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Otium Eco Club
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Reviews (1,366)
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Reviewed September 30, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for a week in early September 2013, and we were a group of five (an elderly couple, two women in early 30's and a 5-year-old girl). All in all, I can say that we all enjoyed what the hotel had to offer us since the variety was great. I, personally, had high expectations having read previous reviews, and chosen this hotel based on them. I wasn't let down by my expectations, but there were small things that I wish were done a bit differently. Therefore, I cannot give five stars for this hotel even though the service was wonderful during most of our stay, the staff was extremely friendly and we had everything we hoped for.

Upon arrival, I experienced my biggest disappointment, when the check-in process was confusing and hectic, owing to the fact that many people were either checking in or out, and nobody actually told us, how the process goes. During the process, our passports were tossed in front of wrong people, and I didn't appreciate that. We had a nice welcome drink (except for the child), but I didn't get to enjoy it, as it was already taken away before I had a chance to drink it during the check-in process. Since we had a Villa Family Suite, we were escorted to our villa with a golf cart. The service at this point was great, especially compared to the hectic beginning.

We were very pleased with our villa. We requested an upper floor villa, and got one. I would recommend to ask for the upper floor because 1) you get to use the terrace fences for hanging towels etc., 2) you will have a nicer view and 3) it will be more peaceful, as in some villas, people passing by will walk right next to your terrace downstairs. The rooms were adequate for our needs. Main bedroom had a doublebed, one room with 2 separate sofa beds and one room with 1 sofa bed. The rooms and the bathroom were joined together by a corridor. The best part was the individual a/c's for each of the three rooms. Two of the rooms also had a tv, not that we used them though. In the late evenings, it was nice to sit on the terrace, which had a table and four chairs on it. The villas are facing the side of the other hotels that have loud music at late hours, so that would be the only downside with them. However, staying at the hotel rooms might take you to the other side of the hotel complex where the disco and amphitheater are, and they also produce quite enough sound. Having said all that, the music didn't bother any of us, but if you're easily disturbed by such things, then you should take this into consideration.

As many previous reviewers have noted, the hotel has many Russians, and also Germans are a majority. This didn't bother us a bit in terms of the quests (yes, some can be a bit rude and jump in the queue, but that's life), but it did bother us in terms of the language skills of the staff. Most of the staff at the reception and in smiley service spoke fluent English, but when trying to talk with the other staff, it was quite difficult. Since we had to use the medical services there, it appeared to be a big problem. The nurse spoke German and Russian with few words of English and the doctor knew a few more words in English, but also would have preferred German or Russian. However, I must give thanks to the smooth medical services of the hotel, as we were driven to hospital and back since the hotel doctor couldn't help us.

The all-inclusive included food and drinks almost around the clock plus ice cream in kids area at a certain hour (they said it was for children, but gave it to everyone). You couldn't go hungry here. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the main restaurant were all very versatile. It was a nice suprise that you could always get something freshly made on two of the lines there (you actually saw the food being prepared and got it fresh on your plate). There was a separate buffet for children, but most of the food there seemed a bit odd for a Finnish child so we all usually got our foods from the main buffet. Every second evening they had something very special foodwise. For example, one evening, they had big tunas hanging from hooks and a chef making tuna steaks from them and preparing them there and then. We never really experienced the terrible queues that some reviewers have pointed out, and we always got to choose our table as there was plenty of choice during the times we went there. However, the place did fill up later, and at some hours it might not be so easy to get a table, especially for a larger group. The food offered at the pool bar was also good, we especially enjoyed the pizzas. We never used the a la carte option.

Pool area was nice and lots of choice there, too. One thing I didn't like was the tiling on the pool area as it got extremely slippery once it got wet. I had many situations where I was about to slip, but was able to balance myself. I think it's also nice and considerate that they have a quiet pool for adults only, as this is a big family complex. You could also freely bring food and drinks at the pool sides. There was all kinds of entertainment at the main pool as well as in other hotel premises.

The kids area had a nice playground and a pool for children. The whole play area was covered, which was very thoughtful. I'm sure the kids club at the hotel would have been awesome, but the child with us didn't attend because there was no common language for her. She did participate in some of the club's activities though, and liked them a lot (face painting, magician etc.). In the evenings, the kids could use the carrousel, train and electric cars, but they all came with a separate fee (3 euros for one ride, 7 euros for the use of car for 15mins). At 8.30pm there was a mini disco for the children at the amphitheater. People running the kids club ran the mini disco as well, and they had nice music and organised dancing there. What bothered me were the mothers, who wanted to be kids (dance with the kids). I understand that some younger children may need their mother or father on the stage to help and support, but some mothers were just out of their place there, blocking other parents' views. In the evenings, they also sold popcorn and cotton candy outside the amphitheater and near the pool bar there.

After the mini disco, the evening continued with some sort show every evening at 9pm at the amphitheatre. I saw two of the shows, and they were simply amazing. I would highly recommend them. They also had live music performances at the pool bar in the evenings. I attended once and enjoyed very much. There is also a tiny zoo in the hotel premises and a garden area.

A bus to the beach runs frequently from the entrance of the hotel. It's a very convenient way to visit the beach. Instead of using the bus, you can also walk to the beach, it only takes 10-20mins, depending on how fast you walk, and the walking terrain is easy. You can choose to walk by the lake side, which is a must see during your visit, or through the streets, where you can cross through the bazaar area (for example). The beach itself is nice, has good facilities, but you will find lots of small rocks when entering water and it will get deep pretty suddenly. There are lots of sun chairs on the beach (just like at the hotel pools), but during our visit it seemed that the beach was more popular than the pools, making it hard to find free sun beds on the beach, but loads of them at the pool side.

A bus (dolmus) to Side costs 1 euro per person one way, and it takes you next to the ancient ruins of Side. There's also a bus to Manavgat running from there.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank whippo2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2013

Visited this hotel for a week early September and absolutely loved it.
Went as part of a couple rather than a family and could see that the hotel is geared towards familys with kids in part but as we went out of school holiday time it was perfect for us.

The staff at this hotel were great. They made everything so easy for us. We arrived late and were happy to watch our cases whilst we grabbed something to eat and on the last day when we had time to kill after checking out they were happy for us to use all the facilities and have a shower before our transfers came. The staff were all friendly and polite and fluent in several languages.

the food at the hotel was good. maybe not fully geared towards British tastes but so what, the world doesnt revolve around the UK! If you love pork and bacon you may have been disappointed as Turkey is a muslim country so obviously this isnt as readily available, however all other meats available and a lot of fresh fish. There were quite a lot of meat ball based dishes which my boyfriend loved! The desserts were really delicious too.
As with most all inclusive buffets it can get a little boring but there are 2 a la carte restaurants also for 5 euros.
There is also a snack bar by the pool and another nice touch are free bottles of water. There are several fridges around the hotel where you can just help yourself to bottled water.
The local beer is nice and there is also a selection of cocktails from the bar.

The location of the hotel was nice. A nice walk to the beach but due to the heat its easier to get the frequent, free shuttle bus from the hotel to beach and back. The hotel has its private section of beach with free bar and snacks available.
The town is not in walking distance but there is a very frequent bus service that is very cheap, 2.50 TL each. (about 80p) Don't take a taxi. it's about 10 euros when the bus is so cheap and convenient.
The town of Side itself is lovely with ancient ruins all around, lots of restaurants on the sea front and great fake brand shops.

The hotel itself is very clean. The rooms were nice and had a hair dryer and fridge. The housekeepers left a bbig bottle of water in the fridge daily.
The pools were nice with plenty of sun loungers. The spa and wellness area was great. the steam room, sauna and indoor pool were free and any extra treatments were reasonably priced. i had a 2 hour treatment for £50. In Uk you'd barely get an hours massage.

Over all very happy with this hotel and would deffinately recommend it,

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank bryan81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2013

Excellent holiday at otium, staff all lovely especially Driss from the entertainment team. Very pleased with our 2nd room lovely big double bed very comfortable. Food at pool bar very nice, main restaurant bit repetitive. Definitely recommend the spa best massages at a very reasonable price. Pool area always clean and no problem getting sun beds. Would recommend to hotel to provide coffee station on each floor or make your own in the room! Smiley team very helpful.

Room Tip: Ask for a double bed
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jill6969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

Went with my wife for 7 days from 7th September.Arrived about 1.30 am.Waited until 2am for what we thought would be some hot food,just cold meat and cheese with some bread.this was the only low point.from there on food choice was excellent for all meals.fantastic choice if you took the time to look around all of the options available.The salad choice was superb(fresh garlic seemed to be the only thing missing)from the choice of fresh herbs and vegetables.plenty of meat options every meal.Staff where great at all times even under the duress of some complete idiots who thought they where in the RITZ.Entertainment was great.Chris was superb.above and beyond what was required sometimes.Beach was great.same excellent service,including bus to and from.We where surprised to find shops available quite near to the hotel when there seemed to be no mention of them previously.Head towards the beach and then turn right or follow signs for supermarket.prices not much different to Side or Manavgat market.The hotel is a bit different as it is ECO and tries its best to do what it can to recycle and think about the environment.This doesn't impact on your holiday and only requires you to do as much as you would in UK.A different concept than most of Turkey but should be applauded for its efforts.An excellent hotel.Totally enjoyed our time here.5 stars.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wilshy62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

From the moment that we arrived at Otium Eco Club Side we were greeted by friendly staff who made us feel extremely welcome. Check in was easy and we were quickly escorted to our suite that was situated close to the adult only pool. This was perfect as we were a couple without children and whilst it is predominantly a family hotel there were areas such as the adult only pool where you could relax and and enjoy adult time. Both my partner and I commented that this would be a haven for families and equally we felt that there was ample opportunity to do adult activities such as yoga, aerobics as well as adult watersports. The adult pool was located away from the children's pool and provided a relaxing haven where we were able to swim, read and where refreshments were also available.

We found that all of the staff including reception, bar, maid service, lifeguards and catering staff were helpful, efficient and we felt that the hotel's motto 'smiley team' was perfectly apt. The entertainment team (animation) were fabulous and the entertainment was really good. Again, whilst there was child focused entertainment we were thoroughly impressed by the adult entertainment from the Kenyan Acrobats to the modern dance and ballet performances. There was also live music after 10.30pm.

Whilst the hotel is busy, especially meal times and has around 430 rooms we found that if we had a slightly later dinner or earlier breakfast that there are times when it is quieter. We really enjoyed the 'A la Carte' restaurant and were happy to pay the additional 5 euros pp for the meal. The only minor comment would be that we felt slightly rushed and the chef was insistent that we ordered our food almost as soon as we had sat down.

The only thing that we could possibly say that would have made our stay even better than it could have been was to have had tea making facilities in our room!

Room Tip: Our suite close to the adult pool was perfect!
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lorraine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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