Hotel Review – Sherwood Breezes Resort, Antalya, Lara Beach
I’ve just returned from spending 10 days at the Sherwood Breezes Restort in Lara Beach, Antalya, Turkey, so I thought I’d write a blokey review on the hotel and what it has to offer.
My review is written by a bloke who travelled from London with his two daughters and wife, so consider it the perfect review for a family of four thinking of visiting Sheerwood Breezes Resort.
I booked the holiday via the Travel Republic website, I used their site for the first time last year and their price and service was just fine for me. There is no “holiday rep” or anything like that, you are effectively making the bookings direct, but Travel Republic group the package together for you. By that I mean that we flew with Thomson airline, booked a private transfer, and made our own reservation at the hotel, but all three were done together via Travel Republic website. It’s a good site and I recommend it.
As with many flights to Turkey, we arrived late in the evening, and got to the hotel around midnight. The transfer from Antalya airport is only about 20 minutes, so we had opted for a private transfer instead of the usual multi-drop-off coaches that spend hours stopping at every hotel between the airport and the resort. The short transfer is perfect for anyone with kids, and at around €20 each way for private hire it’s ideal.
Sherwood Breezes Accommodation
We had a family room, on the 1st floor. The room had a double bed and two singles, with a dividing wall between the beds which you can walk around, it kind of splits the room in half without really giving the parents any privacy, but it’s better than nothing at all.
The bed was firm to say the least, nearly hard! Pillows were pretty average quality too, so hardly a great night’s rest, but personally I never have any trouble sleeping anywhere.
The room had air-con, which was situated down the end of the room where the kids beds were. This meant that the kids complained they were cold during the night, whilst the adults were based around the corner of the dividing wall where just about ok.
Our balcony was very disappointing to be honest. Normally when I go on holiday, we love to sit on the balcony with a nice view and play cards and have a drink before we go out in the evening. As our room was on the first floor, our balcony overlooked the flat roof above the restaurant, and looked onto the hotel next door, hardly an exciting view of the beach that I’d hoped for. It also had two cheap plastic seats and a cheap plastic table, so we only ever bothered going onto the balcony to hang our towels out to dry. I’m sure judging by some of the photos I’ve seen that many of the rooms did have fantastic views, just our didn’t.
The bathroom was fine, nice sink area, and a bath with an adequate shower in it, nothing special, but nothing wrong with any of it either.
The worst thing about our room was the lack of clothes storage. It was a very long room, so seemed like there was plenty of space for chests of drawers but there wasn’t really any at all. The wardrobe was ok, but only enough hangers for a dozen things, then on the right of that were some very shallow shelves, only wide enough to place a shoe on !
With a nice enough wooden floor and a free to use safe in the room, I think I’ll mark the Sherwood Breezes bedroom down for a 7/10 – not bad, was ok, but nothing spectacular from a hotel that claims to be a 5 star.
Sherwood Breezes Food
For those of you who have not booked an All Inclusive hotel before, the food is always a concern. You don’t want to be lumbered somewhere, forced to eat their food if you don’t like it. Trust me, the food at the Sherwood Breezes Resort is good, and there is always mountains of it.
We arrived at the hotel gone midnight, the restaurant was open and serving midnight snacks, so there is food to be found at all hours of the day.
The main restaurant at Sherwood Breezes is a buffet, it always seemed to be busy, but even at peak periods we managed to find a table each time.
There is a large selection of hot food available from several different counters and during evening meals they also have chefs serving freshly cooked food outside on the terrace too.
Breakfast is pretty similar most days, again a decent selection of hot food, as well as the usual mountain of fruit and cereals on offer. You can squeeze your own orange juice out on the terrace if you can be bothered to wait in the queue. There was plenty on offer at breakfast, so although it was similar choices most days, you were never without a good selection to choose from.
This brings me onto the drink service, which was a disappointment, I can only assume that the staff were told not to be too familiar with offering drinks at an all-inclusive hotel.
Basically when you found a table, a waiter may be along to lay out the table-cloth and cutlery if they weren’t already there, they then either scurry off or maybe actually offer you drinks. If you are offered a drink, the waiters then often tend to start rushing off mid-way through the list you’re giving them, or worse still come back with half the drinks you ordered. Every time a glass was empty on the table, the waiters took it away, never once were we asked if we’d like another, you’d just have to try to flag one down and go through the rushed ordering again. It was a pain, you want to sit down and enjoy a drink with your meal without spinning around in your seat trying to catch the attention of a waiter.
Maybe I’m being unfair on all the waiters, there were some very good ones, who did take your order and come back with the correct drinks. Some of them didn’t seem to speak too good English, and all of them were very busy rushing around. I think the hotel needs to employ a few more waiting staff really.
The hotel also has two al-a-carte restaurants, an Italian and a Turkish. We didn’t try out either, so I can’t really review them. I guess that proves that the food in the main restaurant was good, the fact that we couldn’t be bothered to try the others.
The main restaurant also had a children’s buffet too, in its own area with Disney decorated walls.
Around the resort there was also a cafe bar down on the beach with a selection of burgers, pizzas and a salad bar. This was only open for food during the afternoon, but they also had a waffle bar, pisa (liitle donut type things) being cooked every other day, kebab stall, fruit stall, ice cream stall, generally plenty of bits and pieces going on so that you could snack at anytime of the day.
Sherwood Breezes Bars
The bars are Sherwood Breezes were all very different. The main bar inside the hotel was called the Tower bar, and it was here that we found the best table service from the waiters, although it wasn’t perfect, they did still forget one drinks order altogether, it was still better than the drinks service in the restaurant. We headed back to the Tower bar most evenings after the entertainment at the amphitheatre, and spent an hour or two relaxing with drinks. They served a nice selection of cocktails as well as the usual drinks. We only found one problem with the Tower bar, and that was the ridiculous rule that their air-con went off around 11.30pm. So if you sat inside any later than that, you started sweating, a lot !
The pool bar offered live music most evenings, normally with a singer and backing track, nothing too heavy just a live singer whilst you enjoyed a drink sitting near the pool. The bar was handy during the day when you needed a bottle of water whilst sitting around the pool.
The beach bar doubled up from the snack style restaurant during the daytime, and the nightclub during the late hours. There was also the Sherwood Pub, which was kind of a cave like place built into the side of the amphitheatre, this place had little or no air-con at all, so it was only any good to nip in, get a drink, and get out. Not the sort of pub you could sit down and relax in.
All up, the bars were all ok, they served their drinks and the staff were all polite, what more can you ask for ?
Sherwood Breezes Swimming Pools
This is where the Sherwood Breezes got it’s 5 star rating I’m sure, the swimming pools at the hotel were brilliant. There are 5 pools, one of which was around the length of a football pitch. The main pool starts near the rear of the hotel with an over-16’s area called the relax pool, here you’ll find a couple of jacuzzi type areas bubbling away and it’s set in the quietest area of the hotel.
Swimming out of the relax pool you go under a shaded area, which is actually the underneath of another pool above. Once you’ve found your way into the next section of the pool, you’re greeted by a wonderful waterfall which is beside the pool bar. You can then swim under a bridge to find yourself in another section of the pool where the water polo, water gym, and other pool games are played, the DJ plays music to this area, and it’s the buzzing centre of the whole outdoor area of the hotel.
As mentioned, there is a raised pool, which sits above the main pool, this is where the waterfall comes from, it’s a nice quiet pool surrounded by sunbeds.
The kids have two dedicated pools to themselves, one of which has little water slides for the smaller kids, and one that is shallower for those who just want to splash around a bit.
There is another pool with slides, all of which are fast, and great fun. Bigger kids, teenagers and adults alike could spend most of the day running up the staircases and whizzing back down the slides, they really had a good selection.
The 5th pool is inside the hotel, it looked great, but when the temperatures outside were hitting 40 degrees, I didn’t bother with the indoor pool.
Overall it has to be said that the pools at Sherwood Breezes were excellent, perfect for everyone, and all surrounded by sun beds and umbrellas. They were the highlight of the hotel for us.
Sherwood Breezes Entertainment
To write a review on the entertainment at Sherwood Breezes, you need to consider every aspect, as there is a lot of entertainment going on, from the morning through to late at night.
During the daytime they offer all kinds of fun to play games, ranging from Archery, Air-rifle shooting, darts, water aerobics, aerobics, and beach volleyball to name a few. The kids club and teenagers club have their own activities which included paintball.
The animation team were always walking around the main pool, offering activities to those who were just lounging around. If you weren’t interested at all you need say was a polite no thank you, and they didn’t mind.
In the main pool, the animation team also organised water polo, and pool games every day, including the water aerobics. You really can make your daytime as relaxed or as busy as you like, if you want to get involved in all the fun games and activities, then there is something happening at all times during the day, if you just want to lay there and watch others, then you can do that too. With all these daytime activities and the water slides, we didn’t once hear an “I’m bored” from either of our kids, which is just perfect.
The animation team work their socks off, these guys get involved in everything, they are like the cheerleaders of the hotel, they do their best to ensure everyone is having fun.
During the evening the entertainment starts at 9.30pm in the amphitheatre, it generally lasts for around an hour and it’s really a mixed bag. I’m not sure what I was expecting from this entertainment, but I have to say it was mainly disappointing. The first night we went they had Euro-Vision song contest, we assumed it was going to be a bunch of professional singers from around the world, but we never quite found out, the sound system blew halfway through the first girls song. Actually that was a good thing, she was a very average singer. After about 10 minutes of silence, only broken by one of the animation team shouting out “applause” every 10 seconds, we gave up and left. Shortly after we left, they obviously gave up on the whole thing, and instead lead everyone down to the pier on the beach where a pre-arranged party was due to start. Again, the animation team provided the entertainment by dancing to backing music.
Occasionally the entertainment at the amphitheatre was from outside sources, a few nights they brought in dancing acts, who didn’t really do much to entertain me. They were ok, but just ok. On most nights the animation team provided entertainment on stage, including dodgy comedy sketches, a Mr & Mrs competition and the King of Sherwood competition. Every night was wrapped up by a cheesey dance led by the head of entertainment. unfortunately as far as I’m concerned evening entertainment was a little bit holiday camp, and not what you’d expect from a highly rated hotel. I did hear one lady talking around the pool who’d stayed at Sherwood Breezes before and she commented that they’d seriously cutback on the entertainment budget compared with previous years. It was obvious to see.
In other aspects of entertainment, the hotel also had a large video games room with a 2 lane bowling alley in it. We used the bowling alley on our last evening and it was as good as any other lanes I’d used before. Of course all of the games in this room were costing extra, they weren’t covered by the all-inclusive system.
There was one evening at Sherwood Breezes that deserves a special mention though, and it was so good that it would surely make this hotel stand out from some of the others along Lara Beach. One day we received an invitation delivered to our hotel room, we were welcomed to join the staff for a cocktail reception at 7pm followed by a special dinner on the lawn, then entertainment on stage. During the day I watched them setting up a stage on the long stretch of grass that is part of the lush and extensive gardens at Sherwood Breezes, they were also laying hundreds of large round tables with nice tablecloth and seat covers with bows. It looked fantastic, like a huge posh wedding in the sunshine. The invitation said that there was a “black and white” dress code, which made us realise they were going all out for this special event, every guest at the hotel was invited.
At 7pm we headed down from our rooms, and were greeted with options of champagne or cocktails, we were even offered cigars. Walking down along the pool we realised the huge effort that all the staff had put in, and the selection of food on offer was more vast then I’d ever seen before. Chefs cooking fresh food, alongside the usual buffet style hot counters, huge tables of desserts, and more food then you could ever consider eating.
Sitting at tables of 12 around the main stage on the lawn made a brilliant atmosphere, and it was just like being at a posh event. Again, the drinks waiters were too rushed off their feet to provide adequate service, but other than that you really felt like someone who was being treated very special at a top class hotel.
The entertainment on the stage was brilliant, all kinds of dancing, music and fireworks. Every manager of the hotel came on stage to be introduced to the guests and it certainly seemed like everyone was having a great time.
For me, this was the highlight of the holiday, a brilliant effort by all the staff at Sherwood Breezes.
Sherwood Breezes Gym / Turkish Bath / Massages
I can’t comment too much about the other features of the hotel like the shops, the hairdressers or the Turkish Bath as I didn’t use any of them. They all looked nice, and people appeared to be using them quite frequently however.
I did use the gym almost every day, it was ok, nothing spectacular and not much equipment in there. With two running machines, two cross trainers, two bikes and some weights that just about covers everything. There was one small air-con unit in the wall which was insufficient for the size of the room, especially when you got half a dozen people trying to train in there.
Hotel Review Summary
For a family of four on all-inclusive we paid £210 a day. For me, the room, the food, the drinks, the pool and the entertainment were well worth that money. Overall I thought Sherwood Breezes was a great hotel, and I’d recommend it to anyone with a family who is looking for a sunshine break on the beach and wants an all-inclusive hotel.
Some reviews of Sherwood Breezes said they didn’t feel it was a five-star resort, well who cares what the stars are, trust me, the rooms are nice and clean, the food is good and plentiful, the drinks were just fine, the staff were friendly, and the entertainment was ok.
Along Lara beach there are several large all-inclusive hotels, so competition is tough for them, but for £210 a day you can’t go wrong. Yes, there maybe better hotels along Lara Beach, but if you want to go to a great hotel and have a set budget, then I seriously recommend you to take a look at Sherwood Breezes.