I could only imagine the state of the earlier negative reviews, but I was quite lucky obviously, though I can guess what ticked others off.
I booked a pool villa online, but the website did not have extensive info on these villas. The hotel, as mentioned earlier, is built on a vast area, it is huge, with an almost dream-like sillhouette --towers, landscape trees, walkways, etc...
I was with my family, and enjoyed a 3-night special deal for the Eid (the muslim holiday), and received the holiday program by email as well as the price list from which I picked the pool villa option.
The villa was actually the ground floor of a villa, and ours was at the very end of the villa series. It was kind of misleading that they were named pool villas since they are not practically around the pool, but were on the lower side of the hotel grounds as opposed to the garden villas which are located on higher ground than the pools and the reception --quite far from the activity centers.
It is true, the hotel grounds are quite neglected though the garden is very impressive. But the buildings are losing their paint, the rooms smell mouldy, the faucets, metals are losing their shine, everything needs to be renovated, and then it will be breathtaking again.
For the holiday season, the staff was reinforced obviously. Therer were plenty of waiters, both at restaurants and around the pool. But the poolside menu is kind of weak. The rooms were cleaned every day, and there were a couple of maintenance guys walking around the pool at all times.
Although the hotel was fully booked, we did not feel the crowd, or were overwhelmed by the crowd. The open buffet dinners were satisfactory, just like the breakfasts. But the highlight was the holiday gala dinner which was superb. The gala featured a roster of fine musicians from Turkey, and was quite entertaining.
There are three pools (one of them indoors) at the hotel, and we used the bottom one closest to the sea, filled with sea water. Although the hotel was very crowded it was not difficult to find a deck chair as there were plenty. The sea however was not at its best because the wind was very strong and the waves were strong as well.
I used the spa as well and had a massage done by an Indonesian lady. The facility was quite clean, well-decorated and worth its price.
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