Like most people, I read the TripAdvisor reviews for 2009 and was sufficiently impressed to book our two week holiday at Golden Beach Villas. We didn't have such a bad experience as some - our villa was reasonably clean and well equipped, although I'd call it basic rather than 'luxurious' and we did have to boil wash the towels! As most people say, the TV and DVD don't work and the power cuts were really frustrating as you lost both air conditioning and water, sometimes for hours on end. Incredibly, the power company turned up one day and actually cut through the cables because the villa owners had not been paying their electricity bills - the travel company did manage to sort this out though and we were reconnected a few hours later.The complex is far more remote than the brochures lead you to believe - apart from Ali's cafe, which is great, there are no facilities within walking distance. The track that leads there is lined by derelict villas that have been built, but never sold, and the surrounding scrubland is covered in litter - we even saw trucks pull up and just dump litter on the land across from Golden Beach Villas. We found the Turkish staff astonishingly rude and unhelpful - except for one day when they went around the pool shaking everyone's hands and inviting them to take part in the evening barbeque (30TL per head). The rep, Bryan, was also pretty unhelpful, particularly the day we booked a boat trip and a knackered old banger (think Only Fools and Horses and you wouldn't be far wrong) with battered seats and no seatbelts(it turns out no-one with a decent car/minibus/coach would dream of taking the potholed track to Golden Beach) turned up an hour late to transport us to the harbour. When we refused to go in it, Bryan told us in no uncertain terms we couldn't have a refund and we ended up getting the shuttle bus (which was also running late) and making our own way there, then paying an extra 20 lira for a taxi back. The next day, we tried to go to the Aqua Park, which relies on the Shuttle bus to get you part way there to meet a connecting bus. The Shuttle bus was an hour late and the driver was told to take us all the way to the Aqua Park - he was furious and drove like he had a death-wish the whole way there. As others have said, the £15 welcome pack is anything but welcoming. On other holidays, we've arrived to a basket of fruit, salad, eggs, bread, milk, etc. This was a packet of biscuits and a couple of teabags. When you arrive late with hungry children it's the last thing you need - we ended up forking out about £20 for some bread, cheese and milk in the outrageously overpriced site shop and that was dinner on the first night. The shuttle bus is extremely unreliable and we quickly realised we were not going to be able to enjoy our holiday without a car as there are no facilities and you are in the hands of the driver, whenever he decides to turn up. I have to say, the second week with a car was a hugely different experience - don't go to Golden Beach Villas without one. Despite all of this, we did manage to enjoy ourselves, mainly because we got out and about and did our own thing and didn't spend too much time at the complex. Good things - if you get a car, go to the third beach, it's much nicer than the main beach in Altinkum or the little beach near the villas. Meandros restaurant is a nice evening out and so is Veranda. People try to put you off driving, but it was no problem at all. Petrol is pricey, but we easily found our way to Apollo at Didim, Priene, the market at Soke and Ephesus without incident and at a fraction of the price of an excursion. The children enjoyed the Aqua Park, though it is shabby compared to others I've been to. I have to say though, I was glad to get back to the UK - and I NEVER say that at the end of a holiday. Interestingly, I went to Turkey 22 years ago when it was quite a new tourist destination - it was cheap, the people were so friendly and you couldn't pass a shop without being invited in to share a glass of Turkish apple tea. Today, it is expensive, overly commercialised and it has lost the innocent friendliness that once made it so charming, yet the infrastructure remains primitive and lacks the polish of other holiday destinations. Would I recommend a holiday to Turkey? Sadly, based on this experience, probably not.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA, Travel Republic (UK), Evoline ltd, 5viajes2012 S.L. and Cancelon so you can book your Beach Villas reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Beach Villas Hotel Didim