I work in the travel industry but this was a family holiday, nothing to do with work and I have no business attachment to this hotel at all. I will give an honest review as possible, comparing with my knowledge of 5 star hotels. stayed 09/04/12 till 16/04/12 with 2 adults 1 - 13 year old and 1 - 3 year old.
OK. to start I would like to take out of the hotel all guests and staff and just look at the grounds, facilities, rooms and hotel itself. If taking a walk around without all these I would see fantastic 5 star accommodation, the Lobby/reception area is not as grand and fancy as most 5 star, but was grand in its own way, it was large, modern, minimilistic, clean and tidy and boasted huge fish tanks in the middle with fish such as huge catfish, piranhas etc....., Our room which was a standard family room, was more than enough for our needs space wise and was clean and modern. As you go through the door you are firstly in the children's bedroom, this was with two single beds, 1 on either side of the room with a small chest of drawers in the middle. you then have a small corridor, on one side is sliding door wardrobes with enough space for four people's clothes however, only 5 hangers. the bathroom was to the left of the corridor, it was a nice modern clean bathroom if only a little small and only enough room for 1 to get ready at any 1 time! There was also no bath, at first I thought that this would be a problem with my 3 year old but the shower had 2 parts, one over head rain style shower and a separate hand held, you could have these on at the same time and the pressure was fine. my daughter found it a novelty to hold her shower and wash herself so no problem. The hairdryer was as good as any I have had before and we had the usual complementary toiletries...soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion...if any were used it got replenished. as did our 4 bottles of water every day. our room was cleaned and towels replaced everyday also.
At the end of the corridor was our room with a Queen size bed we were very happy with, My partner found the bed a little hard but I loved it. (you can never please everyone in this category....) There was a dressing table opposite the bed with a big drawer and 2 bedside cabinets both with 2 drawers so we managed to keep the room quite tidy. You then had virtually the entire wall sliding doors onto the balcony, this was big enough for all of us to sit on and had the sun all day, we were made up with the location of our room and balcony as we were directly looking onto the children pool and pirates ship and all of the aqua-park slides which had our children squealing with delight! behind our room was the disney club and a children's play park with everything you can think of, see-saw, slide, swings etc....
The room had a fridge and a mini bar menu/price-list but was empty!
The biggest let down of the room which I was otherwise very happy with was no iron and as people have mentioned in their reviews, no tea and coffee facilities in the room. I find this quite unacceptable for a 5 star hotel, even if i had to take my own t bags etc... I would have loved nothing more than sitting on my balcony in the morning watching the sun come up drinking a coffee before getting ready to go for breakfast. the only way to do this was to walk over to reception and get your own coffee from a machine and carry it back to your room trying not to spill it on the way! We did this once... then decided it was easier just to get up and go for breakfast!
Next the pool area, we did take a look at all the pools and thought they were very good, clean and safe, did not see any problems with the decking like other people had mentioned, in fact I could see the purpose of them, as the children (and adults.... even me!) were all running around wild wanting to fit as many slide runs in their day as possible and the wooden decking was no where near as slippy as a tiled floor would have been and in my view minimizing any accidents. We had no problem on any day getting beds around a pool although if you have toddlers and want to be right on the little pool you need to go early!
The beach is man made and I had no big expectations in this area, I was not disappointed with it and it also did not over excite me, probably because it did not over excite the children. It was just some patches of gravely sand walled in and surrounded by the same decking used by the pools, this looked nice but was a little more weathered than the decking around the pool and maybe where people were getting the splinters from as stated in some reviews. It would be more well suited for couples as this area was less child populated and was much more serine, the sea also looked lovely and i would have loved to have a swim but never got around to it. Also being in a bay it had amazing views. The beach side bar was also the best place to get a coffee and watch the sun set over the mountains and the staff there were very good. There is a little shopping centre this is just a hand full of shops, nothing much. the a la carte restaurants all look nice and clean and located in a way you are overlooking the sea with the amazing views. But the one occasion we did go to the Mexican restaurant it was open air and it was so cold we could not enjoy it and quickly ate and left. The buffet restaurant is fine, modern, clean has ample tables if the rest of the complex were open, something i will come onto later! There is an outdoor area of the buffet restaurant. The quality, freshness and quantity of the food was amazing, the salad bars were better than I had before and I stress on plural, there were 6 sides of salad bars, I counted 15 different types of salad leaves and everything else you could ever want and wish for. there was a diet area which had poached meats and boiled veg and rice. vegetarian options and a hot food area, though the salad chef I think I will give a 5 star the hot food area must have been run by a 4 star chef as there was not as much option and the presentation was not so good and some food not cooked, hard sprouts, carrots, 1 piece of chicken not cooked but as soon as we told them the manager apologized and the head chef came out and took over on cooking the chicken. There is also a snack bar open from 11:30 till 7:30 which pleased our 13 year old.
Ok I will move on to the staff. We arrived at 3 in the morning with a 3 year old fast asleep and a very tired 13 year old, another 2 coaches turned up at the same time, there was only one member of staff checking us in we were last in the Que after finding a sofa to lie my daughter on, it was taking so long instead of photo copying passports he was sealing them in envelopes and putting them in the hotel safe, it took 1hr 35 minutes to check in we did wait an extra 10 minutes for assistance to our room.
The first day there we had buffet for breakfast and upon sitting we were poured water and asked if we would like coffee or tea, this was the one and only time we were asked in our week stay, for lunch and evening meal it seemed a lot busier we searched for a table and had to wait just a couple of minutes for it to be cleared and re set, we did not even bother asking for drinks it was plain obvious there were not enough staff to serve they were barely keeping up with clearing and re setting tables, we had to que for drinks at a hatch style bar and que for coffee at a machine that frequently ran out of cups, then que for juice which also always ran out of glasses. the red wine was not drinkable the rose was ok, did not try white wine. they did not include whiskey, any type of rum and had no tomato juice, so my first choice of wine was a no go, my second choice, bloody mary a no, my third of bacardi and coke a no, my partner drinks whiskey that was a no, so we drank beer for the whole week. the only drinks all in was red/white/rose wine, gin, vodka and beer. And they were hard to come by because of firstly the ques and secondly the bars consistently running out of glasses. We realized half way through the week the best thing was to get a beer from the hatch bar at evening meal and hold on to it for deer life throughout the night. soft drinks all in were sprite, cola and juice which tasted of cordial without water in it and I used it this way for my daughter, full glass water and little juice. I would say the all in drinks were no more that 3 star quality, the only good service from a bar was the bar on the beach, I wish I had gotten the waiters name.
Although extremely understaffed there was always cleaning going on and the polystyrene containers from the snack bar that people left around were very quickly cleared away or spilt drinks cleaned.
I will stress though all in all we had a good holiday, you have to remember this is an aqua park, its main entertainment is the aqua park and if you go out of season as we did and the weather does not hold up which is a good possibility in April you have to be prepared that there is no other entertainment, on these days it reminded me of a scene from the living dead, people just wandering round aimlessly looking for something to entertain them, pouring to the lobby for the free wifi with their laptops, ipads, smart phones, it got that jam packed and dangerous as kids were playing football in there with people getting hit with balls whilst having hot drinks in there hands that they kept switching off the wifi and the coffee machine to try and empty it a bit. When it wasn't so jam packed and the weather was not good the bar man from the beach bar came into the lobby and waited on people with coffee, it was the only other time we got waited on, again I wish I got his name. obviously everyone was expecting to be entertained in the bad weather and this was not going to happen, especially out of season, their season starts 1st May this is when they will take on most staff, open all restaurants and disco's and have the night time entertainment shows in ampitheatre. The animation team worked very hard at entertaining the children, if you have children between age 3 to 11 they will love it! At the end of the day they are a business and if people want to book out of season, knowing it is out of season they are going to take your money. Unfortunately they were not equipped enough for the amount of people they did take in in April and this needs to be addressed as this is where they are getting most of their bad reviews.
Also some people don't get to grips with the tipping culture of being on holiday! This is an all inclusive hotel but showing your appreciation to a waiter even if just a lira or 2, this goes a long way, he will remember you, your family, engage conversation whilst waiting on you, show you pictures of his family and you will have a different experience. Showing appreciation instead of just shouting at the bad things means a lot to someone waiting on you!!
I believe the Ersan experience will be very different in season when all the al a carte restaurants are open and the buffet is not so jam packed and you don't have to rush your meal etc... the weather is better and the hotel is fully staffed.
I will not say I would never come back here again, just I would never come here out of season again! This hotel has the facilities and potential to be a 5 star hotel but the staffing problem in April, the quality and sometimes absence of drinks and room tea and coffee facilities let it down big time for me as well as the cramped rushed meal times and lack of any type of service at your table made it impossible to tip as there was no one to tip. For me if they put these things right it would be tip top!
But a holiday is also what you make it and we had a fab time, when My children are happy I am happy and they were! very much so!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel complex is specially designed and set in the lush green landscape of pine & palm trees with the view of Black Island. A magical oasis combining the crystal azure of the blue flag Aegean Sea waters with cornflower blue sky and traditional Turkish hospitality. For discerning leisure travellers this upscale resort offers comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and bars, trans-ethnic cuisine which brings a new meaning to all-day dining, a myriad of resort facilities and recreational pursuits, wide range of sports, modern meeting and banquet facilities, and flawless personalised service. It is the perfect choice for a relaxing vacation in the tranquillity of this Aegean resort, an ideal base from which to explore all the opportunities of the “All Inclusive” concept. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ersan Resort And Spa
- Ersan Hotel Bodrum
- Club Ersan Bodrum