We are keen travellers (a new place at least 4x a year) but of all the travelling this is the only one I wish I had never been. We chose Kaucuk because of the excellent reviews. I don't expect what we get back home but I expected minimum level of humanity. Not sure why others put forward such positive reviews, perhaps they were all blond male guests as there seems to be some racism and sexism going on. Rengin in general was unpredictable to us, sometimes pleasant sometimes extremely rude. It wasn't only WHAT she said to us but also HOW she framed her messages that ruined our holiday happiness. The house 'rules' were only known after you have broken them so you can be reprimanded like a school child. The 'rules' are unusual, unreasonable, not written anywhere, not known at outset, not signed up to by us, which then gets waived anyway but only if you tell her that you did not know or agree to them. Sticking to facts here are my complaints:
1. NO CHILDREN: We booked and paid upfront for 3 adults plus a toddler of 2yr old on booking.com (which Rengin insists she did not get notification of) plus I emailed Rengin to ask re facilities for child equipment and she replied directing me to her website. But as we arrived Rengin told us they only take 8yr + but was since we are there she would let us stay. We also arrived just 2 adults as we wanted the privacy in the end, given also it was our wedding anniversary.
2. NO FOOD: At arrival Rengin asked if we wanted to eat but we said no as we just arrived hot and bothered from our trip and bad plane food in memory. However, after settling in and showering I did feel suddenly hungry and asked her for something small, a sandwich or bread c.11pm but she said a flat out "no, its not possible at this time you should have said earlier" when I asked if I can find a snack anywhere else it was another flat "no, not at this time". I stood there fully aware that there was breakfast stored away. The least she could do for tired guests is offer a slice of bread. I got a few pieces of nuts after a few minutes of disappointed look. If she was running a 200guest large place needing strict policies and procedures I would understand but she is only a 9room bnb offering 'homely' service. But more annoyingly, the following days we found out that most restaurants are open till midnight, especially the one right next to Rengin's bnb the Seraser.
3. GET LOCKED OUT: Then Rengin told us that, her words, "we lock these (main) doors at midnight so if you are not in by then you stay out" and laughed, I thought she was making an exaggerated joke but she didn't follow up so we thought, weird, but ok maybe it's a dangerous street and we are in good mood so we accepted. However, we planned to get special waiver for the nights of a friend's hendo and wedding but sacrificed our own anniversary so as not to break this rule too much.
4. NO AIRCON: the night we arrived we put on the aircon to c.22 degrees just to cool off for about an hour and we found a huge puddle of water on the wooden floor directly under the aircon. I explained to Rengin and she suggested that it was our shower water, but we found this problem before anyone had a shower! Anyway, luckily for Rengin we are not too concerned about having an aircon as our son gets stuffy nose from it easily so we made do without one during the entire stay. The point is that for other guests, this might have been a big issue. The downside for us was that the hotel is on the main street which is equivalent of London Soho I think as all the club music, parties, bikes, cars and arguments go through the night into c.4am and sound as if you are sleeping on the street! It is not really Rengin's fault, it's just the location of the hotel and need to open windows.
5. NO VISITORS: Next day around lunchtime we brought back our friends who were going to get married and also expecting a baby, I wanted to give them all the pregnancy, birth and baby books and goodies I had brought and show them the hotel and our room. But Rengin stopped us on the stairs and glared at my husband and I, without even a hello to our friends, saying "you did not say you have guests staying" - we thought it was extremely unpleasant and rude and told her that they are not staying, they have their own hotel, they are visiting and we will just be a minute. However, Rengin came up with this ridiculous reason that "the balcony upstairs only takes two people, not four". We were not even planning to 'hang-out' on the balcony but curious that given our room - the Iffet - is meant for four people. She really glared at my non-white friend when saying this, so my friend clarified "so your balcony will fall down if we get on it that is why we are not welcome" and Rengin "no, that's not what I said. I am just letting you know that it's not safe". Well the message was clear - my friends were not at all welcome (actually I felt from day 1 that even we, her paying guests who have handed over near 1,000 Euros for a week's rent, were simply intruding on her private home). We had no idea that there was a strict NO VISITORS rule and wasn't even sure if it was a rule or simply her displeasure at having Oriental, West Indian and Italian people around her.
6. GET KICKED OUT: Next evening I made sure to leave my friends and return by midnight, but I had to bring back my friend who was pregnant, about to wed, and me being her bridesmaid we wanted to not only catch up over the last few years, the pregnancy but also plan the hendo and discuss wedding. We came back to Kaucuk and sat at the entry hall to chat, and Rengin came to us saying "I hear you want to stay over?" My friends said "no, I am just here to chat, I have my own hotel" and Rengin again rudely dived in "we lock the doors at midnight" and that was it, no exception no follow up. My friend was so horrified she explained to Rengin that we had not seen each other for years and we are best friends with lots to catch up on, that Kaucuk was not a youth hall so she cannot chuk her out, that she will stay and talk however long she likes and basically made a fuss. Rengin went defensive "I am just saying we close the doors, you can leave later" but I am sure this was not what she meant initially - at least the words and gestures and body language she chose was that of a headmistress vs. unruly teenager.
7. FRIENDS JUMP THE QUEUE: Next morning or one after, we came down for breakfast as usual and normally within 10minutes we have food but nothing happened for 30min. It's ok sometimes it happens and we were patiently trying to entertain our 2yo who threatened to destroy the dining room. After about 30min of waiting Rengin's friends came into the dining room and she sat with them laughing and chatting. She said something to her servant and they all got served breakfast within 5minutes. We had to watch the eggs, bread basket, cheese etc...come out while our hungry son tried to help himself to their food. We waited another 20 or so minutes in disbelief and unsure what to do, nothing happened and we pretty much lost temper as this was too much unfairness and sheer rudeness on Rengin's part. So we stormed out as we left the servant complaining that he is the only one running everywhere, trying to do his best, he also has children and is working hard etc...We bought our own breakfast at the coffee shop. That evening Rengin came to us all concerned asked innocently "is anything wrong?" I immediately said that I was not happy and Rengin retorted "but why you have such a beautiful room" (which btw is noisy, bedbug ridden and broken aircon, the pretty vase on the windowsill the only beautiful thing in the room). In any case she doesn't seem to understand that PEOPLE make or break an atmosphere and mood not THINGS.
8. NOT TO BE TRUSTED: ok so Rengin is quite a*al about leaving the keys with her. Initially she explained that she will then know who is not in and who is out, in case they need to clean or to take messages etc...BUT one morning I left my husband and toddler behind as my son was not feeling well and I had to do basic shopping in the hot sun. The boys came down with me to say bye and to have a dip in the pool, but Rengin insisted my husband leaves the room keys with her?! Even if they are staying behind and within her visibility, just by the pool opposite the reception. She explained this is because people lose the keys! But within the bnb? I can only explain it by her need to feel in control and fantasise about being the ultimate authority and power over others, a way to feel important, to fill a gaping gap in low self-esteem? Not sure, anyway another unreasonable, unpredictable 'rule'.
9. NO VISITORS: A day later, my husband went to Istanbul for the day to sign a transaction and I was left alone with my 2yo who was ill with a 39degree temperature (likely from the bedbug bites to which he was starting to get allergic reaction). I relied on friends and my sister to help me. Our friend's wedding was the day after, so my son needed to have a good rest and I decided to wash him and let him sleep at 'home' in Kaucuk. Firstly I didn't even think about the No visitor issue, nor was I told that I was not allowed to bring any visitors under any circumstance. All I knew was that balcony is too weak for 4 adults, supposedly. Anyway, I reasoned that we paid for 3 adults and my sister is highly needed to help me that day. The three of us came into our room c.noon and after about 3hours we left with a rested toddler, happy mom and auntie. Rengin stopped me on the way out and asked to have a private word. She then told me "You paid for your husband and you and your son. This person is not paid to be here." This was the last straw for me and I lost my temper explaining about the 3adults booking and Rengin replied "I don't know who this person is and she cannot be here, I don't have her passport, I don't know who she is. You have to respect the rules". This is total nonsense, as this RULE was NEWS to me, it was not written anywhere, where else in the world do you get this treatment for a semi-decent bnb? I wonder what Rengin thinks my sister would do in the room that I wouldn't do? Surely if I am allowed to be here, people I trust can be in MY ROOM during the day, for whatever reason - especially when I am alone with a sick toddler. I complained to Rengin explaining that if I did not know the 'rule' I cannot be expected to follow it, plus I don't agree with this 'rule' which is utter nonsense. Plus she was very rude to my sister saying all those things within her earshot.
10. BEDBUGS and MOSQUITOES: ok these are everywhere I guess and not really Rengin's fault, but just to warn those travellers bring your sprays and own sheets (anti bedbug sheets)!
On the plus note, the bnb is quite pretty architecturally, not necessarily our room but the setting is quite calming and relaxing. Having said that it is nothing extraordinary, its average quality internationally but higher end within Antalya by the looks of the other hotels we saw our friends staying in. Nevertheless, as I said PEOPLE make or break a good mood not THINGS. If we need a quick relaxing break to a beautiful place, we certainly prefer Greece, where we feel truly relaxed, happy with good friendly people around us, no aggressive angry tourist hunters, better sea, better quality hotels, higher level of service, better for us. I have lovely Turkish friends, who are also critical of Antalya in general.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kaucuk Residence, The Oasis House Hotel The Kaucuk Residence is located in the heart of Antalya, Old town; Kaleici and consists of two historical mansions. The ancient buildings offer an oasis, which invites you for a romantic and meditative comfort. Besides a lot of cultural and physical pleasure in the next vicinity, you can find the historical Mermerli Beach only 250 meters far away from the Kaucuk Residence. Our spacious rooms with garden or monument view have a unique design oc Ottoman style. Every single air conditioned room is decorated with antique Anatolian carpets and painting of contemporary Turkish artists. Our guests have the possibility to use in house pool besides historical Mermerli beach to enjoy the sun and swim. Beach towels and sun loungers are of course free of charge. Smoking in our rooms or closed areas is not permitted due to state regulation. Pets are not allowed. Room/ Accommodation Every room has an own bathroom with shower, bathrobe, hairdryer, toilet articles and slippers. A comfortable sitting area gives the possibility for relaxing. All rooms have a mini bar, air condition and safe. Additional every room has a flat screen TV. We would like to notice, that we attach great importance to hygiene and sleep comfort, so our certified bed mattresses are antibacterial, anti allergic and fully orthopedic. Bed linen and covers are made of pure cotton. Gastronomy in the Hotel Every morning delicious breakfast table awaits for you, with fresh baked bread, brewed coffee or tea. Enjoy homemade cakes or cookies, cheese platters, jam and honey, egg specialties, cereal, cold cuts, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. "Healthy-Food" & "Slow-Food" is offered at the Kaucuk Residence; meat, chicken, fish or vegan, a variety offer of culinary delights from healthy ingredients. The use of regional products and seasonal ingredients is always the focus of our menus. More than 80% of our products are from the region, paying particular attention to fresh and seasonal ingredients. If desired, we can organize your party and group dinner with four course menu. We are happy to serve your dinner at the pool or in our air-conditioned dining room, which is equipped with works of art by contemporary Turkish artists. The dining room is located above the 2300 years old ancient monuments from Hellenistic era. In order to have a sight on these works, the floor is made of thick glass panels. For a stylish musical (baroque, classical) framing of your dinners, a small violin orchestra is provided upon request. ... more less
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