With the intention of making this review as useful as possible to future guests I am listing both positive and negative aspects. Overall I rate this hotel highly and stress that the negative points should not be considered to be of more significance than the positive ones.
This is the first holiday booked with Thomson for over four years, after a shocking experience of company indifference to problems encountered on a previous holiday. It was therefore with a degree of trepidation that the decision to go with Thomson was made.
The journey to Marmaris was excellent, from check in to arrival at the Marmaris Imperial. The pre-booked taxi was waiting, was new and was comfortable. Incidentally, costing around the same as a taxi booked locally. Previous experience led us to conclude that the extra cost for what is a good 90 minute journey from airport to resort is well worth it.
First close up of the hotel was somewhat marred by rather hideous and massive Thomson Couples signage. Very tacky and not in keeping with what is actually not a tacky hotel.
Check in was smooth and we were taken to our room (804), by golf buggy. We had booked a suite, purely because there were no rooms available. The suite was ground floor, with a very limited sea view. In my opinion ‘suite’ is somewhat inappropriate. I deduced that the suites are in fact former ‘family rooms’. Our suite comprised fairly small main bedroom with en-suite bathroom (no bath, just large bath shaped shower tray); lounge area with two sofas, coffee table, small TV, tea and coffee making facilities; smaller bedroom with twin beds and smaller separate bathroom. Décor is simple, it is not by any stretch of the imagination luxurious.
The air-conditioning is not good – there are two units, one in main bedroom and one in lounge area – both controlled with remote, but old fashioned and not very efficient. I was too hot even with the air-con on. The en-suite bathroom was very hot, with no extractor fan. I would not like to stay in this room in peak season when temperatures are at least 10 degrees higher.
We had dressing gowns and slippers, the dressing gowns were not of a generous size and were certainly not big enough for my 6 foot husband. Nescafe sachets and Liptons tea bags, coffee mate and sugar were provided, as were plentiful bottle of local water. Mini fridge contained only water.
In terms of toiletries, large dispensers of liquid soap, shampoo and shower gel were provided in each bathroom. No conditioner, soap, moisturiser, tissues (things that I would expect in a 4/5 star hotel, particularly in a suite. Showers were very powerful and water temperature easy to control.
Bedding was supposed to be changed every day, but often dirty top sheets were just folded and left on the bed (rather bizarrely the bed was only made completely prior to arrival), towels were changed every day.
Location of our room was good – only a couple of minutes stroll to sea, reception, bar and restaurant. Some rooms are very high up and far away, though golf buggy transport is available. This place is certainly not for those with mobility problems.
The ‘set up’ of the hotel is good. Very spacious and doesn’t feel overcrowded. No sunbed fighting required, plenty of places with shade or sun. Two swimming pools, the quiet ‘Relax’pool which was close to our room – had a bar and no music or activities. The main pool is adjacent to the main bar and has music and activities, though not over the top and no pressure to join in. Sunbeds on the beach and along the sea front, with good views towards Marmaris and Icmeler.
Main restaurant. Nice choice of places to sit – inside and outside. Lovely views in the evening of setting sun over Marmaris. Never had to wait for a table and no queuing for food. Drinks served to table or help yourself as frequency tended to vary. House wine drinkable – which cannot be taken for granted in all-inclusive hotels.
Food is not exceptional. It is plentiful, but for lunch and dinner focused very heavily on chicken. Fish was full of bones (even salmon trout fillets) and suffered the fate of much of the other food, in that it is way overcooked and dried out (and we like our food well done and not rare). The impression of mass catering with cheap ingredients is given, but without the slow cooking necessary to render, for example, cheap cuts of veal edible.
An extensive array of salads is provided. Soups were usually good. Good fresh bread is provided. At lunch and dinner the Turkish bread with spicy mince was very good. Deserts were very ‘samey’ and often difficult to work out what was what. Fresh fruit was always provided. I don’t want to paint too black a picture of the food – it was good, but not great, but it was always possible to find something to eat. Breakfast was good, though the omelette chefs were a little heavy on the oil.
The process for booking the two a la carte restaurants is silly – you have to go to reception the day before, between 9 and 12 to make a reservation. Although information given to us states that each a la carte is open six days a week, this changed by our second week to each being open only three nights each and of subject to suitable weather (both outside with no cover).
The a la carte Mediterranean restaurant has a very nice setting on the water’s edge. Unfortunately that is the only good thing about it. We arrived a few minutes early, thinking we could have a drink. When we requested a drink we were pointed to the tea and coffee machine, we asked if we could have a glass of wine, waiter said yes and then didn’t bother to get us one. Eventually at the time we had booked we walked towards the tables and were allowed to sit down. Pre-prepared starters and salad were already on the tables (before guests had arrived), not good in 30 degree heat. Service was awful, the worst thing being that it was unfriendly. It became clear that we had to wait until all guests were present. There was nothing a la carte about this apart from choosing a hot starter and main meal – the sullen waiter insisted that we chose our desert before we had eaten anything. Nice. My husband requested that his sirloin steak was medium to well done, pointless as the steak was not sirloin, was tough, overcooked – everyone who ordered steak got the same – school dinners sprang to mind. Anyway, the setting was good, but didn’t bother going there again.
The a la carte Turkish restaurant was a much more pleasant experience. On the roof, there was a lovely view and most importantly, friendly staff. It also helped that the food was freshly cooked and good to eat. Highly recommended.
The entertainment – bit of a misnomer really. Thomson really do need to get this sorted out. The Couple concept is excellent, but falls down when it comes to entertainment.
The resident duo were called Willjamin. The first time we heard them they were a refreshing change, two men in 20s with guitars and gravelly voices – bit Coldplay/Snow Patrol ish. Thought they were guest band and suited as such. (They were on 3 nights a week). As resident band they were not good. Repertoire limited, too narrow and little rapport with audience. Songs were not introduced and only chat was bit of banter between the band. Couple of inoffensive ‘posh’ kids really – not really sure what Thomson were thinking.
However, things were worse on 4 nights of the two weeks we were at the hotel Clover, a truly dire band, comprising a nasally singer and two backing men, appeared. All music seemed to be supplied by synthesisers. Again, no rapport with audience – not even song introduction.
Willjamin and Clover were the only bands. Two nights there is not even a band. ‘Shows’ are held in open air amphitheatre and include films (instead of live entertainment) on a projector screen.
Where the hotel really falls down is when weather is bad. Storms meant that a la carte restaurants were closed, entertainment cancelled and only thing for guests to do was huddle in the main bar – with promise of band playing from 10pm in the restaurant. In the day we were entertained by the odd quiz and a film shown on the aforementioned projector screen. The hotel has no provision for inside entertainment and really should have when it is open until November.
Local buses (dolmus) run regularly into Marmaris and are the cheapest (by far), way to get into town. Marmaris itself is really rather horrid, with a souk full of homogenous poor quality goods being offered by pushy and occasionally unpleasant salesmen. Name of one shop sums up the products – ‘Genuine Fakes’.
The hotel offers a water taxi to Marmaris and Icmeler on market day), which is cheaper than the local taxis which charge equivalent of about £15 each way for the 15 minute journey into Marmaris. It is only £50 to the airport which is 90 minutes. Needless to say the only taxis we saw were parked in taxi rank and not on the road to the hotel.
Wireless internet is available free in reception and in the main bar – reception extends to some areas of main restaurant and the see front. Have to put room number and last four digits of passport in. There are also two laptops in reception for use by guests. Dislike of this ‘big brother’ approach was overridden by desire to get online to use Skype etc. Would be nice if the service was extended to rooms.
Staff are mostly friendly, with a few exceptions unfortunately. What was very surprising in a hotel of this rating was the poor standard of English spoken by many staff. While not critical in some roles, it was a problem when waiting staff had little grasp of English. The problem got worse as our holiday progressed, leading me to conclude that many English speaking staff were students who had started or returned to university.
Although a safe is available in the room, it is charged at 1 Euro per day. Obviously guests need to lock up valuables and so this is guaranteed money for nothing for the hotel.
Return taxi was not impressive. When it was ten minutes late, hotel called Thomson and were advised that it had been ordered 15 minutes later than we had been advised (which would not have been a problem had someone told us). What eventually arrived was tour minibus which sadly seemed to lack decent suspension. Big contrast with taxi on arrival.
Overall very relaxing holiday. The new ‘Couples’ concept is a good one. The lack of children contributing significantly to the peaceful atmosphere. However, entertainment and bad weather provision needs a lot of attention though before I would return to this hotel.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, Orbitz, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your TUI Sensimar Marmaris Imperial Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Magic Life Hotel Marmaris
- Magic Life Marmaris
- Marmaris Magic Life Hotel