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"If your children turn into water babies when they're on…"
If your children turn into water babies when they're on a summer holiday, you probably couldn't find a better spot than First Choice's Aqua Fantasy in Kusadasi, Turkey. The hotel's main attraction is its proximity to a water park, so you can wander through the hotel gardens and be whizzing down some of the largest slides in Europe within minutes of leaving your hotel room.
We were invited on a press trip to test the water slides with First Choice's waterslide tester Tommy Lynch (yes he does know he has one of the best jobs in the world). Aqua Fantasy is Turkey's biggest waterpark and is home to all sorts of slides, rides, chutes and water-based adventures. Rides vary from gentle meandering trips to heart-stopping drops, so there's something for thrillseekers or those just looking for a relaxing time. For the youngest children, there's a separate water park with lots of sprinklers and slides. There's also a lovely beach area and lagoon (with wave machine).
The hotel may be right next to the water park, but it also has numerous pools of its own. There are three swimming pools, four children's pools and one massive indoor one with a separate children's pool and water slide. If you prefer the beach to being by the pool, the hotel is situated right on the seafront with its own beach club including beach bar.
There are several restaurants, including a pizza parlour and steakhouse. If we're honest, the food was probably the only part of our trip we weren't thrilled with. The main restaurant food was very average, so we'd suggest eating at the poolside bar at lunchtimes and perhaps heading out to nearby Kusadasi (many restaurants pay for your taxi there) for dinner.
Our family room was a good size with a balcony and separate living room which turned into a children's bedroom at night with sliding doors so they can sleep while you can watch TV or read. For kids, there's an on-site children's club with loads of activities and a children's disco in the evenings. There's even an indoor bowling alley and spa.
All in all, this is a great place to take a particularly active family - there's loads to do in terms of beach and watersports - and there are numerous interesting spots to visit nearby including the ruins at Ephesus.Read moreLess