We stayed at the Anzac Golden Bed for one glorious week. Lovely Sandra runs the place almost on her own, but still finds time for long chats. She arranged transport from Izmir airport for us, into the old part of town with its winding streets that get narrower and narrower. We arrived around dusk and after check-in (no fuss), we went straight up to the big rooftop terrace. Because the Anzac is up a hill (no need to go to the gym during your holiday), the view over the lights of Kusadasi and the sea was simply mesmerizing, so we didn't want to go out to find dinner. Sandra, never short of a good idea, organized dinner for us on the rooftop, where the bar fridge is stocked with cold beverages. We plonked ourselves many other (mid)nights on the day bed on the terrace or made other configurations with the furniture. And in the mornings we had long sessions on the terrace over fresh Turkish breakfast, chatting with other guests, trying to decide what to do that day, because there is a lot to see and do in and around Kusadasi. The free wifi even on the terrace is just another bonus (btw. almost every cafe and restaurant has wifi too).
The rooftop dinner at the Anzac was just beautiful. Eating out all the time while traveling does get tedious, so to have a home cooked dinner is just a treat. Sandra is some kind of a whiz in the kitchen and somehow effort less not only made a huge spread of entrees followed by an amazing array of main courses, prawns, fish, chicken not to mention the salads and vegetables followed by desert. It was also great to hang out with the other gusts of the Anzac to exchange anecdotes and hot tips. Cooking for more than 12 people would put me in a spin, but Sandra was not showing any signs of being frazzled. The whole experience of home-cooked fresh food even included a drink for as little as 20 lira.
If you are planning to stay in your room during your stay, it is a bit smallish, the bed is good, the sheets are changed daily and hey there is always the rooftop. The aircon is powerful and incredible quiet. The tiny bathroom makes you wonder how to keep things dry, but it turned out not to be a problem, the water is super hot and everything is super clean. If you are after a huge luxurious bathroom, there are hamams near by. We went to a more modern hamam that Sandra suggested and had a great couple massage and wash down. We're addicted to hamams now.
What we've learned in Kusadasi is that to ignore the 'pesky' salespeople, like all the guidebooks suggest, is exactly the wrong approach. If you engage with them, say you just had a lovely dinner up the road or that you're on your way to meet someone, keep it light, make a little joke, they have great comebacks. The Turkish are just a lovely, welcoming, warm and humorous people. And if you want to buy say a handbag or watch or sunglasses, explain to them exactly what you're what you would like and they'll go out of their way to find it for you, even take you to another shop if they think it might be there. And if you don't find it, they are truly sorry: one of them even gave us a little present because he didn't have what we were specifically looking for. But if you go in with no idea what you're after, they'll try to sell you whatever, which in a way makes sense too: they only have a couple of summer months to make a living. Just remember: treat them like you would like to be treated yourself.
We were really glad to stay in the old part of town in a very personable place like the Anzac, not in one of the 'could be anywhere' modern resorts on the outskirts with shuttle bus into town. Yes, the Anzac is initially a bit hard to find and yes, there is the last 50 meters up the hill through broken up lane ways, but we wouldn't call it a poor area, for us it's the authentic part of town. We always felt safe. We loved strolling the narrow streets and check out local shops and see the local sights. Sandra became a friend, I went several times to the local barber, who became my new bestest friend, the local salespeople became our bestest friends too, they all gave us the feeling we were 'locals' for a week.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A truly , authenic Turkish Small hotel and Guesthouse.Simple and tastefully furnished. Situated right in the town Centre. Owner , Sandra Galloway is an Australian who has owned and operated the Pension and Guest House for over 10 years. All rooms have a private Ensuite/Bathroom and full turkish breakfast included in the room price. The Rooftop Terrace Garden Bar and Grill is open every evening in the Summer months. Stunning panoramic sea and city views and an atmosphere of pure relaxation.FREE High Speed WIFI ... more less
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