Stayed here from 26th August for a week all inclusive with hubby and 2 teenagers (16 and 14)
The journey from the airport to the hotel was quoted as about an hour, but this took nearer 3 due to the driver getting lost and trying to drop travellers off at hotels they weren't booked in to - I'll have to find a different review page for the poor service of this independent transfer company.
When we finally arrived at about 1am, check in was quick enough and while I went to the room to unpack (pass out from exhaustion!) the rest of the family went off in search of refreshments, which were provided in the main restaurant. This was a pleasant surprise, as at that time I wouldn’t have expected any service at all, even in an all inclusive.
The room was beautiful. We stayed in a residence apartment, which comprised of a lounge, fully stocked kitchen area (fridge was re-filled daily with beer, water and soft drinks,) two bedrooms and bathroom with separate loo, sink and shower areas; this was great, as it meant that the loo and sink weren’t off limits if someone was taking a shower. There was even a fresh bowl of fruit in the room when we first arrived… nice touch. It was obvious that the rooms had been recently refurbished; the décor was very modern, with laminate flooring, huge wardrobes and separate air conditioning in every area. No deposits here for AC, TV remote or room safety deposit box. The beds were REALLY comfortable, if a little hard, but we all slept well all holiday.
My only minor grumble about the rooms would be that there were 48 steps up to ours, with no lifts, which was a nightmare in the 40+ degree heat when weighed down with towels etc. We did think about asking to be moved, but decided that we needed some form of exercise to balance out the fantastic food!
As mentioned above, the food was fantastic. Something for the even the pickiest eater, my health conscious 16 year old falls into this ‘picky’ category and he never went hungry once. All meals were buffet style, with waiter service for the drinks orders; a few more waiters on hand would have been good, but they did come eventually. There was so much to choose from, the salads were especially wonderful – not once did any one of us have any need to break into the 5 packets of dio-calm I brought with us! If you got hungry in-between meals there was a snack bar down by the beach, but we didn’t use it once, so can’t comment. There were three a la carte restaurants which we were entitled to use once each during our stay – we celebrated our 25th anniversary while we were there and booked in at the Turkish restaurant, which was lovely. The staff at the hotel also delivered an anniversary cake to our room for us on the day, which was another nice touch.
Drinks were plentiful, with a full list of cocktails to choose from as well as all the normal alcoholic and soft drinks. There were branded spirits with the all inclusive, my Baileys in the evenings went down very well indeed . During the day there were also about 4 different ice slush drinks to choose from, which were very tasty – we all enjoyed the swim up bar in the pool, although we did worry about whether our AI card would drop out of our swimming costumes during the swim over to the bar (no wristbands at this classy hotel)
The bar down towards the beach was great during the afternoons as it was shaded and there was a lady serving gorgeous savoury and sweet filled pancakes, followed by a huge piece of melon from the melon man.
The pool was without doubt the most beautiful of any we’ve visited…. And we’ve been to more than a few. It was a really big freeform fresh water pool, with walk in areas and kids shallow areas; it was maintained extraordinarily well, a credit to the hotel. Clean pool towels were provided every day, twice a day if you needed them. But, even with a hotel of this standard, you still had to put up with the sunbed towel reservation fiasco every morning to secure what I would call a ‘prime’ spot, but we didn’t want to participate in that particular pool game and we never failed to get four beds near the pool, even when we came down at 12-ish. It did mean looking round and collecting together 4 single beds, but that’s why we took the kids along to do all the donkey work!!
Now to the only negative – the hotel is really lacking in entertainment during the day. My teenagers were bored and that’s a first on any holiday. My 16 year old son had hoped for some football, but there was none at all for his age group, although there was a very small pitch for younger kids. We didn’t see anyone going round any of the pools to gather willing participants together for any games of any kind – I know some people don’t like to be pestered in this way, but our kids usually love joining in all the organised games. It was advertised as having a teenagers club, but we couldn’t find anyone who had heard of this. It was a big disappointment and it would put us off staying here again but we didn’t let it spoil our break as there were plenty of water sports and trips outside the hotel to ensure that the wallet took an additional beating!
Unlike previously stated on this site, our experience was that there were plenty of other British people at the hotel, with English and German being the predominant language spoken.
The evening entertainment was a bit of a let down, only the hotel team putting on dancing shows, which got tired after the second evening. There was a small band at the pool bar each evening after the main entertainment and we found it pleasant to sit and play cards here with a bit of people watching thrown in.
All in all, this was a lovely holiday – beautiful hotel and food, pleasant and helpful staff, good sandy beach and clean sea and all a quick dolmus ride from Side for some serious bartering for genuine fakes!
We paid more than we normally would for this holiday as it was a combined holiday/ anniversary trip but we probably wouldn’t go again as it was very expensive and this added to the very minor gripes above would mean we will try somewhere different next year. Having said that, it is certainly the best (although most expensive) turkish hotel we have visited (2 other reports on this site)
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- Also Known As:
- Barut Hotels Arum Hotel Side
- Barut Hotel Side
- Barut Hotel Arum