I have just realised that I hadn't written a review for this trip so am going to try and remember as best I can!
Location: The hotel was at the top of the main strip of Olu Deniz, which was good because it was less noisy than the other hotels which were nearer the beach. Ask at reception and they will tell you where you can pick up the Dalamabus buses to take you to Hisarano and Fetyie. V cheap but like minibuses where you stand up and cram as many people in as poss!
Room: Our room was small but adequate and over looked the pool. We had no probs checking in. We didn't spend much time in there anyway - but don't remember having any problems with it.
Pool: I think we went to the pool a couple of times, but that was before we discovered Sugar Beach on the Blue Lagoon which was a bit of a walk away but definitely worth it :) you can also organise free pick ups from the hotel to Sugar Beach - but we didn't bother. There is also a pool table by the pool bar and the food is good at the pool bar - obviously more expensive than going out. There is a man who brings dvds to sell on the pool bar - if you want dvds there is a shop in Hisarano for cheaper and bigger collection! Oh and thats the other thing... no one told me to take £s a few things are in £s in the shops and because the Tunisian exchange rate fluctuates so much sometimes its actually easier to pay in £s because then, you know how much you are spending.
Food: Oh yeah, one thing I would say and that many people have commented on is the food for brekkie is v basic... there are cornflakes, boiled eggs and hams and salads - but it gets a bit samey. Oh and you can have toast/orange juice and tea - but BRING YOUR OWN PG TIPS!!! Luckily my boyfriend had a stash in his backpack.... but the tea is not good and my morning brew is v important to me. Other than that we didn't eat at the restaurant in the hotel. If you want a fry up - come out of the hotel and turn left, then left again as if you are walking to the beach... slightly down on the left is a lovely cafe where we had delicious fry up and sausage butty mmm!!!
Most of the staff are lovely - the reception staff are v helpful, the other staff who work in the restaurant are complete tools and always tried to get you to do their excursions etc - but I guess that's their job. Lucky the guard dog was v friendly :) the first thing we did when we arrived was have a Turkish bath - THIS IS A MUST even if its just to clean your skin to prepare the tan!!! We even witnessed a Turkish resident having a proper Turkish massage :/ painful! Of course they advertise that its cheap at £10 but hard sell you all the other treatments... we ended up having full body massages and, as a beauty treatment conossieur myself, I can tell you it was probably the best one I have ever had and well worth the £25 - would have been more in the UK.
As ever with my reviews... here is a little bit of info that my help on your trip :) have a fantastic time!
Flight from Gatwick to Turkey took around 3hrs and 55 minutes with Monarch Airlines. Make sure that you have £10 per person to hand over at immigration / passport control. We were not told by Monarch that this was required and ended up having to change Lira back into pounds before I had even got into the country! I would thoroughly recommend making sure that you book your transfers in advance, but if not don't fear, as when you come out of the airport doors and down the ramp, not only will the heat (hopefully!) hit you, but there will be lots of taxi rides and transfers available.We went with United Blue and the transfer was faultless. It takes around 90 minutes to get to Olu Deniz, but remember it might be more or less depending on how many people are on your shuttle bus or coach. Be sure to have packed water and some food, as 90 minutes is a long journey without.
Things to do and see
First piece of advice is to take both Turkish Lira and English pounds out with you. You can pay for most things with pounds and if you decide to pay by pounds then I think that you tend to get a better deal. I didn't take out pounds, but I wish I had, as things seemed a little bit cheaper!
If you are after a beach, the main beach is Olu Deniz. From the Karbel Sun Hotel it was come out of the hotel, turn right and then right again. This leads you to the main street, which has all the restaurants and bars. At the end of the main street you come to a beach. It is about 700m from the Karbel Sun Hotel to the beach (and the Karbel Sun Hotel was very central). Beware the beach has the potential to get very crowded, but the sea is nice. I didn't rate the beach much, although sandy, it has some shingle as well and quite a few cigarette butts on it. Having said that the water was great and it was close to the hotel. Sun loungers are 6 Lira each (about £3) and a parasol is 6 Lira also. So for a couple, it will cost you 18 Lira all day. The waves are pretty strong on Olu Deniz beach, so beware if you are a family with small children, the waves will knock over a fully grown adult like me! You also can't wade out very far until you have to swim, as there is a massive drop about 4 or 5 metres out.
As an alternative, you have the Blue Lagoon beach, which is within walking distance of Olu Deniz beach. This is a conservation area as well. To get to the beach, walk down the main street towards Olu Deniz beach. Once you hit Olu Deniz beach, turn right and keep walking. You will pass the boats where boat trips are offered by the dozen and then you will see the entrance to Blue Lagoon beach. You are required to pay 4 Lira per person to enter the conservation area. If you don't want to pay this you can go onto Blue Lagoon beach. I personally wouldn't because you get charged again for umbrellas and sun loungers and it is REALLY busy and basically a worse shingle beach than the main beach.... we totally recommend going to the other side where you can swim across to the lagoon if you want to. To get there as you approach the conversation entrance, bear right and walk about 750m until you get to Sugar Beach. (see pics) It looks like you are heading away from the Blue Lagoon, but you actually aren't, just keep going and you will find it. There are more beaches further on from Sugar beach, but this is the one I chose. Not only do you not have to pay the 4 Lira each, the sunbeds are parasols are 5 Lira each, so for a couple you save yourself 3 Lira! The beach is also by far cleaner, quieter and as you are in a lagoon, there are no waves. The water is like a luke warm bath - lovely! You also have the ability to walk and / or swim over to the Blue Lagoon should you have the desire to. It will take you about 15 minutes by lilo, as it isn't far. There is also a lovely restaurant bar with delicious food, little areas you can eat in and hammocks!!
Restaurants are a plenty, but one recommendation for fresh fish would be Captain Hook's, about half way down the main street. Another nice restaurant for some good Turkish food is The Secret Garden. If you come out of Karbel Sun Hotel, turn left and then left again and continue walking down (which is parallel to the main street) you will find the restaurant.
Bar wise in Olu Deniz, I would really just go with what you fancy, as each bar tends to do the same stuff at similar prices.
Do go into Hirsoranu, which is the busier town for either a meal or a night out. To get there, use the Dalamabus, which is a mini-bus with Olu Deniz on it. Trust me you will need to use the bus there and back as it is about a mile, but on the way there it is up a massive hill! It will cost you 5 Lira for a couple, so 2.50 Lira each. Again, I'd go where you fancy for bars or restaurants, as you have plenty to choose from.
You can also get the Dalamabus into Fetihye, which is the biggest commercial town nearby. It apparently costs about 8 Lira for a couple to get there. I organised a trip with the hotel for 20 Lira per person, which included return transfer to and from the hotel, a trip to Fetihye, predominantly for the market (where you can get all your fake gear like tops and t-shirts) and a trip to the Ghost Town, which is one of the main attractions in the area. We also stopped off for a traditional Turkish lunch. This cost an additional 8 Lira, but was very much worth it. Some advice in respect of the market is to haggle and to get the price by about two thirds and then meet them somewhere in the middle. As they will ask for 100 Lira or £50 for a 'genuine fake' top, you would then say "no, £15, then they would say £30, and so on etc". It is fun, but be strong and know what you want to pay for an item.
I would get your gifts like Turkish delight in Hisoranu or Fetihye where the prices are cheaper than Olu Deniz because of the competition. Also make sure you have some of the icecream that the men sell on the street as its DIVINE!! and cheap :) there are also alot of shops that sell fake jewellry - Thomas Sabo, Tiffany, Pandora etc - make sure you barter wherever you go!!
I didn’t go on a boat trip but spoke to lots of different people that had. There were mixed reviews, but essentially you can get a boat trip (all day) together with some food for around £6. This can be purchased from 'touts' on the beach or walking down the main street. Alternatively, you can purchase trips from your tour operators for about 20-25 Lira, which provides full insurance, good food and some soft drinks and everything that you see and do on the day is all included. Whereas on the £6 trip, if there are certain things to see it may be extra.
I didn’t go, but we were told that the water park (the bigger of the two) near Hisoranu / Fetihye was not good. It has 4 slides apparently and they close the slides for 1 hour in the morning and the afternoon to let them 'cool down'!
I wish we'd done the paragliding.. although you inevitably hear horror stories - looks am,amazing though coming down from the mountains!!
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- Also Known As:
- Karbel Sun Hotel
- Karbel Sun Oludeniz