This was our first trip to Turkey and our first experience of an all-inclusive hotel. We travelled as a family of 6 - all adults - 4 young and 2 "more mature"! We chose this resort and the all-inclusive package so that the youngsters could laze around the hotel/beach during the day whilst my husband and I went out and about. We all met up in the evenings for dinner. The hotel and the holiday was, in this respect, a resounding success!
The hotel is in a fabulous location in Icmeler - outstanding views of the sea and the mountains - with a lovely promenade for after-dinner strolls. Hotel grounds are very well kept, with plenty of areas to sit - pool area clean, but, as always, insufficient sun-beds and the policy of not reserving sun-beds was not upheld. However, plenty of sun-beds available on the private beach. Communal areas of the hotel were beautifully maintained - there were some unique features in the lobby and bar area, unlike so many modern hotels these days. All rooms have a partial sea view; they were clean, had very comfortable beds, good facilities - including a 'free' mini-bar which was re-stocked daily. Our only complaint was that the air-conditioning in one of our three rooms was not working properly and, despite reporting it twice, it was not rectified.
Food in the main restaurant was fresh, plentiful and surprisingly varied - although, I suspect, not exactly authentic Turkish food and I was disappointed, being on the coast, that very little fresh fish was served. There was a BBQ every evening, which the youngsters particularly enjoyed, although the meat was limited mainly to turkey kebabs and meatballs. We took advantage of the a la Carte meal included in our package by dining in the on-site Italian restaurant, which was superb. Staff in the main restaurant should be particularly commended; they work extremely hard for long hours and were always helpful and friendly. On the contrary, some of the bar staff were pretty miserable! Food available at the snack-bar was very disappointing - pre-prepared pizzas, burgers and tasteless omelettes; it would be preferable to offer freshly prepared sandwiches and salads. The ice-cream parlour, however, was a real bonus, with freshly made waffles and milkshakes every afternoon.
The hotel has a lovely spa. My daughter and I were encouraged to have a Turkish bath on our first day - and were very glad we did! My skin felt wonderful afterwards and I am sure it helped me to tan easier. The massage was very relaxing and the whole experience calming and private - very different, I suspect, to the hamams outside the hotel! There is also an on-site hairdresser /barber /beauty parlour, but the guy who touts for business around the hotel is simply irritating and a few guests we spoke to did not enjoy their treatments! There is certainly room for improvement in the hotel gym - all the equipment is very old!
The evening entertainment programme was rather hit-and-miss; some acts were very good, others not so - the programme was repeated on a weekly basis (not ideal for guests staying for 2 weeks!) and the compere was simply dreadful - he told the same jokes every night and talked for far too long; it would have been much better for this time to have been dedicated to a DJ so that guests could just enjoy some music and dance!
Water taxis run regularly to Marmaris and other local resorts and there are a variety of boat-trips and excursions; Turtle Beach was well worth a visit, although there were far too many boats/people on the day we went. That was our biggest complaint by far - the whole area is being over-developed. Icmeler, once a small fishing village, is now heaving with bars playing loud music, restaurants offering English breakfast, tattoo parlours and neon lights EVERYWHERE! Marmaris is even worse! Everywhere you go you are hassled. Our solution was to stay in the hotel most of the time and hire a car for a few days; once out of the tourist areas we found the Turkish people were extremely friendly and welcoming. Mugla (a short drive into the mountains) is a delightful provincial Turkish town - well worth a visit!
In short, if we could move Hotel Aqua to a quieter location, we would undoubtedly return, but Icmeler is simply too busy for us!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.