The Surmeli Efes is situated by the beach- which is lovely if you are there on a beach holiday. There is nothing else than beach and some hotels- no shops, markets etc. Dolmuses right outside the maingate for Kusadasi (4 Lira) or taxi which is overpriced.
Allthough the hotel has shops in the lobby I strongly suggest you remember to pack everything- the shops are not expensive, they are insultingly overpriced. Many items will cost you more than in your homecountry.
For a 5 star turkish hotel I would rate it correctly for its amineties and facilities, which are kept clean and well presented.. Huge lobbyarea, lobbybar with semi-outdoor section where smokers can sit and freeze in winter time.. The indoor pool is accible from the lobby and if you use it during mealhours you will be on display for people in the restaurant- like a public swimmingpool at home. There is a overpriced spa section.. Can not comment on entertainments etc. did not use. I thought I booked a relaxing winter stay in Kusadasi.
I was wrong. Unfortunately the hotel has not informed its suppliers that they are doing refurbishment work on the lower floors.. So if you are on floor 2-3-4 you will be subjected to 5star drilling, hammering and other building noises from morning to late afternoon.. Day 2 of my stay I went to frontdesk to complain- the person told me to come back in a few days...Not really. I went to my room to check out which somehow made them change their mind- I was then offered a new room- and they specificly told me it was an upgrade free of charge....well I was not looking for an upgrade, just a room without building noises.. After this the attitude from frontdesk staff changed completely- I was simply ignored...Nothing 5star about that.
During the week the hotel is invaded by tourguests staying for 1 or 2 nights so mealtimes can be quite stressy. During week-ends new rich turkish families with 5star attitude take over the hotel. If you have stayed with russian guests you know what I mean. Allthough the hotel offers plenty of entertainment for children, their parents let them use the corridors as playingground- that means knocking on your door, lots of noise. Arabs and turks likes to take all food to their tables- which also means that you will have the leftovers if you are not fast enough.
Well the Rooms: lower floors are the old ones- not really 5star in its decor, but I dont mind. There is a telly with several channels in many languages, aircon which might have worked- but all we needed at this time of year was some heating as it is quite cold by the seaside- not provided you will freeze evenings/nights. Nothing 5star about that.Ask for extra blankets- bed was comfy indeed. Bathrooms fine and plenty of hot water- no stoppers so a bath is out of the question. Plenty of storage space and balcony. There is a safe for an extra cost- which I dont really understand as it is in the room- nothing 5star about that. The updated rooms have a fresher decor, new paint and upgraded bathrooms- many slobby details and same facilities as the non refurbiished- would not pay much extra for that to be honest. Thumbs up for the cleaners- allthoug very slow there were ever so friendly and helpful and cleaning was good.
You better choose all-incl there are no other possabilities in the vicinity. Coffee is included but cappucino is extra?? it all comes from the same machine, just press another button- nothing 5star about that. The juices are off course limonade with very little water in it- taste horrible.
On several occacions I had cups and glasses which were dirty- disguisting.. Some bar staff were very friendly while others ignored you- nothing 5star about that.
The restaurant is big. Allthough birds are lovely, they do NOT belong in a restaurant. Have a look at your chair they all have birdie nam nam on it. If you touch it and touch your bread you might get sick. The birds fly around over the food- remember birds pee and sh.. too. If you leave your table for a second they will be there on your plate. Might seem funny- but it is a health hazard. Bread are not removed during the day- just think how many birds who have been on the cuttingboard between meals? By the way, breadselection is bad- not even the lovely fresh turkisk flatbread. Dinner is prepared during afternoon- then re-heated and will be lukewarm to cold at dinnertime. Much of this food you will find next day for lunch- reheated once again- and the taste is not good.. For a 5star the food is bland, mostly tasteless and very repetetive. Unfortunately I saw "chefs" stading scratching their privates and then handle food- nothing 5star about that. Service is slobby- even out of peaktime the waiters dont even clear your table. Some staff here are very friendly, most are not..
Upon entering the restaurant there are several official looking persons standing bythe door- but they dont greet you- have no idea of why they are there but they are not 5star.
I had better I had worse- but if this hotel claims 5stars they have several things to improve. Just get the best deal if you want to stay on the beach and you can have a lovely holiday here. with some improvements the hotel will be able to justify its pricelevel. and its 5 stars..