I travelled to this hotel for a pre-wedding relaxing break with my fiancée but found the experience far from relaxing. Apologies for the long review, but I have tried to be as honest and unbiased as possible. I read the poor reviews before booking but as it was by far the cheapest "5 star hotel" in the area we thought that maybe people were being fussy and would give it go. Unfortunately this hotel is far from 5* and we would not return again.
The first 3 floors of this hotel are very grubby and old fashioned. They have clearly not be redecorated since the hotel was built and have stains on the carpet, broken air conditioning, cracked tiles in the bathroom and smell unpleasant. Ironically our rep told us that we can remember our hotel name Surmeli as it rhymes with smelly!! Also the smell is awful as they seem to have a sewage problem so opening the balcony doors is a no-no. In fact some of these rooms on the lower floors don't actually have a balcony. As you pay the same price for all of the rooms on a lower floor it is just luck of the draw which room you get, but they are all pretty dingy. We were put in 213 when we arrived at 2am and the room stank, had stains on the carpets and the curtains didn't cover the windows. We complained at reception and were moved to 203 opposite which had the same problem, but in addition the air conditioning didn't work and just blew in the smell of smoke from cigarettes. We went down to reception again and we treated very rudely by the night staff. We explained that the room didn't look like the pictures on the website. We were told that you had to pay extra to get one of the "superior rooms" that are shown on the website. However we noticed upon check in that all of the British travellers from our coach were given lower floors and the other nationalities were given the superior rooms (floor 4 and up). We asked if they had paid extra and they all said no. At this point we were very angry and demanded to be moved to a higher floor, which descended into a bizarre bartering match. First we were told we had to pay an extra 30 euros a night for a superior room, then it got lowered to 20 euros and then finally 7 euros a night. All of which are ridiculous if 75% of the hotel are superior rooms and therefore they put most people who pay for a standard room in the superior rooms as they are not enough standard rooms. We were then charged more money for the safe. Finally we we only given 1 bottle of water per day despite this hotel being all inclusive. As other reviewers have mentioned, we were charged for additional water (which we refused to pay upon checkout), yet ironically we could have as much alcohol on the all inclusive package as we wanted. Don't pay extra for a sea view as the hotel faces the sea vertically so both sides of the hotel get a side view of the sea. As other reviewers mention, they hotel turn of the air conditioning during the day, it doesn't seem to come on until 9-10pm. Lastly, our rooms were sometimes not made up, or they took our dirty towels and replaced them. Due to faults with the rooms, i.e. broken air conditioning, faulty balcony doors that wouldn't close, broken taps...we had to move rooms 4 times during our 10 day holiday. Each issue that we had was met with a poor attitude from the staff.
This was surprisingly good and there were lots of sun loungers available. There are 3 pools - 1 quiet adult pool by the amphitheatre, one loud pool where the animation team play games, and a big pool that seemed to be where the families based themselves. All of the pools and the areas around them were kept very clean. However as everyone was smoking it was pretty unpleasant for the non smokers. Also, the pool boys cleared away our towels late one afternoon whilst we were still in the pool. When we explained to the spa staff that we didn't have any towels to return to get our towel cards back, they basically accused us of lying and stealing the towels. It was quite upsetting and just another of many examples of the poor attitudes of the staff. The beach was really nice and there are plenty of sun loungers.
All inclusive package (food/drink):
There is a large restaurant in the lobby. The food here was very repetitive and several travellers (including myself) got sick from uncooked chicken. During our 10 day stay, the same food was served for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Unfortunately cultural differences meant that the majority of the guests pushed and fought over food, making dinner an unpleasant experience. Trying to find an empty table was a nightmare as there were not enough staff to clear the tables or fetch drinks. There is a pool bar which serves pizza and chips which we went to most days and this was ok. There are 3 a la carte restaurants (Turkish, Italian and Fish). All of these were pleasant and provided a break from the madness of the restaurant. They are all outdoors so there were a few stray cats wandering around which the staff didn't bother to shoo away and we got bitten a lot. There were several spirits included in the all inclusive (the measures here are lethal!) and also beer, white and red wine. Bizarrely water was not included which was tricky as it was so hot. Ice creams were pretty pricey at 5-8 euros each.
I am not sure how this hotel is 5* and unfortunately the attitudes from the staff definitely do not reflect this. We would not return here or recommend anyone to book this hotel, and we have made a complaint to the Surmeli chain in regards to several members of staff. There is a reason why it is cheaper than the other 5* hotels in Turkey. Spend a bit extra so that you can actually enjoy your holiday.
Fly to Izmir as the transfer is only an hour and a half. From Bodrum airport the transfer is 4 hours...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.