Stayed here with my partner in Sep 2010 (even though review says Nov - my review is late).
Thomson flight was about 1.5hr - 2hr delay for technical reasons but this was of course a one off. Thomson offered free squash in departures at Gatwick but no one actually got this ;)
Friendly cabin crew, good on board snacks & flight meal:) Cramped space though, so extra leg room at extra cost is something to think about.
Arriving at Dalaman Airport in the early hours (about 1 - 2 hours late due to late take off!!) you could feel the humidity straight away - so you knew you were in for some sunshine!.
Airport officials were not friendly... they are quick enough to take your £10 entry visa & stamp passport into Dalaman (Entry visa you do HAVE to pay for) but they are not the liveliest bunch, do not make you feel welcome! And of course they check it passport, stamp, visa and then again another person checks it! Argg! Transfer to Hotel was 1hr or more as I recall.
Check in at Hotel was fine, staff were friendly and this was about 5 - 6am... sunrise took place whilst we were on the transfer coach. One frustrating thing Thomson did was arrange our welcome meeting at 11am same day. Due to our flight delay there was no chance we wanted to cat-nap and get up just for a welcome chat, journey was quite tiring so we missed a few hours in the morning by the pool. We felt Thomson should have changed the meeting time.
Our room was in the main Hotel building, on floor 3. The room was nice! Cool, clean.. very nice big bathroom with shower, (no bath but that was fine by us!) b-day, etc.. quite impressive. Decent size room and balcony, certainly worth what we paid for the week + you have a mini fridge although ours did not work even after 3 hotel guys tried to fix it - what rubbish!
The walk-in closet is pretty cool, lots of space. The room was cleaned well every day and the housekeeping lady was always friendly and smiling. The only thing we didn't like was that this room was one of 2 adjoining rooms with a locked internal door. During the week on a few mornings a very loud alarm would go off on someones phone playing their national anthem! I gathered it had to be Russian theme going by the amount of Russians in this Hotel!!
If you are not keen on sharing a Hotel for a week with lots of Russians then maybe this hotel isn't for you:)...Unfortunately they can come across as rude in general, especially when lining up in the food area to serve yourself I don't think they truly know how to queue it's just the way they are and that is the thoughts of many ppl. Other nationalities seemed to be Italian, Turkish and British as I recall. As long as ppl are polite it doesn't bother me, you kind of just ignore them and they don't seem to mix with other nationalities anyway probably due to language barrier, but I never had any real problem with them and everyone is there to relax and enjoy themselves.
The weather was amazing all week, did not see a cloud... scorching hot pretty much every day, melting by the pool, couldn't have wished for better weather! Pool was not massive, managed to get beds every day. Wasn't impressed by size of pool and lounger area. There is a smaller splash pool but no beds there. A few hotel staff walk round selling spa treatments and photos, and the Animation team come round to get you involved, once they know you are not up for it they are still friendly but leave you to it, they were a great bunch and really worked hard. The food was not brilliant I have to say... breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner - quite repetitive and catered mostly for Turkish / Russian visitors. Breakfast was my favourite though! Omelette's, toast, fried egg/ sausage, beans etc, fruit, pastry, cereals and of course hot pancakes with chocolate sauce!! The indoor eating area was lovely, table cloths and comfy chairs, it was never packed. The Al-Fresco area was a bit more of a food hall but the hot food was out there. You could also sit on a balcony but with the sun beating in it attracted wasps. There is a wasp problem in this coastal area of Turkey, during meal times this can get annoying! I felt they should have covered up the food more as I didn't want to put food on my plate I knew a wasp had landed on. In either seating area you could always find a free table. Lunch was usually pasta and sauces, toasted panini which you could make yourself and many other dishes which were mostly Turkish or Russian influenced, the same as dinner - chicken or beef in some sauces, soups, and chips etc. The table staff are polite and smiley, everything was accessible at each meal time. There are 2 restaurants which are in All-Inclusive, one on the beach and the Italian pizzeria. Both served nice food and were always busy, you have to book in advance. The Pizzeria is quite authentic looking!
We did not eat in the Kamlik fish restaurant as this was at an extra charge same as the Indian one. There was no all day snack bar at this Hotel. Room service was available at extra cost but please don't bother with toasted sarnies at midnight - it's not worth the £20 you'll be charged - food was dry and not worth the wait.
One thing I liked about this Hotel is the cats that tend to live in the grounds, they looked quite healthy and friendly - about 11 of them!... I did feed them as I can't say no to a cat:) but I kept my distance just to be safe. There wasn't much evening entertainment for adults in this Hotel I have to say.. a few shows by the Animation team - average. Piano bar was fairly low key.. Pool tables (just 2 of them) Didn't go to any beach bar so can't review. Sultan bar was advertised as not part of all-inclusive and you had to pay to enter but this was not true as we found out eventually. It was just a nice gazebo bar with live music - nothing spectacular. A few nights we got tired of the low-key entertainment and same foods we went into Marmaris for a decent meal. Many of the restaurants in the marina are very nice and there's a nice atmosphere at night. Micro buses to Marmaris and Icmeler were easy to get and were cheap. Bar Street Marmaris doesn't start until late but it's not cheap... Shops are open late and it's easy to catch a bus back to Hotel.
As there is no beach by the hotel we also went into Marmaris for shopping and Jet Ski rides. Loved the Jet Ski's! We also went to Icmeler 1 day for the beach. In Icmeler we paid a local tour guide for an excursion, St Paul's travel in Icmeler. We paid for a day trip to the Dalyan which included Mud bath, Dalyan river, Turtle beach and spotting Turtles + on board lunch. I was really looking forward to seeing Turtles swimming but we were lied to by this local tour company - Turtles were not around, they were not in season, and when they are they lay their eggs buried in sand on the beach way before any excursion would arrive - difficult to get the timing right. We were also promised a certain boat and the guy at St Paul's really hyped it up to be some lovely flash boat... he gave us the name of it, showed us photos of it + him with Turtles. When we arrived by bus at Marmaris to board we saw the boat we were promised but were lead to a different one which was not as nice! Disappointed to start with! Boarded then bags were searched by a guy who was quite rude and tried to make you feel intimidated, basically they would not let you on with your own drink even if it's water!! Just so you give in and buy their drinks. This I was angry about as it was a total liberty! They said they'd hand back all drinks to everyone at end of the day, which they did but all bottles were mixed up. On this boat quite a few ppl had already taken the sunbeds and all that was left were deck chairs in the centre, it was a very cramped space. As the boat set sail we were starting to regret buying the trip and were not looking forward to the whole day. It took a long time to get to Turtle beach, through the Dalyan, had a tour guide with info, telling us we'd not get to see Turtles! Mud bath was fun, small boat ride through Dalyan was nice, The Beach was lovely... not spoilt by tourism unlike Marmaris beach. Lunch on the boat was some chicken thing, bread and salad, a bit crap really... the boat was a disco boat, rather dated. As we cruised back into Marmaris harbour at night, the stupid ppl on the boat hit a private boat moored up! Everyone was gawping! Serves em right for telling lies about their trips:)
At Dalaman Airport avoid cafe's and McDonalds as you will be ripped off, the prices are astronomical... no one can seriously want to pay £20 for extra value meals. One cafe wanted £5 for a 330ml can of Coke!!
Had a great time in Turkey overall, would go back there but maybe to a different area such as Olu Deniz or Antalya. Next time i'd choose a hotel with more outside space and on the beach even though I had a nice stay at the Mares Hotel Grand Yazici, which was called Mares Dolphin Park & Spa in 2010.
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- Also Known As:
- Mares Hotel Marmaris