My wife and I travelled as part of an organised cultural tour of Western Turkey. We had already stayed in three Turkish hotels elsewhere before arriving at the Grand Belish, all of which I would rate higher than this one. The sights and people were magnificent everywhere and I arrived in very good humour and disposed to further enjoying the experience. I was somewhat taken aback on registering to be tagged with a red wristband for the duration of the stay, this presumably to distinguish our group (part-board) from others with different arrangements. I had never experienced this before but am assured that it is not uncommon - a rather sad comment, it seems to me, on what mass tourism has become. The inseparable wristband accompanied me on subsequent trips to Ephesus and elsewhere.
The hotel is very well located in what appears to be a good residential area. I would think that ts being a good distance from Kusadasi is an advantage rather than otherwise. There is a very nice beach right beside the hotel with a public promenade ideal for an evening stroll. My wife made good use of the hotel pool and spoke highly of it. Clearly it is a place of great potential which, in my judgement, it does not at present achieve.
The service was fair at best. A day-long struggle to get get two extra pillows was not worth the hassle. The food was generally quite good but palled with monotony after the first day. An unfortunate effort to segregate our group for dinner on the first evening left a sour taste.
Dinner drinks were extra (fair enough) but the system of accounting for them did not work so that, for instance, I was charged for drinks that I had already paid for; on protesting - but one should not have to protest - the charge was set aside. My wife and I were on the ground floor where there was a musty smell in the corridor and very little to see from our room. Our mistake: we should have asked to be moved higher.
As a visitor to a wonderfully historic country, I am sensitive to the charge of being unduly demanding, but I think that the Grand Belish experience could be improved without very much effort to make it more enjoyable for staff and guests. At present I would rate it somewhere between three and four stars.
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