it made it obvious of his view of English women whom he had no qualms in slagging off. I found him a bit over the top to be honest when it came to disrespecting women and I'm no wall flower. I've travelled all over the world on my own backpacking etc but seriously if you are reading this Gadget, please be more respectful to women and don't assume every holiday maker wants to shag you.

Final comments - oh please go to this hotel as it is truly fabulous.

Room Tip: Rooms away from the pool are quieter, it's such a small resort you won't walk far from any room to anything. It's not noisy anyway and any activity around the pool usually shuts off at 11pm and people leave at 12pm (well when we were there in June anyway).
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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20  Thank Naama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2012

Hi just had 2 weeks all inclusive at this hotel,it has very friendly staff good entertainment,the food is very nice mainly chicken,the rooms are bright and very clean with a small balcony.its a small walk downhill to the town and £3 to get back as you mite not want to walk in the heat,Gadget the entertainment manager very funny, a large pool with the bar and snacks around the pool area and finally Sam the Thomas cook rep very helpful and good fun.

  • Stayed: June 2012
    • Value
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4  Thank Ratmeatuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2012

Myself and my boyfriend returned from the Destina a week ago. We had a truly fabulous time - great weather, food and facilities! I'd read a lot on here about 'Gadget' and when I was first encouraged to get involved by him I was skeptical...but a couple of days later I definitely had a soft spot for him, this guy is so in tune with people he makes a special point of saying goodbye personally! Great entertainment day and night, easy dolmus to olu deniz if u fancy some romantic restaurants and...if u want a boat trip walk down to Ovacik and book it locally. Do not be put off by £4 boat trip - it's ace and great food,just as good as any Thomas cook ones!!
The food here is also fantastic, loads of choice, loads of lovely salads...just make sure you have some elasticated shorts ;)
Thanks to all for a brilliant time

  • Stayed: June 2012
    • Value
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2  Thank ClaireC100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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