Luxury Hotel Review: Cullinan Belek, Antalya, Turkey – Ultra All-Inclusive Resort
Named after the largest rough diamond ever discovered, Cullinan Belek on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast certainly sparkles. An hour’s transfer from Antalya airport, the resort is nestled between a white sand beach, a river and the imposing Taurus mountains.
After the pandemic, we were looking for a crazy vacation where we could be pampered like sultans. Could this newly opened complex do the trick?
The hotel has an impressive 600 rooms, all with sea views. If you want to push the boat out, opt for one of the ten luxury villas. We looked longingly at the Pool Rooms, where guests can roll out of bed and straight into the water for the first dip of the day.
Our tastefully designed family room was more like a mini suite with two sofa beds in the living room and a king size double bed in our bedroom. Bathrobes, slippers, beach bags, and high-end toiletries come standard, and my eyes nearly popped out of my head upon realizing the mini-bar was both fully stocked and all-inclusive. Unfortunately no bath, but the power shower did its magic on the sand and sunscreen of the day.
Do you remember the days when you had to phone reception if the TV wasn’t working or you needed milk? Not here. Each guest joins a WhatsApp group, with a personal assistant available 24/7.
Eat and drink
The Cullinan Belek is part of Turkey’s growing trend of ‘ultra all-inclusive’. Apart from a small supplement in some à la carte restaurants, everything is included – meals, drinks and snacks.
Among the site’s ten restaurants is Greek seafood restaurant Yamas. The service was as spectacular as the cuisine. When the mozzies came out, a waiter sprayed our ankles with bug spray. And as the Greek music got louder and louder, another waiter brought in empty dishes. The kids were delighted to find that the traditional plate smash was also on the menu.
The size of my steak at the Beef Grill Club was initially a little daunting, but bravely I kept going. Much of the food is locally sourced and talking to the staff I learned that the hotel group has been operating high end restaurants for a long time, and it shows.
At Mare, the main buffet restaurant, the scale and choice was mind blowing. My fear with all-inclusives is that kids — and even a few adults — will pile up their plate and much of it will go to waste. At the Cullinan, food is served by the staff behind the counter. This means portions are reasonable, presentation is excellent and waste is kept to a minimum.
Fancy an ice cream or a drink by the pool? Wait staff on inline skates – yes, you read that right – go up and down taking orders.
Things to do
I would recommend spending time at the pool – not just one, there are actually 13. Our favorite was the huge L-shaped pool, surrounded by pristine white sunbeds and umbrellas. For the more adventurous there is a water park with over a dozen slides. An adults-only pool would be a nice addition, especially for honeymooners.
The hotel’s own white sand beach is a short walk away. Two piers stretch lazily out into the sea where you can rent private cabañas. All come with stairs down to the water, daybeds, and minibars. Guess rollerblade servers can’t cross sand…
The resort is also a golfer’s dream with a beautiful links course, nine of the lighted holes. The lush green blends into the blue of the sky in such a tempting way that even I, as a non-golfer, was tempted to try. My son and I had an hour lesson with the super enthusiastic head of the golf academy.
You might not meet many Brits around the pool – the resort is popular with Turkish and Russian visitors. However, with a kids’ club, huge gym, C’espace spa, water sports, and evening entertainment, there might be little time left to make new friends. The welcome and the facilities are exceptional. We left feeling completely rejuvenated.
Rooms can be booked from £347 per night; cullinanhotels.com