Mystery Shopper: Northallerton travel agents tested on Belek

Mystery Shopper: Northallerton travel agents tested on Belek

Mystery ShopperBrief: A couple have heard Belek is a great upmarket resort and are seeking a week’s all-inclusive in a five-star hotel in September or October. They’re also interested in golfing facilities and sightseeing in the area.

Budget: £1,500.

Verdict: The winning agent found a great package and thought of every detail when it came to add-ons.

View Mystery Shopper: Northallerton travel agents tested on Belek in a larger map

Spear Travels

Spear Travels, 3 Market Row, Northallerton3 Market Row

Despite the fact a member of staff was free when I entered it was several minutes before I was approached. The agent had a rather abrasive manner, which I found quite intimidating.

I wasn’t asked to sit down, and was given Classic Collection and Thomas Cook Ultimate Style brochures. The agent told me to take these away and come back when I had a hotel and travel dates in mind.

As an afterthought she mentioned that a client had recently returned from the Gloria Serenity Resort and had been extremely happy with it.

I felt as though I was being dismissed and sent to do my homework before I troubled this consultant again.

Hays Travel

Hays Travel, 96 High Street, Northallerton96 High Street

This agent had a pleasant manner and knew the resort of Belek well. She seemed a little preoccupied with the fact that the agency had run out of some of the brochures she wanted, despite the fact she had a computer.

She briefly outlined options in the First Choice Turkey and Olympic Holidays Summer Sun brochures. She handed them to me to take and suggested I come back once I’d had a look. She gave me a printout about the resort from to take home.

The consultant was friendly but not very proactive; I thought she could have used her computer more to do research.

The Co-operative Travel

The Co-operative Travel, 162 High Street, Northallerton162 High Street

This was a very friendly shop. The agent was reassuring and unpretentious. We looked at the Thomas Cook Turkey, Ultimate Style and Adult Style brochures, and she recommended the Xanadu Resort Hotel, which has five golf clubs within easy reach.

The agent offered this property, with flights from Leeds Bradford, for £1,874, and the Iberostar Bellis for £1,456. When I implied I could stretch my budget she offered four other hotels for just over £2,000.

It was only at the end of the service that she established that I was interested in more than the beach; she suggested a few shows and sports events, whereas I’m more a history and culture person.


Thomson, 181 High Street, Northallerton181 High Street

This shop had a highly professional team that oozed experience. The agent dealt confidently with all aspects of my holiday, referring to colleagues on occasion.

She took notes and asked fully about what I wanted from the holiday, considering excursions as well as golf. She worked hard to keep to my budget and upped it only when I indicated there was room for manoeuvre.

We looked at Thomson A La Carte and Premier Collections, and she recommended the Susesi Deluxe and the Calista Luxury Resort, quoting prices for a week in October of £1,524 and £1,676 respectively.

She suggested car hire to reach historical sites, and even thought of extra legroom on the flight, insurance that included golf clubs and airport parking.

Alex Gibb, travel adviser, Thomson in NorthallertonWinning agent: Alex Gibb, travel adviser

“I’ve been at Thomson for a year and absolutely love my job. I love getting to talk to customers, and they are all so happy because they’re going on holiday. We’ve just had the shop redecorated and it looks so much better.”

Belek tips


  • Located halfway between Antalya and Side, Belek is a popular resort with one of Turkey’s finest beaches. The 10-mile stretch of sand is popular with turtles as well as tourists. 
  • Founded in the 1980s, Belek has grown into an established upmarket resort. There are more than 30 four and five-star hotels, most offering all-inclusive stays.
  • It’s particularly known for its excellent golf facilities, with 15 courses in the area. Remind clients that the cooler shoulder seasons are better for playing golf.
  • Belek is also close to Perge and Aspendos, well-preserved ancient cities where clients can see amphitheatres and temples. Operators and hotels offer excursions taking in both. 
  • For more information about Belek, see this week's golf feature, or subscribe to for resort and hotel ratings from agents and professional reviewers


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