We had a nice corner room with a view of the basilica - a triple because we like a bit more room. Erdal was very help[ful to me regarding advice re onward buses long before we ever showed up and I appreciated his patience. The breakfast and dinners are fine although the wait staff - two guys - is a little impatient if you don't know right away what it is you want from the several selections available for dinner (fixed price). The location is great - right across from St. John's Basilica. No tour charge for the ride to Ephesus (which is really a great site) but there is for Mary's House (also well worth the trip). Even if you're not Catholic or even religious, it's still very interesting and very peaceful (except for 2 obnoxious German tourists who thought it was funny to try and open up and read the written prayers people had attached to a board, smoking, talking loudly when the signs specifically ask you not to).
BUT - be aware that there is an agenda to get you to purchase either (very nice) ceramics from their shop just off the lobby or from the rug shop in the basement and despite our repeated demurrals to "and when we get back from Mary's House we will just tell you something about rugs - no pressure" you will be getting a pitch unless you are very firm or just don't show up. It is pitched as "education" so "you understand about Turkish rugs for later on". We said several times we were not interested in rugs but then again as we pulled up from the Mary tour we were handed off to Nazmi - "no pressure" - yet there we were (shame on us). As mentioned in one of the reviews below, we were told how these rugs are getting harder and harder and harder to find because they aren't making them, the vegetable dyes are hard to get, the supply of old ones is drying up, etc. (I know where they are - they're now in the U.S. and Europe, apparently). And we actually did buy a rug in a hard to find size so it was effective (upon conducting a mental inventory of spaces in our house we discovered that we actually did need one for one space). We noted that someone we had met earlier in the day - a traveling priest no less - had apparently decided that he wanted no part of the rug pitch and didn't show up. They really need to knock this off because 1) it's disingenuous; 2) since you are staying in the hotel you are a captive audience and 3) there is subtle pressure and no matter what you leave feeling manipulated and that affects the overall experience. But then it's successful for them and it's not like I'll be returning to the area any time soon...).
They were nice enough to get us to the bus station (it's close but you don't want to walk with heavy bags) and when my wife thought she had left her jewelry at the hotel my call from the station got a very quick search of the room and the car - turned out she had forgotten she packed it.
So they get high marks for customer service, location, food (nice restaurant, beautifuuly decorated), and the room. But please knock off the disingenuous sales tactics. Don't get me wrong - the stuff is high quality and you can likely get a much better deal here than in Istanbul or the other places - but only if you're really in the market for it. If you're not, you'll have to be very clear on that point - apparently above and beyond repeated demurrals.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Bella with 11 rooms, offers quality accommodation and services. Decorated in traditional Ottoman style, but with all the modern conveniences including Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Located opposite St Johns Basilica and Selcuk Castle. Some rooms with small private balcony. The rooftop terrace restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy beautiful summer evenings dinning under the stars, while enjoying traditional Turkish cuisine, admiring the beautiful views to St. Johns Basilica, Selcuk Castle and nesting storks (in season). Free shuttle service to Ephesus with loan of guide book. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bella Hotel Selcuk
- Hotel Bella Turkey/Izmir Province