We visited the Limak Lara at the end of March/beginning of April 2012. We'd done the usual checking around on various sites, trying to find out what people thought before we booked, and on the whole, were confident and went with an open mind that everything would be fine.
We travelled with Thomson - flight fine, transfers to the hotel, excellent - Thomson staff are great! Top marks to Farah Lulu, she was brilliant! :D
Arrived at the hotel at around 10pm - checked into the hotel, which was all fine, but was told by reception that our room was on the 12th floor - we even double checked, and they confirmed again that it was the 12th floor!!!! They only have 8, the bell boy hadn't got a clue what was going on, and totally contradicted the receptionist!! As it was late and hadn't eaten, we were informed (again by reception, and again double checked the times) that the main Zen restaurant would be open from 11pm for a buffett type meal. It turned out, after waiting in reception, that in fact it was 11:30pm. Sorry, I know that may seem trivial, but after a long journey....
The following day, and after a decent nights sleep, we started to take a closer look at our room and our surroundings. Our room was on the side of the hotel facing the Concorde Hotel as we looked out of the balcony. The room was really quite big for 3 of us and initially we were quite impressed. However, we soon realised that the air conditioning was blowing out hot air all across the room (quite powerful really as it was located above the bathroom door, and the warmth could be felt by the balcony door - impressive). The cutains had been torn off the rails. Carpets were stained. The room really was quite tatty, and considering this was sold to us as a "5* platinum hotel", we were seriously underwhelmed.
We had a welcome meeting the following day with our rep, Farah, so we took the opportunity to let her know about our disappointment. She arranged with reception for a change of room. However, this wasn't going to be available until the following day, and so as it wasn't urgent (just disappointing), we continued to explore our surroundings.
The new room was on the opposite side of the building. On the whole it was much lighter and brighter, and was even bigger!! However, it still wasn't right. It must be something that all the rooms have, because the curtains had been torn off the rail again, there were stains on the carpet, there was black sealant around the balcony door that had been trodden all over the floors and it was really just very tatty indeed. (please see my pictures). The neighbouring balcony even had a little stack of wood splints holding the glass in place (again, see my pics).
If I had to be honest I would say that the Limak Lara accomodation is on a par with a Premiere Inn (which I don't have a problem with, I stay in them quite often as I travel up and down the country for my work). I think their idea of a 5 star hotel is very different to ours and when you pay for something a little bit special, I felt a little let down. The whole hotel really is a little bit scruffy around the edges I thought - especially the rooms - its just attention to detail really, and with a little time and trouble, they could easily be sorted.
The facilities at the hotel are excellent! We were out of season when we arrived, so the bars and restaurants were limited, with not everything open, but gradually, they did open and we noticed a difference as soon as the 1st April came around. However, one VERY BIG gripe is that we paid for an all inclusive holiday, and on the 1st April we came home from a trip out to find a letter in out room telling us that if we wanted to use all of the facilities that were free to us yesterday, then we would have to pay another three euro's per person per day for the rest of the holiday!!!!!! We were issued with red wristbands, but what really peeved me was that there were some people that didn't have a wristband at all, that were then eating in the restaurants that were supposed to be wristbands only - so what did I pay an additional 30 euro's for???! Baffled....and then there were the people with black wristbands, what was all of that about??!!
As part of the wristband upgrade you were also supposed to have additional items in your fridge - even our basic service seemed to then stop! I ended up complaining more than 3 times, and in the end I went down to reception, and thought I would just wait there until either someone physically removed me, or they restocked our fridge - it worked. We ended up with a big bowl of fruit as an apology from housekeeping and an armful of bottles of water from the bar until they got to us.
While I'm on housekeeping - we took to hiding toilet rolls where they wouldn't find them. Being a little 'tight' with supplies is an understatement. I'm sure they must ration you to one roll every three days! Beware, if you are travelling with a family, it will pay you to keep some for a rainy day! lol ;)
Like I say though, the facilities were excellent. The hotel was incredibly clean in the public areas - there are always people cleaning!! Toilets all over the place and are incredibly tidy, even by the beach and pools. The pools were a little on the cold side for that time of year, so we didn't really brave them - tbh the indoor pool was very cold too.
The main restaurant (the Zen) is a bit manic - took us a few days to get used to it - I personally found it very stressful - my husband, who eats anything, was in his element, but have to say, I've not really had the pleasure of brocoli, cauliflower and spinach stuffed tomatoes at breakfast (and cream cakes) before, I thankfully found the cereal - its also great if you like german sausage, but if you're a little fussier like me, then try sticking the BBQ'd food outside on the balcony of the Zen for your lunch and evening meals.
Beach bar is lovely - gorgeous chicken kebaps are available. The Tandori is also really good - lamb burgers are so scrummy. My son's fave though has to be our afternoon stop at the cream cake bar by the Oasis Bar!! :D
The spa centre is lovely - you must try a turkish bath while you're there, but beware, if you attend in a swimming costume, rather than a bikini ladies, you'll be asked to drop it completely. Even though it came as a surprise, I wasn't too bad as there was nobody else in the Haman at the time, but a friend we were with attended the following day, and was asked to drop hers with a Haman full of men!!
Beware, the little shop in the complex (where you buy your stamps from - by the Oasis Bar) is incredibly expensive - I'm sure he makes the prices up as he goes along!
Animation team - Brilliant - Sacha and Olga (and the rest of the team) work so incredibly hard, as do all of the bar, restaurant and cleaning staff. I just feel that their reception skills need a bit of a polish up!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC