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007 heaven in Turkey: five star resort Robinson Club Nobilis counts Sir Roger Moore among its former guests

Robinson Club Nobilis
Robinson Club Nobilis
A room at Robinson Club Nobilis, Turkey.

By Christopher Woodhouse

You'll not be surprised to read the late Sir Roger Moore and I don't have many things in common bar a love for dodgy suits.

But I can now say I have stayed in the same hotel as the 007 legend, the Robinson Club Nobilis in Turkey.

The sprawling five-star resort, about an hour outside the city of Antalya, is a chilled grown-ups' playground on the shores of the Mediterranean.

It's one of 24 such resorts operated by German holiday firm Robinson, and naturally the majority of guests were from that country.

But you'll not be reading any lazy old jokes about invading the sun loungers as the friendly fellow travellers could charm even Basil Fawlty.

While Mr Bond lounged in the £1,800-a-night presidential suite during his stay, I was more than happy in a double room with a bed bigger than my apartment and a shower you could use to remake Singin' in the Rain.

Club Nobilis focuses on the growing trend for 'wellness' and boasts a full marble Turkish bath house in which I experienced a revelation, quite literally.

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Aerial Antalya Side - Turkey
Aerial Antalya Side - Turkey

I was told the traditional way to undergo a Turkish massage was in my birthday suit, so I went suitably undressed, covered only in a dressing gown.

After a gentle steam in the sauna I was brought into the marble bath house by a woman who was not nearly as embarrassed as I was.

While she took great care to ensure down there was shrouded by a strategically placed and folded towel, this quickly went AWOL after the first flip onto my front.

It ended with my being rinsed while standing starkers, but the result was more relaxing than a general anaesthetic.

My back muscles, which have been turned to beef jerky from 28 years of walking on flat feet, were like new and I felt happier than when backing the winner in the Grand National.

It was just as well my back had returned to normal because it was needed for a bone-shaking thrill-ride on a powerboat journey to the ancient town of Side a few miles away.

Ruins of old theater in Side, Antalya Turkey
Ruins of old theater in Side, Antalya Turkey

To the sound of rave music our group pounded along the coast past similar mammoth resorts to arrive just yards from the main square and its statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, glimmering in the sun.

After a tour of the town with an expert guide we came to the Roman-style amphitheatre and had great fun with the acoustics, which are still perfect after 1,800 years.

Though the resort is home to a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools and every type of distraction a more active person could want, after a day in the sun I was ready to sample the hotel's all-inclusive bar.

Chefs prepare a dish during the Indian themed night at the Robinson Club Nobilis in Turkey.
Chefs prepare a dish during the Indian themed night at the Robinson Club Nobilis in Turkey.

Perhaps due to a misunderstanding of my elementary Turkish (to be fair, it's a tricky language), the barmaid presented me and a friend with a glass of whiskey so big I could have fallen in it.

I soon switched to ordering in German (the staff speak superb English as well) and the draught Efes beer to avoid ending up having a very early night.

And the evenings were not something to be missed because the resort has more restaurants than some towns in Northern Ireland.

Meandering between them and through the resort's gardens was a delight, if only for the chance of coming across one of the many wild tortoises casually dandering about.

One particularly memorable meal was an Indian-themed night which saw the chefs and waiting staff decamp to a special tree-lined garden - complete with a free camel.

Aside from the seemingly endless tables of freshly cooked and pre-prepared dishes, the two-humped beast was remarkably placid, removing the danger of the dinner making an encore.

Another was a group lesson in barbecuing techniques from the fun-loving German celeb chef Frank Heppner, which we washed down with my first-ever tequila during daylight hours.

A wide array of cuisines are available at any time of day.

I was never more than a few paces away from a slice of pizza or bowl of curry. You know the sort of week you are in for when you are met with a champagne reception and a complimentary bottle of wine waiting for you in your room upon arrival.

The main bar at Robinson Club Nobilis, Turkey.
The main bar at Robinson Club Nobilis, Turkey.

My shamelessly indulgent stay was rounded off with the resort's weekly party at which all guests dress in white and young and old dance the night away.

Having typically forgotten to pack such a garment, I managed to pick up a traditional Turkish cotton shirt in a shop during the trip to Side.

While it was perfect for partying in the balmy Turkish evening, I fear it may never see the light of day again in the not-so-hot climes of Belfast. For those people who have the energy - my late-night partying days are long since passed - there's the Inferno nightclub, but with an early trip the airport the next day I chickened out.

Having read this you may be forgiven for thinking the kids might not enjoy it, but they are as well catered for as everyone else, with a dedicated team of youthful Robinson staff to keep them amused during the day.

Nor should you be put off because the resort is still mainly populated by Germans; they love a good time and it's a certain bet that their English will be better than your German.

Travel Factfile

The Robinson Club Nobilis is open year-round and is currently doing offers starting from £791 per person for seven nights all-inclusive. To book and view other offers, visit www.robinson.com.

Thomas Cook Airlines runs daily flights between London Gatwick and Antalya airport. To check availability and book, go online and log on to www.thomascookairlines.com.

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