Turkish Delights

When you arrive at the airport and your hotel transfer looks like a van straight out of The A-Team, you know you’re embarking on a holiday with a difference. The 5* all-inclusive Regnum Carya recently hosted the G20 Summit, and the thought of the delegates arriving gansta stylie certainly tickled us en route to the resort. Big is clearly beautiful here, as our first glimpse of the family suite that is to be home for the week attests. It is vast, with an enormous sitting room, bedroom, dressing room and two bathrooms. But it is the private pool and decked area that provoke a merry jig of excitement. Collapsing in a happy heap, we sit and survey our kingdom while gorging on the spread of fresh fruit, macarons, chocolate and wine that has been left to greet us. Soon, weary after a day of travelling, and feeling somewhat like Goldilocks, we lay our heads on the ‘just right’ pillows selected from the hotel’s menu and enjoy a blissful night’s sleep.

Breakfast, served in the gourmet restaurant, proves to be an exercise in self restraint – savoury and sweet pastries still warm from the oven, pancakes, delicious fresh fruit, eggs cooked any way you want them, freshly squeezed juice – you name it, they’ve got it. We tuck in, remembering the old adage about breakfasting like a king. Our plans to dine like a pauper flounder on discovering the Regnum’s all-inclusive à la carte restaurants, though. With five to choose from, offering Turkish, seafood, Oriental, Italian and Brazilian barbecue dishes, there’s one for every night of our stay, and each meal is exquisite. You can see a bit of a theme developing here… Then there’s drink, available on tap, wherever, whenever. We develop a worrying trend for quaffing rosé Champagne at all hours of the day, as though it were water (with a lively 11-year-old in tow, you’d think we’d have more sense). In the munchie moments that inevitably follow, we become all too familiar with the 24-hour patisserie and chocolaterie. And we convince ourselves that we are working off our excesses by letting off steam in the on-site games arcade, bowling alley, night club and gym. In truth, the pace of life is much more desirable at the tranquil spa, which has more relaxing treatments on offer than we have hours in the day to sample.

We don’t get much more energetic by the pools, either. Each of the four – two of them at least Olympic-size – are surrounded by luxurious sun loungers and elegantly curtained cabanas where we while away many a lazy hour. Though never more than a 20-metre stagger from the nearest bar, we make full use of the rollerblading waitresses, who are more than happy to whisk off our orders (but while I am motivated by pure laziness, I can’t help thinking that my partner’s reasons are somewhat different!)

For the more active (read: children of all ages), The Regnum boasts its very own aqua park, with chutes and slides of varying hair-raising heights. In fact, there are delights aplenty for children at The Regnum: scattered unobtrusively throughout the complex, they are sure to keep even the pickiest and most energetic kids thoroughly occupied until check-out. We gleefully (with only a fleeting moment of guilt), introduce our own little angel to the very well organised kids’ club, where he quickly becomes so ensconced in a PlayStation tournament that it is difficult to drag him away at the end of the day.

But drag him away we must, because come evening there is bar-side music to be enjoyed, provided by highly polished bands playing an eclectic mix of well-executed covers and original material. It quickly becomes evident that there really is no reason to leave the resort. One night we are even treated to an entertaining show in the on-site amphitheatre.

On our last day we hire a cabana on the private beach (where the golden sand is regularly raked to perfection) and enjoy the attentive services of our own oh-so obliging butler. We have just one regret: that we did not have the wherewithal to book ahead and hire a cabana on the Regnum’s pier – we watch on with envy as the lucky occupants jump straight from their sunbeds into the sparkling waters of the Med.

Thomas Cook offers seven nights on an all-inclusive basis at Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort for £1,951, staying in a Garden View Room, based on double occupancy. This price, including flights with Thomas Cook Airlines and transfers, is based on a departure date of 22 May 2017, travelling from London Gatwick. Call 0844 412 5970 or visit Thomas Cook or Co-operative Travel stores to book. Prices correct at time of going to press (thomascook.com; regnumhotels.com)