| | | |

Discover the Ultimate Family Getaway: Inside the Tui Sensatori Fethiye

Fundamentally, there are only two sorts of people in the world. The first type of person genuinely believes that routine is the key to a happily organised life. You know, they believe that if you organise your day so the same things happen, at the same time, every day, the chaos that is modern life will inevitably run on rails and be nice and straightforward.

Of course, like ying to yang, or light to dark, there is also an opposite sort of person who likes to treat every new day as a brand-new adventure and has no need to understand what or where things are and likes to simply make things up as they go along. They are, quite simply, agents of chaos and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Inevitably, the first person will always marry the second person. That makes sense because opposites attract. For example, while Mrs B is very much person two, she’s also opposite to me in several other ways because she’s actually attractive,  genuinely sociable, and terrifyingly driven when in pursuit of her personal goals.

a family on holiday in TUI Sensatori Fethiye

I am not. I’d hasten to add, that I’m not dull, but I do get the fear if the dishwasher isn’t loaded correctly.  I ensure the car is serviced at the manufacturer-recommended intervals and the children must always have a week’s worth of clean, ironed school uniforms. 

That’s not OCD, that’s an implicit recognition that I don’t have time to sort out school shirts at 07.45 in the morning.

It was somewhat inevitable that with a personality like mine, I would join the military. In normal life, if you liked putting things in endlessly neat straight lines, you’d be locked up in a nice, safe, padded cell for your own safety. In the military, they promote you for it.

Anyway, the reason for my ruminations on routine stems from our recent and amazing family trip to the  Tui Blue Akra Sensatori resort in Fethiye. I’d never been to Turkey before, for various reasons. There’s a scene in the brilliant TV series “I’m Alan Partridge” where Alan Partridge reflects on the fact that the reason, he’s never been to Ireland is because it’s too cheap.

Tui Sensatori Fethiye

tables and chairs under a tree on a beach

I sort of felt the same way about Turkey. Surely, pay cheap, get cheap? There was also the worry in the back of my mind that Turkey, in common with other areas of the Middle East, suffers from a fair bit of political instability. I didn’t really fancy ending my holiday hanging onto the skids of the last helicopter out of Saigon.

Mrs B however, has previously been to Turkey on various girl’s holidays and raved about the experience. I’m telling you I was dead wrong, and Mrs B was, as always, right. The whole Turkey experience was excellent, from start to finish and I returned suntanned and with a rare depression that I had to come back to real life.

And later on in this blog, I’ll explain the comforting routine that the hotel runs on. 

An all-inclusive Easter Family holiday for four to Fethiye – for under £2,000?

a pool at sensatori fethiye

Yup, thanks to Mrs B’s nose for a bargain, we managed to get a week all-inclusive for two adults and four children for under £2,000 during the Easter Holidays. The trick is, as we discovered, was to book the flight and hotel separately as going directly via the Tui website added on several hundred pounds for no real reason we could fathom.

Also in our favour was the excellent exchange rate to the Turkish Lira at the moment (accurate as of Apr 24) so it made sense to book the hotel directly. Also in our favour was booking airport parking nice and early (see, being organised has its benefits) and paying for an airport transfer in the local currency. 

The other benefit of building your holiday this way is you get a bit more choice over your flight times and options; we have a family rule that if you can’t fit everything you need for a beach holiday into a cabin bag, you are wildly overpacking and Daddy will not be paying out for hold baggage.

We opted to fly with British Airways, who despite looking more and more like a budget airline these days, especially on their Euro Traveller options, still came out as the best value for money, plus the flight times were half decent. It was just over £1,200 for the hotel and a smidge under £800 for the flights.

I know. What a bargain. I just hope Alan Partridge was wrong.

British Airways Euro Traveller Flights

White British Airways Taking Off the Runway

And so it came to pass one Saturday morning a bleary-eyed family decanted into the car for the short hop to Gatwick Airport, were duly mauled by security and boarded a BA flight for a short 4-hour flight to Dalaman.

Currently, British Airways offers the High Life café range which you can pre-order if you wish, although our flight time conveniently fell between breakfast and lunch, so we got by on snacks with no problem.

For those who want to while away the time catching up on work or socials, their WiFi offering was reasonably priced (£11.99 per device) and very stable which allowed me the luxury of insulting my friends on the internet whilst in flight. 

As with all short-haul flights to a holiday destination, being first to board is definitely the way to go, as space for cabin bags is always limited and you risk having your bag consigned to the hold if you’re not quick.

Once settled down, it was merely a simple matter of keeping two small children amused for 4 hours. They mostly decided to pass the time by using the toilet.

Airport Transfers to Sensatori Fethiye 

fethiye marina
Fethiye Marina

Before we knew it, we were wheels down in Dalaman and taxing towards the impressively modern terminal building. We grabbed our bags and after a very short queue at immigration, we emerged, blinking, into the glorious bright blue sky and sunshine of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Having endured a rather long cold and wet winter, this alone felt worth the money and at that point, I would have been just as happy to turn around and head back having finally felt the sun on my face after what has been far too long.

The next challenge was to get to the hotel – Google Maps informed me it was about a 40-minute drive to the Tui Blue Akra Sensatori Fethiye from Dalaman and the only real option was a local taxi.

Now, I was a little bit nervous about local taxis – the thought of being ripped off or having my card cloned was foremost in my mind, but luckily we had taken about £100 in Turkish Lira with us for such an eventuality.

I needn’t have worried – the local taxi firms clearly understand their livelihoods depend on an honest approach and taxi fares to the local hotels are all clearly displayed on a sign by the taxi rank and agreed upfront – about 2,200 Turkish Lira (£54).

Our driver was polite and helped us load our cases into the boot and once we were all strapped in, we made our way through Dalaman town before speeding down a modern highway towards the town of Fethiye. The Turkish, it has to be said, are very patriotic and the national flag flies proudly everywhere.

We turned off the highway down a suddenly, very bumpy and rural road and, like an oasis of luxury, the Tui Blue Akra Sensatori Fethiye appeared in front of us. A modern, contemporary-looking reception area greeted us and we were politely ushered inside by an immaculate member of staff who also whisked our bags away.

Checking In and the Rooms at Tui Blue Akra Sensatori Fethiye

restaurant at TUI Sensatori Fethiye

I’ve only really rated the check-in experience at one other hotel, and that was the Savoy in London. Let’s be honest, check-in is often the worst part in many hotels – there’s inevitably a queue, they inevitably can’t find your reservation, you’re hot and bothered after a long journey and lugging a heavy case and you have to explain yourself several times to a Receptionist.

None of that happens at the Tui Blue Akra Sensatori Fethiye. No, what happens here instead is, in a clearly well-established routine, your bags are taken.

You’re offered a seat on a comfortable sofa in the reception area. Then, someone offers you a hot towel to remove the dirt from your journey and either a cool glass of sparkling wine or a cold glass of juice. The children are offered sweets and they take your passports while you marvel at the warm welcome and impressive Reception area.

a pool and hotel resort in turkey
Our views of TUI Sensatori Fethiye from the balcony

You’ve barely had time to finish your drink before your passports are returned, along with your room keys and one of the staff takes your bags and shows you where your room is.

We opted for a family room with a sea view, which ticked all of my boxes. We managed to get a room on the second floor which was a bit of a result as I can imagine people transiting along the ground floor corridors could get loud at night.  

Our room was essentially a U-shaped arrangement, with a double bed on one side, twin beds for the children on the other side, a family bathroom in the middle and a balcony offering a stunning view of the resort in the foreground and the Mediterranean Sea in the background.

Each bedroom area came with a television with a range of local and international channels and an all-inclusive minibar that contained water, soft drinks and beer, and to my son’s delight, this was replenished daily so he was allowed a daily can of Coke.

The family bathroom was well appointed and recognising, perhaps, in these days of no liquids on flights, not everyone brings a full wash kit, you are provided with not only almost everything you’ll need, but it’s mostly all environmentally sustainable too.

Recyclable toothbrushes, refillable shampoos, conditioners and shower gels, along with a shaving kit for gentlemen (or hairy women, I’m not judging), bath towels, beach towels and hand towels are all provided.

The air con was efficient, verging on the brutal so took a bit of tinkering to get right and the beds were genuinely some of the most comfortable I’ve slept on in a hotel and I am quite fussy when it comes to sleeping arrangements.

The balcony area contained a couple of sunbeds and a rack to dry towels and swim kit so all in all, there was everything you needed and nothing that you didn’t. Again, in a well-rehearsed daily routine, if you so desire, towels are refreshed, the complimentary mini bar is restocked and beds are remade, with clean, fresh bedding being supplied every four days or so.

Food and Drink at the Tui Blue Akra Sensatori Fethiye

a buffet of food

My God, the food!

Much to Mrs B’s chagrin, I can eat all day and maintain roughly the same body weight, whereas she merely has to think about a small bag of crisps and weight suddenly appears, but all that was severely tested in the kitchens of Tui Blue Akra Sensatori Fethiye. I ate, nibbled, tasted and supped from every hotplate that came within a two-foot radius of me and it was all roundly excellent.

The main restaurant was a buffet-style affair that served breakfast, lunch and dinner on again a well-established, 2-week rotating menu.

I could take up several pages of this blog with the various options, but needless to say, breakfast comes with a tasty-looking omelette bar and lashings of fresh bread, an array of fruits so opulent it makes an Arabian palace look miserly, and, with a nod to the primarily British guests, there’s a reluctant corner with bacon, sausages, beans and eggs lurking away.  

sweet buffet
Every parent’s nightmare, a sweet buffet at breakfast!

Lunchtimes are no less extravagant, with the fresh bread corner now hosting freshly cooked pizzas of every variety, the hotplates serving up everything from freshly fried chicken to freshly grilled meats and fish, and again, in a nod to British tastes, a hotplate of chips can always be found if needed.

Evening meals are again almost showman-like, with the cooking areas showing off everything from local fish and meat dishes,  an extravagant display of desserts and ice creams and again, something for even the fussiest of eaters.

Of course, the eating doesn’t stop there. Oh no. Bid farewell to your previously manageable waistline as you realise that within the resort there is also the option of visiting the Italian Basilico À La Carte Restaurant, the Chinese Tao À La Carte Restaurant and the Turkish Amber À La Carte Restaurant if you ever tired of the still excellent buffet.

restaurant view at sunset

Additionally, for an extra 40 Euros per head, you can try the Sunset À La Carte Restaurant which is a grill offering, or the  Neoman Lounge À La Carte Restaurant.

We tried the Chinese Tao À La Carte Restaurant and had some excellent sweet and sour dishes and on our final night treated ourselves to the Sunset À La Carte Restaurant at … uh …. sunset where The Boy, despite being small, managed to eat an entire Tomahawk steak with a healthy serving of vegetables.

a boy eating steak

If that wasn’t enough, in case you bet peckish between the seemingly constant offering of restaurant food, there’s also an on-site coffee shop that offers self-service coffee and complimentary pastries.

The bars offer complimentary snacks such as crisps and popcorn and there is a beach hut near the pool which, between the hours of 12.00 and 4.00 pm, serves up deliciously authentic Turkish kebabs, jacket potatoes, waffles and ice cream.

Reader, it is a wonder I am not incredibly fat by now. That, combined with the several bars on site that served a constant flow of free local Effes beer and free premium spirits for adults, and free slushies and soft drinks for the children, you can rest assured that your food and drink needs are looked after very, very well at the Tui Blue Akra Sensatori Fethiye.

a restaurant on the beach
Eating at the Sunset restaurant

What really made this resort stand out was the lovely little touches. The bars all had little steps for the children and the bar by the pool had a specific kid-only bar at a nice low height so they could fetch their own snacks.

The staff would wander by while you slowly got fatter and browner and offer to bring you another drink and discretely take away your empties. People pretend I wasn’t fat. That sort of thing.

Facilities at Tui Blue Akra Sensatori Fethiye

Tui Blue Akra Sensatori Fethiye

One thing that’s worth mentioning is that is a resort of two halves, with the East side of the resort being firmly given over to adults only, with their own pool area complete with a swim-up bar. I looked at this through envious eyes as child-free adults frolicked happily in the pool.

The Western side of the resort is where the family pool area is, complete with a heated activity pool, waterslides and the kids club.

One side is clearly a lot more noisy and chaotic than the other, but the family side was well served with daily water aerobics and games and if you love being jumped on by children while trying to relax on an inflatable doughnut, then this is absolutely the side for you.

the pool at akra fethiye

Pool aside, there was also the aforementioned kids club with a daily schedule of activities delivered by qualified and safe staff, the resort has its own section of private beach complete with private bookable cabanas where you can be served drinks and snacks and generally get treated like royalty.

If that wasn’t enough – and by this stage, you’re probably feeling quite exhausted just reading about it – there’s also an indoor heated pool for the odd occasion the weather turns, a huge bar with live entertainment every night, a beach bar that shows sports, with free pool, table tennis and a kids play area, including video games at night.

the pool at fethiye akra TUI blue sensatori

There’s also a small souvenir shop and a jeweller shop, in case you were suddenly taken with the desire to spend a thousand pounds on a new ring … which Mrs B was! And should all of that exhaust you, I can recommend the onsite beauty salon, where for a small fee you can be beautified even further for your holiday.

Indeed, such was the temptation, I had the first pedicure of my life and came away with ridiculously handsome-looking toes. We also took a couple of day trips out to both Fethiye town and Dalyan.

the mud baths at Dalyan
Mud baths and natural springs in Dalyan

If relaxation isn’t your thing, for an additional fee, you can try an array of water sports at the on-site water sports centre.

the beach at tui sensatori fethiye
The beach looking down towards Fethiye

Now, because I am a coward I don’t normally go for such things, but The Boy was particularly keen to try parasailing and of course, if The Boy goes, then The Girl will surely follow.

two people on a parasail

Curiously, for someone who used to be in the Air Force, Mrs B was surprisingly reluctant to be hoisted a hundred feet up in the air behind a speedboat, so it fell to me to risk my life twice with a child strapped to me and enjoy the view of the Fethiye area for just £50 a time.

Not sure why Mrs B wouldn’t join in with that – probably weighted down by her new expensive ring.

Staying at the Tui Blue Akra Sensatori Fethiye

the pool at sunset at TUI blue sensatori

Right at the start of the start of this blog, I joked about routine being the foundation to success, but that’s actually true at TUI Blue. Every day begins with discrete blue-uniformed staff prepping the pool area as the sun rises before the buffet breakfast opens right on the stroke of eight.

Throughout the day, armies of incredibly polite and happy staff arrange, fix, clean, correct, tinker and serve guest to the best of their ability.

As night falls, a new army of staff closes down the pool areas, sweeps, mops and generally ensures the resort remains as immaculate as it was yesterday before the noise of the day is replaced by the gentle hiss of sprinklers on grass and the distant crash of Mediterranean waves on the beach, while inside the night party gets started.

a pool at a hotel resort

Even the departure routine is just as smooth as the arrival routine, albeit much sadder because you have to return to reality, but with the added bonus that there is nothing to pay because it is an all-inclusive resort.  

This felt slightly wrong to me because, given the amount I ate a drank, they must surely have run at a net loss that week.

As we headed back to the airport in our trusty yellow local cab, I was faintly aware that this was a genuinely excellent resort that we had just experienced. The value for money was phenomenal. The staff were amazing.

sun beds on a beach near Fethiye

We were all healthily brown, the children were sun-kissed with sand in their shoes and Mrs B had snagged some bargains here and there. You could tell it had been a brilliant family holiday because, on the flight home, I realised I hadn’t even thought once about ironing a school shirt. Maybe Mrs B’s chaos is catching.

TUI blue sensatori fethiye pinterest pin

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *