I've just returned from a lovely, sunny and very hot (av. 35 degrees!!) 11-day holiday at the Arum, booked through Thomas Cook, with my husband and parents. Once through the very long queues at the airport for a visa (have £10 each at the ready) and passport control, we arrived at the Arum after an hour or so transfer time. As described previously, the entrance is quite plain and certainly doesn't do justice to the lovely modern/clean contemporary bedrooms, beautiful pool, immaculate grounds and sandy beach that lie behind.
We stayed b&b and found that there was a huge choice at breakfast time.
The hotel itself is cashless, with the exception of the shops within e.g. if you want to buy a paper, sweets, etc. So even as b&b, we had to present our card & sign for charges for lunch and dinner (so just make sure you keep track of all you are spending, however, you can ask for an itemised bill and pay this off at any time).
In terms of lunch, we went to the Bonsai restaurant, which has a good menu selection, good food and overlooks the beach. As for dinner, we stayed in at the hotel on a couple of nights and found the buffet very good value for money, especially given the standard and variety of food on offer. We also experienced one of the three a la carte retstaurants - the international one, found next to the buffet restaurant. This too was good and very nicely decorated. The menus for the other two a la cartes also looked good - one being Turkish (near the beach) and the other being fish/meat (near the kids club). TIP: men are asked to wear trousers to dinner, to any of the restaurants.
On the other evenings, we ventured into Antique Side, via taxi (8 Euros/20 Turkish Lira - they except either) or you can pick up a Dolmus (local bus). Once you have driven through the ruins (great photo opportunities, especially the theatre), you will find a strip of many, many shops selling much of a muchness i.e. handbags, shirts, jewellery, etc. The strip will lead you down to the harbour, where you will find a choice of some good restaurants (i.e. Liman - overlooking the boats and good for atmosphere and a celebration and Orfoz - overlooking the sea and excellent for fresh fish). Here you will also find the Royal Castle, a bar with live music (one of the only obvious and lively bars). However, don't just stick to the strip, take a walk down all the side roads - it is a huge area, with more shops and restaurants - one being the Gul restaurant. Again, a little further from here, there are more views of the sea for you to stop and have a drink.
Other positives for the hotel, were fruit on arrival (nice touch), walk in shower separate to toilet, swim up pool bar (where there is also music of an evening), no extra charges for air con./safety deposit boxes, rooms cleaned to a good standard every day, no need to pack pool/beach towels as they are supplied and can be changed every day, at certain times, if you wish and there are no charges for the sunbeds/umbrellas on the beach.
In terms of negatives, I would say that the duvets are slighly too small for the large beds and we tended to have a nightly tug of war going on, coffee and tea is not replenished, the evening entertainment (which is on a grand stage) is too short (approx. 45 mins), a bit stop/start & needs to be pulled together better, which is a shame as the staff are talented. Finally, it was implied that late room check out, until 7pm, could be arranged on the morning of your departure for a charge, however, this was not an option for us. Instead, we were offered use of the courtesy room, which is very good and large if your party is the only one using it, but not when you have another 10 parties trying to use it too - be prepared!!
All in all, the Arum is a lovely hotel, situated in a good location for Antique Side, and would recommend it to anyone wanting to have a relaxing break by a beautiful pool or a lovely sandy beach, with an excellent choice of quality food and a quiet, relaxing drink.
Ask for a room overlooking the pool/sea.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.