Now where were we........
As with Sue we normally go on the Panorama Prenses but decided to try another one. Booked the lazy day boat trip with Icmeler online. it was slightly more expensive at 30 lira but was well worth the extra. The boat was a small one with about 35 beds on top deck. However there were only 18 on the boat and 4 stayed downstairs so plenty of room. Music was on in the background but not loud. Food was beautiful salad bread pasta chiicken breast ( i got 3 of them) and meatballs. Drinks were 8 lira for a small beer, 2 lira for water and 5 for can of cola. Stopped for 4 swim breaks as well an hour in Turunc, a perfect day. As it was so quiet on the boat this for me beats the Panorama Premses
Highlight of the holiday for Mrs smc4761 was her usual manicure and pedicure on her first day at Istanbul who of course recognised her immediately. 2 blissful hours later she retuned floating on air. On the last day of the holiday she had opened something and chipped some of her nails. So she went back and got another manicure to tidy it up. They still spent ages with her and still only charged her half price
Market stall down by the canal were a little busier but still fairly quiet and lacked the atmosphere of the old ones
Vela hotel has a sister hotel the Verde, just behind the Aqua and you could use both hotels facilities. The Verde is the better of the 2 by far. Better laid out pool area and pool bar which is more inviting at night than the Vela one. Better dining room area as well
In my opinion who you meet on holiday can also make your holiday making a good holiday fantastic. In that respect we were very lucky. We preferred the Verde to sit at night and have a drink and for the first 2 nights we were there it was very quiet and we enjoyed or own company On the 3 rd night we met 2 couples who had been due to stay at Vela but due to a mix up they ended up in the Verde, lucky them. For the next 7 nights we were in their company and it was a pleasure to have met such lovely, friendly and people who were wonderful company. A huge thanks to Joe and Chris, Gerry and Angie, you really made our holiday
On the flip side some people in your hotel can also spoil the holiday for some. For the first nine nights, the Vela was busy but in the main it was couples aged arond 40 to 70. Now when we normally go at this time of year we stay at apartments in the Village and typically these are small apartments, maybe 20 people or in many cases less than that. As the Vela is an AI it has to be a bigger place and there were around 150 guests, so that took a little getting used to
After the 9th day the place changed quite dramatically. Numerous large family groups both British and Russian arrived with younger children, and older teens early 20 people as well up to around 15 people and the whole dynamic of the hotel changed. As there were large groups they felt the need to shout all of the time. I think some of them were on a mission to see if they could drink the bar dry as well. They seemed to take over large parts of the pool area and the dining area at meals. of course in the early hours at times they could be heard shouting, slammng doors in and out of each others rooms etc. As I said we go at this time of the year to avoid all of this, I am getting too old and need my beauty sleep, and generally it is older couples 50-70 that come. Even around the resort I found that there were quite a lot of younger people, 18-25 than normal, all permanently attached to either an I phone or I pad. Sorry if I have offended anyone this is simply my opinion and an observation
Someone had mentioned on a different forum that Icmeler was not as clean as normal especially at the start of May. I think it was not too bad but some areas did not look that great although it did improve towards the end of the holiday
One final moan was about the Rangers bar near to Rush. Now as I live in the west of Scotland I appreciate all the rivalry that exists between the 2 Glasgow football clubs. Walking past the Rangers bar one day and playing out quiet loudly was "The Sash". Not exactly traditional Turkish music or chart music and in some peoples eyes an offensive song. Did not bother me too much but I am sure a few folk later in the season may get offended by this. Dont think Icmeler as a family resort, this is really relevant
Right thats me off my high horse
Picked up 10 minutes early in a small 14 seater mini bus and made great time to Dalaman. The queue however to check in was a joke. We arrived at 7.05 pm and finally checked in at 8.18pm.
Quick dash round Dalaman duty free where the prices were very good for cigarettes we dont smoke but have some friends that do,around £40 for 400 Richmond superkings
Flight took off on time and arrived back in Edinburgh 15 minutes early. But again 3 flights had arrived around same time and there were huge queues for passport control
AI or S/C is the question. The AI is great value I cannot fault that drinks alone make it cheaper. The food I found was good, obviously not as good as restaurants, but I enjoyed it although Mrs smc who is quite fussy did not like as much as me, although she still ate well
You really have to decide what is the most important aspect of you holiday and weigh up the pros and cons of both. As I am getting more and more like Victor Meldrew, the peace and quiet and the intimate atmosphere of the small S/C wins it for me over the larger hotels. Yes it works out more expensive than AI and I understand that for some big loud hotels are right for them, with lots of people and free drinks on demand, especially soft drinks if you have children, each to their own.
If I can afford to go next year depending on flight prices especially I will just have to save that bit harder to go S/C
Whenever and wherever you go this year enjoy yourselves and treat fellow holidaymakers and Turkish staff with respect and they will respect you. Happy holidays