If you like a more traditional type of holiday by the sea, in a tourist area aimed at Turks, away from English breakfasts, nightlife and noise then this might be for you. It's not for those that find a 20 minute dolmus ride to the nearest town for nightlife and noise too much to cope with in the heat.
It's a small family run hotel run by staff and family who are only too happy to help you and deal with all your queries. Not all of them speak good English but they all try hard and there is nearly always someone who speaks good enough English around (or not far away). The hotel food is fantastic and chef produces really good food (with the occasional exception)- however you must be prepared to wait a long time for it, sometimes.
The nearest town (Turgutreis) has bars, music, English breakfast, boat rides, banks etc and is 20 minutes away by dolmus. The local area is Akyarlar has a busy beach which becomes crowded at weekends and some weekdays after 11.30am and is only a couple of minutes walk (if that) away. Its great for people watching and having people try and sell you exotic fruits, peel you a lemon, sell you some bread, some linen, some freshly caught fish, some prepared muscles, hot corn on the cob and puddings in the afternoon are taken out of the cafe by tray and sometimes its arrival announced by melodic banging drums or a big bass drum! It has restaurants and cafes (buy a drink at their cafe and stay for free on their sunbeds with shade (some under trees on the sand and some under umbrellas). There are three boat jetties that is also used by adults and children to jump/dive off of. Its mostly grainy sand but the first few metres into the sea is quite stoney in places. There are areas in the sea that disappear from under your feet then a few metres further out to sea you can stand up again - but near the seafront and a bit further out is perfectly safe for children. The cafes also stay open for eating at night, though the Turks tend to eat at them at lunchtime and/or when they finish at the beach, leaving them almost empty in the evening. Some of them cook some really fantastic food (Turkish meatballs, Kofte, Kebab, Turkish Caserole, Mezes, freshly caught fish, delicious salads etc. You can also get chips) at cheaper prices than elsewhere with the odd one being a dissapointment food-wise. If you like 'typical English food' don't eat at the beach. There is also a quiet beach 10-15 mins walk away with Turkish restaurants open day and night - also lovely local food.
The hotel is situated on the first part of a hillside and the rooms are set into the hillside. Most with views but not all. Most have a balcony but not all. If your tour operator tells you its a Promotional room then it does not have a balcony, though many of the tour operators don't even tell you this, so ask them). There are many steps to negotiate and can be hazardous to small children with some gaps and drops and a few broken or cracked slabs, but if you are prepared to keep an eye on your children in these areas they are fine.
The rooms are very basic but perfectly fine IF you can cope with basic. We found them perfectly adequate. The twin rooms have one bedside table, a central ceiling light (and no wall or bedside lamps) enough cupboards/drawers for clothes and a wardrobe that may or may not have clothes hangers (take some just in case). The twin rooms have plenty of room to move about (the three or four person rooms don't have much room to move about). The bathroom has a shower next to the toilet and the toilet gets a shower with you. The room might flood a bit or a lot or not at all. The drainage hole in the shower might not have a cover on it or it might be broken and it might sometimes pong a bit. There is no hairdryer. There is ALWAYS hot water. Sometimes the cold water is off for a while, but not for long and not very often. Check with the staff as sometimes the water engineer has forgotten to turn the pipe back on in your area). The bed might be perfect, soft, hard or you can feel the springs (they differ and its pot luck which you get). Same with the pillows and bed covers - the pillows might be reasonably new and soft or a bit lumpy. The top bed cover is either a lovely new 'waffley' type cotton cover or something that resembles something your Granny crocheted - again its pot luck. There is Air con (payable locally) and mosquito nets on the window and in the bathroom. We didn't get bitten at all in the room (though we are careful to keep the door to the room shut quickly at dusk/in the dark. We were occasionally bitten when out and about at night but only once or twice.
The cleaning service is erratic but you only have to ask downstairs and if you haven't had a clean in the first week and it will be sorted. (Some rooms get cleaned twice a week when others are not touched at all). Your bathmat does get very dirty so make sure not wear any shoes in the bathroom/bedroom and it will stay much cleaner than others.
Downstairs the staff spend hours polishing the cutlery, cleaning the glasses with linen cloths, hosing down the communal areas and around the sunbeds, and washing the sun lounger cushion covers/giant cushion covers. The staff are always willing to assist you and always seem to be in good humour. Lots of jokes and either pretending to push you in the pool or literally doing so, but they also seem to suss if you are the type who wants to be pushed in/joked around with quite quickly. The family who run the hotel are lovely and also always smiling and even though they don't speak much English they try.
There is great mixture of English and Turkish guests and as its a small hotel everyone gets along and mixes well with or without a language barrier. If you have a baby or toddler with you you will get lots of fuss from the Turks.
The loudspeakers from the Mosque are situated right outside the hotel and are turned up very loud - blasting you out of your bed at 5.15 am each morning - though you get used to it and sleep through it after a few days. Even some Muslim guests were joking that they were on holiday and didnt want to hear it at all, let alone that loud.
You pay very little to stay at this two star hotel and what you lose in the basics of the hotel you gain in the lovely staff/owners and the traditional location.
I would recommend this hotel to people who are not fussy and who want to experience a more traditional Turkish holiday at a very good price, away from the English crowds.
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