From what I can gather, views on Marmaris itself are divided, but lean towards the negative. I find it hard to disagree, but will focus on the hotel - if you like Marmaris, I think you could do a whole lot worse than staying here. The photos we had seen actually don't do it justice. Staff are very friendly and pleasant, and I would like to think not just because tipping is huge in Turkey..! The location is good for the main street, beach, water park (all within easy walking distance), but seemed a bit quiet/isolated when walking out at night.
The rooms are nice enough, spacious, and come equipped with heating (yes, we did use it in May!!)/air con, hair dryer, fridge, hob, towels for at the pool and a TV for which you can buy very reasonable packages. The safe is in a room next to the reception, which at first seems odd (they have a master key and you keep your key - both need to be used in conjunction), but actually works out fine. For a change, we had a double bed (or even king size?) instead of twin beds, which was a bonus. We stayed far away from the pool in order to minimise noise; nice idea had it not been for an Alsation barking all hours in the grounds of the next hotel. But generally, we had a good sleep quality.
There are various little businesses within the hotel (tattoo artist, a couple of shops including one selling the mandatory fake designer clothes, a hairdresser and a games room). The games room was about 50% functional which wasn't great when we had wet weather the first few days, but once the sun was out we didn't really care! There is also a spa where you can purchase various treatments, and a 'gym'. The latter was very disappointing to be honest, but when it is 35 degrees +, then maybe intensive exercise isn't the best idea.
The pool is great with no steep inclines to deep water. I think it ranged from 1 m to 1.6 m, with a separate kids pool, complete with chute. The main pool also has a chute that is open between certain times only. Kids under 3 are told, or rather their parents are told, to wear swimming nappies. This doesn't always happen though - not the fault of the hotel, but the type of person that maybe goes there (see last paragraph...). There were 3 days in a row where there were 'incidents'... One of these required the pool to be closed for treatment, but no signs were put up. When my family and I returned from a trip into town, we thought we'd have a dip to cool down... Needless to say when I found out I was furious; staff didn't seem to be too concerned but did stick up a few hastily typed signs. I was told that it is a very frequent occurrence (again, maybe indicative of the holidaymakers who frequent here), so surely they would have some kind of signs available..?
There is entertainment from around 10.00 until 23.00, with a couple of breaks. At times it can be a bit too much, perhaps if you want to relax by the pool (!) but some of the guys are great fun. The evening entertainment is the same every night until later on, at which point there is some variety. After 2 weeks, this became very tedious, but some people may love it. I would suggest avoiding the 'comedy' show though. Apart from being as funny as a hernia, it does cross certain lines. I am far from P.C., but there were several times where I winced - whether it was the homophobic comments, boot polish on the face, 'joke' acts in which pretend babies were stabbed... One to avoid.
The kids club, run by Thomson staff, is really good. All the girls are very friendly and the kids loved it.
I have saved the best for last. The food. It is great, and easily the best I have had on holiday. At all meal times there is a choice of freshly cooked food from the grill area next to the bar, or food from the indoor area (more to follow on that...). The hot snacks (chicken burgers, nuggets, rolls etc) are available from late in the morning and are delivered to your sun lounger! There is also a section with exquisitely made little morsels, and a selection of beautifully carved fruit. There was not a single meal where I struggled to find something very nice to eat. If you have fussy kids though, their selection is perhaps a bit limited. You can choose to eat indoors, in the covered seated area outside, or in the uncovered area, slightly further out (though no tables are put there when it's raining), which brings me on to the main down side of my experience...
...As a non smoker, I like to breathe in fairly fresh air (and I like my kids not to be overly exposed to the poisonous stench) - I know, how selfish of me. In cases where there were no tables available in the uncovered section, and after the indoor section had shut, it was like we had gone through a time warp to the 80's - I have never encountered so many smokers in one place at the same time. All the smoke just collected in the covered area - it was awful! Each to their own though, so moving on, there were quite a few families who had absolutely no control over their kids, or even any interest in what they were doing/where they were, on their 'family holiday'. There were a lot of semi-feral kids running everywhere, kicking footballs onto tables, stealing inflatables etc. This can't be a slight on the hotel, as it is not their responsibility to bring children up, but again, maybe shows what sort of people (NOT REFERRING TO ALL PEOPLE THERE) holiday here in higher numbers than would be expected... In summary, despite me listing some negatives, if you are considering Marmaris, this is a good hotel.
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