My husband, 7 year old son and I have just returned from 2 weeks at Blue Bay. Having had two other all inclusive holidays in Turkey in the past three years, I am able to compare this holiday to similar ones we have experienced (see my other reviews).
The hotel itself is stunning. The lobby is very classy and gives an instant feel that this is somewhere special. The rooms, although small, were adequate, had air con and we had a view over Marmaris from our good-sized balcony on the fifth floor. The shower was a bit hit and miss; if you showered between 6pm and 7pm it was little more than a freezing cold drizzle as the water pressure dropped due to others showering at the same time. Earlier on it was perfectly fine. The maid came in daily and changed the towels and complementary toiletries were refreshed weekly.
Despite signs around the pool warning that towels placed before 8am would be removed we never witnessed this, so it was the usual early morning call to ensure sunbeds and a parasol. The pool area is really nice, but the pool is 1.5m deep, so many people were unable to touch the bottom (especially during aqua aerobics!!). There is a smaller pool near the two water slides which is 1.2m deep but it was very cold as the sun was not on it as much.
The daytime entertainment (not on Sundays as it is the animation team's day off) is very good: morning gym, aqua aerobics, darts game, 2 games of water polo, a silly pool game (kids could not participate because of the depth of the pool), boccia and a cocktail game. The animation team were very friendly and made everyone feel welcome to join in, but would take no for an answer.
The food was lovely. As someone who does not eat meat I sometimes struggle, but not here. There were three types of eggs for breakfast, lots of types of bread, cheeses, fruit and cereal in addition to sausages for the meat-eaters. Don't expect a full English breakfast, you just won't get one in an all-inclusive in Turkey. At lunchtime you had the option of going in to the dining hall for salads and hot food, or the snack bar by the pool provided kebabs, chips, spaghetti etc for those who didn't want to get dry. There is also a cake bar in the arcade which had amazing cakes (my son could usually be found in there with chocolate round his mouth!)
The evening meal did get a little repetitive after about 10 days, but I wouldn't like to try to make enough options to keep 300 people happy with different food for two weeks!! The fish was particularly delicious and the salads were varied and fresh. My only qualm was the lack of labeling - sometimes even the chefs seemed unsure as to whether or not their creations contained meat! It would also have been nice to have themed nights once in a while as we have experienced elsewhere ie Turkish, Italian, Mexican etc. You could also end up queuing for 10-15 minutes for hot food and several times the dining room was full with people looking for tables. Also, the hotel really needs to implement a dress code for dinner. I really did not enjoy sitting near kids in baseball caps and women wearing beachwear. The waiters should not be better dressed than the guests.
Water and hot drinks are always available for self service. For all other drinks you need to go to the bar which can result in a long queue. Although not on the list of all-inclusive drinks, the barmen will make cocktails in the evening, so just ask. Slush is also available and a couple of times a day the waiter brings it round on a trolley to you on the sunbeds which is a nice touch. Note though that all inclusive drinks finish at 11:30pm which is earlier than any other hotel we have visited. Also, the lobby bar has a sign which says it is open until 2am, however, come 11:30pm it too was closed - we never did find out why.
The kids club was great! Danielle and Katie (both British) did a fantastic job of entertaining our son. He was there everyday! It was open for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon doing various activities such as mini golf, took them to the beach, sumo wrestling, t-shirt painting etc. They also had mini club in the evening from 9:30 - 10:30pm which was charged at 10TL (about £2.70). Activities included movie night (with popcorn), pyjama party and chocolate night (be warned: your child will be covered head to toe in chocolate!! But they will love it!).
There are two water slides away from the main pool. They are switched on for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon and are supervised by the pool man (from Doncaster). The kids (big and small!) loved it!
Now for the big disappointment - the evening entertainment, or rather the lack of it. At 9pm there was a mini disco which was great for the little ones but entertainment on the main stage always finished by 10:30pm and often by 10:10pm and consisted mainly of guests doing humiliating feats ie Mr Blue Bay, Miss Blue Bay, Best Couple etc. On only one evening did the animation team actually perform and that was the fire show which was very entertaining - the rest of the time they were literally cheerleaders and nothing more. There was outside entertainment on only 3 nights out of the 14 we were there - and one of those was a repeat of a show we had seen the week before. They really need to sort out the entertainment as it is the one thing that really lets this hotel down as an all inclusive. It cannot be right that the evening kids club finished AFTER the main entertainment! We found ourselves spending money on drinks at outside bars that did have entertainment on which meant our holiday cost us a lot more than we expected it to.
Also be aware of the photographers. They will NOT just do a couple of family portraits; they will want to do a 15-20min photo shoot and then sell you a selection of photos at 20TL each. Just be wary.
The free wi-fi is only available in reception but you can pay for wifi anywhere in the hotel. All of the bars and restaurants offer free wifi when you eat/drink there (even on the beach).
- Friendly staff
- Great looking building
- Daytime entertainment
- Kid's club
POINTS FOR IMPROVEMENT
- Evening entertainment
- Timing of all-inclusive drinks
- Dress code for dinner
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the centre of Marmaris, newly-refurbished Blue Bay Platinum goes the extra mile for guests. Its new sleek exterior, with violet lighting and curvy lines, makes an instant impression. This lively and very popular hotel is well suited for families and all ages alike. Tranquil sea-themed rooms feel like oases despite being in the center of the city. A great collection of facilities at the hotel, 4 outdoor pools, one of which comes with water slides, and it continues with a spa, where you can take your pick from a range of treatments and therapies.The main restaurant brings buffet dining into the 21st century. You can sit in comfy settees to eat, and food choices are presented artistically, think amuse bouche in shot glasses and prawn cocktails in highball glasses. Only 70 m to the main beach and 1.9 km to the cosmopolitan centre, with Marmaris famous shopping bazaar, amazing nightlight and multi-million dollar marinas. Travel only 2.5 kilometers or 10 minutes by local transport to the idyllic neighboring resort of icmeler boasting magnificent scenery and beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Blue Bays Marmaris
- Hotel Blue Bays
- Blue Bays Hotel Marmaris