Cullinan Belek review: feel fully rejuvenated at this ultra all-inclusive in Turkey

Sparkling luxury resort has ten restaurants, an aquapark, golf and waiting staff on rollerblades

Lagoon rooms at the Cullinan Belek
The Cullinan Belek resort is located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast

Named after the largest rough diamond ever discovered, the Cullinan Belek on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast certainly sparkles. An easy hour’s transfer from Antalya airport, the resort is nestled between a white sand beach, a river and the imposing Taurus mountains.

Post pandemic, we were after a fly-and-flop holiday where we could be pampered like sultans. Could this newly-opened resort fit the bill?

Lagoon rooms at the Cullinan Belek

Lagoon rooms at the Cullinan Belek

The rooms

The hotel has an impressive 600 rooms, all with a view of the sea. If you want to push the boat out, go for one of the ten luxury villas. We looked on enviously at the swim-up rooms, where guests can roll out of bed and straight into the water for the first dip of the day.

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Our tastefully designed family room was more like a mini-suite with two sofa beds in the living area and a king size double in our room. Robes, slippers, beach bags and high-end toiletries come as standard, and my eyes nearly popped out of my head on realising the mini-bar was both fully stocked and fully inclusive. Sadly no bath, but the power shower worked its magic on the day’s sand and sun cream.

Remember the days when you had to phone reception if the telly wasn’t working or you needed milk? Not here. Every guest joins a WhatsApp group, with a personal assistant on hand 24/7.

Greek seafood restaurant Yamas at Cullinan Belek

Greek seafood restaurant Yamas

Eating and drinking

The Cullinan Belek is part of the growing trend in Turkey of “ultra all-inclusive”. Apart from a small surcharge at some of the a la carte restaurants, everything is included – meals, drinks and snacks.

Among the site’s ten restaurants is Greek seafood spot Yamas. The service was as spectacular as the cuisine. When the mozzies came out so did a waiter to spray our ankles with insect repellent. And as the Greek music got louder and faster another waiter brought some empty dishes. The children were delighted to realise that traditional plate smashing was also on the menu.

The size of my steak at the Beef Grill Club was initially a bit daunting, but bravely I pushed on through. Much of the food is sourced locally and when chatting to staff I learned the hotel group has a long history of running high-end restaurants, and it shows.

At Mare, the main buffet restaurant, the scale and choice was mind-blowing. My fear with all-inclusive is that the children – and even a few adults – will pile their plate high and much of it will be wasted. At the Cullinan though, dishes are served by staff behind the counter. It means portions are sensible, presentation is great and waste is kept to a minimum.

Fancy an ice cream or drink by the pool? Waiting staff on rollerblades – yes you read that right – whizz up and down taking orders.

Hit the slides at the resort’s own waterpark

Hit the slides at the resort’s own waterpark

Things to do

I would recommend spending time at the pool – not just one, there are actually 13. Our favourite was the huge L-shaped pool, surrounded by crisp white sunbeds and umbrellas. For the more adventurous there is a waterpark with more than a dozen slides. An adults-only pool would be a nice addition, especially for honeymooners.

The hotel’s own sandy white beach is a short stroll away. Two piers lazily stretch out into the sea where you can rent private cabañas. All come with steps leading into the water, daybeds and a minibar. I’m guessing the rollerblading waiters can’t get across the sand…

The resort is also a golfer’s dream with a beautiful links course, nine of the holes floodlit. The lush green melts into the blue of the sky in such a tempting way even I – as a non golfer – was tempted to give it a go. My son and I had an hour’s tuition from the super enthusiastic head of the golf academy.

Enjoy a lazy day at the cabana pier

Rent a private cabaña and enjoy a lazy day at one of the two piers

The verdict

You might not meet many Brits round the pool – the resort is popular with Turkish and Russian visitors. However, with a kids’ club, huge gym, the C’espace spa, water sports and evening entertainment you may find there’s little time left for making new friends. The welcome and facilities are exceptional. We left feeling fully rejuvenated.

Rooms can be booked from £347 per night;

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