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“EXCELLENT VALUE - WOULD RECOMMEND TO ALL”
Review of Aral Hotel

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Aral Hotel
Ranked #163 of 227 Hotels in Side
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“EXCELLENT VALUE - WOULD RECOMMEND TO ALL”
Reviewed November 7, 2012

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.

Room Tip: No lifts - so lots of staiirs to climb if on top floors.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
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2 Thank JIngs006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Newport
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2012

Some people want everything when they go away (we saw and heard them!). Aral is very clean, tidy and very well located. We must of timed it just right as during our stay everyone we met were socialable and welcoming making a great holiday. Pool and area very clean and well maintained, food was great and the staff very socialble despite the language barrier. Everything was just a walk away the beech, the town centre, buses, the history, the lot. So much so that we're heading back next year.

Room Tip: All rooms are good some are doubles others are family (family have the double beds)
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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5 Thank AndnJoJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crowthorne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
139 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Stayed 27th September to 7th October.
First I concur with lots of the reviews. Chicken, chicken, chicken. Needs a bit of TLC. Very friendly staff,
Knew this was not going to be luxury & expected food to be restricted, after all there is only 72 rooms, so not a lot of scope for a massive buffet. After all you get what you pay for. If I had wanted luxury I am sure the west side of Side would have come up trumps, but to be honest wanted to be away from that area but close enough to Old Side & the eastern beach.
So what could have been better, the sunbed cushions have reached there end of life. Mahmet (bar) could have smiled a bit more (I gave myself a daily challenge to make him smile, achieved it most days). Change the salad selection more. Signs on the food telling you what they are. Mind you you could always be sure one of them was Chicken.
What was good, arrived 21:30 the night receptionist was pleasant & welcoming. Got room in block A above reception, which was great as it picked up the FREE wifi (which I did have to fix on 2 occasions, lucky my laptop had the necessary software to diagnose & fix). The day receptionist, Turhan Ugur, has a wicked sense of humour & was extremely helpful. The free pickup for the sea side beach bar was great if a bit hair raising. Room was good, Twin beds with really firm matresses (bit hard for me). Shower was good & hot. Pool was always clean, sunbeds always available. Within 5 minutes walk is 4 bars, three with restuarants, some shops, change shop, pharmacy & camel rides. 20 minutes to Old Side, if you cut through the fence opposite. Beach 25 minutes walk. Food was always good & cooked well. One night they did not have chicken, the fish was great, I do think they did that on purpose as I joked with them all the time about the "chicken". The "entertainment" on 3 nights was surprisingly good, even if the first lady did manage to get me up to emarass myself. Loved the Snake. Had program 4 in Massage centre, was great for £18 the foam massage was amazing even if the amount of skin taken off was disgusting, could have done without the fask mask even if my face was like a babies skin after that.
Be careful if it rains or floor around restuarant area is wet as it is extremely slippery. Saturday night it rained & one of the staff slipped & badly twisted his ankle. All rooms have balconies overlooking the pool. Block C also overlooks the restuarant/bar area, so if you want early nights keep away from this block. Recommend taking the dolmus to Manavget & the river trip up to the rapids.

Room Tip: Get one in block A.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank seagles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forfar, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

We arrived at hotel in the early hours of the morning so went straight to bed and first impression of hotel was at breakfast next morning.On way to dining room the gardens appeared unkept and in need of weeding/grass cutting. Ding room itself is open air by side of pool and seats white plastic and a bit cheap canteen like. After breakfast the next observation was that plastic beds beside pool were needing a good wash down and small plastic pool side tables did not look as if they had been cleaned all season!At times some of the staffs outfits appeared a bit grubby but I think this was actually just down to them being severely bleached out by the sun. In a country where you can get '3 T-shirts for a tenner' it would not cost much to have all the staff looking smarter in all matching clothing! The bar served only local produce but we expected that.
That is the down side out of the way.
On a more positive side our room was a very good size and was kept very clean by the maids with towels and linen being changed very regularly. Staff wer friendly and polite at all times.
The choice of food was not extensive but was always very well cooked. Chicken, fish and meatballs did appear regularly on the menu but mostly cooked in different recipies.
Judging by the transfer journeys and drop offs and pick ups Side appears to cover a large area and I consider that people staying in other hotels in the resort could experience totally different holidays.
we found the Aral well situated for our type of holiday. A bus picked clients up from the hotel each morning and took them to a beach bar club on a fairly undeveloped beach. It was possible to walk to or from the beach and took about 30 minutes.
Another, more developed beach was also within similar waling distance and this beach was backed by restaurants hotels and shops.
We found the old town only to be a 20-25 minute walk away and again here there were numerous shops, restaurants and bars plus a scenic harbour area. On the edge of the old town were the ancient Roman ruins which were quite impressive.
Having read several reviews on Tripadvisor it appears to be the case that Russians are now spoiling several peoples holiday experiences so another very good aspect of the Aral is the fact that the only tour operators using the hotel this year were Thomas Cook from Great Britain and Nazar from Scandanavia. This hotels fits nicely into the 3 star range and although not everyones cup of tea we would go back

Room Tip: All rooms face towards pool so noise generally not an issue. We asked for double bedded room which a...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Cilia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2012

Arrived early on a Monday morning, very quick check-in. Surprised at the large size of the room, the bathroom containing shower etc. ok; the pretty efficient air con was included. The room was cleaned regularly; towels replaced daily and sheets every three days.
Over the next few days we discovered the food was always good, plenty of choice, lots of salad etc, meat always well cooked. The bar was next to the pool and served a basic variety of drinks in very generous quantities.
We found the staff very polite and helpful especially when I arranged for flowers to be on our breakfast table, to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
The pools were cleaned every day and were kept in good condition.
The walk to the centre of Side takes about 30mins via the road and is a delight for anyone with an interest in Roman antiquity. Part of the journey is along a road lined with ancient pillars and past an amphitheatre still used occasionally for theatre events!
Don’t expect many bargains in Side centre, it’s very much a tourist trap with everything inflated. If you want to shop go to the local market, twice a week 10 minutes from the Hotel.
Halfway to Side centre you can take a side road to the beach, lovely sand and warm water. We had a meal for two overlooking the beach in a brill restaurant. Including a bottle of wine and sweet course only £30!
There are some great bars and restaurants near the hotel, we can really recommend The Saffron, great food very reasonably priced.
That’s all the positives…. If your expecting 3 star English its not for you! All the food is served outside; the tablecloths and awnings over the dining tables are in need of replacing. The staff all dress casual, sometimes not too clean (There seems to be a lack of supervision of the kitchen /restaurant staff). Don’t expect much entertainment. Rickety table tennis table, pool table you have to pay for and twice weekly evening entertainment with a belly dancer and a snake, or dancing. The sun beds look as though they are rarely washed. The garden areas are quite poorly kept. The area surrounding the hotel is quite rundown. If someone was clearly in charge and sharpened up the presentation this could be a great little hotel.
Overall we had a good time; would recommend The Aral to anyone as long as they don’t expect everything to be perfect…

Room Tip: Next to the pool can be noisy at night. First floor family rooms are avalible at no extra charge.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bill T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glasgow
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2012

just back from a week at the Aral hotel the hotel. The room was big and kept clean with good air conditioning with a small balcony. The food was ok but very repetitive but you would always find something sutiable to eat the staff were friendly. The pool was kept clean and tidy at all times the only problem i would say is they need to replace there sun beds as were very tired looking but there was plenty of them. If yu decide to go out for a meal try the Hawian restaraunt which is a 5 mn walk from the hotel was lovely and very reasonable. Also if you are going to book trips go to Jimmys shop again only 5 mins walk away good value we booked the boat trip which was good saw dolphins and turtles. Side itself is to lovey especially the harbour which was about a 15 to 20 min walk away. Would def go back here

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank diamondlil02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

First impressions on staying at Aral hotel was not very good, location wise was to far out from The Old Town which was a 40 minute walk or 15 lira in a taxi 2.5 lira on a bus, the beach was 15/20 minute walk away which you had to walk threw a dusty road passing a rubbish tip! 15 lira in a taxi.Aral Hotel is situation in a very small town, ( lots of rubbish around!) consisted of a few shops, a couple of decent bars and eating places which were Hawaian Bar, Almelda, Connys and miami bar not forgetting the olive Bar. Down points of the Aral Hotel were: bar closes at 11.00pm.Not enough variety of main meals consisted of Chicken every day, and a meat dish, chips, pizza, Rice, pasta. Breakfast tables were always dirty, so was the floor and cups. Waiters looked like they had never washed their clothes same dirty clothes on for days. Surrounding gardens if you could call it that, was unkept. lots of maintenance/gardening needed to spruce up the place. On a posistive note the bar staff were clean and tidy.Room cleaned fresh towels daily. Swimming pool was cleaned every morning. Food was adequate. Staff polite and friendly. Entertainment twice a week. We made the most of it.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chelsea44England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Aral Hotel

Property: Aral Hotel
Address: Selimiye Mahallesi Cennetler Mevkii 509, Side, Manavgat 7300, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Turkish Mediterranean Coast > Antalya Province > Manavgat > Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#95 On the Beach Hotel in Side
Hotel Class:3 star — Aral Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 72
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Also Known As:
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