We have just returned yesterday from the Otium. I would thoroughly recommend it. We took ages to decide where we wanted to go as we are quite picky and the Otium certainly lived up to all of my expectations. One the main reasons we picked it was due to its fab Trip Advisor review. Indeed once you get there they seem to have several awards and positive reviews from all sorts of review companies. The room was very spacious (we paid for a superior room) with a screened off area for our 3 year old so she could sleep whilst we watched tv in the evening. The rooms were modern and very clean. They were cleaned everyday. A bottle of water is put in your room each day. A few times the cleaning lady did some very artistic swans with the linen which our daughter loved. The kids club was very nice with swings a large climbing frame, trampolines, sandpit, baby area, soft play area, see saw and a mini fairground. You do have to pay for the fairground rides 3 euros each. There are also lots of ride on cars/trucks which
again you do have to pay for. We did not place out little one with the kids club as she did not want to go but all of the children seemed to be having a lot of fun and the kids club staff were very friendly. There was a mini amphitheatre where some shows for kids were put on during the day. Also the childrens pool was lovely and clean with a small slide into it. There was a childrens restaurant with a completely separate menu for the kids each day. The adults pool was in the beautiful gardens which were maintained so well some lovely green grass and flowers to look at everywhere. There is a 'mini zoo' but its a few rabbits and some chickens and peacocks so not really much to see there, it entertained our little one for 10 mins or so. The restaurant was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was lots of choice and was fresh, you can see a lot of the food being cooked in front of you. The only thing id say about this is towards the end of our 10 days I did think some of the same type of food kept coming out but I suppose if they are the most popular with people you can understand it. I never struggled for
choice though. My daugher is more picky but again we always easily managed to find her some food to eat. The snack bar at lunchtime generally serves pizza (type changes each day), chips, rice, pasta, salad, hamburgers, chicken. The pizza was lovely so were the hamburgers. The pools are nice and there was never any problem finding a sunbed. I think it may be more difficult in the high season though. The pools and poolside are very clean. You can eat lunch around the pool and all you need to do is put your plates in the baskets which are scattered around. They are emptied very regularly. We mainly used the slides pool as it was closer to the toddler pool but there was also the entertainment pool where aqua aerobics and the club dancing and games are done, so the choice is there. There was some entertainment/games every couple of hours at the entertainment pool. There is also an adults only pool as well set away from the others in the gardens. The beach club is a 10 minute walk along the river.
Its also really clean and has a swing and slide set. The beach is very clean as well. The sea was nice but it did seem to be quite deep quite quickly with strong waves so kids would need to be watched carefully. There is a snack bar on the beach club which serves the same lunch selection. There is a hotel mini bus that can drop you off at the beach club as well. There is a pancake hut which a lovely lady makes a variety of pancakes from meat, cheese, potato or chocolate flavours, these seem to be available all day long. There is entertainment every night at the ampitheatre including the mini club kids disco first followed by other family entertainment. There is live music on some nights at the poolside as well. They serve popcorn and candy floss (free of charge) outside the ampitheatre. We did have a couple of items break during our stay, the wardrobe rail fell down and so did the shower rail but we reported both of these to the Smiley Service and they were repaired immediately. Smiley Service is excellent two or three ladies who sit by reception and answer any queries at all you might have. My husband left his wedding ring in the safe after we had checked out and the new people were checked in but they soon sorted it out and got his ring back. We paid for a late check out room which was a
different room and it cost £20. You cannot exchange money at the hotel which my hubby found a pain but you can use the exchange bureau 5 mins down the road. We also took advantage of the a la carte meal which you do have to pay 5 euros each for (just adults) but it was well worth it, the food and service was excellent and it was nice for a change from the busy all inclusive restaurant. If you want to go out for days, use the dolmus they are usually 1 euro each. For Side get the mini bus to the beach then swop to a bus with Side on (number 10 or 11 I think). Side old town is beautiful the ruins are amazing - well worth a visit. The restaurants around the harbour are very expensive and if you want cheaper simply walk away from the centre towards the beach a bit, they are half the price. There are a few shops but not loads and again pricey. For Manvagat if you walk out of the hotel towards the main road when you get to the roundabout with cashpoints wait there for a bus, again 1 euro each. If you get off at the main bus station (on the main road in Manvagat) you can wait there again for another bus up to the waterfall (it will say Wasserfal on front). The waterfall is ok there are better ones in the UK. I would definitely not pay for a tour to it when you can simply get there on your own for much cheaper.We visited Manvagat and the waterfall on the same day as the Manvagat market which is excellent really massive and some good bargains to be had. Be prepared to haggle! I didnt use the Spa although the staff will come round to your sunbed to try to sell it to you. Its around 50 euros for a 1 hour treatment. Its not too much of a bother they get the message after saying no for a couple of times. They do say that if you get the turkish bath scrub etc to get it early in your holiday to help prepare your skin for a good tan. The staff at the hotel are really happy and helpful. They seem to work extremely hard to keep the place clean, tidy, fun to be and hassle free. A huge well done to them all. All in all we had a fab holiday the only downside to ours was the 4+ hour delay by Easyjet but obviously not the hotels fault! Thank you Otium a well deserved 5 star review!
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- Otium Eco Club Side Hotel Side