We stayed at the Delphin Diva for 12 days at the beginning of July 2012 and had a wonderful holiday. One of the reasons we chose this hotel was the ideal location close to the airport as with small children we didn’t fancy long transfers. No matter what time you arrive, you will always find a refreshing drink waiting for you or something to eat (free midnight room service)
I was very pleased when I read in previous reviews the hotel does not allow you to reserve sunbeds before 8.30. We ended up the first three days with no sunbed at all! The first two days we turned up at 8.30 – everything was taken. Day three I got up at 7 to reserve a bed and then went to have breakfast – my towel ended up being removed by the hotel staff. At this point I felt very angry and frustrated. But by day four we sussed out the system: one of us would get up at 6.30 to reserve the beds and stay by the pool. Around 8.00 the hotel staff would walk around the pool to remove unattended towels.
I heard from other guests that they got up at 6 to get a place at the more popular spots. It’s a shame though you pay so much for a holiday and you end up having to get up at 6 every morning to make sure you have a sunbed!!!!! There’s something not right about this!
Most people I spoke to at the hotel felt the biggest let-down was that this hotel has too many people for its capacity : endless waiting for lifts, not enough sunbeds for the amount of guests, no seating space at the evening shows, waiting around for a place to sit in the dining room. At Love Night they handed out roses and heartshaped biscuits to some of the guests but there wasn’t enough for everybody. The fact we didn’t have a sunbed for 3 days in a row, that there was no place to sit at some of the shows (especially at Gala night), meant we felt like second-class guests.
As an alternative to the hotel shop, there is a supermarket across the road which offers cheaper alternatives for things like suntan cream and floaties. But if you pay in Euros they will only accept notes and change is given in Turkish lira.
The service at this hotel is amazing, never seen any better. Upon arrival you are greeted with a glass of strawberry juice (not champagne as I read somewhere) and you can help yourself to biscuits and Turkish delights.
We loved the roller skating waiters and everywhere we went the staff was extremely helpful. This is definitely the hotel’s forte. By the time you have finished one drink another one is ready. Waiters remember what you drink. Very impressive.
Twice during our stay the ladies of customer service walked around our pool and asked us if we were enjoying our holiday and if we had any queries or comments. Any problem we mentioned was immediately solved, usually followed by a note from the general manager to thank you for sharing your comments and/or apologize for your complaints with a small token (a hotel sunhat). We really appreciated this and it made us feel really valued. They definitely go to great lengths to make sure you have a relaxing, worry-free holiday!
We were impressed with the cleanliness (any rubbish was always quickly removed) and the safety at this hotel (there were men in uniforms with walkie talkies everywhere who ensured your safety).
We enjoyed the food at the hotel. They have a special display with vegetarian options and special diet requirements. Our children loved the two chocolate fountains in the evenings and the wide choice of icecream. What I liked most about the food was the pasta man, Ali G., who made you any pasta you wanted. My friend and I ate pasta every evening for the entire holiday.
The drinks at this hotel are very good. They have different kinds of beer and an extensive alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktail list. The kids loved their rainbow cocktail and the different iced slushes. In the evenings at the lobby bar you can also get branded drinks like Bacardi, Martini and Campari. My favourite was the iced coffee.
In travel agency brochures you read about the afternoon cakes and vitamin bar. The vitamin bar was tucked away in a corner of the hotel, away from the swimming pool and the two times we passed it, it only had 3 different jars of milkshake you could help yourself to. The afternoon cakes were again in some remote corner and really are not worth looking for. A much more impressive display and nicer surroundings at Limak Lara!
Our kids loved playing in the slides pool. The slides were not as spectacular as those at the Delphin Imperial or Delphin Palace but we still preferred those at the Delphin Diva. At the Delphin Palace there is a rope in the pool between each slide so you can only use the pool for going down the slides but not really for swimming. And at the new Delphin Imperial there were no sunloungers by the slides pool and the stairs to the slides were extremely steep.
Tip for the hotel: put a clock around the slides pool area!
Be careful though as the pool area is extremely slippery. My husband made a nasty fall on the second day we were there and hurt his back – two weeks later and his backside is still every shade of blue and black!
As I love reading, I liked the fact that the hotel has several bookcases where hotel guests can leave or borrow books. And another positive was the free Wifi. There were lots of people all over the hotel with tablets and I-pads.
When the weather got really hot we would go to the beach to cool down in the sea. The pier going into the sea and the pool bar were lovely places to sit.
At the end of the day we would exchange our towels for cards so your room wasn’t cluttered with wet beach towels. These cards you could exchange the next morning for freshly laundered towels.
A big let-down were evening events organized by the animation team.
I must admit we were spoiled last year at Limak Lara which is known for its outstanding animation but here there was no flow or spontaneity about it. The team did not feel like a team and everything felt forced. For example, every night they invited the kids to the Mini Disco by walking through the dining room shouting ‘Fi Fa Fo Mini Disco’.
The worst nights were Gala night and Beach party night. These are usually a highlight. At Gala night and Beach Party Night there was no space for us to sit even though we turned up on time. The animation team at the Beach Party had us waiting around for such a long time it took the fun out of it. They were more interested in shouting so loud the other hotels would hear us. First there was kids throwing with sand, followed by an unimpressive bonfire. Then we were all herded like animals into a big circle before they started spraying us with a foam canon. We couldn’t get away fast enough. However, there were some good things about the evening entertainment as well. Our children loved the mini fairground and free candyfloss. And the shows which were not run by the animation team were very good : we particularly liked the Moskow circus and the rollerskating show.
Our room was clean, good airconditioning, the minibar was filled up every day (our kids loved the chocolate bars) and the room had a safe which was free to use.
We were utterly disappointed at the size of the rooms. I had read this in previous reviews but not taken any notice as I believe rooms are just to sleep in and you don’t spend a lot of time in your room. But I hadn’t expected the rooms to be this small. The standard rooms are definitely not big enough for a family of four. There was hardly any wardrobe space and so we had to leave some of our stuff in the suitcases. The balcony was tiny and once you put your wet clothes and floaties out at night, there was no space to sit.
The room had a double bed, a single bed and a small sofa made up as an extra bed. We let our youngest son sleep on the sofa bed as he is the smallest but at 1m34 he couldn’t stretch his legs and felt very uncomfortable. However, when I mentioned this to the customer service lady she immediately arranged for an extra bed to be put into our room. Even though we were very grateful for this and impressed at the speed of the service, this meant we had even less space in the room as all three beds were now pushed against each other. The customer lady suggested we should have booked a family room but as this was about a 1000 Euros more expensive this exceeded our budget.