Not long back from Kusadasi and the Fantasia De luke hotel so here is my review. Firstly we flew into Bodrum and the transfer time is over 2 hours. Got to the hotel in the small hours of the morning but check in was quick and we were given fresh juice to drink.
HOTEL....The hotel is very good although situated about 5km from Kusadasi You can catch a Dolmus bus outside the hotel for 2 turkish lira (2 tl) but be very careful when trying to cross the road. The dolmus run to midnight and are like a mini bus. Staff are pleasant and helpful and the hotel is kept very clean. Rooms are spacious with a balcony and the air conditioning is a treat. A large bottle of water is delivered free of charge to your room every day. There is a multi-channel tv in the room but oh boy I just wish they had Sky News on it. CNN and BBC world news are crap There is tea/coffee making facility provided.
The hotel is tiered..eg from the reception area you go downstairs to a bar and you can sit outside Then you can go down to another level to a Turkish bath and playroom area, from there you go down another tier to the main swimming pool area and a place where you can sit and have a drink, from here...you get the picture, just keep going down. Right at the bottom you will discover a private beach. Oh yes and if you are all inclusive you do not wear an armband, you are given what they call a passport although we were never asked to produce it.
FOOD AND DRINK....Right if you want home style cooking then forget about it and I'm glad of that because if I go abroad I want to experience how people live and eat. Food is spicy but lovely. Breakfast is awash with wide range of cheese, salad, fresh fruit and even soup. You can have scrambled egg, fried egg, boiled egg and omelettes and sausages (remember they are not the type you get at home). The main meal has a wide variety of choice also. You can book a la carte at 3 different restaurants within the hotel complex. International cuisine, Turkish and fish. We opted for the International and Turkish. The International was superb but we were disappointed with the Turkish fare. We ordered skewered lamb chops only to be given what I think was lamb mince wrapped in a pitta roll. Others were equally disappointed as plates were not fully eaten.
Not being a spirit or cocktail drinker, I drank the local beer which is called Efes. Well it’s alright but certainly not like the continental beers you would get elsewhere say in Spain. The wines are not bad and there is a good variety of cocktails but not so sure of their spirit content.
Entertainment…. This is entirely down to your taste. I found it not too bad and the animation team in fairness work hard. I was impressed with the Turkish night which had a belly dancer. The Egyptian night was very good also. This runs from 10 pm to 11pm in the theatre area.
Excursions….. Beware of trips!! We booked the full day Ephesus & House of the Virgin Mary tour with the Thompson/Regal travel rep called Alex. He said they were the cheapest at 45 Euro. No..as we could have booked it cheaper if we had shopped around in Kusadasi. I asked the question if we would be brought to a carpet factory as some companies do this to try and get you to buy. He mumbled and guess what !!..we were not only brought to a ceramic factory but also a leather factory where we had to sit thru’ a catwalk show of leather jackets. And at half price the cheapest was over £1000!!! This all eats in to your time spent at Ephesus. Aprrox 1 hour lost. The tour guide was not that good but the next day we went to the ancient ruins of Priene/Miletos and Didyma (35 Euro) and the young guide was exceptional. He is doing a masters in tourism and you could see he enjoyed his job. Took a boat trip to the Greek island of Samos (30 Euro) which is nice but hard to spend a full day in unless you’ re a shopping freak. We went to the mountain village of Sirince. We took a Dolmus to Selcuk from Kusadasi costing 5 Turkish lira and then a dolmus to the village costing 3 TL each. If you do it thru’ an official tour it will cost you 30 Euro each, It is beautiful and all the streets are cobbled but can be difficult to get round if you are not able limbed .
Overall impression…. The Fantasia is a very nice hotel and is perfect if you want to lounge about the pool/beach and catch the sun. Kusadasi did not impress me at all. Hated the hassle from the shop owners trying to get you to buy as you walked down the streets and they say Bodrum is even worse. The historical sites are good but I kept comparing them to Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy which is unfair.