Arriving at the Tusan beach hotel comes as a shock when you think you've booked a 3-star break with Thomas Cook, because even the plaque outside says 4-star ... and it's absolutely right. This hotel is a little gem that seems to remain a hidden gem - and, selfishly, i hope it stays that way. Just about the only two things i could find to let it down were that they need to keep the food warmer and use plates that are hot, and the friendly animation team can be a little intrusive - other than that, I had the best week i've had for ages.
Do bear in mind that I can't speak for what it's like during high season, as my trip was in the last week of low season and there were very few children around. However, there is certainly lots for them to do but most hadn't been opened when i was there.
The hotel is located on its own in a nice, quiet location around the coast from the town. It sits right on its own narrow beach with the pools and sun-terraces right behind. As you sit in the sun you can hear the sea gently lapping the shore - bliss! All the areas, inside and out, are kept scupulously clean with staff permanantly patrolling to remove cups and litter. All the staff are very friendly and helpful - especially the chef at the snackbar below the pool, who serves the best burgers for miles! Do watch out for the cheeky sparrows who will join you at your table to pick up your scraps - even before you've finished with them, sometimes (bless them).
Do make friends with the pool staff and they will ensure you're supplied with mattresses for your sunbeds - though the charge of 1-Euro/5-Lira each per day was a little excessive. The main pool is where the animation team work, so expect music and activity all day. There is a smaller, quieter pool for those who prefer to avoid this though, and this has shady, grassed areas for those really hot days.
Most rooms are sea-view, but do beware of a Thomas Cook clause meaning you could end up in one of the few without - and the upgrade charge levied by the hotel is excessive - £40 per day! However, the non sea-view rooms still overlook a lake and don't overheat as they remain in shade - which can be a blessing when the weather truly heats up.
All the bars are comfortable and well-stocked and the all-inclusive drinks are of good quality - even the local wine, which can so often prove undrinkable in many places. There were more bars due to open for high season, with one lovely one right on the edge of the sea.
Kusadasi town is only 5/10 minutes away on the Dolmus which will stop wherever you want, so drops you right at hotel gate. The cost is only 2.75 Lira per person each way - that's about £1 and superb value. If you want to visit Ephasus - which i'd recommend - don't waste money on organised trips. Just get the Dolmus (no.6) heading towards Selcuk, ask the driver to stop at Efes and he'll shout when you get there - in any case, you can't miss the huge brown sign pointing to Efes (Ephesus). It's a right turn off the main road and walkable in 5/10 minutes - don't fall for the taxi-ride con, the walk will do you good (lol). The dolmus is only 4-lira per person each way and entrance is 25-lira per person. 33 lira is less than £15, so why pay £35 unless you really need an air-conditioned coach, a tour-guide (just get a book or audio-tour), and be forced to work to their timings.
Be careful if you use the Spa. The "basic" package implies you get a massage, but you don't and it isn't cheap either. All you get is a wash and a "free" facemask which you have to wash off yourself. For the proper experience, go into town and use the real Turkish Baths.
Personally, i'd go back to the Tusan Beach without any hesitation - in fact i'm looking at availability for September as soon as I finish this :)
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- Also Known As:
- Tusan Beach Hotel Kusadasi
- Tusan Beach Kusadasi