In the town of Side, the small entrance to the Papillon Muna hotel is hardly noticeable, amidst a number of little shops and restaurants.
From Side, allow at least 50 minutes to get to Antalya and the airport.
Other hotels of the same chain can also be found on the seafront and, being of a higher standing, they provide additional services. A small spa is at the guests' disposal in the garden, although, as it hasn't been renovated, it really isn't this hotel's best asset, but at least it is there for those wishing to enjoy a massage or hammam without leaving the premises.
Visitors are welcomed in a tiny reception area in the shape of a circular patio. It's rather small dimensions are nicely suited to the hotel's family atmosphere, which can be felt as soon as you enter, with a clientele of regular guests. Another significant aspect of this hotel is the spirit of tranquillity exuding from it, even though it stands in the heart of Side's tourist area. As is often the case in this region, the hotel's various elements are linked by a succession of little pathways leading up to the bungalows, the main accommodation building, and the main pool, which is the hotel's centre of activity, before joining the theatre and, finally, the beach. The beach and the pool area are both equipped with the usual plastic furniture, no better or worse than in other hotel complexes as far as their aesthetic appeal is concerned. A light 'antiquated' patina nevertheless covers the deckchair cushions and the concrete pool deck. A doubt remains about the so-called plastic pergola covering the pathways: it must have originally been intended to shelter people from the sun, but as it is see-through, it actually only manages to create natural thermal heating. The idea was far from genious when you know how hot it gets in Antalya in the summertime! Especially with gardens so green, one might have thought about growing ivy on it, thus creating a more natural pergola...
A rather Spartan children's club is also available beyond the main pool, but at least it stands in the middle of gardens planted with abundant greenery.
A second pool is host to the water park, equipped with the grand total of 3 water slides, reflective of the small size of the hotel.
We did love the very green football pitch, with the dimensions of a professional field. It's every footy fan's dream place!
The hotel offers 2 types of accommodation: guest rooms located either in the bungalows or in the main building. Neither of them have a particularly stylish decor, which could actually be described as 'devoid of any interest', even though they are clean and bright. We recommend you book into a bungalow, as these do have character, if only just for their wooden balcony, which vaguely brings to mind the architecture of Antalya's ancient Ottoman houses. The view of the neatly kept gardens planted with flowers is also very pleasing to the eye. As is often the case, the more awkward issue is the bathrooms, decidedly gloomy here, even though they are spacious and absolutely immaculate. In a nutshell, do not expect an exhibition of new designer trends when entering a room at the Papillon Muna...
The guest rooms in the main building all belong to the superior category, but the decoration is almost identical, and, unfortunately, the carpet needs to be changed, as it really is getting on in years. The bathrooms have been entirely renovated though, and boast more modern colours. The real advantage of the rooms in the main building is their view of the sea from the upper floors, non-existent in the bungalows.
The hotel has 3 restaurants, not to mention the snack stalls standing by the pool or at the beach. The main restaurant serves dishes presented as a buffet: meat, some fish, vegetables, yoghurt sauces, pizzas, and pasta. It offers, to sum up, the usual choice of dishes known as an 'international' buffet. On the terrace, which has a beautiful view of the sea, everything is set up for guests to enjoy a real barbecue. Two other à la carte restaurants complement the choice of cuisine: a kiosk on the beach serves fish specialities in the evening only, and the restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine.
The beach at the Papillon Muna isn't bad at all; first, because it boasts a 'blue flag', awarded to beaches that meet certain quality standards. Second, because the hotel owns a considerable portion of the beach, saving it for once from the entanglement of deckchairs that are usually on top of one another. This gives holidaymakers some breathing room to relax without feeling as though they are taking part in all of their neighbours' conversations, which is often the case on the Side seafront. Even the deckchairs and beach towels, lying in the shade of the parasols, are separated by small palm trees, adding a touch of colour to the surroundings. The restaurant/snack bar on the beach has a fast food service for lunch, with fresh vegetables for guests to make up their own salad, as well as some grilled meats. Very simple but effective, this allows you to stay at the beach and have a bite to eat whilst gazing at the sea.
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