We spent 4 nights at Papillon Belvil in Belek, near Antalya on the Med Sea coast. It was glorious and we never left the hotel grounds the entire time except for a 2 hour boat ride along the coast. We hadn’t done any beach time this summer, so to fit in a beach and pool trip before it got cold was delightful.
Belek is 6.5 hours from our home in Ankara. We left promptly in the morning, stopped about 4 hours in for lunch, and got to the hotel about 3. This gave us plenty of time to check in and do the water slides! The water slides closed at 6 and the pools at 7. Each day we’d finish up between 6 and 6:30, head back to the room to shower and change, and head to dinner. It’s lovely that the kids are old enough to spend all day by the pool and beach! We’d get there between 9 and 9:30 and stay all day long!
We spent the whole trip at the resort, alternating between the pools, waterslides, beach, water sports, and eating! Very kid friendly and fun! Ours were 5 years 9 months and 8 years 5 months for the trip and had a complete blast. My 5 year old we kept in a life jacket when he did the water slides as an added safety precaution (he can swim pretty well, but they come down fast). The kids had to stick together, and were able to do the slides on their own with us in loungers near the base of the slides.
Waterslides! Definitely their favorite thing. They were open 10-12 (12:30?) and then 2-6. The forced closure in the middle was nice as it allowed us to get lunch without rushing. 2 slides used tubes and they had singles and doubles. AND they didn’t care if you piled on, so the kids would sometimes do 2 in a single or I’d go with them and do a triple in a double with DS on my lap. One tube slide was covered and in the dark. Both were a ton of fun! The tube ones were my favorite.
They also had a trio of racing slides the kids liked a lot, a fast dropping one, a covered one, and then the one we called the funnel–dark tunnel (no tube) and then you shoot out into a funnel and go around and around until dropping down into a pool. DD and I loved it, though DS thought it was too scary.
To get lounge chairs near the water slides, you need to get there on the earlier side before they open up at 10. We’d get out by 9:30 and get chairs, get sunblock on and let it soak in before slides started.
Near the waterslides was a fun pool with a world map on the floor. Kids alternated between the waterslides and this pool. There was also a much larger pool in the center with a baby pool next to it. Kids said that pool was too cold, so we didn’t do it much! There is also an 18+ pool on the far side away from the waterslides.
Near the waterslides was the entrance to the kids’ club, that also included a water playground. We didn’t do the official kids club events or drop off, but they did use the playground. It had water all over it, the big dump bucket, small water slides, etc. That same area had a regular/dry playground and an artificial field for playing. This was all fenced in with only one entrance (that I could see from the loungers near the waterslides), so the kids were happy to go there on their own.
The beach was pretty sandy and good for sand castles. The Med Sea is mostly rocky/pebbly, so the resorts bring in sand. You could definitely find a lot of rocks and not so many shells (though we found some). The loungers all had shade and there were plenty of loungers. Though if you wanted one in the front row, you had to get there early as well. The water was fairly calm in the morning, but was rougher in the afternoon. There was a platform you could swim out to.
There was a water sports rental site between our resort and the one next door. We did both parasailing and a 2 hour boat trip with them. In the US, parasailing is typically a minimum age of 6. Here, though, they didn’t care his age as long as he fit in the straps! So DS was thrilled to get to go too. We did the parasailing one afternoon and it was so much fun! First time for DH and the kids (I’d been once before). The boat trip was also fun. Originally it was scheduled with another family (we didn’t know them), but their kid got sick and they had to cancel. So we ended up paying extra to go out as a private boat rather than reschedule. It was a lot of fun. We saw some little water falls and went into some caves and then had swimming time.
Both the kids and I did the spa at the hotel. DD loves massages and DS wanted one too. I signed them up for the kid bubble massage. They were together and I stayed in the room too. It was in a large hammam room (Turkish spa). The kids laid on towels on a large stone platform and they got covered in bubbles and then massaged. I only signed them up for 30 minutes as I wasn’t sure they would be restful for longer. Both afterwards said they wanted the full hour! For these water based massages, you wear your swim suit (bikini style or just shorts for kids/boys).
I had my own massage the next morning while the kids did breakfast and the waterslides with DH. Mine was a combo package and started with a dry rub down with an exfoliating glove, then the bubbles massage in the Turkish spa. Then I was rinsed and dried and transferred to the classic massage side and had a regular massage. It was 90 minutes total and delightful. Only about $80 for that!
There are a variety of rooms to pick from. We picked a 2 bedroom suite designed for 5+ people in one of the garden villas. You entered into an entry way with closets and the mini fridge and the bathroom. The two bedrooms were both off the entry way, so both had easy bathroom access. Both rooms had a larger bed and a twin and little patios (or balconies if you were up a level). Bed was hard, as is normally the case in Turkey. But the rooms were spacious and each bedroom had a desk and wardrobe.
The resort was all inclusive. Breakfast and dinner were LARGE buffets. Tons of options. The food was good for a buffet and the kids could easily find choices. They also had a smaller dining room with little kid-sized seating and plastic plates and kid-focused food. There were a few a la carte restaurants. Our stay included 1 free night at an al a carte restaurant. We picked the fish one by the ocean. It was surprisingly disappointing. While we got to pick the fish we had (we all picked salmon), everything else just came out automatically and most of it was not kid friendly and much of it we didn’t like either. And I like most things! The salmon also had a ton of tiny bones in it, which made it really hard for the kids.
Lunch you could do the buffet inside, which we never did, or there were outside options. They had a number of food stalls open midday–pizza, gozleme, baked potato bar, ice cream, and waffles. They also had a mini buffet poolside with things like chicken nuggets, meat skewers, pasta, soup, salad, French fries, veggies, etc. From 4-6 pm, they added donuts and some other snack things! We loved Donut Hour! The bars had alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks and the kids loved getting special beverages.
We’d definitely go back again! It was super relaxing and easy and fun. It was about $350/night for all inclusive (including alcohol) for a 2 bedroom suite with 4 people.