We visited the resort during the Easter holidays for 10 days which was right at the start of the holiday season in Turkey.
On arrival (We ere delayed 8 hours, thank you easyjet), we were greeting by night porters, who didn't know who we were, and shown to our accommodation. The rooms were freezing cold as the aircon had been left on and there was no remotes for the units to switch off. We were all exhausted from the long flight delays so just wanted to rest for a few hours. However the bathroom was flooded on arrival and in general the room was very tired,dated and not very clean. There certainly wasn't the inviting arranged towels and flowers shown now. Also the fridge did not work, nor did it have the full stock of soft drinks we were promised.
Having managed to sleep a few hours I then made my way up to reception to ask to change rooms due the reasons mentioned above. this was met with a flat refusal from hotel staff who were not helpful whatsoever. I explained the condition of the room, the flooded bathroom and lack of zircon controls as well as the missing tv remotes and i insisted we be moved. The staff just rolled their eyes at yet another complaint and told me they had no availability.
I then asked that the faults were rectified asap, which they assured me it would be. However it then took another two days to sort the flooding, controls etc... The only time I got anywhere was when I raised a complaint with the customer service manager so don't waste your time with reception.
The accommodation aside, the resort is expansive. We have two small children 6 & 2, so I was looking forward to kids clubs and play activities for them. Wrong again. Too early in the season apparently, that was, unless of course you were French and booking through the Club Eldorado package in which case you were resort royalty. The staff put on kids clubs, sleepovers, and various activities but refused to allow our children to join in as we weren't Club Eldorado guests. You can imagine the disappointment for the children to see all these activities going on that they were not allowed to participate in. That said the pools and beach are very good for children, but over a ten day stay we simply wanted more for them.
Food - When we viewed the resort in advance on Tripadvisor we were really keen to try the various restaurants and cuisines on offer throughout the resort. Again the curse of the early season struck. No restaurants open except the main buffet in the hotel and the snack restaurant at lunchtimes only by the pool. The selection in the main buffet restaurant was very good, but after a few days the food became repetitive and dull. They advertised seafood & chinese etc..., themed evenings in the buffet restaurant but these never happened. The most popular dishes often ran out before you could get a chance to eat any. I will say we enjoyed the food at first as it was fresh and tasty, but there is only so many times you can eat the same thing over a longer stay. The resort should be far clearer on their advertising that many of the expected features are not open to guests. I accept that a lower price is charged in early season but visitors should be able to make an informed choice.
The all important all-inclusive part of the package was good. A good selection of cocktails were available as was the local Efes beer and Becks on tap. If you are a lager drinker then stick with the Efes as the Becks is rather weak. The local spirits used are in non-descript branded bottles. I rather suspect that the strength of these spirits may not be as expected as you can consume quite a few cocktails without much positive effects! The secret we found was to order "Long Island Iced Teas" as these gave enough of the local brew to get the desired effect. :o)
Entertainment was sporadic and it was never clear what was going on and where. Credit where it's due, the entertainment team there work really hard and try to deliver what they can. When we initially arrived there was little on and everyone just had to sit up in the conservatory area, mostly playing cards and smoking. Now I have no issues with people who wish to play cards but it's hardly my idea of evening entertainment and not much fun for the kids. A few days in a number of us guests companied about the lack of evening entertainment and eventually some karaoke piano playing took place. Again not a lot of fun for the kids and no babysitting was available at any time. Again the Club Eldorado guests seemed to have their own special remit for their kids.
We watched two live shows at the outdoor amphitheatre. The first show was good fun for young and old alike with fire-breathing and tales of the orient played out on stage by the talented entertainment team. It was great to have something to do other than play cards in smokey conservatories! However the second 'comedy' show was a big disappointment. A bit of a poor effort at slapstick which just didn't work. Mid-way through the family performance the entertainment team thought it may be amusing to do a sketch titled "Amy Winehouse before and after drug" (sic). The performance involved a male entertainer staggered around the stage intoxicated, presumably Amy before drug, to then a simulated snorting of cocaine from the stage floor before then simulating her death from a drugs overdose. Now I'm no expert on Turkish comedy, but I fail to see, by any stretch of the imagination, how the unfortunate death of Amy Winehouse played out graphically on stage to the watching parents and children was ever going to be funny. The sketch led to 90% of the audience getting up and taking their children away. Not good!
The beach area is simply stunning and the vista as you walk down from the hotel is breathtaking the first time you see it. It is a shingle beach so not many sandcastles to be built but nevertheless the children enjoyed the few days spent on the beach. The main pool is also popular all day and there are entertainments on constantly here for adults but little for children. We particularly enjoyed the daily bouts of water polo and air rifles target shooting. This area would be made much better by making ice-creams and snacks freely available as you'd expect on an all-inclusive package but instead you have to purchase these from the shop by the pool. Just be warned it's very expensive so think ahead for children's snacks and so forth before walking down the hill.
They also have an excellent watersports facility and diving club down by the beach. Staff there are friendly and welcoming. It can be a little pricey but I think this is the norm on these types of holiday. But as a treat well worth a diving trip or taking the jet ski out for a blast. They also hire canoes and pedalos for going out around the safe eclipsed bay area. I think there is also a boat trip from the hotel marina once a week, but again this seems to be for Club Eldorador guests as all the info was in french.
It should be noted, at this stage, that the resort is on a cliff, so the walk to and from the beach and main pool is up and down a very steep, very long hill. Whatever you do don't leave something behind in the morning as the walk back up is a killer! There was a golf buggy going around but it was in demand and needed booking in advance at reception if you had mobility issues. To be fair I probably wouldn't recommend the report to anyone who has mobility issues due to the amount of steps and very steep hills throughout the resort.
Well worth a trip into Bodrum itself whilst on holiday. There is a very regular bus service from the hotel gates right into the centre of the city at the main bus station. The bus is 5.5tl each way which is cheap as chips. Bodrum itself has a beautiful marina and fortress castle, great for a walk around. There is of course the normal plethora of hooky gear shops in abundance. I would say that it is not as pressured as say a Tunisian Medina but the sales staff do try and get you inside. Bargain hard and don't be afraid to simply walk away. The very best 'designer' bags are to be found in the leather good shops rather than the hooky brand shops. These are all near to each other in the road opposite the marina mosque. If you were at the mosque and looking up towards the McDonalds restaurant its the first road on the left. Again shop around and haggle hard, you can good a good quality 'designer' bag for in the region of £70.00. Expensive compared to the other fake shops but you definitely get what you pay for in the quality of the leather goods.
Also is eating out stay clear of the marina where the restaurants are very expensive and prices often aren't shown on the menus. Instead find a nice place of the beaten track where the locals can be found sipping sweetened turkish tea and food is good quality, cheap and fresh. Or if, like our kids insisted, you want some western decadence then its the obligatory trip to McDonalds, just for a change!
So in all a fairly mixed review. I deliberately waited some time after returning to write the review when I could balance my opinions better to hopefully give a realistic picture of the resort. There were good points and bad throughout. But in all, sat here now, I'd rather be sat back by the pool waiting for water-polo! There resort could and should be amazing. More time spent on family values and what children want could vastly improve the experience. There is so much potential with great watersides and so forth but the resort must address issues promptly when raised and not have the Basil Fawlty approach to service. If parts of the resort are not open, make this clear so visitors can make an informed decision when booking. If you wish to have a french only market then only take bookings via Club Eldorador. Don't provide children's clubs for select children as everyone else is then left to feel like second-class citizens.
Would i revisit this resort? Probably not, unless they could guarantee all the facilities open and a much better standard of room, entertainment and food.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Following the major refurbishment Bodrum Park Resort has upgraded to 5* and proud to provide you with 5* quality Bodrum Holiday.With our guest satisfaction approach, professional team, and heavenly nature, we invite you to experience a dreamlike holiday. Our mission is to help you make the most of your leisure time; rendering it more meaningful with special concepts and activities under our new 5* concept. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bodrum Park Resort Turkey/Yaliciftlik