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“A great time at fawlty towers”
Review of Cemre Hotel

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Cemre Hotel
Ranked #36 of 53 Hotels in Turgutreis
irvine
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“A great time at fawlty towers”
Reviewed September 20, 2013

Just returned from Turgutreis. This hotel is what it says on the tin, small, poor accommodation, food not great but in a perfect location with friendly staff. At less than 150 pounds for 2 weeks you can't grumble too much. With a building site either side of the hotel the staff tried in vain to keep the rooms and balconies clean. The guests nicknamed it faulty towers and it sure suits. We have stayed there 3 times during our many visits to the village but with the new Dragut Point hotels either side the days of the Cemre may be numbered.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank newtown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • English first
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English first
Skokie, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

I recently stayed at the Hotel Cemre (pronounced "Chem-Reh") during a two week holiday in the greek islands and turkey.

Initially, i had wanted to stay at Bodrum (ancient Halicarnassus and home to Herodotus, one of my favorite authors). However, Bodrum is the absolute heart of the tourism boom in Southwestern Turkey. Lots of crummy, overpriced hotels with lousy locations that cater to british package tourists who come down for the booze and sun (sorry, mates!) So i expanded my search to other towns around the Bodrum peninsula, and at first i liked Gumusluk - a little town on the western shore with a nice bay & protected beach, lots of nice little fish restaurants and pensions (or panysions in turkish) on the beach. However, rooms were pricey (around 70 euro/night) and there wasn't much else besides the beach, the restaurants and the panysions.

Then i found Turgutreis, another small town on the western coast with fantastic sunsets. It has experienced a major tourism boom in the last 10 years or so, but is still on the small side - enough of a town to keep me interested on the days i wouldn't be climbing over ancient ruins. And the real breakthrough was when i started browsing the british hotel booking sites, in particular travelrepublic.co.uk. They turned up some fantastic prices on bodrum peninsula hotels and in particular turgutreis hotels like the Cemre and the Aydem.

Having read the reviews here and elsewhere, i was a little hestitant to book, but when i got 4 nights at the Cemre for $54 ($13.50/night), breakfast included, i figured what did i have to lose? If it was truly horrid, i could walk away after one night and still only be out the average cost of a single night at a hotel.

Well, my arrival in turkey did not portend well. I walked out of the customs house at the ferry port and was just a little overwhelmed - this being my first visit to Turkey. I couldn't find a taxi, but i did know that the hotel was located on the boardwalk along the sea, so i decided to hump it out there with my stuff. Carrying 30 pounds of baggage 1.5km is not the way to do it. If you are planning on arriving the same way as me (via ferry from Kos) and it is your first stop in Turkey, here's what you need to know: 1. have $20USD cash on hand to pay for a Turkish Visa Stamp at customs (you need this to enter the country and a $20 bill (or UK pound or Euro Equivalent) is all they accept. 2. You will be wanting Turkish Lira cash and a taxi to your hotel -- both are available at the park in downtown Turgutreis. From the ferry port, look on your left for the big mosque in downtown turgutreis (big dome & two big minarets). Once you get there, you should see the main street of turgutreis that heads inland and just a block or so up that street there is the central 'park' of turgutreis. The main taxi stand is in that park and there are ATMs available on both sides of the street there. FYI, across the street from the park is the MIGROS supermarket, the best place for grocery shopping while you are in town.

Back to my story now -- having missing the ATM & taxi stand in town, I ended up walking the entire 1.5km to the hotel on the seaside boardwalk. But when i did arrive at the hotel and got to my room (i made sure to email them and ask for a room on an upper floor with a sea view) and boy was i blown away -- the sun setting into the aegean has got to be one of the most awesome sights of the whole trip. There's a little balcony with 3 chairs and a little table. The room was nice, basic, but extremely solid for the price. The bathroom was good, and it even had a LARGE shower stall with walls (really a treat for me on this trip). The stall itself was a bit grungy, but ive seen worse at motel 6's here in the states.

Again, its all about setting your expectations, and when you consider what you get for what pay -- the cemre is an 11 on a 1 to 10 scale of value-for-money (for you spinal tap fans out there). The reception staff was friendly, with just enough English to make yourself understood. The bar boys, there are 4 of them, are efficient, but don't try to get friendly with them. I tried and got plenty of grief from them for it, plus an obnoxious nickname that i won't repeat here. The pool was clean and useable, plus plenty of loungers & umbrellas. Their little bitty beach needs a good cleaning, i would recommend walking down the boardwalk to one of the public beaches instead.

The breakfasts were turkish-standard. Sliced cucumbers, watermelon and tomatoes, a couple of kinds of local cheeses (salty and pretty good), fresh baked bread w/jam and honey, one kind of hot entree that would change from day to day (one day it was cheese filled cigarillos (don't know what they're called), another day it was "egg-bread" i.e. french toast). Best of all they had an automatic coffee machine -- push the button and very good western-style coffee appears instantly. They also had a large pot of brewed tea for the brits (but i didn't sample that). As many have pointed out, they do have the "don't bring any food or drink into the hotel policy", but if you're careful, its no big deal. I was able to haul in as many 4 lira bottles of Efes beer as i wanted in my backpack, consume them on my balcony, and then hump the empties out the next day in my backback and throw them in the trash. Very simple.

Anyway, most of the other guests at the hotel were on incredibly cheap package holidays from europe (mostly Britain, but also other countries). I was the only american around, probably also goes for the whole of turgutreis. Pretty cool when the average turk asks you where you are from. And when you answer "america", they get excited and want to know about it - "I've never met an american before!". Heh. A little more about turgutreis itself... The boardwalk is fantastic. Well-paved and lighted and lined with palm trees. It reminded me of miami beach, or maybe an older version of miami beach. You could certainly wander the boardwalk at any time of night or day and feel safe. Oh, there are plenty of wild dogs about, not dangerous, but they will approach you if you have food and beg. Best to ignore them and they will go away (or lay down at your feet for a nap ;). I never saw a single one being aggressive towards a human, and im sure the turks would deal with it quickly if one did. Downtown turgutreis is not all that big, but it makes for pleasant strolling in the evening. There is the main drag, called "bar street" with the most aggressive barkers who will try to befriend you and try to get you to sit down and drink and watch soccer with all the ex-pats. Avoid it or ignore the barkers or if you want to have fun, play with the barkers. "Don't i know you?" "I met you a long time ago in new york." Turn the tables on them and they won't know whats going on ;). For a nice relaxing dinner, definitely try some of the restaurants at the end of bar street on the boardwalk -- Uncle's is very popular. I had a fantastic fish & chips dinner at the Codfather and im sure there are others as well. Dinners there are cheap by western standards ($17.50 for a huge portion of fried cod, chips, 2 huge beers & appetizers of olives and fresh bread & butter), but expensive by turkish standards. For a cheap dinner, try the kebab stand at the very beginning of bar street, facing the parking lot. I don't remember the name, but one of the other reviewers here mentioned them and provided a picture. You get a big kebab dinner with fries and a coke for 5 turkish lira (or $2.50USD).

Oh, also while you are in turgutreis, be sure to spend at least one day in Bodrum and visit the Castle of St Peter in the harbor - FANTASTIC crusader castle (& underwater archaeological museum, but the real attraction is wandering round & about a real medieval castle.) I also went to see the ruins of the massoleum of halicarnassus (one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world) which is not too far away, but i wouldn't recommend unless you are an ancient wonders buff (like me). its just a hole in the ground.

In turgutreis itself, plan on visiting the bazaar on saturdays. Packed and full of knock-off western clothing & goods at bargain basement prices (if thats your thing). On the other side of the main drag, in the aforementioned parking lot, they also have a fruit & veg bazaar on saturdays, very interesting. On sundays, in the same parking lot they have what i would call a 'flea market' -- actual locals trying to sell used stuff, clothing mostly, but also some bits and bobs. I wandered it and made a few purchases, but all i really got from that was a picture of just how poor the average turk really is (given the quality of the stuff they had to sell).

Anyway, just to wrap up about the hotel cemre, i've seen lots of complaints from folks about this hotel. I know its not the ritz, but you consider the price, the location and the value for money, it was my personal favorite place i stayed during my entire vacation.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for a room on an upper floor with a sea view
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Ted B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bacup, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

After having a wonderful holidays in Turkey we decided to go back this year and paid our £1400 for 2 of us and have a (hopefully) good ten days in the sun. After arriving at the hotel at 1AM it became apparent that we had paid far too much for this accommodation which was at best third world style. Upon arrival the receptionist directed us up to our room on the first floor down a barely lit corridor. As we were so tired after the journey we dropped our bags and got in bed. In the morning we awoke and surveyed our surroundings. Oh dear.
We also noticed several large itchy red bite marks upon our legs and feet, which we later found out to be flea bites from inside the room (I found a flea taking a drink from my leg). The room in general was dirty and falling apart. The TV was mounted so far up the wall that you had to stand to watch it. There is no hot water storage, so there is no hot water until mid afternoon. The water that comes out of the taps is sea water and is not filtered.
We left our room at 9AM and wandered down to the breakfast area, dodging the broken tiles around the pool and nearly vomiting after taking a look at the kitchen food preparation area which was filthy.
Breakfast was a Turkish affair with cucumber, tomato, melon, sliced bread, jam , butter, boiled eggs and some sort of french toast. No option for a cooked breakfast, no toast and no fruit juice.
After breakfast we went down to the private beach. A 3 meter wide strip of dirty, cigarette laden mess with dog excrement to boot. After deciding the beach was maybe not the best option, we headed on up to the sun deck on top of the bar. The wooden treads on the staircase up were loose and the metal steps up to the sun deck were rusted to such an extent that I was afraid of stepping on them in case my foot went through. On the sun deck we found two of the bar staff asleep under sheets. This is where they sleep. Many of the sunbeds were broken and had cracks down the middle.
In the evening we had a few drinks and the prices seemed to fluctuate wildly. For an Efes, the price started at 6 Lira, then 8, then 7 lira? No price list behind the bar!
The bar was always deserted (who would want to stay there?).
We noticed that the staff were badly treated, washing in the sea, not having any clean clothes and working 20 hours!
After staying all over Turkey all I can only say that the standards at this hotel are diabolical, and to have no hot water in 2013 is a joke. I cannot believe that a massive company like Jet2 even use this hotel.
If you are looking for a nice holiday destination I can highly recommend Turgutreis but NOT this hotel. Go for another hotel or stop in a hostel which would probably be better.

Room Tip: DO NOT get a tab at the bar! Pay cash every time! Good food at Uncles and Cool Breeze, try the lamb...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Turgutreis hotels

Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2013

July 21- 28. Our second holiday to the Cemre and it's somewhere I plan to go back to every year! The location is so beautiful and the staff working there all makes it worthwhile. They're all the friendliest people you could meet and are happy to do anything for you! The bad reviews on here are all mostly petty and ridiculous. Yes, the rooms are basic, but that’s what you’re paying for. You sleep there and shower there and that’s about it. There is usually no hot water until the afternoon but I found this no problem as firstly, you wouldn’t want to shower in the morning because you’re going to be swimming in the sea as well as sunbathing with sun cream all over you so you’d need to shower when you came in anyway, and secondly, I was so hot coming in from sunbathing half the time I just had a cold shower anyway. It is definitely not a problem what so ever, nor is the room, I understand it is basic and not in any way luxurious, but you are in Turkey not England and are getting what you paid for. The rooms are cleaned every day and all have working TVs and hairdryers.
We were half board; breakfast was traditional Turkish breakfast – fresh bread, watermelon, eggs, and other continental bits – all lovely. The evening meals have a set menu and mostly all are served with chips and delicious nutty rice. Any other food and drink on the full menu is at a low cost but still delicious and if you feel like a change there are plenty of different restaurants within a 5-10 minute walk from the back of the hotel along the beach to the left. It has its own pool, private beach and numerous sunbathing spots with loungers and umbrellas.
The staff are who made our holiday even better, all of them are so friendly and lovely – never over-friendly or too much, just genuinely friendly and loving people. It was lovely just sitting down and having conversations with them during the day or after a meal. While we were there I didn’t notice anyone who wasn’t having a good time or didn’t love the staff there. They are all so hard-working and work such long days – some get up at 4 or 5 and don’t sleep until late at night! But still do an amazing job.
Turkish market only about a 10/15 minute walk from the hotel, good for jewelry, food, clothes, bags etc. Many little shops about, there are 2 corner sort shops just 2 minutes’ walk away with food, English newspapers and magazines, clothes, shoes, swimming essentials, suncream, sun burn cream etc. - both with fresh bread and pastries available every day as well. Otherwise you can go further into town and get to more shops! For a night out you can get a minibus from the hotel to Gumbet. Otherwise, this hotel is the most perfect place for a relaxing holiday. I plan to come to this hotel every year for as long as I can, it's a beautiful example of a real authentic and family-orientated Turkish hotel who make every guest feel special.
If you are a petty person who can find anything to moan about and expect to pay nothing and get everything – obviously don’t go there. If you are willing to get what you paid for and appreciate the beautiful surroundings and having the sea basically right outside your window, with beautiful, Turkish food and the loveliest staff – do. I have stayed in posher and more expensive hotels before here, but the Cemre still comes out on top.
I can’t emphasize enough how much I love this hotel and the people who work there – 2 summers full of family memories. I’ll be returning here every and any summer I can. Love to everyone at the Cemre!

Room Tip: Poolside rooms - The most beautiful views and sounds you could imagine, waking up everyday to the se...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank t-roberta-v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rawtenstall, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

I arrived on the Monday the 15th June for a fortnight stay and unfortunately the owner passed away on the Tuesday the owners family arrived from nearby Izmir as respect was duly given, however this did not impede my holiday as we were maid welcome even under the duress they were experiencing and my fortnight was excellent and enjoyed the staff wre very good and accamodating thank you Cemre will be returning in 2014

Room Tip: Sugest ground floor or 1st floor facing swimming pool
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Brian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oldham
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2013

We stayed at the Cemre for two weeks July/August this year. The rooms are as you would expect, on the small side. Our room was obviously not being cleaned very well, as we had tipped some sand onto the floor on Monday and it was still there on the following Monday before we left. The balcony was not swept or mopped the whole two weeks. When we arrived the first thing we noticed was that the cleaner had left a TIP envelope!!!!! on the dressing table.
The shower cubicle opening was very small, we are average size but getting in and out of the shower was a work of art, taking care not to slip. No hot water is available until mid afternoon so no morning showers unless you want a cold one.
The water tastes so strongly of salt, it must be sea water. You need to keep your mouth well closed in the shower and rinse your toothbrush in bottled water.
Breakfast was ok, usual Turkish as expected, coffee was good, nice fresh bread. We had lunch at the hotel everyday, there was plenty of choice.
The beach was almost non existent, approx. 2 x 3 metres if that, and sloping into the sea/piles of seaweed and stones. We paid 10 lira per day to sit on the next door hotel's beds.
The bar, sometimes the Efes was 7 lira, sometimes 8. The music in the bar/pool was unbelievably loud all day, up to midnight. Unfortunately, our room was overlooking the pool/bar. We had a small problem with contacting our return transfer company as it was the end of Ramadan. The receptionist was extremely helpful and did everything she could to sort it out.
It was not possible to keep our room as the hotel was fully booked on the day we were leaving, so we were allocated a tiny room with a shower for £10.
The night receptionist was very comical and had the place in uproar with his antics, he was also extremely helpful and always had a smile.
We have been going to Turkey for 25 years and feel sorry to have to put these comments in writing but feel it is necessary to be truthful.

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the front of the hotel.
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Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Oldhamlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, England, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2013

The hotel is 2 star - don't expect luxurious rooms : they are basic and in need of a little updating, although they are clean and the maid service is daily. The staff, are without exception, fabulous, friendly and always on hand to help with anything. If you can see past the need for updating the hotel is a little gem - the views are to die for and the sunset is simply glorious. We became attached to this little hotel and liked to describe it as being 'shabby chic' as it has a personality so often lacking on the coastline of tourist resorts.

The pool was spotless and quite often empty during the day and there were plenty of sun beds with cushions. There was a choice of sunbathing areas- poolside, raised area or on the beach which is directly opposite the hotel.

If you need something from a local shop- forget the closest to the hotel 'Sunshop' - he ripped us off charging 50 lira for three items which cost us an average of 25 lira from the next shop along called go to 'The Bazaar'. Both these shops are on the back road behind the hotel.

Breakfast is typically Turkish with plenty of fresh tomatoes, cucumber , hard boiled eggs,feta cheese, olives and water melon plus bread. The evening menu is not as good- so bed and breakfast may be the best option, particularly with so many great eateries in Turgetreis which is a fifteen minute walk along a well lit coastal path. The town itself has a great market every Saturday and a typical Turkish bazaar.

Only gripe at all was the shower water - it had a strange taste if you got it in your mouth- minerally - almost like sea water. It wrecks your hair so spend some money on bottled water for the final rinse if you are fussy about your hair.

All in all this is a great place to stay for a very reasonable price- we will certainly be returning - only hope it doesn't lose its charm and succumb to being like many of the other hotels.

Room Tip: Ask for a pool view
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Charlotte M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cemre Hotel

Property: Cemre Hotel
Address: Turgutreis Mahallesi, Bahcelievler Caddesi No: 133, Turgutreis 48400, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Turkish Aegean Coast > Mugla Province > Bodrum > Turgutreis
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Turgutreis
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Cemre Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Turgutreis, the most beautiful city of Bodrum, the historical and holiday city which also has one of the seven wonders of the world, Mausoleum and one of the best underwater museums of the world. It is designed with high quality and careful design with all sea, islands and unique sunsets. 3 suites and 47 standard rooms, the restaurant which offers its guests the insatiable tastes of the world cuisines and the beach club, cleans the guests from the stress of the year's exhaustion. Airport 51 km. North Cemre Boutique Hotel & Beach Turgutreis is only 20 km away from the center of Bodrum. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cemre Hotel Turgutreis

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