For our recent holiday to Turkey (18-25 March) we chose to stay at the Barut Arum hotel. This was our fourth consecutive spring-break to Side - which should tell you something - and we enjoy the generally relaxed ambiance as the area begins to wake after the winter season. During our stay the hotel seemed fairly quiet, with a mixture of mainly mature couples, mostly German, but with some British and other Europeans. The weather this time round was excellent with temperatures typically 14-15 overnight and a very pleasant 20-23 by lunchtime, winds remained light and rainfall totally absent.
We managed the holiday on-line through Thomson, receiving 20kg luggage allowance, pre-booking our seats, registering our API and checking-in. We flew from Birmingham on a Thomson Boeing 737-800 (Winglets). No in-flight entertainment was provided, other than flight information on drop down screens, but we used our gadgets to pass the time. As previously, our transit through Antalya airport was uneventful (this year we had obtained our Entry Visas on-line and this worked really well) and following the 45 minute coach transfer the check-in experience was handled in a friendly, professional manner.
Our overall holiday experience exceeded our expectations - greatly assisted by the very welcoming, friendly and enthusiastic staff, who showed warmth and humour to our clumsy (but well intentioned!) attempts to speak a little Turkish. We would say the staff in the main buffet restaurant and promenade, pool and lobby bars were right up there with the very best people we have ever met in our travels. A real asset for the hotel.
We were allocated room 1446 – a part sea-view upgrade – which was well featured and maintained, with the mini-bar and hot beverages replenished daily. This room is on the fourth floor and central to the resort, being positioned above the outside access doors. The (free) room safe is huge. There is also plenty of general storage available. The en-suite washroom has a walk-in shower with towels and consumables provided. There is a good selection of lighting permutations, a flat-screen TV and air-conditioning. Outside there is a good sized balcony with chairs, table and clothes drying rack. On arrival in the room we received some complementary fresh fruit - a nice touch which we enjoyed!
There is free Wi-Fi in the rooms and reception/ lobby area which is fine for email and light browsing – we were even able to ‘Skype’ friends and stream low resolution media. There was some evening entertainment provided, which was relaxed and unobtrusive.
The resort was very clean and well maintained and the grounds were a joy to walk with pathways leading through nicely tended gardens. We could always find a free sun-lounger, or quiet place to sit and relax either around the resort or at the beach. The public toilets were of a similar standard to the rooms and were kept clean and fresh. The outside pools were not heated and were therefore ‘quiet’, but the indoor pool was heated - and generally quiet too - and of a reasonable size for a relaxing short swim.
The main buffet restaurant provided a good range of foods for most tastes – the freshly cut oranges were stunning as were the fresh salads and the drinks we chose (refreshing Effs beer, a very smooth red house wine and banana milk-shakes) were very enjoyable.
We again made daily use of the superb seafront promenade, heading into town early to peruse the open ruins, museums, shops and café’s before heading back for a pre-lunch drink at either the promenade, or pool-side café areas. The walk took us around 35-40 minutes (one way). The town itself was generally pleasant and we never felt hassled, although we felt there were a lot more more cars parked up around the harbour area.
The old Side ruins again provided an enjoyable detour, but we were surprised to find the Apollo Temple area with metal fencing around it and conservation/ reconstruction work ongoing on the Temple of Athena and adjacent buildings. Once we had recovered from the initial shock we found we were able to walk into the area and observe proceedings.
We took one excursion (arranged through Thomson) on which our knowledgeable guide Mehmet (spelling?) took us to a fixed price clothing market, the Manavgat waterfalls, the Manavgat street market and a pleasant afternoon river cruise, which included lunch.
We enjoyed another relaxing and value for money break in Turkey and we will definitely be returning to the Barut Arum, which was an excellent hotel with simply wonderful staff.
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- Also Known As:
- Barut Hotels Arum Hotel Side
- Barut Hotel Side
- Barut Hotel Arum