We stayed for 2 weeks in a first floor room in August / Sept 2010. The hotel is exceptionally clean and the service is very good. We read many of the reviews before we booked and did not really find any evidence of many of the criticisms. For brevity I'll put phrases against some of the characteristics generally of interest to holiday makers.
Pool and sun beds: Plenty big enough, very clean, fun water slides, perfect temperature. The day 1 impression is there won't be enough, but we never had a problem getting sun beds even going down to the pool at 9am or later. Poolside loud but good contemporary music at certain times of day, entertainment at times for the kids, otherwise quiet and not too crowded. We enjoyed basking in the pool on an inflatable lilo which cost us approx £6 from the hotel shop.
Hotel shops: Good variety. Proximity of the shops and the market ensures their prices are competitive.
Beach: 100m width of private beach with sun beds within 10m of the Hotel perimeter (just cross the public promenade). Busy but very nice with plenty of sun beds. Virtually no tidal difference and hardly any waves. Perfect water temperature. Rubbish for surfers. Wide variety of sea going rides available, e.g. banana boat, inflatable sofa, para gliding, jet skis.
Food: The main restaurant provides a large variety catering for many nations and cultures. The choice should satisfy both conservative British tastes and those who like continental dishes. The fruit and salad quality and choice is fantastic. We ate at various times, usually after 8:30pm and never found any dishes had run out. The lunchtime snack bar was very good. It had a similar format each day with a different main course each time. Great salads. Late afternoon cakes in the bar were popular and very good quality. During the whole 2 weeks I don’t think we needed to ask the staff for anything. It was all laid out for you to see and you just help yourself. An inclusive and plentiful supply of ½ L water bottles was available on the bar at all times. You just grab a few each time to pass by the bar.
Room: Our party consisted of Mum & Dad, 12 year old son, and a 9 year old daughter. We asked for a room near reception that would have a good chance of internet WiFi connectivity and a sea view. We got what we asked for but the room was a little bit small for us. We needed to be tidy to avoid chaos. The bathroom was a good size, as was the balcony. The room was made up every day to a consistently high standard at times to suit us.
Bar: The bar is well located and the service was good. We read reports about people being served out of turn but did not experience this. I took the policy of dropping a 1L (50p) coin in the bar tip box every few drinks. Maybe this helped, but the bar was never that busy. We got the impression the hotel was operating at ½ to ¾ capacity so maybe it is worse when it is busier. It is open until 2am each day.
Entertainment: The entertainment is variable to say the least. The permanent entertainment team, known as the Animation Team, was made up of largely Turkish guys and Russian girls. Although I am not really a big fan of dance shows, these were of high quality and quite captivating by the choreography, the dancing ability, and the ‘eye candy’ factor. On dance show nights you needed to be early to get a seated table near to the stage. Conversely the comedy shows were a complete disaster. It is a bad idea to set dancers the task of being funny in a way that will appeal to people of different ages and nationalities. Whilst acknowledging they put a lot of effort into it, the results were painful to watch. I managed an hour of a couple of the shows but only with the support of the bar and from the morbid curiosity of watching performing artists crash and burn. Girls - be advised not to agree to go in the ‘Miss Election’ contest unless you can gain pleasure from being a stooge in a Benny Hill style farce. You will be publicly humiliated, as will your partner. Having ‘dissed’ the comedy, my 9 year old daughter thought it was great. She also loved the mini disco and ‘club song’ during which kids get to perform on the main stage prior to the show.
Locality: We have rarely stayed in a hotel in such a good location. Within 100m of the hotel you have shops, beach, boat taxi jetty, busy market, lively good quality and affordable restaurants, bars with complimentary entertainment and some with Sky TV, and the promenade. The town is pleasant and interesting and the Wednesday market is fun. If you go to the market barter properly. We noticed some Brits trying for a 10% reduction and the stall holders can’t believe their luck. I used to offer approximately ¼ of the asking price and after a fun argument usually got what I wanted for between ¼ to ½ of the price. You get very good discount for buying more and my tip is to only show a vague interest in the merchandise, make a low offer and then start to move on when they reject it. Inevitably the stall holder will not let you go and the negotiations will start in your favour. There are a few lively pubs and clubs in Ismeler but you can get a cheap taxi to Marmaris are party all night on Bar Street.
Trips: We recommend the jeep safari, water taxi (to Marmaris), fishing trip (afternoon and evening), lazy day boat trip. We booked the latter in Marmaris and got a full day trip including lunch and unlimited drinks for just under £10 per head (20 TL). The ones in Ismeler were about the same price but excluding the drinks and they did not let you take your own. The jeep safari involves lots of water throwing between the jeeps and is great fun but leave your books and non-waterproof electronics at the hotel. You will be soaked. Any of the trips can be booked at the numerous stalls scattered throughout the resort.
Mosquitoes: Worth a mention because there were none. Unbelievably, our family and everyone we met did not have a single bite all holiday.
Gym and sauna: Friendly staff, the sauna was good, massage available but we never got round to trying it. The gym is ok but lacks space and therefore quite a few of the expected exercise machines. It opens at 9am. The customer liaison officer asked many people for feedback and we suggested they should open it earlier which we were told would be considered. For runners there is a great flat run to Marmaris which is approx. 8km away. You just leave the hotel by the beach exit, turn left, and follow the paved promenade until you get there. There is usually a breeze so the heat is not really a problem if you run early morning (very pleasant) or after 6pm.
Temperature: Don’t believe the reports of it being over 40deg C. Many pool or hotel thermometers are badly located so they are directly exposed to the sun. I noticed a big variety in the readings. Having working in North Africa I estimated the shade temperature never got above 35 deg C and the low humidity and bay breeze makes it very pleasant.
The fifth floor: Trip adviser reports convinced us to make sure we did not get put there so I asked which floor we were scheduled to be on when we checked in. As it happened the hotel had read our request and accommodated being near to reception and WiFi access. Friends we made who were on the fifth floor said they liked the view and the rooms were not too bad. The lift only going to the forth floor was a legitimate gripe so if you are in any way disabled ask to avoid it. From outside the fifth floor rooms look like an afterthought and detract from the overall look of the hotel which is otherwise very presentable.
Other guests: The nationality mix was evident but we estimated at the Brits accounted for about 70% with Russian, Scandinavian, and other Europeans making up the rest. Most were families with a few groups of youngish singles. We met lots of friendly sociable people and did not notice any selfish or rowdy behaviour. We read a few reports about people not being keen on the Russians. We did not have any issues with any other guests. I suspect that because Russia is culturally different and not many Russians appear to speak English, Brits are a bit intimidated by the ones that are a bit lively. It adds to the experience of being abroad when the Brits do not totally dominate the population.
For the record: My wife did contract gastro enteritis towards the end of the first week. We have no way of knowing if this was related to the hotel of from elsewhere. We did go on quite a few trips. As it did not clear up after a few days we called the local Doctor. She was very efficient and spoke good English. She advised that as my wife was dehydrated she should be taken into the clinic and put on a fluid drip with anti-biotics. She did this and was back in the hotel within 6 hours. Although still feeling a bit weak, the following night she was back to enjoying the holiday. The doctor advised that taking Imodium while she still had the infection was a very bad move and probably made her a lot worse. I have mentioned this incident for information in case others have had a similar problem in the resort. The hotel appeared to be very clean and we in no way assume that she became ill due to something she caught from the hotel.
Summary: An excellent hotel in an excellent location. Highly recommended for families and couples. We had a great holiday in Ismelor and a lot of this was down to the hotel and services. We have stayed in better hotels but for an all inclusive family holiday in a great location this hotel met or exceeded expectations in virtually all areas.
We did question if all inclusive was the best package for the resort Ismeler because the town with its bars and restaurants is very appealing. Having said that, both our children made lots of friends in the hotel and they really appreciated being able to help themselves to drinks and snacks. Similarly we as parents appreciated not being perpetually asked for money to buy drinks and snacks, and the fact that the children were having an unforgettable time with their new friends.
- Also Known As:
- Marti La Perla Icmeler