(continuing my Kurban Bayrami Antalya trip diary)
Hotels on Lara Beach, Antalya, as viewed across a freshwater stream splitting the beach
Lara Beach is a large sandy east of Antalya flanked by many 5 star luxury resort hotels. There are hotels designed to mimic the Titanic, the Kremlin, Concorde and Topkapi Palace as well as conventional looking resorts. It kind of resembles a Turkish casino-free beachside version of Las Vegas.
The afternoon moon above the front of the Titanic Hotel
Yasemin’s hotel, the Kervansaray is a new hotel that only opened in 2005. It has 585 rooms and convention facilities for two (or four?) thousand people.
The Kervansaray Hotel, Lara Beach, Antalya
The Kervansaray has flat screen TVs located in the floor, in (not on) the walls and just about everywhere else. Including flat screen TVs in the hotel’s design was a clever idea.
On the dolmus to Lara (catch the one going to ‘TRT’ and get off at the last stop) the first time I met Ayhan and his Taiwanese wife holidaying from Istanbul and they helpfully showed me the best way to the Kervansaray – the walk along the beach.
The moon as viewed from the Kervansaray
As my visit coincided with a large Turkish public holiday, all the hotels were filled to capacity with local tourists. Yasemin wanted to show me a room with a view over the Mediterranean and ith all available hotel rooms full there was only one solution-show me one of the owner’s rooms. The hotel’s two best rooms are reserved solely for the owner’s use!
View from the owner’s room, Kervansaray Hotel, Lara Beach, Antalya
Although untidy, the owner’s penthouse room was very impressive. Again, flat screen TVs abounded (I counted at least 3 and I didn’t look everywhere).
Unfortunately I was too late for the sunset. Down below on the pitch I could see Trabzonspor, Turkey’s fourth largest soccer club train. Two other clubs, Vestel Manisaspor and Canakkale Dardanelspor were also training at the hotel.
Trabzonspor training on the Kervansaray Hotel’s pitch
Antalya’s traditionally limited summer tourist and the instability of foreign tourist numbers due to external threats (such as Gulf Wars I & II) led the hotels to find other income sources. These include golf holidays, health resorts and soccer camps.
Antalya is now the place for soccer in Turkey during the Superlig winter break. Whilst I was there Istanbul clubs Galatasaray and Besiktas played against German sides Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen in the 5th Efes Pilsen Cup.
Yasemin kindly invited me to return the following day to eat at Kervansaray’s buffet lunch. Following lunch I walked along the beach in the glorious winter sunshine and took photos of the reflections in the stream emptying into the sea. I love reflections 🙂
Looking west along Lara Beach with mountains in the background