We booked this hotel based on the comparative price and also the good reviews on Trip Advisor from previous guests.
Upon experiencing the hotel in July 2017 we wish we had paid more money and gone to a better quality hotel like we had done previously. This hotel is rated as a 4* but it is more like a 3* basic/budget hotel. Don't get me wrong it is good for the children but if you are looking for a quality hotel with excellent service then this hotel is not for you. If you have been in a 4*/5* before then do not book this hotel as you will be disappointed.
I will break down my review on all aspects of the hotel so you know where the hotel are going wrong and what are the good bits:
When you arrive on the transfer coach you will be instantly disappointed. All of the other hotels in Lara Beach are modern and all lit up with bright lights and Saturn Palace is sat in the middle of 2 other big hotels and is not lit up at all. It looks old and dated for the area. The reception area is ok, but is not air conditioned and is extremely hot.
We arrived at 12.00am and after a long day of travelling all we wanted to do was get to our room and go to sleep. We checked in quite quickly and first impressions were quite good. We had been given a room next to my sister which we had requested and also the man said we had been given sea view rooms which we had not paid for which was a nice gesture. However when we got up to our room our mood changed when we discovered that our 2.5 year old had been given a small travel cot to sleep in for 2 weeks. He is not in a cot at home an I certainly was not paying full price for him to sleep in a travel cot for 2 weeks. We went back down to reception and the manager appeared. He said that the standard room we had been allocated was what we booked through Jet 2. We did book a standard room but the room we booked on the Jet 2 website had a double bed and 2 single beds with plenty of space to move around. This room was tiny and had a double and a single and a small travel cot.
The manager said we could upgrade to a Jacuzzi room for an additional 70 euros per night. We refused as the room was the same size it just had a Jacuzzi bath on the balcony. In the end we just had to settle for the travel cot taking out and a camp bed putting up in the corner of the room. This is false advertising on Jet 2's part and if you are booking Saturn Palace through Jet 2 please be aware of this as if my son had been any older then he would not have had a bed.
A plus side of the rooms is that there was plenty of storage for 4 people and also room under the beds for all our suitcases to be out of the way. There is a mini bar which is suppose to be re-stocked daily but it is just filled as and when with whatever is available, there is not set menu of what should be in there and on several days we had half bottles that we put back in the fridge and also x3 Iced Teas and no juice. Also the chocolate milk was not put in after the first few days as there were several complaints that it was off and tasted sour.
The balcony area was good with space to dry clothes and a table and x2 chairs. We did not have an arm chair in the room as there was no space and the camp bed was where the chair should have been.
The hotel rooms were cleaned really good for the first few days and we were left several different animals made from towels, etc.... This was a nice touch, however it did not last long and then we started getting dirty bedding put back on the bed. With small children they got chocolate on the sheets and these were just turned over and not swapped. Also several days we were given 2 towels for 4 of us. The floor never got swept or washed for 2 weeks. On the second to last day the service picked up again and we got animals made from our children's blankets and flowers left on the bed. This was because the cleaner knew we would be leaving and wanted a tip.
General cleanliness of the hotel was ok, but during the second week of our holiday it got extremely busy and there were double the amount of guests but no more staff. Tables were left full and rubbish was left around the poolside as there were not enough rubbish bins. The garden areas also looked overgrown in places and the gardeners were working alongside guests in the day and getting in the way. At one point the main pathway was getting hosed down mid morning and it was very slippy underfoot with no warning signs. The toilets were dirty especially the ones outside the restaurant which always had bins overflowing.
The food in the main restaurant on an evening was ok for a few days, but then it soon got repetitive. Even on the 'Theme' nights the food remained mainly the same, just a slight change in a couple of mains and deserts. It was very busy and if you were not down for 7pm then you were seated far back and it was hard to get a drink as there were not enough waiters on for the amount of guests. The food was mainly, chicken, chips, pasta, onion rings, veg, salad and mashed potato inside. Outside there was a BBQ area where food was getting cooked, this was again chicken, sometimes fish and liver/kebabs. Although there was always a long wait and it was extremely smoky. The was also wok cooking outside but we never tried this. Also it states that the restaurant is open until 9pm but they start packing up at 8.30pm and if you haven't got your main meal by then you have no chance of getting a dessert.
Breakfast was good, there were eggs of several kinds, tomatoes, potatoes - but no bacon/sausage/beans. Also continental breakfast with pastries and fresh pancakes. Omelettes were available outside but there was always at least 10 minutes wait for these.
The snack bar next to the children's pool served snacks from 12pm until 6pm. It had jacket potatoes, hotdogs, fries, burgers (if you can call them burgers), toasties and a few other bits. This menu never changed, it was ok though and easy for the kids throughout the day.
Ice creams - about 8 different flavours on offer which I thought was very good and it was also Walls and not the traditional Turkish ice cream you sometimes get. You could have it in a cone of on a warm waffle.
Crepes - these were available 12-4pm freshly made with several fillings available.
Beach Snack Bar - Kebabs and pizzas available daily. Be careful with the chicken kebabs here as we saw them putting raw chicken with cooked chicken.
Al A Carte - Do not even bother with these they are a waste of time. We went to the Turkish one and we were seated on poolside chairs with cheap silky chair covers. We were sat for about 15 minutes and know one came over to serve us. Eventually my husband asked for drinks and they came. We were not asked what kind of food we wanted it was just plonked in front of us, it was some kind of mushy pea soup, the tiniest lamb chop I had ever seen and a couple of meatballs for our starter. The main we got asked 'Chicken' of 'Beef' and it was a greasy stir fry of onions and peppers with some over cooked rice. We did not even stay for dessert as we had been waiting that long and did not even get offered a second drink.
There was one bar in the lobby (well actually 2 but one never opened), one bar in the snack restaurant, another round the larger pool, one in the beach bar and one on the pier. Each bar had one member of staff on 2 sometimes at a push. They were over worked and miserable at all times and never smiled. Drinks were thrown at you and half full most of the time. If you asked for cocktails which took them longer to make then they would huff and puff. The staff worked extremely long hours and I can see why they are un happy, but it is their job and they should provide good customer service at all times. The only two waiters that we saw happy were the 2 lads on roller blades that came around the pool area handing food/drinks out.
There were queues at all bars and the problem was especially noticed on a night when the show finished. Everyone rushed to the pool bar which was the only bar open outside and the bar staff only seemed to want to serve female guests. We saw several arguments and even a fight one of the nights as you could just not get a drink. You could only go where the hotel management wanted you to be. If there was a party down by the beach then the pool bar would close so you had to follow the crowd if you wanted a drink. In other hotels we have been to you could just chill out and have a quiet drink outside. Here if you wanted to get away you had to sit in the warm lobby or your room.
On several times we also noticed that there were not enough plastic beakers so bar staff were handing out drinks in glasses to take around the pool areas !!
The pools were the best part of the hotel. There as a main pool which was lovely and then there was a pool where the water slides went into, there was also a relaxing pool near the restaurant which was also nice. For the kids there was A Splash pool with kids slides and waterfalls and another pool with a few smaller slides in. They were all very clean every day and my children loved them all.
There are plenty of sunbeds around all of the pools but guests get up super early and reserve sun beds all around the hotel so that they can move around the complex as the sun moves on an afternoon. This is greedy and should not be allowed, management should monitor this. On one occasion we reserved several sunbeds and placed our towels and bags on them whilst we went to get an ice cream. Upon our return our towels had been chucked to the side and an Iranian lady was sat on our sunbeds. We asked her what she was doing and explained that they were our sunbeds to which she replied that she had been sat there all morning. Her partner came over and got very angry and aggressive with us.
Also on another occasion we placed our beach bags under our sun bed with goggles/arm bands, etc.... and upon returning our sons character swim ring had gone. Someone had actually been in our bag an stole our property. We saw a little boy with it on later in the day and my partner asked his mum where it was from and she just shrugged her shoulders.
The beach was ok, we did not really use it much as my children do not like the sand. The water was quite rocky and the sand was quite rough. There is a nice pier which we liked to go on. There is a bar on there where you can get served straight away which is a bonus. We also liked jumping off the pier into the sea.
The hotel had a small entertainment team who worked really hard and long hours, however the programme was boring and lacked variety. There was the usual darts and archery that every hotel has, then later on a cheesy dance/exercise routine, bingo, etc.... For the kids they had several things going on in kids club throughout the day. Crafts such as sand art and bag/t-shirt decorating costs 10 euros a time. They had face painting and other activities that were free though. The thing that we did not like about the kids club is that it is not very safe to leave your child, so you had to spend the time stood in kids club with no air con. There is no sign in/sign out procedure like we have seen in other hotels and anyone could wonder in and take your child and the staff would not even know.
Once a week the hotel held a beach/foam party on the beach which was fun for kids and adults. Also on the beach there are water sports but these are very expensive and the jet ski was 50 euros for 15 minutes. There were no free pedalos or kayaks like some hotels provide as part of the all inclusive.
The entertainment on an evening was pretty poor. Each night they had a show on in the amphitheatre, but most of the time it was a circus or some dance act and they were very repetitive. After the shows they sometimes had live music in the pool bar.
For the children they had a mini disco in the afternoon and on an evening at 8.30pm. There was also the fairground which is situated at the front of the hotel. This was good and included as part of the all inclusive. There are about 8 rides but only 3 staff working there, so they are juggling all the rides between them and there are no proper queues and especially for the bumper cars it is like a free for all trying to get in a car. Especially as the majority of the guests are Russian and extremely rude, and do not like waiting. Also be careful if your children go on the pirate ship it says not for guests under the age of 12 but they let anyone on and we saw children as young as 4 on the ride. When you get on the ride there is a gap between the step and the ride and our daughter almost fell down the gap. On a Sunday night it is circus night. The fairground stays open longer and they give away free candy floss and popcorn and the they put on a kids circus.
Gala night is held on a Saturday evening. The food in the restaurant is pretty much the same but outside around the relax pool they set up tables and the show is held there. This is a nice change but impossible to get a drink.
Would we return to this hotel - NO
Would we recommend this Hotel - NO
Was the hotel worth the money we paid - NO
Hope this honest review shows what Saturn Palace is really like .......
2nd time we have been to Saturn palace this year loved it got a free upgraded duplex room and extended check out free of charge staff are all really friendly even come round on rollerblades would definitely recommend this hotel got everything you need onsite the only negative I have is the amount of Germans/dutch there as they are so rude
Hotel accommodation- dull and dismal rooms, shabby bedding.
Food and drinks- hit and miss. Breakfast poor with no beans bacon or sausages. If u like eggs n bread there's plenty. Who has Brussels sprouts, cauliflower n peas for breakfast? Poor quality, cold at times, meat variety mainly chicken and liver or BBQ- fish / poached fish. Some of the stews were ok and the stir fry. Very repetitive. Snacks limited and repetitive. Drinks poor quality.
A la joke carte - don't bother -cold, steak full of fat and fish dry as a bone. Staff got annoyed when we left the food. Pancakes ice cream and waffles ok. They allow one half of the outside Restaurant to smoke which then blows over to the non smoking side along with the smoke from the BBQ. There are also loads of flies on the cold food in the restaurant and seating areas in and outdoor.
Pool area - dated and had to clean our own tables and sun beds. Pool bar short staffed and miserable staff. Plenty sun beds. We had our bag of sun creams taken.
Beach - full of cigarette ends , dirty nappies. My daughter had her surf flip flops stolen.
Air con a joke - red hot and sweaty in the reception and bar area with just a cool room which was on different temperatures and full of rowdy Dutch teens.
Hotel shop - very expensive and limited.
Clientele- minority of British guests only from Jet 2. The majority were rude German Dutch and Russian.
Dress code non existent - evening dinner people in swim shorts and vests.
Entertaining is geared towards Dutch German and Turks and is repetitive. One of the Gala evening dancers entertainment was very good though.
Overall this hotel is not suitable for British guests as we all felt we were treat at the bottom of the pecking order. I did not feel safe to have my purse at the pool or beach areas.
One member of staff was smoking and hanging around the exit to the pool area and asked me for Euros.
In my opinion pay a little more and go to a better star rated hotel and always check the reviews.
There is a very rich food Buffet. I always get red meat. Seafood is very good. While you are sunbathing on the beach, the waiters serve you food and drink. There is Champagne service at the Pier. We were very satisfied.
This was our first ever visit to Turkey so wasn't sure what to expect. Driving along Lara beach there is 35 hotels (our guide told us that) and Saturn palace is at the end of the stretch of hotels. Every hotel us lit up with flashing lights all trying to out do each other. Saturn palace sits in complete darkness and you could easily miss it, which funnily enough our driver did! It was as if they aren't even trying to compete. You can sit outside the front of the hotel but it's really dark. There is also a funfair that all the hotels have, but again it looks tired with some of the rides not working and those that did would make grinding noises and lots of the lights didn't work.
The hotel itself was lovely inside and spotless. Check in simple and despite it being midnight there was still snacks available.
Having the 24 hour bar was fab and it stopped the usual issues of people constantly queuing just before closure time. There is also no limit of drinks you could get.
There is 5 pools and there was always plenty of sun beds available. Slides also fun.
Everyday you could get beach towels that you would return at the end of the day, and get fresh ones the following day. Staff would come around all day offering drinks, ice creams hotdogs burgers and pizzas. There was also kebabs every day and other snacks, as well as donoughts every day.
Staff were so pleasant and couldn't do enough for u.
However the downside for us was the main food and entertainment. The entertainment staff work there socks off and there is things to do all day however the night time entertainment was woeful. There was live singers three times a week, which appeared to be semi professional singers starting out who all sang the same songs, mostly geared for the Turkish ( which is fair enough) but weren't very good. There wasn't one night where thought the entertainment was even decent.
The food whist plentiful was the same every night despite there being so called themed nights. Hygiene around the food poor with lots of flies and salad and mayonnaise etc outside in the sun for hours not covered. In fairness given the amount of different nationalities that were there it must be difficult to keep everyone happy.
Would we return probably not. Is it good value for money? Yes especially if you get a free child place. This was our last year of getting this.