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Grand Designs at Sensatori Resort Turkey

If we’re talking dream jobs, then Helen Morgan may just have the ultimate role…

Getting paid to lie in bed might sound too good to be true, but putting mattresses to the test is all in a day’s work when you’re in the business of designing holidays.

Sleep Easy

One of the first things I do when we build a new bedroom is test out the bed”, explains Helen Morgan, who’s part of the Product Development team at Thomson. “Getting a good night’s sleep is so important when you’re on holiday, so it’s vital to check it’s up to the job!”

Helen’s tick list includes everything from the feel of the mattress (firm with a cushioned topper is best) to the state of the pillows (two plump pillows per person, if you’re wondering). But beds are just one piece of the puzzle for her team, who take new hotels from drawing board to reality.

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A Bright Idea

Everything we do starts with a concept, which comes straight from customer research. We know holidays aren’t a case of one size fits all, so we’ve tailored each of our collections to specific groups of people. Take Thomson Couples – customers told us they wanted quality time away with their other half, so we designed these contemporary adults-only hotels.

Thomson Sensatori is another example. These 5-star hotels are built around the idea of invigorating the senses, and come with things like gourmet restaurants and deluxe spas. Helen and the team have just designed the latest addition to the collection, Sensatori Resort Turkey, which opens this May.

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Getting Started

We found the perfect plot for Sensatori Resort Turkey in a place called Side. The location matched all the requirements on the specification – which is basically a wish-list of what customers want – but the existing hotel didn’t quite cut it, so we cleared the plot and started from scratch.

With a hotel’s location sorted, the site fills with everyone from health and safety experts to architects and interior designers armed with paper plans and CGI images. “There’s so much to think about at this stage – from how many swimming pools there’ll be to how we’re going to make the hotel as environmentally-friendly as possible.

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The Finer Details

Bedrooms are one of the first things to come under the microscope. A pilot room is built, decorated and kitted out with furniture, while the rest of the building is still a concrete shell. “That way we can check we’re totally happy with everything, from the quality of the grouting to the colour of the walls.

And Helen’s team won’t stop until they’re 100 per cent satisfied. She explains, “At this stage we ended up changing the interior design for Sensatori Resort Turkey, to give it a more contemporary look.

From then on, it’s all about the finer details. “For our Sensatori hotels, we pick the music that’ll be played in each restaurant according to the atmosphere it’ll create. And rather than just selecting cocktails for the bar menus, we drill right down to the colour of the straws. We’ve even created a signature Sensatori scent using calendula and chamomile, which is used in oil burners.

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The Final Stretch

While the hotel build is progressing, everything that’ll go on inside it – like children’s clubs and entertainment – comes under just as much scrutiny. And even once the doors finally open, there’s work to be done. “Our behind-the-scenes team monitors everything at the hotel, while people back in the office keep an eye on things like TripAdvisor reviews.

Totted up, a project like this takes something in the region of two years to complete. Which means your 2015 break is already taking shape…


Check out Helen’s essential checklist for any new hotel bedroom:

Bed – is it comfy?

Plug sockets – can I charge my phone and my camera at the same time?

Hairdryer – does the cord stretch far enough or am I going to have to crane my neck?

Shower head – can I angle it so I don’t have to get my hair wet?

Coat hangers and drawers – can I realistically get two weeks’ worth of stuff in without looking like a crumpled mess?


Does this sound like your idea of a dream job?

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8 Responses to “Strange Things People Have Tried To Take On Holiday”

  1. dawnmiles50@hotmail.com' dawn

    I’m looking to book to go to thailand may 2016. Your website only shows holidays up to April 2016. Could I have prices please. Thanks dawn x

    • chantelle.sambrook@thomson.co.uk' Chantelle Sambrook

      Hi Dawn, We don’t fly to Thailand in May at present due to demand. Dates are available between November and March.

  2. carolinemccarthy2@hotmail.co.uk' caroline

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    • janay.templeman@thomson.co.uk' Janay Templeman

      Hi Caroline, Thank you for contacting us. If you give our Wedding Team a call on 02034512689 they’ll be able to provide you with more information and answer any questions you may have.

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  4. ttmaloney6@hotmail.com' mrs T Maloney

    I had a weeks Cruise with 5 friends on the Thomson Celebration it was the Adriatic Affair, we had a great time all the staff where very good, I use a wheelchair the staff made sure I was safe at all times, the waiter in the main restaurant made sure I had straws & whatever help I needed at meal times they assisted me, even cut my meat etc what I needed, the cabin was not a accessible one as when we booked there was none left so we went ahead anyway, due to the shower room being small I was able to hold on to sink etc, the shower was small had a grab rail so I managed better than I thought, my friend helped me as well who I shared the cabin with, we enjoyed all the destinations only one I did not get off the ship my friend stayed with me while our other friends got off, you had to use the small boat to transfer you to the port as the ship could not get close enough, it was not safe for me to get off, but otherwise everything was good, did not use the swimming pool though as it was too small, looking forward to our next cruise would go with Thomson again, this ship is smaller than the other’s but you get looked after really well all the staff on board are excellant

    • chantelle.sambrook@thomson.co.uk' Chantelle Sambrook

      Hi Mrs Maloney, Thanks for your feedback. I’ll be sure to pass it on to the relevant team. I’m glad to hear our team looked after you on Celebration. Which of the exciting ports would you say you enjoyed the most?

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