Hotel Alva Donna Exclusive was the hotel where my wife and I spent our honeymoon. And we were extremely happy with our experience – so happy that I decided to share it all with you in today’s review of the Alva Donna Hotel in Turkey.
Fully named Alva Donna Exclusive Hotel & Spa, it is actually an amazing 5-star All Inclusive resort situated in the Bogazkent region near Belek (35km from Antalya).
It never ceased to amaze us for the entire duration of our stay – and we spent 7 nights there, enough time for something bad to draw our attention!
I can actually say that Alva Donna Hotel was the first place where I felt that everything was perfect, working flawlessly and made to cater for all the needs of the guests.
I never in my life felt so overwhelmed with the luxury and quality of services so we can say from start that Alva Donna is a perfect choice for your holiday destination.
Alva Donna Exclusive Hotel: first impressions
I had the chance of visiting some of the other great 5 star resorts in Belek (like Pappilon Aischa, Rixos, Adam & Eve or Iberostar) and when I first saw Alva Donna from outside, I have to admit that I was a bit worried: the hotel is not too impressive when looked at from the street.
Fortunately, that’s the only time you will be worried and a great proof that the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is true.
As soon as you enter the door, you are greeted by smiling faces and immediately given a glass of champagne (or cold water or fresh orange juice) while the check-in formalities are done.
And that is the first time when you go, inside your head: “WOW, this is great”. The first time of many.
Now, about the hotel itself: it’s made of 7 buildings with 4 floors each and apart from that, there are plenty of things to explore: green areas, several bars (two with non-stop program), several restaurants, five pools, private beach (with pool on the beach!) and so on. It’s absolutely amazing!
To put it short, the first thing we did in Alva Donna was to get lost, even though Turkey certainly has hotels that are a lot bigger than this one – like the amazing Titanic Mardan Palace.
Rooms at Alva Donna Exclusive Hotel & Spa
We got a huge room at the 4th floor (room 1176, in case you stay there) which was absolutely amazing. This is how it looked back when we visited (rooms are now upgraded – see below):
Our room had a huge bed where three persons could’ve easily spent unforgettable nights there, a mini-bar that was free to use and filled on a daily basis (2 beer cans, 2 500ml Cola bottles, 1 250ml sparkling water, 1 big water bottle and 2 natural juice boxes), an 80 inch LCD TV and a huge balcony.
We didn’t get a sea view, unfortunately, but we spent little time inside anyway, so it wasn’t really a huge problem.
The bathroom was clean and nice too, towels changed on a daily basis and everything you could need (minus the bathrobe – for some this is somehow very important, I never felt the need for one anyway).
You had the cleaning lady coming daily to clean up the room, followed by the man that filled the mini bar.
You also had a “Do not disturb” sign for the door and nobody ever disturbed us with that sign on – there are hotels where the staff doesn’t really care about the sign, but at Alva Donna they fortunately do.
So all in all I can say that our room at Alva Donna was perfect, even though there was nothing extremely special there. And they have upgraded them in the mean time, making them more modern looking and even more so amazing:
I also saw that they now have rooms dedicated for small children, with beds in the shape of cars, with bunk beds in some rooms and all sorts of child-friendly decorations. Really cool!
Pools & the Beach at Alva Donna Hotel
The resort has five outdoor pools (as well as indoor pools that we haven’t visited), but the one in the middle is the most amazing of them all:
It’s a huge, heated outdoors pool with plenty of chairs around it, with palm trees for some natural shade and a bridge across… it’s absolutely amazing.
Apart from it, there is a smaller pool for adults where the water slides are, plus two pools for kids (one with water slides too) and a small pool right on the beach.
We spent most of the time at the main pool which looks absolutely amazing and has enough free sunbeds to never worry about finding a good spot: reserving your sunbeds is also forbidden by the hotel management, which makes it all a lot more natural and normal.
Personally, we never had, during our stay, any problems with finding empty sunbeds even though one day we first got to the pool at 10:30 AM and another day, we arrived at the pool at 4 PM.
The water in the pools is incredibly warm (in the mid 20s) and clean, while the pool itself is not that deep: 1.40 meters everywhere.
The main pool is also the place where all the “crazy pool games” happen, as well as water activities (like water polo or aerobics) but at all times, if you want to go for a swim, you won’t find it too crowded.
And the view, with the palm trees on the sides and all those colorful flowers, is simply amazing.
Add to that the Pool Bar which is always open and ready to offer you a cold drink (there are even people who go from sunbed to sunbed with water, tea, etc) and you’ll have a perfect spot to soak up the sun at Alva Donna.
The water slides pools have a limited program, which might vary from season to season. When we visited, it was only open between 10 AM – 2PM and for two hours in the evening. Surprisingly, those were never overcrowded.
The pool for kids is the place where literally most of the kids spend their time (which means, in turn, that you will rarely be disturbed by young children outside of that area), playing all sorts of games with the animation team, getting drawings on their face and themed parties everyday.
Even though we didn’t spend too much time there because we didn’t have kids back then, it sure looked like the little ones were very happy.
If you are the kind of person who likes to feel the sand under their feet and swim in the salted water, Alva Donna Exclusive has a great treat for you: the beach is huge with hundreds of sunbeds, as well as several Bali houses (that have to be paid for, though) plus a pier with a bar and some extra premium seats (free) that are taken first thing in the morning.
The problems with the beach, despite it looking amazing and basically flawless, appears when you get close to the water: there is a wall of small stones when you enter the sea (nothing too big to hurt you, but it would’ve been better without them) and also the water gets pretty deep very soon, so not shallow.
But the water itself is amazing and even though we were there between 21 to 28 June, the water was not cold. Not as warm as the pool water, but warm enough to enjoy a swim or two.
All in all, I would say that this hotel is perfect both for couples, as well as families. But if you want more options for the latter, make sure to check out my previous article sharing the best hotels for families in Lara, Turkey.
Food & Drinks at Hotel Alva Donna
Oh, my! I could write thousands of words about the amazing quality and variety of foods and drinks at Alva Donna.
And if you are that person who can do it, you can actually spend an entire day eating, starting with breakfast at 8 and ending with a late dinner at midnight. Personally, I consider this impossible but the challenge is yours to take. (Please, don’t do it!)
The variety of foods at the main restaurants (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) is incredible: expect to have tens (really, TENS) of plates with something good on them to choose from – from different types of fresh vegetables to salads, sauces, tons of cheese types and so on to fresh fruits, loads of different and delicious sweets and everything you can imagine.
Also, there is a huge variety of cooked foods (at least 14 different types of foods – and everyday you had something else!) plus soups and even a diet corner for those unlucky people who can’t enjoy the plenitude of delightful foods.
And if that’s not enough for you, you have the snack restaurant where you can grab a bite (hamburgers and fried chicken, kebab and French fries among other things), a fish restaurant, plus a Gozlema spot where some Turkish ladies make some incredible traditional cheese pies to eat with some Ayran, a delicious type of salty yoghurt.
And in the evening, you had freshly baked potatoes to be filled with different goodies, ice-cream and all sorts of pastries. Absolutely incredible and outstanding.
There are also 5 A la Carte restaurants you can get a reservation for during your stay and I strongly recommend to do so.
We’ve booked three of them (Mexican, Italian and Oriental ) and we were simply delighted with the quality of the food – something different from the goodies that you get at the regular meals, and definitely a nice touch.
And it doesn’t stop here: the drinks were really amazing too and especially if you give a tip to the bartender, you’ll receive the best quality products (and I am talking here Chivas Regal whiskey, for example).
Their beer is also very tasty and good, most of the juices are bottled, the wine is of high quality and you can order any cocktail you want to drink and it will be delivered flawlessly – the only “problem” with cocktails being that they usually sport just a few drops of alcohol.
But really you can’t complain about the quality of the drinks at Alva Donna, where it’s not just local brands that you’re getting, as it usually happens at AI hotels.
Speaking of all inclusive deals, make sure to check out my article listing the best All Inclusive resorts in Bulgaria. They’re very close to the quality of the hotels in Turkey (although not quite there yet), but a lot cheaper.
Personnel and entertainment at Alva Donna
When we went there, most of the staff spoke flawless Russian, as most guests were from Russian-speaking countries.
However – and this was a surprise for me – most of the staff also spoke at least basic English, enough for them to understand what you ask and to give you a complete answer.
I knew that staff at Turkish hotels have a hard time speaking English, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that here they spoke English pretty well.
The entertainment team is full of energy and they have all sorts of activities during the day at the pool or/and at the beach: from the classic pool games, polo and boccia to tennis, darts, archery and even air gun competitions.
They also have special competitions for kids and many Alva Donna branded medals to be given to the winners of these games, making the whole thing even more interesting.
What I really liked at Alva Donna was the fact that the night program (every night, something different) was not handled by the entertainment team.
Instead, performers were brought every night, so we had incredible performances from the Moscow circus or an amazing team of dancers from Brazil who joined the guests at a Brazil-themed party afterwards, held at the open-air club. It was simply amazing and the quality of entertainment was always high.
They also have one super-special event every week, so if you spend at least 7 nights there, you will get to be part at at least one.
When we visited, they held concerts with international artists (maybe not the best known, but still big names – Dr Alban sand when we were there, for example), but their special event changes from year to year.
I know that on other occasions they organized huge feast-like events with traditional Turkish foods and they might have other plans too. Make sure to double check, but I am sure that no matter what type of special festivity they will organize, it will be really fun.
Location of Hotel Alva Donna
In terms of location, Hotel Alva Donna Exclusive can’t offer a ton. And when I say this, I am mainly talking about things to visit nearby. It’s pretty much outside of the city with few things around.
There is a very small park with statues nearby and several souvenir shops, but except for that, there’s not much to do. It’s located outside of Belek, some 40 minutes of driving away from the Antalya airport.
But we spent 7 nights at Alva Donna and only once went out when we purchased gifts for home.
So you’ll never feel the need to get out, the hotel itself will do enough to keep you happy and entertained at all times. But if you want to, you can definitely book some tours from the reception.
So all in all, as I said when I started this review, I consider Alva Donna to be one of the best hotels I have ever been to – if not THE best.
The quality of the services is outstanding, the personnel is always smiling and ready to help, the food and drinks are great and both the pool and the beach are amazing. So all in all, it’s a hotel that I highly recommend to anybody.
PS: And don’t be scared by the fact that there are so many people from Russia there! Before going to Alva Donna, I was terrified reading comments from other websites, stating that the Russians are noisy and always drunk – this is completely untrue!
I never saw a single drunk person during our stay there and everybody behaved.
If you’ve been there – or plan to visit, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts about the hotel down in the comments section below.
NOTE: I have updated some of the photos in this article with official photos, as some of the photos I took when visiting the hotel were outdated and no longer showing the current situation.