For many years, we’d walked along Fethiye harbour looking across the bay towards Club & Hotel Letoonia. It’s far from an unpleasant sight; traditionally-styled ‘bungalows’ with terracotta tiled roofs built onto the hillside and surrounded by lush green foliage.
In the summer months, the vibrant pink of the bougainvillea bursts into view and frames the buildings of Club Letoonia. No, as all-inclusive resorts go, Club & Hotel Letoonia Fethiye has never particularly offended us. “Not our scene, we’d never stay there, but each to their own,” we’d always said. And it looks pretty, anyway.
For all those years, we’d been on the outside, looking in; the closest we’d been to Club Letoonia was when sailing past on a Göcek boat trip or when trekking around the Fethiye peninsula.
And then, in 2014, our friends booked to stay at Club Letoonia Fethiye for the second year in a row. “We’ve booked you in for two nights, too,” they said. “Birthday presents!”
Brilliant! That meant we could spend some quality time with out friends and their toddler son, it was a lovely birthday gift…and it meant that, after more than a decade, we could finally get through those gates and have a good old nosey around to see what this all-inclusive malarkey was all about.
We had a slight fear we might get bored – even though we would only be there for two nights. We’re the fidgety type. We like to explore. This was going to be different. Holidaying in our home town, in one of Fethiye’s best known hotels. Let’s get mooching around Club Letoonia Fethiye…
Club Letoonia Fethiye – Bungalows & Hotel Rooms
Once you’re in the grounds, up close and personal, there’s no denying Club Letoonia Fethiye is a pretty resort. It’s not just pretty from a distance.
We go to reception to fill out our details on the form handed to us. Ohhh, this is where we look odd! Address: Fethiye. Postcode: 48300. The receptionist tries not to bat an eyelid. “You can leave your luggage with the concierge,” he says. “He’ll take it to your room for you.” And then he looks over the desk. “Where is your luggage?”
“We don’t have any,” we say. We’ve got a small backpack with a few overnight things in – and our laptop bags. That’s it. So here we are; two people from Fethiye, holidaying in Fethiye, with no luggage to speak of.
We’re shown to our room at Club Letoonia; a small bungalow block of four, tucked away down a stone path and surrounded by tangles of bougainvillea.
Straight away, we both liken it to a traditional Bed & Breakfast room in the Lake District. It’s spacious with wooden ceiling, flat screen TV, a small fridge, bathroom (with powerful shower and hot water all day) and private balcony, which is again covered in bougainvillea.
When you live in Fethiye, you obviously don’t tend to stay in Fethiye hotels very often, but you do hear other people’s opinions about them on a regular basis. We’d heard people say in the past – and had seen in recent reviews of Club Letoonia – that the resort needed a bit of upgrading; things were starting to look a bit tired.
Well, the reception area, the main hotel building and main dining area have been fully refurbished over the last few winters. Everything is shiny, super modern and new.
We were in the bungalows yet to be done (there’s a lot of rooms to get through) but we liked it anyway. Pristinely clean; yes, there’s a few layers of paint on the woodwork, but it’s comfortable and cosy.
Club Letoonia is set around the hillsides of the peninsula in Fethiye. There are steps galore, lots of ups and downs to be done, but there are ground floor rooms in the hotel.
And, for those staying in the higher level bungalows like we were, there are funiculars to ferry you to various levels, wide step-free paths for those with pushchairs and wheelchairs.
And, if you don’t want to walk around the flat areas, there’s a little electric shuttle buggy that carries people between Letoonia beaches, reception and dining areas. The funicular easily fitted four of us adults and a pushchair.
This is the ‘hotel’ part of Club & Hotel Letoonia Fethiye. People who know Letoonia might think that nothing much has changed, but the interiors of the rooms are brand new – and new windows and patio doors have been fitted too. Thankfully, they’ve stayed with the traditional wooden look on the outside.
Personal views, but we think it would be a shame if this went – but it looks as though it’s staying.
We were perfectly comfortable in our bungalow room at Club Letoonia Fethiye but this was just a tiny part of the whole experience. We had never stayed in an all-inclusive hotel before and have always heard the food gets a bit tedious…
Club Letoonia Fethiye – All-Inclusive Food & Drink
Much of what we hear about the all-inclusive model is that the food is all salads and the like; it can get a bit boring, and the food is either sat there all day or you’ve only got so long to enjoy it before it all disappears. So, what happens with the food at Club Letoonia Fethiye?
Well, it was all about the food. While we were at Club Letoonia Fethiye, we talked about food – and, once we’d left Club Letoonia Fethiye, we talked about the food…soooo much food.
Above is the main dining area. This is the building you can see from the sea – so you can breakfast, lunch and dinner while overlooking Fethiye and the bay from Letoonia.
There are other areas where you can eat, too. No need to come dashing to this area for meal times; it’s just that food choice here was immense.
The photos here are only going to convey a tiny fraction of what was available at Club Letoonia Fethiye, otherwise we would have been taking photos of the food all day. For example, this is just the bread stand. It’s like a full bakery and the choice is yours. Help yourself to individual buns, simit, or slice a few chunks from a full loaf.
Want to toast them? You can do that. Want to make a cheese tost? You can do that, too.
But we did our best not to indulge in bread (too much) because there was a feast of other foods we wanted to try. And where to start?
At breakfast time, the circular display stands are filled with Turkish breakfast regulars such as salads, various cheeses, cold meats, yoghurts, honey, jams, tahin and pekmez. Another stand displays olives, Turkish pickles (turşu) and meze.
There’s soup if you want it (yes, for breakfast), another stand displays cereals and dried fruits; a whole stand of fresh fruit is next to that as well as yet another display cabinet with warm börek and croissants.
None of that interest you? Well, there are yet more display stands for the hot foods at Club Letoonia Fethiye.
These are the ones we didn’t photograph because each food was in a steel vat with a lid to keep them warm. To go around opening every lid just to take a photo would have taken an age…and no doubt annoyed hungry breakfast eaters.
But in these vats, we’ve got roast potatoes, scrambled eggs, menemen, sausages in tomato sauce, yumurtalı ekmek, sauteed vegetables, mushrooms in a garlic creamy sauce, and so much more that we genuinely can’t remember. The point is, it wasn’t just salad stuffs at Club Letoonia…
Lining the back wall are grills, griddles and ovens with counters and chefs presiding over sucuk, fried eggs, boiled eggs, omelettes, American-style pancakes (and of course there are huge bowls of maple syrup and other toppings to drizzle over you freshly made pancakes) pide and lahmacun.
Lunch, which we were never hungry for – but still managed to find room for, anyway – is also served at Lykia Restaurant. But again, there’s food elsewhere at Club Letoonia and we ate in the food area (Marina Restaurant) next to the pool we were using.
Back to the main dining area for evening meal and the same circular displays are once again packed with goodies – but this time, of an evening meal variety.
This includes lots of tempting Turkish desserts and other sweets for those who like a sugar fix. We’ve not got a sweet tooth – but hey, when there’s lots of little cakes, Baklava, Sütlaç (a Turkish version of rice pudding) and other sweetie goodies looking at you, what are you gonna do?
You see, the thing is with Club Letoonia Fethiye, it’s not just a case of grab-your-meal-while-you-can-because-once-it’s-gone-it’s-gone. Throughout meal times, these stands are replenished. Chefs are serving roast chicken, Adana Kebabı cooked on the griddle – whatever is on that day.
There’s sea bass or sea bream, Chinese style stir fry, Mexican-style chicken and beef fajita. Just too much to say here. And the main thing is, it’s not the same food every day.
Yes, there are the staples, but there are different dishes popping up, too, for each mealtime. We were just so full every day at Letoonia.
And, while we were indulging in our various platefuls of food in the main eating area, this was our view. No complaints here!
Fill Your Boots
There are loads of places to fill your stomach at Club & Hotel Letoonia Fethiye: dining areas, beach areas, terrace bars – and, even if you can’t face any food at mealtimes (because it does feel like you’re eating, eating, eating), you don’t need to hold out until next mealtime.
There is usually food available (and good food) somewhere, and we were given a timetable of what’s available where, so we knew, should we get unrealistically peckish, we could eat.
Lots of all-inclusive hotels cease to be all-inclusive at midnight, for instance. Well, should you have a late night on the ‘pop’ (we didn’t because we were with our friends and their toddler son), there’s a late night snack service at one of the Letoonia bars, running through the night until official breakfast time.
Fill your boots…if you’re hungry.
For now though, just now that we’re looking at the timetable given to us when we arrived at Club Letoonia and, from what we can see, there is no food available between 07:00 and 07:30 and 18:00-19:00. 90 minutes out of 24 hours sounds okay to us.
At main mealtimes, there are chefs and cooks serving preparing freshly-cooked hot food for you as well as all the fabulous display stands which host the accompaniments and main meal alternatives.
It’s not what we thought all-inclusive food would be…
Club & Hotel Letoonia Fethiye – Facilities & Activities
But what about while you’re in the hotel grounds? How does one go about whiling away the hours at Club & Hotel Letoonia Fethiye?
That was one of our fears – that we would be bored, stir crazy. And we possibly would have got itchy feet after a few days, but like we said, it’s easy to get out and about around Fethiye. For three days, anyway, no worries.
Early morning strolls around the coastal walkways and Letoonia beaches were most pleasant, and, as we walked, we tested out seaside hammocks and seating – and we paddled in the sea.
There are loads of sunbeds and umbrellas lining the walkways, too, which in May were really peaceful.
If you’re not keen on the sea, there are three good-sized swimming pools at Club Letoonia, and the pool closest to the hotel building has a children’s section, too.
That was as far as I ventured. It was May and the sea and pools were freezing. The shallow children’s pool was just about bearable so it was easy to make the excuse of entertaining our friends’ three year old son.
And, speaking of children, this is the kids’ club area at Club Letoonia – there are two small paddling pools with slides, a park and an activity hut. While we were there, kids were presented with awards, medals and whatnot for their efforts at the evening entertainment.
And much of the evening entertainment at Club Letoonia seems to take place around this central area. If shows are your thing – dancers, performers etc – there’s an open-air theatre area and there were also performances around this square, too.
Now, call us boring, but this type of thing is just not for us. We watched them for novelty value as we were only there for a short time and they seem a good bunch of performers – lots of people were certainly enjoying them.
If you’re the same as us, there are lots of other bar and restaurant areas at Club Letoonia which you can take yourself away to.
And what to do if you’re not much of a sunbather? Neither me nor Barry are good sunbathers but I still managed to fall asleep on Dolphin Beach for an hour – it seems Club Letoonia succeeded in chilling us out.
Dolphin Beach is the scene of sunbeds; hammocks; bar area (complete with lots of food, of course), water sports such as sailing, kayaking and pedalos; water slides; chill out area…
You’re getting the picture. And there’s so much we didn’t see or do. Archery, beach volleyball, yoga, aerobics, hamam, massage, shops, day trips on offer.
Obviously, some of those will carry extra fees, but many are included in your holiday price at Club Letoonia Fethiye.
Getting Away From Club Letoonia Fethiye
One of the main problems we’ve usually had with all-inclusive hotels is that, all too often, they’re built as part of a huge complex in the middle of nowhere.
For us, tourism is all about visiting a local area, rummaging through markets, sitting back and people-watching so that we can take in daily life, finding little bars and restaurants, doing a bit of sightseeing.
The all-inclusive model is the complete opposite of all that – a little world of its own. Really not our bag, usually.
Part of Fethiye
But Club Letoonia felt a bit different somehow. It doesn’t feel separate from Fethiye (despite the fact we’d waited over 10 years to get behind those gates) because it’s a feature of the local scenery.
It’s a part of the town, and, even when you’re inside the complex, chilling out in the Club Letoonia cocoon, it’s still possible to feel a part of Fethiye.
And we like the fact that making the effort to go into Fethiye town on occasion is encouraged by the hotel.
You can go by shuttle boat to Fethiye and you’re dropped off on the harbour, right opposite Cafe Geniş.
It’s not so much a speedy ‘shuttle’ as a chug across the water, but hey, you’re on your holidays. Why rush these things? Guests buy a return ticket and it doesn’t have to be used on the same day.
For example, let’s say you go over to Fethiye on the boat from Club Letoonia, get a little bit stuck in somewhere like Deep Blue Bar and miss the last boat back…Well, you can keep hold of your ticket and use it again another day.
We’re only telling you this because our friends had been doing exactly that – getting ‘stuck’ in Fethiye and missing the boat back to Club Letoonia – then throwing their tickets away, thinking they were useless.
So what happens if you enjoy Fethiye so much that you miss your boat back? It’s not the end of the world. For years, we’ve watched people panic on the harbour, trying to make sure they get on this boat.
No need to stress. From June to September, the dolmuş will take you all the way around to the gates (and as far as Kuleli Beach if you fancy different beachy change of scenery). Yes, if it’s getting to the small hours, you’re going to have to fork our for a taxi – these things happen.
And, if you’re the type of person who likes a stroll and you’re at Club Letoonia Fethiye in early and late season, you could always do what we did last week and walk it. Club Letoonia lies on the Fethiye peninsula; a circular walk we love to do.
When we went in May, the dolmuş was stopping at Aksazlar Koyu. We walked out of the gates of Club Letoonia and ambled back to Aksazlar to pick up the dolmuş. In May, it’s perfect strolling weather and the views over Fethiye and the Karagözler are just amazing.
So this is another Club Letoonia plus point for us. Yes, you’re tucked away in a separate complex…but you’re tucked away in a separate complex close to Fethiye with enough fabulous views and easy access to tempt you to leave the all-inclusive bubble and get out there to explore Fethiye. And you do know we are very biased when it comes to Fethiye. It’s a must for everyone…
So that was our two nights and three days at Club Letoonia Fethiye. Very pleasantly surprised we were, and a great birthday present to us both from our friends, so of course, a huge thanks to them for making this happen!
Club Letoonia Fethiye – Useful Info
- Club Letoonia is on the peninsula in Fethiye, overlooking the town and bay
- You don’t need to book a full two week holiday at Club Letoonia, you can just book a night or two to try it out (availability permitting)
- You can occasionally find Club Letoonia cheap deals & late deals if you check prices often
- You can book rooms at Club & Hotel Letoonia through Booking.com