As someone has commented below, this is the first review I've ever posted on Trip Advisor - it would have been a sin not to comment on this absolutely amazing resort!!
We upgraded to the Hemera on the first day of our two week holiday after being disappointed with the half board hotel we had originally booked in the area. The Hemera has apparently been voted Number 1 resort in the world by Thomson and you can see why. The difference between the original hotel we had stayed in (which was apparently a 4 star) and the Hemera was immediately obvious. Reception and guest relations were more than welcoming, speaking excellent English (which is rare in Turkey where German seems to be their second language) and offering us drinks at the bar and even lunch while we waited for them to sort out our last minute booking which we'd only made an hour before! We were given a fantastic room with a view of the pool. The room was modern and clean with a huge bed and walk in shower.
The hotel is an all inclusive but the extra money is worth every penny. The food is endlesss - all you can eat breakfast with everything imaginable; for lunch a choice of all you can eat buffet from the main restaurant or "snacks" from the beach bar which still had a huge variety from fast food to salad and pasta, to bbqs or fajitas! And if you're still hungry before dinner, you can get cakes and ice cream from the hotel patisserie! Dinner is served in the main restaurant - again buffet style all you can eat - with every type of cuisine you could wish for. The presentation is immaculate and hygiene seems to be high on their agenda.
There is also an option to book into one (or all three!) of the hotel's three a la carte restaurants - International, Turkish or Fish themed. The food here is also included in the price with table service rather than buffet style. We ate in the Turkish and Fish restaurant during our stay. The Turkish restaurant has a meze theme so be prepared for several courses! The fish restaurant seemed less popular (perhaps because it's more hidden away) but a great choice of fresh fish.
Every kind of drink you can imagine is included in the package from any of the hotel's 4 bars - cocktails, beers, wine, spirits, coffee, tea etc. And your room mini bar is topped up every day with soft drinks which is a nice touch.
I can't praise the hotel staff enough. The "Animation Team" who organise the daytime activities were all so enthusiastic and hard working, and each with their own unique personalities. You can't help but get to know them. Bayram and Sachuk were particularly friendly to us on our stay - and I didn't even take part in any of the activities!! - preferring simply to laze around on the beach. My partner however enjoyed the volleyball, beach football and water polo. I was tempted by the belly dancing lessons but decided having eaten my own body weight in food each day it wouldn't have been the prettyest sight!
There were always enough waiters and bar staff to keep the food and drink flowing and some other great characters to look out for - Mehmet who headed up the waiters in the main buffet restaurant and Murat who always made sure you were having a good time and had everything you needed.
Amber in Guest Relations was also extremely friendly and helpful, particularly when we needed additional information about Side itself. We'd wanted to eat in Side one night and Amber arranged a perfect table for us in a classy fish restaurant right on the harbour. She'd even organised for the restaurant to come and pick us up from the hotel!
Turkey, being famous for its spas do have a many local options for this type of thing. We opted to use the hotel facilities for a scrub and massage treatment. I believe the hotel was twice as expensive as the local spas which offered similar treatments but we went for this option as we trusted the hotel facilities and wanted to just be able to walk back to our room afterwards. The package we went for was about £40 each which is still a bargain compared to UK prices. However, I understand the local spas are just as good and a lot cheaper.
During our stay at the Hemera, we had a little walk along the beach to see what the other hotels looked like. I can honestly say the ones we saw were not a patch on the Hemera in terms of facilities and location.
We're told the only down side to this hotel is that it's so popular, people tend to book a year in advance to guarantee a room. We were obviously very lucky in that respect.
My partner and I are not easily pleased when it comes to holidays and hotels but we can honestly say this is the best holiday and hotel we have ever experienced. We ended up paying more than we had intended, having upgraded to a 5* all-inclusive resort but it was the best decision we could have made. Turkey itself seems to be quite expensive and so we would definitely have spent more than the extra investment on food and drink during our stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "UNFORGETTABLE HOLIDAYS" ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY AT BARUT HOTELS IN HARMONY WITH MOTHER NATURE WHERE SUN, SEA AND FUN MEET QUALITY AND EXCELLENCE. If you want to enjoy entertainment to the full, engage in sports and endlessly dive into the sea or pool, then the Barut Hemera is just the right place for you! Enjoy the "Mediterranean entertainment" you have been dreaming of all year long. Barut Hemera offers you activities and shows starting early and lasting the whole day such as water sports and motorised water sports by the beach, water games in the pool, competitions where adrenalin levels rise, beach volleyball, mini golf, darts, boccia, tennis, table tennis, and snooker. We provide free Wi-fi for our customers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Barut Hemera Resort And Spa
- Barut Hemera Hotel Side
- Barut Hemera Side
- Hemera Hotel Side