We are a family of 3, comprising 2 adults and a 16 year old girl and flew out to Turkey on August Bank Holiday. We booked our holiday at the Kaya Marmaris at the last minute through Travel Republic who were excellent and we would not hesitate to use their services again. We chose this particular hotel to meet up with friends of ours who had already booked to stay there, even though some of the reviews we read did mention that the food left a bit to be desired. We stayed on an All Inclusive basis.
Our holiday got off to a bad start with the transport to the hotel being held up for an hour because the luggage belonging to two fellow travellers went missing at the airport. This was further compounded when the bus we were on ran out of diesel and we all had to get off the bus stand at the side of a dark and busy road while the driver waited for someone to bring him a top up. We eventually arrived at the hotel 5 hours after walking out of the airport terminal, a journey that should have taken only two.
We were the 3rd or 4th family to be dropped off and our first impression was that we were quite happy with our choice of hotel compared with the ones that the other people were going to stay at. The bar and restaurant had shut by the time we got there (1am) and we were starving but we were able to get a McDonalds (5 mins walk away) and a beer from the hotel’s 24 hour shop so we went to bed tired but fed and watered.
We had paid £70 for an upgrade to a suite which actually consisted of two fairly Spartan bedrooms, a bathroom, and a balcony. The suite was clean but quite cramped, though the bathroom was nice with a good powerful shower and the air-conditioning unit was super-efficient. The balcony however, was at the side of the hotel and did not give us any view at all. We had been told that the suite was going to have a pool or sea view so the following day we asked if it was possible to change rooms, the staff were very accommodating and were more than happy to do this and gave us a choice of two to pick from. These rooms were much better although they only had one bedroom with a double and a single bed in. We chose one on the 4th floor with a very good view overlooking the pool and a partial view of the sea, we were happy with this apart from the fact that there were no drawers that could be used to store those clothes which could not be hung up in the wardrobe.
The hotel is in a very good location at the quieter end of Marmaris and about 50 metres from the promenade and beach. We found it to be of a good general standard, well maintained and clean but the rating should be no more than a good 2 star or possibly low 3 star by UK standards. It has free Wi-Fi in the lobby, a small gym, though this is pretty shabby, a hairdressers and a 24 hour shop for essentials including newspapers.
The staff were generally friendly and helpful but as with most places there were one or two who were a little offhand or miserable.
The pool was quite small, about 25 metres x 15 metres but when we were there it was plenty big enough for those guests who wished to use it and it was clean and was maintained daily. There were ample sunbeds around the pool but to get the best sites for sunbathing you would have to be up early to claim a bed with your towel; the hotel does not supply towels so bring your own, although you can buy them fairly cheaply. There are signs saying that towels will be removed if the beds were not being used but we never saw any evidence of this happening. There are areas of shade partly with trees and partly with umbrellas for those like me who don't like too much sun.
There were two bars, the one inside the hotel never opened and the other at the end of the pool opened from 10am until midnight. These times are fairly strictly adhered to, so if you want a drink outside these times you will need to pay for it either at the small 24 hour shop on site (very limited selection) or one of the nearby bars. All drinks were served in small 25cl plastic tumblers during the day to avoid possible broken glass by the pool and in the evening in small similar sized glasses. Whilst the size may not be to everyone’s liking it is practical because it gets very hot there and anything without ice in it e.g. beer, quickly gets warm and unpleasant to drink, in any case they don't limit how many drinks you can have.
The clientele at the hotel were split roughly 25% each British, Turkish, Russian, German with a smattering of other nationalities but this was fine and we never experienced any problems.
The worst part of the holiday were the hotel meals, they were in our opinion very poor; in fact I would go as far as saying that it was probably the worst selection we have ever been presented with. My family and I have lived in a number of different countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and have and holidayed in many more and so we are used to and enjoy the food of other cultures; we do not demand British style meals and we do not think that we are being cheated if we are offered anything other than a full English breakfast. The meals at this hotel though, whilst edible, were extremely disappointing.
Breakfast was probably the best meal and was the same every day, it consisted of scrambled eggs (provided you got there before 9.30, otherwise there was a danger of it not being available), hard boiled eggs, chunks of frankfurter type sausages, some white beans in a thin tomato sauce, very greasy cheese covered fried bread and omelettes or fried eggs cooked to order (provided the chef hadn't gone off on a break!). There were also cereals, fruit, preserves, cheese and cold meat slices and a small salad selection. The best part was the excellent fresh bread but this did run out once or twice as some guests would pile their plates high with it which they would often not even eat. Looking back on this paragraph, I have made it sound as if there was plenty of variety but in all honesty it was not very good especially if you didn't like eggs.
Lunch was usually a stew of some sort of meat with rice and a vegetable dish and a pasta dish. There was also a good variety of salads and a selection of cold sweets.
There were some snacks at various times during late afternoon and early evening like small meatballs and hamburgers.
The evening meal was pretty similar to lunch; on our last day there the hot food consisted of slices of roast lamb in gravy, rice, mini turkey skewers, a vegetable dish that seemed to consist mainly of peas and some pasta to accompany it. (See picture). Vegetarians beware that on at least one occasion the vegetable offering contained chicken!
Before we went we read reviews on a number of sites where a number of people commented that although the food wasn't to British tastes you could always find something to eat. Well that may be the case if you are of the opinion that food is simply a fuel to keep you going but we enjoy good meals and feel that they are an integral part of the holiday and we like to plan our evenings around them. Consequently we ate out every night in one of the excellent and relatively cheap restaurants close by. To give an idea, a fillet steak in most restaurants was about 25 Lira (less than £10 when we were there) and all the meals we had outside the hotel were of a very good quality.
We did speak to people staying at the Grand Ideal (all inclusive) and the Marbella (half board) hotels nearby and it seems their food was of a much higher standard, although they did pay a little more than us, but we probably ended up paying the same in the end because we ate out every night. As the old saying goes "You get what you pay for".
There are lots of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars within easy walking distance, either on the main road or on the promenade. If you are a sports fan many of them have Sky Sports or if you like X Factor, a number were showing that as well. Beer was about 5 Lira for 0.5 litre and so was quite cheap and it did seem to be stronger than the beer served at the hotel. There were a few bars with loud music and flashing lights but most were quieter but I would stress that they were by no means dead.
If you want to visit the main area of Marmaris (Bar street etc.) which is much busier and more lively a Dolma is about 1.70 - 2 Lira or a taxi is between 10 and 15 Lira.
All in all we had a good relaxing time at the Kaya Marmaris and enjoyed our stay there except of course for the food, and because of that, if we went back to Marmaris we would choose a different hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Kayamaris Hotel Marmaris