I took a large group (40) to Hotel Sogut in Istanbul for 4 nights.
We arrived at the Hotel Sogut at 8pm on Monday 26th April , I had already called the hotel on Sunday evening to ask if it would be possible for the group to eat in the hotel when we arrived on Monday. I spoke with the Manager ALPAY SARICLIK who agreed we could have a salad to start followed by a main course from the A La Carte menu then fruit for desert. This would be at a cost of 12TL per person. I rang round the group and everyone agreed to meet in the dinning room at 8.30pm. The manager said we could eat at 9pm.
We all gave our orders immediately, most people ordered the salad, some agreed to pay extra to have soup, a variety of main courses were ordered from fish, meat, to omelettes. By 11pm some people had received a salad some had nothing, no hot soup ever arrived, very few main courses appeared, those that did were cold and got sent back. Some guests received nothing apart from bread. The waiters ran in and out apologising for the meals and lack of them, (the chef had walked out not long after 9pm when we sat down, he apparently had not been told by the manager that we were eating in the hotel). They appeared to being fetching the food in from somewhere. By 11.30pm without most of our main courses and no sign of any sweet we all got up and left to go to bed. I was asked by the waiter to sign for the meals on my room as everyone else had refused. At no point did I sign anything, I asked to speak with the manager the next day, I was told he would see me at 10am in reception. He never appeared. I continued to try and talk with him all week, but kept being told he was out or at a meeting. Most times I could see him sat in his office watching the football (I have a picture to prove it).
On the night before we left some of the group went to reception to obtain their passports, only to be told they had been locked in the safe and would not be available until the next morning (we were leaving at 7.30am). I said this was unacceptable and that we needed them tonight, as most of the group were over 75yrs and this was bothering them. He said the key to the safe was in his receptionist van an hour away from the hotel (how unprofessional, what if the van had been stolen or the receptionist had been taken ill) and he only had the one key. I did get a little angry at this point and said he was a bad manager and he had had the opportunity to speak with me all week about the food bill (as this is clearly what this was all about) and he had chosen to avoid me. I insisted he get the key now, he dismissed me as a silly little woman and told me to get out or he would call the police. At this point one of the group who was an ex Chief Superintendent got involved and threatened to call the British Embassy if he did not send for the key immediately. 1.5 hours later at midnight a girl appeared with the key and the passports were handed over. He would still not discuss the food bill.
The next morning we were due to depart the hotel at 7.45/8.00am, the coach was there at 7pm when I came down to breakfast, I asked at reception if this was our coach and was told NO. It clearly was at it had HOTELBEDS in the window of the coach the company we were travelling with. I went outside and eventually found the driver at 7.30am; I asked him if he could open the coach so we could load the cases. He only opened the luggage compartment and then watched while I then loaded 38 suitcases. When everyone was ready to depart the coach was locked, I searched for the driver and from somewhere (I don’t know where) a HOTELBEDS rep appeared. He told me that reception had got the keys and that we could not leave until the bill had been settled for the meals. I could not believe what was happening, this was bordering on criminal actions of KIDNAPPING. I tried to tell the hotel beds rep that I had spoken the UK office the day before concerning these meals and that they had emailed hotel beds explaining what had happened. He did not care he did not try and negotiate on our behalf, just kept looking at the receptionist and saying we must pay to get the keys back.
When I could see we were not going to be allowed to leave unless I paid the bill which should have been 456tl, and time was getting on (we were in danger of missing our flight) I agreed to pay on my business card. They then produced a bill for 899 Euro saying that the manager said it was agreed 12 Euro each not 12 TL, we were in turkey whose currency is TL not Euro, and he had definitely agreed on TL not Euro. So we started another battle over the amount, in the end I payed 500TL and the keys where then put in my hand.
I can not believe that all this has happened; I have never experienced anything like this in all my years in travel. We were held HOSTAGE until we paid. This is a crime and I would like this hotel, the Manager in Turkey Severely dealt with over this. My self and my group are already taking legal advice on this matter.
DO NOT GO TO THIS HOTEL THE MANAGER CAN NOT BE TRUSTED AND CLEARLY DOES NOT LIKE BEING QUESTIONED BY A WOMAN.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC