Stayed for one week at end October, leaving 1st November (right at end of season). Cheap last minute bargain, all-inclusive which was VERY good value for money and very well-placed for exploring Side and its many Roman ruins. Obviously not 5 star but a very clean and comfortable hotel - no complaints at all :
Friendly, helpful and courteous staff.
Very clean (room cleaned every day with towel / sheet change) TV, hairdryer, hot water, air-con, reasonable choice of food (no stuffed veg though) - cherry juice gorgeous.
2 bottles of mineral water provided free each day in room fridge and constant tea / coffee / juice available downstairs.
Very large pool with lots of sunbeds, children's water slide open 2 hours a day.
As it was end of season nice and quiet with very few other guests - no evening entertainment at all which some were not happy about - expect things will be much busier earlier in the year but for me the quietness was perfect. If evening entertainment was required I'm sure there would be many hotels / bars which provide this if you enquired.
Was given room right above bar but double glazed balcony door and under balcony was a tile roof so any noise kept to minimum. All rooms have balcony (smallish) facing pool and get full sun most of day.
Hotel is on outskirts of Side .... 2 ways to get to Bus Station Otogar - quick way past the landfill "tip" about 7/10 minutes, or more scenic along main road but this way takes half an hour or so. Once at Otogar the ruins begin - stunning & great to explore- a further 20 min walk through these takes you to the amphitheatre, museum, start of main town and harbour area - very busy area even at season end - many shops.
Pleasant walk to beach but hotel does provide a free minibus.
ON THE DOWNSIDE, although described by Thos Cook as only 1 hour transfer time from Airport, it took ages - was dropped off last as the hotel is located on (furthest away) East part of Side and the coach stopped around 10 times before that to drop others off on the West part before arriving at Aral so took 2 hours transfer there and back. Also expected to be able to get a direct bus from the local Otogar through to Alanya and Antalya for exploring but these only go from nearby town of Manavgat (maybe there are through buses in season?). Manavgat easy to reach with frequent CHEAP dolmus service and the river & waterfalls can be reached easily from there - not spectacular but would be OK for a change of scenery in high summer. AVOID Manavgat on Mondays if you don't like crowds ... Market Day & really busy ! Good if you like shopping.
If you are thinking of taking things back to UK make sure you book extra luggage allowance with Thos Cook (£12.50 for extra 5 kg) or you will have to pay around £14 per extra kg at the Airport!
WOULD RECOMMEND THE ARAL HOTEL TO ALL.
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- Also Known As:
- Aral Hotel Side