***WARNING - VERY LONG REVIEW!!**
Me and my boyfriend stayed at Kefaluka from 7th - 14th October 2011. Before going we did a lot of Tripadvisor research and read mixed reviews about this and that. Whilst on the holiday we thought back to those reviews and found a lot of them to be not as bad as we though, and vice versa. We also found that we didnt get all the information we needed from one review. So, as long as this may be to read, I will attempt to answer all your queries in my one review so you dont have to try to faff around finding all the info you want in itty bitty reviews.
We booked through Thomas Cook which included transfers, but we booked our own private taxi tranfer through Resort Hoppa. This cost us £83 return from Bodrum airport to the door of Kafaluka hotel. When we got our bagsafter the flight, you go outside and there are stands across the road for all thr different companies. Resort Hoppa is clearly signed and they called our taxi to collect us. It was great as the Thomas Cook transfer was a small minibus which, apart from what would have been our 2 seats, was full. Even though £83 is a lot, it was so worth it to be on our own, direct to our hotel and not dropping off others.
Lots of other people mention in their review about the drive from the airport to the hotel saying its a horrible bumpy drive. Dont worry, its not the kind of bumpy where you are thown out of your seat, its just not tarmac on the roads, so its like bare concrete. We landed in the afternoon, so the 50 minute drive to the hotel was lovely as the scenery is stunning!
**Weather for the week we were there**
Day 1 - Glorious during day, rain in the night.
Day 2 - As above
Day 3, 4, 5, 6 - Rain almost all day and all night - Fantastic thunder and lightening!!
Day 7 - Glorious
**The hotel accommodation**
When we received our holiday booking confirmation it said that we had a twin bed room, with no sea view. So a week prior to leaving I sent a lovely email to the hotel advising it was our anniversary the week we were there, and that we were booked for twin beds, no view, so if possible could they do us a free upgrade. On arrival they had put us into a family room, which they said was an upgrade. The room was fab. Double bed (quite thin and hard mind), separated 'living area', which was a sofa bed and table, and the balcony. We couldnt have asked for a better view. The hotel is 10 levels, and we were in the middle, and also in the middle of the width of the hotel and had a perfect view of the hotel grounds, and the beautiful beach. The sun set every night over the sea, some of the most beautiful sunsets ever. Amazing to watch on the balcony with a beer from the minibar fridge in your room.
The mini bar is stocked daily with 2 bottles of effes lager, 2 bottles of coke (they didnt do diet coke), 2 bottles of sparkling water, 2 bottles of Bodrum (orange pop) and one large bottle of still water, which we used whilst brushing our teeth as you cant use the tap water. The towels were changed daily and your room cleaned daily, and the bedding changed every other day. The room was clean and tidy. The bathroom did seem a bit worse for wear. The grouting around the bath was mouldy in areas. To confirm also, the standard rooms have a bath with rainshower, and a smaller hand held shower also. The hairdrier was perfectly fine. Powerful enough for my thick hair, though it did only have one heat setting so i can imagine in peak heat it would be horrible to use. Mid October not too bad. The water was quite hard, so i would advise to maybe take your own hand soap as the small bar of soap they provided did not foam up so it didnt feel like your hands were clean.
The wardrobe storage was a good size. Shelving and railing with hangers. Plenty of mirrors in the room. The TV was ok. Obviously most of the channels were turkish with subtitles. We put a lot of channel 12 on, which was called e2. They put a lot of Jay Leno show, and Ellen Degeneres shows on there, among others. They also have a quite good music system on the tv with lots to choose from from different genres and different years. I think this was meant to link somehow to what looked like a speaker in the bathroom, though we could not work it out.
The balcony size was ok. Big enough for the 2 chairs and table, with an ashtray. A small drying rail with 4 poles on it. There was a solid wall between our balcony and the one to the left. You could see the balcony to the right, but there was a big drop in between. I could see however that some of the rooms with bigger balconies were in fact only seperated by a thin mesh screen, and then a low wall. So yes, it would be easy then for someone to cross over, if they wanted to.
The air conditioning was ok. The week we were there wasnt the best weather, so whilst it was warm, sometimes hot, it wasnt unbearable so that we could have a view either way about the air con.
To confirm from other reviews - Whilst 9 of the 10 levels are built into the mountain there are still a few rooms where they are side facing, and not sure if you may just be looking at part of a wall then, and it looks like there are some rooms at the back where the entrance to the hotel is, so you would therefore be facing the side of the mountain and main road.
**The food and drink**
The lager they serve is Effes. At first it tasted a bit strong for me, a bit like Stella, or Peroni, but you soon get used to that. There were plenty of spirits and even some cocktails included in the all inc.
The main buffet restaurant was fine. It was nicely laid out, and you can eat outside looking over the pool and the sea, that was lovely, though closed when it was raining. There was plenty of food choices, they had a salad station, a sushi/fish station, hot food station, diet station, sometimes a chicken rotisery, sometimes fresh fish cooked to your liking, and a huge dessert section, plus more. There was loads of choice, sometimes you'd end up with just a plate of things that didnt really go together though.
Three of the a la carte restaurants were outside on buildings overlooking the sea. They looked like they would have been lovely to eat in, however as the rain kicked in they all had to be served out of the indoor mexican a la carte. This wasnt too bad though as there was still a covered outdoor seating area there. The starters of the a la cartes were lovely, the mains though could have been better.
Lovely sweet waffles with nutella, coconut etc to spread/sprinkle on top. Didnt see the jacket potato station open. Dessert fridges in the lobby bar. Italian snack area was held in the mexican restaurant, again due to the weather, and served some simple pasta dishes and burgers.
There are a couple of areas serving walls icecream in various flavours.
**Bars and entertainment**
We spent the majority of our drinking time in the Lobby Lounge. This area had plenty of comfy and modern seating areas, sofas etc, and when the weather was nice the first day the wooden frame huge sofas outside has huge seat and back pads, and colourful cushions, and it was lovely to curl up on in the evening with a drink to watch the sunset. As soon as the rain kicked in though all the cushions and seat pads were removed for the rest of the week, leaving just the wooden slats. Not so comfortable. However if you go in a week where there is no rain then it is such a lovely lovely area to sit in. You also get waiter service.
There was also two open air, underground bar areas either side of the hotel. They had lots of little tables and chairs, and some sofas etc. One side was quieter, the other side was used in the evenings for live music/entertainment. Again, this stopped though when the rain kicked in badly.
There was a nightclub which we didnt go to so cant comment, and a moonlight bar (something like that) which again was closed due to weather as was outdoors.
The pool bar was lovely. In the centre of the pool, but again, closed as soon as the weather kicked in. But a fab thing to have if the weather is nice, serving all the normal alcoholic drinks, and also slush puppies.
All bars serve bowls of hot nuts if you ask.
**Pool and beah areas**
The pool area was fab. Plenty of pool areas to go around and plenty of loungers, wicker sunbeds and wicker huts. Bear in mind though that we were there off peak season. Lots of grassy areas too. The slides got shut down when the rain kicked in so didnt get to go on those and really wanted to!!
The beach is sand/shingle. Not the nicest to walk on, but thats what flip flops are for!! Lovely jetty with loads of sunbeds there too, but again...the weather had them removed. The sea is as clear and blue as I've ever seen. You can see all the different types of fish swimming around, which, if like me, you dont like the thought of fish touching you then is not a nice thought to jump off the jetty into the sea. However with a boyfriend like mine who wanted me to get in the sea first to see how deep it was before he jumped in, then you get no choice!! The sea was beautiful, and surprisingly mild! Much milder than the pool. However, once in the sea we saw a sign under the jetty - No Harpooning!! With a picture of a harpoon gun! Never moved so fast in our lives!! What could be so big in the sea that people would harpoon there??? We didnt stay in there long enough to find out! But if you dont mind sea creatures then its a perfect place to be.
There are very nice toilet facilities by the pool, with outdoor showers also, and changing rooms. There were toilet facilities by the beach, but didnt go in them to see what they were like.
On the beach they have fabulous private beach pavillions. Spacious huts with nice furniture in them for sunbathing/lounging. Some of it shaded bydried grass roof and some open for catching the sun, and a private ladder directly into the sea. The paviliions are available to hire at 50euro a day with no service, or 100euro a day including butler service where all your food and drinks are brought to you all day. What a fabulous idea!!!! However, in our opinion not worth doing without service, but too expensive. If money hadnt been tight then we would have jumped at the chance to hire one of these for the day.
It seems like there were plenty of watersport options on the beach, jetski's, banana boats, donuts etc.
**Time of year**
As i said, we went 7th October until 14th October. Rain for 4 out of the 7 days. As soon as the rain kicked in then it seemed half the hotel facilities shut down. But, it was also the last week the hotel was open, so it all may have been shutting down anyway. I would not bother to book there again in October. But saying that I dont like to take holidays in the same place again anyway.
The waiters dont speak much english. But why should they? Get yourself a turkish phrase book and try some of the lingo yourself, yes its hard to speak, but its fun and they appreciate it. The reception and guest relation girls spoke quite good english. All staff were promptly there if your glass got empty, and were smily. It seems like they work very long hours and every day, so lets be fair, who is 100% smiley and happy all the time when you are worked that hard?? A tip goes a long way. If you tip a waiter towards the beginning then they do tend to come back and serve you for the duration. We had a favourite waiter who we tipped first day, mid week, and towards the end. All the waiters uniforms looked clean and tidy.
Entertainment was scarce because of the weather, and last week of the season. So every other night there was a live band playing somewhere, but that was about it. But it looked like there would be lots more going on had we gone earlier in the year.
The Kefaluka resort hotel was very lovely, posh, clean and definitely worth a 4* at the best of times. Things for them to improve would probably be the food, like i said, a lot of choice, but very mis-matched. And also if someone pays for a week at the hotel, no matter what time of year, even if its the last week of the season before they close down, the guests have paid for a week and should get exactly the same services as someone who goes peak season - weather permitting of course!!
I would definitely recommend this hotel. Go before October, and have a wonderful time!!
PS - word of advice - Bodrum market is over crowded, and over bearing, the town is just like any other town with too much going on. Turgutries was a lovely, smaller village. The produce market was like nothing I've ever seen in a market. So much colour. Fruit, veg, flowers, spices, cheeses, breads, meat, everything!! And the shopping area is much nicer than Bodrum. The shops weave in and out colourful covered streets selling everything from designer copies of clothes, handbags and shoes, and local goods also, linens, pottery and ceramics, gift shops. So much. It seemed much more personal and friendly than what Bodrum was. Can recommend La Villa restaurant on the beach front. Amazing chicken wrap kebabs.
95% of rooms look like they are sea facing. However, may be worth emailing the hotel ahead as i did...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC