I admit, I have never been a big fan of the all-inclusive, super-touristy type resorts, so perhaps it's just not my thing. Our time at the Grand Side had ups and downs. The staff are very friendly and helpful, but also quite pushy. We found ourselves dreading the walk to dinner because the nice but very persistent photographer was always there trying to get us to pay for a cheesy photo shoot in front of the pool at sunset. And he never gave up, no matter how many times we tried to explain that we were not interested.
Our room was not ready when we arrived, so we had to wait over 2 hours. This wasn't a big deal, and I wouldn't normally care except that I was pregnant and exhausted and really wanted to lie down. When we finally got a room, it was clearly one they don't normally use, and they said we would have to move the next day. This room was bizarre. Dark with low ceilings, and although it was on the ground floor facing out towards the beach, the windows had been completely frosted over so very little light got in, and the potentially very nice view was erased from sight. Why they would do this? My husband and I were completely baffled, and had to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. The room we were moved to the next day was much nicer and had real windows that one could actually see through!
Overall the food was fine, generally mediocre with a few quite good things, pretty monotonous. But I think that's to be expected with these all-inclusive buffets.
The beach was beautiful, though we got unlucky with the weather. It was only warm enough to go into the sea once, and the pool (which is small) was absolutely freezing. The water slides were off the whole time we were there. We ended up spending most of our time sitting on the beach (when it wasn't too cold and windy) or in bed reading. So it made for a relaxing but also somewhat boring trip.
We did have a very nice treatment in the Turkish bath/spa, with a body scrub and massage which was really nice.
All of that said, for the price, it's a good deal. The hotel is nice, clean and pretty modern. The staff are friendly, the food is decent enough and it's directly on the beautiful beach. You can walk (about 45 min-1 hour) or take a little local bus into the town of Side. The ancient ruins are well worth the trip, but don't expect an authentic Turkish experience, this town caters to tourists 100%.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Side Hotel