I was recommended by a colleague to visit Patara Turkey and stay at the Golden Pension, and can I just say what a fantastic trip and pension it was!
I visited with my now fiance (he arranged for the pension to drive us up to the sand dunes at sunset with a bottle of wine overlooking the Mediterranean to propose) for two weeks. I had never been on holiday for so long, and was concerned it might be too lengthy of a stay in such a small, quiet village but I was so pleased we did stay for the two weeks as we were able to really wind down and explore the local area.
The pension is run by the most accomodating family. They really go out of their way to ensure our stay was comfortable and enjoyable. Upon our first morning in Patara, the owner Arif pronounced to us that this is our "home" for the two weeks we stay and how we are to make our selves feel at ease.
The rooms are basic - what is to be expected for a pension but perfectly adequate. The air conditioning was a blessing and the mosquito nets over the bed weren't really needed, as the bugs weren't as bad as we had been told. Having the net was nice however and added a bit of a romantic feel to the room.
The rooms are tidied daily and new sheets/towels are added every few days or so.
The pension provides breakfast in the morning all fresh, organic food grown right in their greenhouse (eggs, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, honey, fresh bread.) At night should you stay at the pension for dinner, the food is amazing and set in such a great surrounding on their roof top terrace under the stars and grape vines. It's nice as you don't have to pay for your bill until you finish your stay (if you wish) so you continue to get a sense of being at someone's home.
The pension arranged tours for us and went out their way to provide other excursions not listed in their tour booklet. Again, they will do everything possible to ensure our stay was enjoyable. We took advantage of the suken city boat tour, the lazy day boat tour, the saklikent gorge and tlos ruins and another ancient city now left to ruins. Amazing tours at quite resonable prices, with several including lunch in the cost.
I guess if I had to mention any negatives it would be that within the village itself, food/drink costs at other restaurants were quite on par with what it would cost in London. For example, a cocktail in Patara costs 12 Lira which converts to about £6 - similar to here in the UK. A couple of our meals out with 1 drink each, a starter and main course cost about 55Lira about £25 or so. A 50cl beer costs usually 5 Lira. Also, upon our first week we discovered that all of a sudden there was a charge of 5Lira per person to go to the Beach and Ruins. On our first 2 trips to the beach there was no charge, however we were shocked to suddenly be told we had to pay a fee a few days in. This was discouraging because once you add up the 5 per person for entry, 4 for an umbrella (very needed on that exposed beach) 3 for a sun lounger and then 1.50 per person to return to Patara by bus - it can become a costly day - especially if you are travelling with a family. Also, the beach fee includes the ruins. If you don't want to go to the ruins you are paying for it anyway - EVERYTIME you go to the beach! Usually if someone does want to see the ruins you'd do it in one day, not several times over two weeks. Arif is concerned about these charges however there is little he can do as it is an issue handled by the federal gov't and not the local Patara council.
I have to admit our excursions to the beach became limited once we discovered the daily charge.
Fortunately Arif allowed us on occassion to go up to his brother's View Point Hotel where they graciously gave us access to their pool. If we didn't have access to this pool nor the beach on a daily basis, it would be too difficult to stay at the Golden without the ability to cool off somewhere, as the August temps can reach 40 degrees easily.
Overall it was a dream of a trip. I'm so sad to be home now. Oh yeah, the pension will also pick you up/drop off at the Dalaman airport (90 min by car from Patara) at any time day/night for £45 per person - definitely worth it.
I definitely recommend the Golden Pension and Patara for your next vacation if you are looking for a slow paced lifestyle, great fresh food, and amazing scenery and history.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Established in 1984 as the first pension in Patara the "Golden" continues to extend a warm welcome to everyone who stays there. Set in the heart of the village, this friendly family owned pension has 14 comfortable rooms and a delightful rooftop restaurant. Start your day with a traditional Turkish breakfast under the vines and return here for a delicious meal in the evening. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Golden Hotel Patara