I am dedicating a short, but individual post to the COOLEST hotel we have EVER EVER EVER been to. Unfortunately, we did not stay long enough to be able to take advantages of all the amenities, but it was delightful anyway. Ottoman Palace 5 Star Hotel is in Hatay Turkey. I am not getting any money for posting this but http://www.ottomanpalaceantakya.com is their official website… http://www.booking.com has English information. We have stayed at nice hotels, but generally the standard is lower than what I would expect.
Out in the middle of nowhere, the Ottoman Palace rose up ahead. From our car, it was evident that this hotel was fabulous. Very polite and formal staff await to assist you with anything necessary. Greeted by a wide open glitzy, elegant lobby, it felt like we were walking into a palace (or maybe even a mosque). There were formal sitting areas around the edge, smothered with heavy fabrics, intricate carvings, elegant furniture, and beautiful rugs. There were columns at the edge of the sitting area, making the center feel like a courtyard with a high, wide, marble space graced with a wonderful fountain and heavy chandeliers. Staff dressed in traditional costume clothing swept through the lobby, handing out hot tea (their word for tea is chai-and the Apple Chai is the best!). The atmosphere is one of importance, and that is how the guests are treated-like royalty. Anything we needed we were given instantly.
Because we only stayed one night (and it was cold), the only thing we had the opportunity to use were the restaurants and the spa. There are several restaurants hovered around a large pool with, of course, a bridge and swim-up bar. The spa covers the entire bottom floor and has several separate common areas (women only, men only, families). For FREE, we did the spa experience. The staff were very helpful in teaching us unrefined folk how to properly utilize the rooms and in what order. Sauna, vapor steam room, and a warm thermal pool were all included in the free spa services. We were met with towels, slippers, and bathrobes as needed. Of course, the spa menu was long and included couples massages and other couples treatments in romantic personal rooms. Not having the experience of going to spas in the past, I was thoroughly impressed. It was lovely and the staff were very kind and helpful-not snooty!
The hotel also had a ton of amenities for families with children. There was a theater, a large playroom, a mini water park, and a few other things. The restaurant served a very traditional breakfast buffet, while the restaurants on the property had some different cuisine. We ate in one of the hut restaurants and a TV was hung in the corner, playing the Turkish version of America’s Funniest Home Videos. The staff asked if we wanted it turned off, but of course it was a fun show to watch!
There were several other good points to this hotel, and I recommend if you are in the region to STAY here, even if it is a little out of the way for you, it is SOOOOOO worth it!