The first impression was terrible. When we arrived at midday, the lobby area was like a zoo, with dozens of guests camping there. Nobody helped with luggage; the staff are mostly indifferent. Our room was not ready of course, so we tried to wait in the lounge (which has nice views of the slopes) but every seat was taken. The room was finally ready at 3.30 pm. Even then, the cleaning seemed very superficial—a pile of cigarette butts on the windowsill, stained towels, an empty coke can on the desk… you get the picture. The room was decently furnished, and the bathroom was fine except for a mild stench emanating from the drains. But the family room is small (nowhere to put a suitcase), the beds are tiny and hard and extremely uncomfortable, and the TV only has one English channel. There’s no Internet of any kind in the hotel.
The ski room downstairs, where you rent skis and arrange lessons, was also utter mayhem—it took a lot of waiting and patience to get our equipment. Overall, the hotel seems always packed and chaotic, even though we went mid-week. It can be hard to find a place to sit at dinnertime in the mess hall (I cannot bring myself to call it a restaurant). All this is odd because the ski lifts and slopes are usually semi-deserted (mid-week, at least), which leads me to think that many of the hotel gusts don’t actually ski.
On the plus side, the ski and snowboard instructors here are good if you’re looking for lessons. Also, if you want to ski at Kartalkaya (which you may want to do—snow is abundant and slopes are good enough to keep a good skier busy for 2-3 days), there are only a few choices and the Dorukkaya is probably the best option overall. Food on the all-inclusive “concept” is cafeteria style—not bad as cafeteria food goes, but still cafeteria food. The all-inclusive idea is convenient, though if you're thinking of eating your money's worth bear in mind that there’s only so much Efes and stuffed capsicum anyone can imbibe.
The Dorukkaya is almost affordable mid-week, but sheer robbery on weekends. Also note that they fleece you for everything that’s not included. Equipment rentals and lessons are quite expensive. The ski shop only has brand-name stuff at exorbitant prices. And don’t forget your toothbrush at home—I did, and had to pay a whopping $13 for one at the hotel convenience store.
Note that Kartalkaya consists of just a handful of hotels next to the slopes. There is absolutely nothing else here, not for 50 km—no shops, no restaurants, not even ATMs.
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- Also Known As:
- Dorukkaya Ski Mountain Resort Turkey/Bolu