Its good. Just go there.
Seriously though, we stayed here for the first 2 weeks in September having chosen the Sealight on the basis of these generally positive reviews - and we weren't disappointed. The Sealight tries to be all things to all people and succeeds most of the time.
For the kids, the flumes, small pool and their club. They even have their own mealtimes which is a great idea to get all the bawling brats in at the same time. Unfortunately this doesn't get taken up by all of the parents who insist on bringing little Jemimah and young Ivan to the standard sessions.
For young adults, they have their music venue and activites such as water polo which doubles as the game of death. And the hotel is a short bus or taxi ride into town
For the more sedate members of the human race there is the palm court duet of violin and piano in the afternoon amidst the calming soporific aquariums where you can ponder such things as "why did I waste my life?" and "when were these tanks last cleaned out?".
For the rest of us, theres as much or as little as you like. We booked with Thomsons and booked a "superior" room and got the top floor right in the centre of the curve of the horsehoe. A good spacious room with a mini bar but we didn't get topped up with beers as I read someone else did. The safe was free which was a welcome feature and the balcony offered a generous view over the complex and the superb sunsets.
Well, I say "superior". This is Thomson-speak for " a bit better than most of the others". Some of the rooms had what appeared to be jacuzzis / sunken baths and others had plush chic red art deco interiors. Not us though.
We took the white number 5 dolmus into Kusadsi for the Wednesday market for 2TL each. Never before in the field of human bargain hunting have I seen so much tat offered to so many by so few in so small an area. And the traders, bless'em, have erected sheets between the stalls to keep the sun off but what this also does is contain and channel the cigarette smoke. A walk around the market will see you inhale the equivalent of a pack of 10 Park Drive. Head generally downhill and this brings you down to the port and the old town; more shops, more bars, fewer carcinogens.
From there we rejoined the white 5 dolmus circular and went on to Ladies Beach. A short esplanade with a number of shops, bars, supermarket and restaurants where you can catch spectacular sunsets; a bit like Bridlington with the sun out.
From there we took another dolmus back up the steep hill to the hotel to compete a circuit of Route 5. Thomsons say the hotel is a 25 minute walk away from the bars and shops that make up Ladies Beach although I wouldn't want to try it at night wearing dark clothing. The dolmus drivers drive on the side of the road with fewest potholes and were all trained, or so it would appear, by Colin Mcrae.
Entertainment, in the broader definition of the term, was either Russian Karaoke, most of which resembles a sampled and reworked Zorba the Greek, or a guitar duo or trio with a repetoire of K-Tel easy - listenening guitar greats such as "Living next door to Alice" ( where you identify fellow Brits in the crowd) and Hotel California, chosen presumably because it is 10 minutes of the same riff.
We chose a couple of trips to go on. The Blue Bay "Cruise the Blues" easy boat day was fair enough and did what it said on the tin. For a major cultural adventure having already done Epheseus, we chose Pamukkale this time round. Cost was £44 each and with a 6 am start, 200 kms of mixed roads taking about 3 hours to get there - with a short service area stop - its a very long day. But I say go and see it whilst you still can.
Despite being a world heritage site, the building of a 5 star spa resort in the town means that they no longer have as much water to play with and consequently they have to stagger the waterfalls over different bits of the site on different days. Tuesday, when our tour went, is supposed to be one of the better days. I'd recommend the extra 20 euroes for Cleopatras pool for a refreshing dip after the confines of the bus and also take a walk to the top of the amphiteatre if you are up to it.
They are in the process of revamping the site to enable concerts and the like to take place there. Made me smile to see a 40 tonne crane being used to lift the blocks back into place and to wonder what the Romans would have made of that.
Special mention has to go our guide Esra who was a mine of information on the day. Also special mention goes to the lady who claimed to be disabled so she could blag the front seat of the bus. Yes the same lady we picked up from the aqua park resort hotel - must be 30 staircases there if there's one - who bounded on the bus like a gazelle.
Lunch at a nearby restaurant was school dinner buffet and a lot was left uneaten. 18 TL for a cola light, an Efes and a small bottle of water. Toilets were downstairs a flight of 20 steps so I would not attempt this trip if you had young ones in tow or that you were GENUINELY disabled.
Following that was a visit to an onyx factory; interesting, some nice stuff but not for us though. There was almost a desperation for the tour passengers to buy something but sad to report that I didn't see any one person buy anything.
Back at the hotel and in search of a televised football game, we tried the bar above the main 24 hour bar. I'll call it Sinems Bar because she was a light and soul up there and we had some good banter with her and a scouser couple from Crosby who we got along with. It was also pointed out to me that she likes to keep her worktops spotlessly clean and this makes the glasses fresher. At other bars they just invert the glasses directly out of the dishwasher onto the drainer top. I hadn't noticed until then.
Another member of staff I'l give a special mention to was Mursel at the beach bar where we went for lunch most days. In fact all the staff there were hard working and helpful in the most part and I don't really have an major gripes with the Sealight at all.
I said the hotel is buzzing and it is. Not so the night life, not so hoardes of guests, not a melee of continouous activity. No. What is buzzing is the wasps. I don't know if it is the time of year or whether they have had a good breeding season but these were the SAS of wasps. A direct blow that would fell somone in the taxi rank on a boozy friday night does not stop these little buggers. They have mastered the art of hovering just to the blind side of your food or drink knowing full well that if you try to swat them there, you will launch your food and drink a good 30 yards up the length of the pool.
They come in line astern out of the sun in squadrons of 3s and 4s and swarm over plates of food left out much as you might see scots around a dropped fiver in a Glasgow pub. The hotel put signs out saying that they don't want to spray them - good move as dozy wasps are even worse - but they don't have the blue light zappers you see in English food outlets. Perhaps they could be more proactive and source their nests and deal with them there. For the budding pest controller seeking a new position in the sun, Kusadasi is your street paved with gold. Gold - and black stripes that is.
Like I said, its good. Not great. But just go there anyway.
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- Also Known As:
- Sealight Hotel Kusadasi