Just returned from a 2 week stay at the Grand Ideal, with my husband and 2 children aged 10 and 7.
I would firstly say that Thomas Cook seriously under sell this hotel, as it is a 5* hotel (not 4 * as advertised), and the pictures in the brochure do the hotel no justice at all.
The travel is a bit of a task, but the 11 hours it took from the time we left the house to the time we arrived at the hotel, did go quite fast. The worst part is arriving at the airport and being greeted with 2 huge long queues - one for your visa and the next for passport control. After you pick up your luggage and manage to find your thomas cook coach, its a 2 hour journey to the hotel with a 15 minute pit stop on the way, and this hotel is the final drop off.
However in this case they deffinately saved the best for last because some of the hotels we saw along the way were awful, 1 had a view of a cemetary!, so we thanked our lucky stars when we arrived at the Grand Ideal.
On entering the hotel I thought we must have the wrong hotel (there are another 2 hotels with the name 'ideal' in the title), because the reception was really lovely. It was large, airy, and very posh, and it didnt look this plush in the brochure.
We were quickly booked in and shown to our room on the 2nd floor. we were lucky enough to have a corner room which was quite a fair bit bigger than other rooms, and we had a beautiful view of the sea on one side, and a view of the hotel pool on the other side. Bliss!
The room and bathroom were of a good size and clean. All decor was smart. TV had 3 main british terestial channels. Floor was laminate not cold tiles. A nice touch was that your pool towels were left in your room each day.
The pool was a lovely size with a slide at one end, and in May it was quite cold but refreshing!. The indoor pool was also cold.
The food was very nice all through the 14 days, and not once did anyone in my party have stomach troubles. Breakfast (7.00 - 10.30am) had a great choice of full cooked, toast, cereals, pancakes, waffles, eggy bread, fuits and yoghurts etc. Tea/Coffees were very nice too. Lunch (12.30-2.00) was in the a la carte restaurant on the 1st floor and always had a good choice of soups, salads, hot meals and desserts/fruits. The evening meal (7.30-9.30) was the least enjoyable for me as the restaurant was crammed full at 7.30 (with people queuing to get in), so we had to wait until 9pm to have a quieter meal.
The evening entertainment was pretty poor, and I personally would have rathered just had music playing in the backround than listen to the entertainment they had on offer. Having young children I didnt manage to use the night club, but I certainly heard it thumping every night, along with hearing noisy guests returning to their rooms. This for me was the one downside to the hotel - that the rooms weren't properly sound proofed. The other negative was that in the evenings the only bar serving alcoholic drinks was the outside bar. In early May it was quite cold some evenings and we didnt want to sit outside shivering, plus we didnt want to watch the naff entertainment. The hotel could improve this by serving alcoholic drinks in their 'Paris' inside coffee bar, or open a bar in their largely unused tv room near the reception area.
The hotel is in a great location and we loved that we could go for a long walk each day. In one direction you can walk to Marmaris harbour and markets. The harbour was beautiful. It took 1 hour to walk to the harbour from our hotel - along the beach front, and it also takes approx the same time to walk in the other direction to Icmeler. In both directions be prepared to be constantly hassled by shop/bar/boat owners to come in to their establishments or to book boat trips. We did visit the market one day but I didnt think much of it, and again the big put off for me was the constant hassle. I would recommend you barter well if you do intend to buy anything as they will always start off at a ridiculously high price (for example a table cover started off at 120 TL, and by the time I finished bartering I paid 20TL). I find the best thing to do is be firm, have the money you want to pay in your hand ready and tell them that is all you have on you, they will try their best to resist but when you go to walk away, they usually agree to your price.
One of the nicest things we did was a boat trip. With 2 children we didnt want a full day trip, so we approached a taxi boat and asked him if he would take 6 of us all around the bay from Marmaris beach, to the harbour, to the island and to Icemeler and back to the beach again (it took 1 and a half hours), and he agreed for 80TL - about £35.
Overall we had a fantastic holiday and I would deffinatelly recommend this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Refurbished for the 2015 season, SunConnect Grand Ideal Premium provides a relaxing atmosphere for the whole family. Guests will enjoy stylish rooms, new digital features of Touch Screen TV's and free Internet points throughout the hotel as well as experiencing the more traditional holiday. Children can enjoy activities in the Lollo & Bernie Kids Club and for teenagers there is the ConnectTeen Lounge (a cool place to hang out). The hotel offers Free Wifi throughout enabling all guests to stay connected to family and friends home and abroad. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Ideal Hotel