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“Quiet Resort”

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Sensimar Side Resort & Spa
Ranked #19 of 229 Hotels in Side
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 August 2011

We stayed one week at Sensimar Side Resort and Spa from 9th of July. We were very pleased to observe the very clean and tidy resort. We were greeted with a glass of wine when filling out the forms at our late arrival, which we though was a nice gesture.

The staff was very friendly and the room were quite spacious, although we had a regular double room. The best amenities were a big king size bed, LCD TV (mostly German channels though), bathrobes, fresh fruit when arriving, a mini bar and an in-room-safe. The hotel is very modern and the toilet and shower had only glass doors dividing it from the rest of the room. The housekeeping was very good, always clean towels and we had the impression that the room was clean most of the time. The room was on second floor, but still we had problems with ants a couple of days. Really small ants, about an hundred of them were coming in from the hallway. They gathered into a group on the floor just inside of the door, but some went into the shower and further inside the room. It was really disgusting.
The management was obviously aware of this problem since they had the hotel completely gassed the next day.

The food was good and it was plenty of it. They arranged theme nights which was very nice and well organized. In the restaurant there were several waiters, but it seemed so ineffective, especially the serving of the drinks. The first days we didn’t tip very much, which resulted that we only got one glass of wine. But after we started to tip them, the glasses were never empty and we were asked frequently if it was something they could help us with. The bars had standard all inclusive drinks and wine with local brands. Other drinks with regular brands were available for an extra cost.

The sun beds on the beach were provided with a mattress and they were quite comfortable. Plenty of water and drinks at the beach bar, they also served light meals.

It was an adult atmosphere everywhere, we only observed a couple of kids. In the evening the hotel was very quiet, and the entertainment and bar closed early. So if you are looking for a party place, this is not it.

We enjoyed our holiday, but would we go back to Side? We doubt it. There are so many other places in the same price range that we want to visit.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank ttboy82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 - 37 of 297 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2011

This hotel was everything we expected.
The staff was very friendly and there were a lot of them.
The food was very good, with nice variation all through the week.
Several nice bars within the hotel area, with nice entertainment.
Very nice and clean everywhere, both inside and outside, and at the beach. The drinks were served in a glass, not a plastic cup. Except on the beach, where you got a hard plastic cup, but that's understandable and ok.
There is a gym, and a schedule with different activities all day long. The Spa is beautiful, and hamam is included in your stay. You also get a ticket for a free 20 min long massage, to use wihtin 3 days from arrival. We didn't use it however, because of the very warm weather.
The only downside was that nearly all the entertainmant was in German, and signs were in German (sometimes in English).
We have nothing bad to say at all about this hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Susanna7608
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2010

Overall a good hotel with brilliant staff offering a great service, but.... it does have a few limitations. The most important of which is not catering properly for English speaking guests.

Did we think it good enough to be a Thomson 5T or official 5 star. Probably not.

Would we go there again? Probably not.

Would we recommend it to readers? Yes, if you accept the few less than perfect things about this hotel.....read on.

As there are few reviews on this new property (especially in English) I have chosen to give a fairly extensive review. I have broken the review in to sections so you can choose what to read & skip.

The buffet restaurant offers plenty of choice. The terrace barbecue was in use every lunch and dinner time offering freshly cooked items. Plenty of everything, any items which ran low were quickly replaced. The choice of cooked breakfast is a bit limited without pork products. The standard of hygiene is very high, everything clean and spotless. All aspects of food handling seemed well up to standards expected. A nice touch – the kitchens are open behind glass and customers can see just how clean the cooking environment is. A minus point, plates for hot food often either cold or so hot that they could not be handled without tissues. We found the house wine (red, white and rose) perfectly acceptable. We did not use either of the ”a la carte” restaurants, as the menus were not to our taste – there were courses on the menus that we did not like. The two “a la cartes” are quite similar; we think they could be better themed e.g. a Japanese or a general Asian would have been nice. Buffet restaurant has plenty of space, no rushing and rarely queues at the food counters. Outside terrace is mainly for smokers, with a non-smoking platform. The indoor central area is the best area in which to sit as people are not constantly walking by to get to the terrace.

The Beach Bar serves food, particularly at lunch time. We never ate there as we preferred the full restaurant facilities and the less casual ambiance.

Ice Cream is available at the Pool bar from 15:30, coffee and cakes from 14:30 in the patisserie.

Romance Bar – nice concept of a bar with dance floor outside. Bar stools are really uncomfortable and not easy to sit on. Some of the entertainment is performed here.

Lobby Bar with an open-air terrace. Nice seating, of course the smokers are outside.

Sunset Bar – rarely seems to be used, the one night it was open we found it a little chilly as it gets the sea breeze.

Pool Bar – open all day and during the evenings. Can get a little busy on some evenings, but then there are plenty of other bars to move on to.

Sports Bar – Two flat screen TV’s, plenty of space and there is a quieter area around the patisserie. Best place for late night drinking. Sports only shown with German commentary!

All inclusive drinks can be a little difficult to work out, not all drinks are inclusive and neither are all the cocktails. Also, there are times and bars where “all inclusive” doesn’t apply. We understood that they charged for drinks in the Nar Bar (within the spa), using the excuse that the spa wasn’t part of the hotel. It would be better if they just lived up to the true “all inclusive concept” and included all drinks at all times.

It is certainly a bit of a lie to call this an all inclusive hotel.

Shopping Arcade
Small shop, jewellers and hairdressers (list of services in German only) and one vacant unit.

Small gym. I wanted to have a massage, but they only have the list of services in German. I had heard that they use some “hard sell” tactics, like suggesting that you need an endless list of different massages etc. Adding up to many hundreds of £’s. A massage every day – I think not! Hotel takes no responsibility for the spa saying that they are a different company!

Hotel Accommodation
The hotel has 237 rooms, which means it is small compared to other hotels in the area. Most of the guests where German; during the time we were there between 4 and 6 rooms were occupied by English. We do not normally have an issue with being outnumbered by other nationalities (whatever they are) after all we are all foreigners in a foreign land. However, we did have an issue that all signs and notices were in German; translations in to English are limited. All entertainment was introduced in German only. The weekly Gala Nights (an excellent event) in the buffet restaurant were conducted in German only. Even the hotel questionnaire at the end of our holiday was in German!

That was the last straw!

Our Thomson rep was told at the welcome meeting that language was an issue for the English guests. She was told again as we left after two weeks, and she acted as though it was first time anyone had ever mentioned the issue. The reception staff were also told, the response I got was “we have to cater for our German guests” (sort of missing the point and certainly makes it look as they don’t care if English go there or not).

Hotel is occupied mainly by adults (most 50+), we saw only two young children in two weeks. The whole ambiance is quiet and select, no loud music around the pool, no mad games. Just what we wanted.

Rooms fairly clean and spacious, plenty of storage. Separate WC and walk-in shower, no bath tubs except in the suites (this was a bit of a disappointment as we like the occasional soak). Rooms facing the pool have the best views, especially those above the lobby facing directly to the sea. We were lucky to get one of those.

Fridge was refilled daily with plenty of water.

Two minus points our room was cleaned daily but not thoroughly, there was a significant build up of dust and debris on the floor particularly under the raised bed. Also, the replenishment of soap and toiletries was almost non-existent even after tipping the maid and also asking for extra soap when we ran out. Tip: take your own soap, shampoo, shower gel etc.

We were impressed by the cleanliness of the hotel overall so we were extremely disappointed by the standard of room servicing.

Taps for the hand basin are stylish but difficult to turn when wet.

Air conditioning gets turned off at odd times, especially during the night. We spoke to several people who experienced the same, so it seems to be a hotel controlled thing. A really annoying issue.

Check-in was conducted at one of the tables in the lobby bar area away from the desk; we thought this a nice touch, accompanied by a welcome drink. They did keep asking for “our voucher” which as Thomson guests we did not have, this made the experience just a little confusing as they took our travel booklet (along with return flight) and then left them in their back-office.

We did not use the foreign exchange service at the reception desk to change sterling. I did ask several times if they could change 10 or 20 Turkish Lira notes down to 5 Lira notes (for tipping) and they were unable to do this. Looking in their money drawer, they did not seem to have much currency. We also tried the hotel next door and they had the same issue.

Hotel Manager and other management do walk around but do not engage in conversation with guests. Definitely unapproachable.

Internet access is free at one PC, which has a Turkish keyboard and I found it almost impossible to use!

Guest Relations
The hotel is supposed to have a Guest Relations service, but this is run by the German TUI reps that are there to look after their German guests. I spoke to them about the issue with everything in German; basically I got a shrug of the shoulders, with a “do I care?” attitude. The hotel need to get a grip on this service and put their own staff in to run the Guest Relations desk and get the TUI staff out (they also run the animation team). Absolutely no use to other nationalities.

Thomson Rep
Only the German TUI reps operate in the hotel. Thomson English rep operates from the hotel next door. Visits there for 30mins on a few days, runs a welcome meeting from there. Saw her in our hotel the day we were leaving. Worse than useless service from a useless rep!

No tourist police noticed anywhere around the resort. Hotel security is around at the beach entrance at times but a bit too low key. We never got stopped once or asked for our guest cards at the back or front of the property. Really could do with a gate at the beach operated by the room key cards. Some outsiders do walk in and probably use the facilities along with free drinks (all inclusive operates without wrist bands). We heard of no thefts or muggings, actually seemed very safe.

There is a small library, but all books are in German. Also, all instructions on how the loan system works are in German only. I left a couple of English paperbacks which were taken, but none there for me to take. Supposed to be books, magazines and newspapers available – but not in English!

Only one film shown over two weeks – in German!

Foreign Exchange
We took some Turkish Lira and a small amount of Euros. We took some sterling in case we needed even more money. Taking Lira was probably a mistake given the difficulty in getting small notes. You really need €1 and€2 coins for tipping, which you cannot get at the Bureau de Change back home or in the resort. Tip: change larger Euro notes to coins with the Dolmus drivers at the main road (see later on). They want notes instead of coins, I guess so that they can bank them.

You will find gratuity boxes in various places (restaurant, bars). It is far better to tip individually on good service, they don’t earn much and the few Euros you give will be appreciated. You will soon be remembered and you can expect even better service. We found waiters would get our drinks on the way to our table before even asking (plus top up the wine) and drinks in the bar replenished at just a nod. Take care with tipping the room maids, as they seem to change daily don’t tip for the week as the girl you tip may not be the regular. Also, only tip if you are happy with the room cleaning, we tipped once and as we were not entirely happy with the standard of service; we did not tip again. Some people don’t tip at all, we like to and the small amount of money is insignificant to us, but significant to them.

Staff worth a mention
Huseyin from Istanbul in the restaurant. Kamil in the restaurant. Yunis in the Sports Bar. Yunus (coffee boy) at breakfast. Mustafa. Oner at the Pool bar. Tayir lunchtime on the terrace.

Well done guys, and all the others you made our holiday!

Trips out
We did one trip with Thomson to Perge and Aspendos. This was good value, as it included the entry fees and a good guide.

We also went to Side for a couple of hours using the Dolmus bus which is easy to use both there and back. The bus stop is at the top of hotel access road on the main road to town. Side has some sites of interest and loads of shops selling counterfeit stuff (don’t bother with it unless you like getting ripped off). A little tractor train runs from the Dolmus car park in to town, but it is such a short journey that it is a waste of time and money, just walk in to town and look at the ruins on the way.

Lovely well kept pool area, perfectly clean. There are areas of communal loungers around the pool area, uncomfortable and not used very much. Number of sun loungers limited by the lack of space. There is a nice decking area at the beach end of the pool, an area with about a dozen sun loungers, we managed to get a couple of the sun loungers in that area most days. Most people seem to be happy to go to the beach.

Supposed to hold a Blue Flag, but we thought it not every clean. Never saw anyone cleaning the water’s edge of rubbish. Promenade is very good along the Evrenseki stretch, great for a bit of power-walking.

The gents beach toilet is somewhat exposed to people passing by, badly designed and would not be allowed in UK. Guys just use the cubicles.

The big letdown / lack of attention to detail
This was supposed to be an extra special holiday for us, as we were out there to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and my 60th birthday, we went out there a few days after these events where celebrated at home with our families.

I advised the hotel via email a few days before going that we were out there to celebrate these events. I got a standard reply – did they do anything special? No.

I advised Thomson via email, about a week before going. I got a personal reply that it would be noted to the rep and the hotel and that they would try to make it special – did they do anything special? No.

I spoke to the Thomson rep at the welcome meeting. “Oh yes, I see I have a note about this. I’ll try to do something for you, I’ll have a word with the hotel” she said – did she do anything special? No.

It would been nice to have had something special no matter how small – this was a big disappointment to us and conveyed a total lack of attention to detail by the Sensimar and Thomson.

A good hotel, but didn’t hit the “sweet spot” for us.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank davidfthorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2010

Never been to Turkey before and took a chance last minute with this new hotel to Thomsons (no reviews on Trip Advisor). Overall it was excellent including the weather.
Best Bits:
Room large and modern and very clean, the bed and pillows were the best I have experienced -even more comfortable than my ones at home. The bathroom set up was a bit unusual at first but really practical and had everything you would want. Free safe and topped up mini bar.
Hotel facilities, grounds and pool were lovely. Kept immaculate and not busy. Lots of lovely areas to sunbath with plenty of shade if needed.
There is a river close to the hotel and my husband enjoyed a couple of sessions fishing (he had taken his rod ).
There is a new prom about a mile long in front of the hotel - great for a stroll.
The beach and sea are superb. We walked along the beach to Side, then picked up another mile long prom.
Side is a lovely little town with lots of history.
The area around the hotel is fairly quiet, just other AI hotels but all fairly new and the area has an upmarket feel about it.
Staff in hotel could not be faulted. Special mention to Kamil and Osman and rep Faye.
Good value for money as we got a late deal and compared to the euro zone now.
‘Bad’ bits:
None! The food was good but not as excellent as some AIs we have been to - but this is being picky eg no bacon at breakfast and lots of chicken at dinner....could have been more variety with the fresh meat cooking.
Nearly all the guests were German with a few Russian but very nice on the whole. Most of the staff speak German and only a little English.
We arrived at midnight, the only ones checking in and there was a hold up for about an hour. Don't know why, just kept being reassured it would be ok and offered food and drinks in the meantime.
Overall I would definitely recommend this hotel and would go back.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank lpb1Cheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile
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Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Florian D
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago
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  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank bernd10762017
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Reviewed 7 November 2017
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Stayed: June 2017
1  Thank SEZAVER
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Emir H, Yönetici at Sensimar Side Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago
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Additional Information about Sensimar Side Resort & Spa

Address: Evrenseki Mevkii, Side, Manavgat 07330, Turkey (Formerly TUI Sensimar Side Resort & Spa)
Region: Turkey > Turkish Mediterranean Coast > Antalya Province > Manavgat > Side
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Side
#15 Spa Hotel in Side
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Side
#18 Luxury Hotel in Side
#19 Family Hotel in Side
#33 Romantic Hotel in Side
Price Range: £75 - £188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sensimar Side Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 236
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a welcome drink in your hand, the smell from the sea and the warm welcoming from our staff you can start imediatly with a good holiday feeling. Distance. Waves arround your feet. Salt on your skin. Enjoy with all your senses the sea : " Sense y Mar". Enjoy your individual world of wellbeing just made for you with soft Music in your ear and many places to relax at the Resort best located by the sea. Sensimar Hotel is the calm anchor for couples who are looking for Relaxation and romantic time for togetherness. Recompense yourself with the sensuality from Sensimar Side and enjoy your perfect time for togetherness at Sensimar Side. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sensimar Side Hotel Side

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