My fiancé and I (south african girl, English boy), and one other couple (English) stayed at this hotel for the first week of May and I have to say it was an absolute bargain and wonderful. We went all inclusive (you'd be silly not to as prices to eat and drink add up) and took full advantage of what was on offer. There is a lot going on at this hotel so please excuse the long review, but this hotel deserves one.
We have been to Marmaris once before and we knew it was a very long drive from the airport, but we booked private transport and travelled in complete comfort. Cab driver wanted pounds and we wanted to pay TL and ended up getting overcharged, so beware. They value The reception staff were professional, very helpful and very lovely, even complimented my accessories so I let her try on my Ray Bans and took a few pictures. Very sweet girls working hard at the desk. The issue I think they have is they struggle to understand English and the varying accents, so when they get shouted at, they become defensive. Personally, I felt very welcome.
First impressions of the hotel was that it was beautiful, well placed (except for Green Nature resort next door) and quite huge. Lots of Brits and Eastern Europeans, but everyone was in good spirits. One or two black families and one or two interracial couples like us which was nice to see.
The rooms were very spacious, we had an extra single bed we didn't need but asked for the room for extra space. Chose not to opt for the safe as, naive or not, we never had an issue with things going missing, theft etc in Turkey. Infact, left my engagement ring on the sink twice in a row and it did not move. Not a single thing was touched by the lovely domestic ladies who worked hard and smiled ALL the time. There were always fresh towels whether we used all of them or not, loo roll and emptied bins. And if you bother to have a chat with her, she'll find out your schedule and clean your room at a time when YOU want and any extras you need. Brilliant.
Didn't have any irons though which would have been handy, but again, no big deal. The hair dryer is an absolute joke though and went to the airport with partially wet hair. No issues with the hot/cold taps and the fridge was lovely and cold for our water.
The telly has satellite which was kind of a shame as I kept turning on the telly and ITV 1 by accident and I had to endure Jeremy Kyle. I was hoping for lots of Turkish game shows and music videos to try and pick up on a few words of their language, which I did, simple hello and thank you etc which made me lots of new friends.
We have never been 'pool area' type people as we prefer the beach, sand sea vibe, but this pool was pretty spot on. The slide is brilliant and has its own separate pool. VERY crowded on the loungers though and a pain to find a spot when people wake up at the crack of dawn to hog loungers they barely used. Charlie the pool boy was VERY hard working but is quite strict and told me off for breaking a glass in the area, which is fair enough it is dangerous. Would have been nice for bar staff to have provided me with more appropriate container to enjoy my cocktail then in that case. There is a lovely patio area with a view of the pool area we sat for a coffee/cocktail etc which was a nice alternative to the pool.
The Spa was brilliant and go once and you'll understand why. My fiancé and I had the works, fish pedicure, sauna, steam, physio massage, jacuzzi, clay mask...my skin still feels like butter. But please bare in mind this is all about generating sales, so HAGGLE for the love of christ. They will give you more decent prices don't just take the first number they give you.The main Spa guy with the cowboy hat is fabulous and took good care of me when I was on my own with 6/7 burly Turkish men hovering, gave me good deals with every package I went for and more than once sat down and had a long chat and joke with us whether or not we were buying, so be friendly with him, he knows EVERYONE and helped us avoid going on a rip off night boat trip.
Also had my eyebrows threaded at the Hotel hairdressers. Perfection. They know what they're doing.
Now then, the food. The buffet is pretty immense. The people on here complaining either got there late when all the good stuff was gone and cold (I did once at lunch and it was still good) or they were just confused by the sheer variety and choice. The presentation, taste and variety is absolutely excellent. Not everything was to my liking, but the point is I was fed and happy and lived on 3 meals, with about 4 different courses a day the desserts are a delight and got better every day. I will miss having pancakes and eggs every morning. Compliments to the catering staff and chefs (I told them while I was there). The all inclusive bar doesn't sound extensive, but you'll be amazed how many ways sugary Turkish alcohol, vodka and colouring can go. I had array of varying in colour cocktails, it was always a treat. The wine was awful, but did the job. They have about four bars and the pool snack bar was excellent for a snack bar serving hot and cold food, pizzas hotdogs, that kind of thing. Water fountains and Nescafe coffee machines everywhere.
The entertainment sucked. The pool music was the best I've heard on any resort because the DJ is excellent, but the evening entertainment was just poor. The whole underground disco thing just doesn't gel in a place as big as this. It needs to be outside in the pool area. Anyway, you have the entire Marmaris to play with and Bar Street, 2 TL on the dolmus not a big deal.
Of course we went to the obligatory Bazaar, saw a few old friends who helped us spend our Lira last time. Spent more this time. Talk friendly enough and see them enough and they'll show you the nicer quality stuff they keep in separate areas of the shops. They like to get rid of the cheaper goods first to the tourists and you can see the difference instantly. Very nice. Touch of Class and surrounding shops at the entrance of the Bazaar by the Bureau de Change is very classy indeed. Beautiful goods, no hassling and very sophisticated sellers. Makes a huge change.
Tattoo shop. Yes, we got one. My fiancé got a recommendation for Emrah Emra, the tattooist. The man is a legend when you get to know him, his work speaks for itself, he's the only person there who does no haggling, walking around etc, because his work is that good. We're planning a short trip back to get a few more designs in. His wife Pat does all the organising and payments etc and they'll work on a design with you, tell you if something is rubbish or what would be better etc. The sell after care products too and everything is certified so don't listen to rubbish about not getting it done in Turkey, very clean, hygienic, professional and very good prices. The tattoo my fiancé got was so well cleaned and cared for he has barely scabbed/gone red and it covers two thirds of his inner forearm. Highly, highly recommend Emrah.
One last note. I mentioned before there were very few black families/interracial couples. This shouldn't put anyone off from going however and thinking you'd feel uncomfortable. i got stared at CONSTANTLY as it is a curious sight, I suppose, but once people start talking no one really cares and everyone's so very friendly. The comments and jibes came of course, but you toughen up and keep it moving, the more negative stares/remarks came from the tourists, the locals are delightful. Infact, sometimes what I believed were nasty looks ended up being compliments when I found the courage to just smile and say hello. There was one solitary incident of slight ignorance, but just generally constant stares which you get used to and learn to use to your advantage in haggling for good prices lol.
Smiling will be your biggest weapon to disarm people and you'll feel a million bucks when they smile back and say something amazing to you and give you a kiss on the hand. That goes for anyone I suppose.
Some air cons don't work. Pool facing/south side rooms have the best views, but the lift takes f...
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