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“Fantastic Holidday - Great Hotel - Super Location”

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Labranda Mares Marmaris
Ranked #10 of 77 Hotels in Icmeler
North Shields, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fantastic Holidday - Great Hotel - Super Location”
Reviewed 4 August 2013

Arrived at the Mares at 4.00am to be greeted by friendly reception staff. Check-in was swift and then we were taken by buggy to our accommodation in one of the villas. We had been expecting to be in the villas as we are a family of 2 adults and 3 children (10 and twins 7). We had been extremely worried about this accommodation from reading other reviews and I fully expected to have to refuse to stay. However on arrival I was pleasantly surprised. It was dark and we had been allocated a ground floor villa so initially I was upset that we would have no view however after a little bit of sleep and some sunlight I was surprised to find this was not the case and it felt like we were almost on the seafront.
Villas
The villas are extremely spacious, consisting of a Double Bedroom, Twin Bedroom, Double Sofa bed in the lounge and kitchenette dinning room. We also had a large balcony however this was not private as others on high floor need to walk past to access there rooms - a minor point.....
Rooms were very clean and bedding and towels were changed on a daily basis. We had emailed the hotel in advance asking for a 'nice' room and in our room we had slippers, bathrobes, fruit, wine and a welcome letter which was a lovely touch.
The hotel grounds
The hotel grounds were amazingly clean and well kept. The pool was also extremely clean and the sunbeds were good quality. Yes you had to be up early to reserve sunbeds and annoyingly some people had sunbeds reserved at both the beach and the pool - and often used neither however this is not the hotels fault but the selfish individuals and you will find this wherever you go.
Slides
The slide pool was well used and the staff were very safety conscious.
Entertainment team
Not being a family who join in games etc... I had not expect to be able to comment however this is the first time that myself and my family have joined in various activities. Myself and my daughters took part in the aqua aerobics kids and adults. My husband joined in the darts games. The entertainment staff work very hard and try to include everyone without being pushy. We enjoyed watching the pool games and the hotel dance afterwards - always good fun whether you take part or not. There is a kids disco on an evening and again the kids enjoyed this however the metal chairs to sit on are very uncomfortable - again a minor point......
The Beach
There is not a beach as such it is concrete sunbathing platforms with jetties going into the sea. On the platforms there are steps in to the sea and at certain areas there are little bits of sand. This was not a problem for us as my children are good swimmers however if they were younger or unable to swim I would not have been comfortable with them using this area.
Food
The food was always of good quality and well cooked. The Buffet restaurant can get busy at times but no more that other all inclusives that we have been to. There was always a lot of choices and we were never stuck for something to eat. The views from the Buffet Restaurant were amazing - not to be beaten!
The Pizzeria - during the day served Pizza, Pasta, Salad, Chips - all were delicious! On a evening this is a bookable (free) al a carte - again this restaurant served the best food - delicious. The wine (white) was also of a good quality here. The service here was superb, a special thanks to Umit who looked after us very well.
The Turkish Restaurant - during the day serves Turkish Pancakes, Grilled Chicken, Burgers, Spicy Kebabs - again all delicious! On an evening this turn into an al a carte restaurant (free) and served Kebab and Chicken - we weren't to keen on this for an evening however the views were stunning.
The is also a chargeable fish restaurant which we didn't try as my children aren't to fond of fish.
Drinks
This hotels serves a whole range of drinks within there all inclusive provision. Efes beer, good quality white wine, raki, vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, baileys type liquer, cocktails (including children's cocktails) and all soft drinks and water. There are numerous bars and it is very easy to get served. My children loved going to the bar for children's cocktails and the bar staff were very friendly to them.
So any who has booked this hotel or is thinking of booking need not worry - you will have an amazing time. In fact we are in the process of booking this hotel again!

Room Tip: Don't worry about the villas we had a fantastic one.......
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Denise R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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UK
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2013

Just back from 2 weeks at this hotel. Myself, hubby and 4 kids, age 1, 3, 11, 12. This is my totally honest and long (be warned) review.
Firstly let me say that we are very well travelled, have travelled worldwide, usually 5* and so we have plenty to compare this holiday with.
The hotel itself, although marketed as a 5 * is certainly not in my opinion, more like a good 3* or not so good 4* but however it was very pleasant, no major faults and myself and my family had a wonderful holiday.

We arrived at 6am and were taken by gulf buggy to our family villa. This was a white knuckle ride, 4 children (one in arms) and 4 cases and a buggy precariously balanced on the back of a gulf buggy careering round corners and up and down slopes....... Needless to say kids thought it was fantastic!! My 3 yeah old saying "again again,this is fun"
So we arrived at our family villa. We were taken to the furthest villa from the main hotel, furthest from the sea view (I think 37..). I had read and reread reviews so was not expecting anything grand from the villas but when we opened the door I was still very upset. The room smelt musty, it was old, And did not look clean at all. The sheets were stained (with what looked like blood) and I wouldn't have put an animal in the travel cot we were given much less my son. The shower was dark, dingy and smelly and looked like something you might find in a prison block. The older kids said they would be scared to use it.
Of course I walked straight back to reception and voiced my concerns. Dealt with a lady in the back office called Ayleen. She said at midday once previous guests had vacated she would find me an alternative room. Only 2 hours later we were called to say they had found another room and gave me the opportunity to view it. Villa 3427. This was on the first row, nearest the sea and much closer to the pool and main hotel (still a short 2/3 min walk though). The villa was much much much nicer. Large queen sized bed in bedroom, separate twin room and a sofa bed along with much newer travel cot in the main living area. It was spacious and very very clean. I even went over the floor with my antibacterial floor wipes and the wipes were clean! Bathroom spacious with bath and shower over, toilet, bidet and clean vanity area. Aircon units very efficient in double room and main living area. Mini bar which kept water bottles etc very cold.
Large balcony with new table and 4 chairs on.
So we were all much happier with this villa. Still not 5* though but huge improvement on 1st villa.
Speaking to other families it seems standard practice to put them in a bad villa initially and move them to a better one if they complain. Perhaps they hope you will just put up and shut up??

Villa was cleaned and fresh towels daily. Sheets only changed twice per week to my knowledge.
The double bed not very comfortable so had a sore back by end of the 2 weeks.

View from our bedroom and balcony were amazing looking over sea and mountains.
One thing I haven't noticed people mentioning in their reviews were the sounds in this resort...... The sounds of the crickets were out of this world and so loud that I was actually looking for speakers wondering if the sounds were being pumped in. All day and night you could hear them and it was lovely. The nature surrounding the hotel was beautiful , greenery, palm trees, tree covered mountains and fauna everywhere and wildlife in abundance... Birds, tiny lizards, bats at night, crickets etc. the downside to that were the wild cats. Unfortunately I'm afraid of cats so did not enjoy this and spent a lot of time on walks to and from our Villa ducking and diving from a particularly playful ginger cat that liked to hide under bushes and run out as we passed. Got so bad that I started to hide my sons bottle in case it was the milk that as attracting him whenever we walked past. My kids named him "tango"

Food was plentiful and tasty. Breakfast you could get eggs/omelettes freshly made, toast, cereals etc. my kids fell in love with the chocolate spread and cherry jam so much so that I found quite a few packets in their suitcases stashed away when unpacking :) The Turkish tea was lovely but the juices were extremely sweet and artificial tasting so had to be watered down. You could purchase freshly squeezed orange juice at an additional cost. £2.50 per glass I think. In my opinion these things should have Been included.

Lunch could be eaten buffet style between 12 and 2 and lots of choice or the Turkish and Italian between 12 and 4. All snack style, pizza, pasta, chips, burgers etc but pleasant enough. Drinks wise only options were beer, wine, water or fizzy drinks in the Turkish and Italian. Some juices wouldn't have gone amiss.

Dinner 7 to 9.30 in main buffet restaurant and again hot and plenty of choice. We tended to arrive around 8 but on a couple of occasions towards the end got there earlier and dessert selections were much more plentiful. It seems the Russians particularly got there as it opened and would pile plate after plate on their tables finishing much of the better desserts before slightly later guests arrived leaving only Rather odd looking items left.
Ice creams aren't included in the all inclusive except between 8.30 and 9pm for only 30 mis when there was a mass rush down by the kiddie section at the main entrance to the dining hall. No queuing system there whatsoever just a "hold your hand out and push" method which my kids had to adopt in order to get an ice cream. If you can't beat em........,,, :)

Waiting staff in the restaurant were lovely in the main and adored my 2 little ones, smothering them in kisses and hugs and were really very sweet. They even bought my 3 year old a gift and a framed photo of one of them with my son and a box of Turkish delights for the rest of the family. Very very kind, lovely people. I can't remember all their names (sorry) but arzu and Nagihan were 2 of the girls.
Can also eat a la carte at the Turkish and pizzeria by booking with guest services. Ate twice at the Turkish and once at the pizzeria and both were very nice. Different menus to the lunch ones which you don't book for.

Entertainment in my view was pretty poor and cheesy. Kids disco every night at 9 to 9.30 which the 2 little ones enjoyed and then 9.30 to 10 something like karaoke or drag (very poor) show just the staff dressing up and dancing. Having said that one night they had external Turkish dancers come in and the show was really really good, very entertaining. Always finished by 10 though and then nothing...... Unless you wanted to sit by the pool bar where they had music or go down to the sultan bar where they had a live band every night from 9.30 until midnight which was really very very good. Difficult though with kids to stay there long as they get restless so a decent show would have been nice.
Not very well advertised is the disco down at the beach club. It actually belongs to marmaris palace (right next door) but mares guests have all inclusive drinks there between 10pm and midnight and it really is very good. Decent music, lovely atmosphere over the sea. It's located along the beach path, walking right past the Turkish restaurant, maybe 3 mins walk, no kids allowed so we never stayed but walked past and lurked around outside for a few mins one night on walk back from Icmeler. I think kids allowed during the day but not sure if all inclusive then.

Kids club ok, not great and only open 10am till 12 and 2.30 till 5. I couldn't leve my daughter as she wasn't yet 4 so she went in occasionally while I sat outside at the pizzeria with a drink, soaking up the sun and beautiful views. One day kids club took the kids down to the dolphinarium. I went down and it was fantastic. The kids(and me) thoroughly enjoyed it. Another day they took the kids on the banana boats which the 12 year old thought was great.

Incidently its free for kids up to 6 years to see the dolphins and I thnk £13 for adults which is pretty cheap compared to other places.


Pool ok. Main pool has water polo most days in a sectioned off part. There's also a kiddie pool and at the top a pool with 2 fairly large water slides. Our kids used the pools most days and was always lively, music etc. some days it was difficult to find beds as they had all been 'reserved'. But we always managed to find 1 or 2 without waiting too long. Beware very slippery on the walk from pool to toilets....... There's also table tennis near the toilets which again wasn't that well advertised.

Beach (there wasn't one). Just concrete with sun beds and various jettys and floating platforms but the sea was nice, clean and clear and we spent a couple of days there. Difficult with the 2 little ones and no beach though. Quite a few fish to see. Be careful there are wasps everywhere as there are soooo many fizzy, sugary drinks. My 3 year old got stung while waiting for drinks at the beach bar.

We did the boat trip advertised by max along the beach path which is well recommended but slightly more expensive than you'll find outside. We also did another boat trip, Atlantis water park and quad biking all of which I booked at an excursion office in Icmeler. £75 for the lot for the 6 of us. Not bad and all good with lots of fun......... Boat trips include lunch but you get stung for drinks, ice creams and snacks when there as you're not allowed to take with you?

Icmeler market well worth it every Wednesday and I went both weeks. Very hot though. Be prepared to haggle. We got a few very good purchases.

Ok so that's it I think. All in all we had A fab holiday. We will definitely come to this area again but I think I'd like to stay in Icmeler next time as this town (compared to marmaris) was much nicer in my view and more suited to families. Hope this review helps people.

Room Tip: If you need a villa take one closer to the hotel, preferably the nearest row to the sea. Villa 3427...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank chel14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Great Ayton, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2013 via mobile

WOW! I have to admit we were extremely nervous about holidaying in Turkey after the recent bad press .... Fortunately the Mares changed my opinion.

It is fabulous ... Ohh those views from the sun loungers in the sea, magnificent! I've travelled all over the world & this location is second to none!

We stayed in the main hotel, 1 room for the 4 of us (my husband & i, plus our 9 year old daughter & 4 year old son), big enough, great air con & bathroom,bottled water provided every day, wine & fruit on arrival. We ate in the Italian restaurant for 3 lunches & 1 evening, food lovely & fresh, good choice, delicious. The rest of our meals were on "T" in the main restaurant ... Fresh omelettes, pancakes bread, cakes etc etc for breakfast ... Fresh pasta, noodles, pitta bread, meats as well as the expected salads & vegetables for lunch & dinner service ... Lots & lots of choice, none of us were poorly ... In fact I ate that much I put 9lbs on!!

Pool area, slightly smaller than I would have expected for a hotel complex of this size, but the sea front more than makes up for it. The Russians were amusing regarding the early sun bed hogging, so "if you can't beat them, join them", my husband & I took it in turns to get up at 6.15 am to get a couple of sun loungers ... Not really an issue, we both went back to bed & got up as a family for breakfast at 9amish.

We loved the sultan bar on an evening, the band were fab. Local wine & beer plentiful & surprisingly delicious. I loved gin & tonic on the veranda on an afternoon at 5pm watching the boats literally sail by ... Ohhh I wish I was there right now!

We will return, absolutely definitely. Thank you to the whole team that made our holiday so enjoyable.

Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Jo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
Reviewed 2 August 2013 via mobile

Thank you Alexis B for your review. We are going to this hotel in 2 weeks and are due to stay in a villa. We were getting worried after reading reviews. But are very encouraged after reading yours. Could you clarify which room you stayed in as you mention 2 in your review (3403/3040) thanking you kindly.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Karenbark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2013

I have never written a review in the past for any of my holiday.but experience at Grand mares made me to write this.we stayed there end of May this year. we have arrived in the hotel 12 at night. reception staff were very friendly. room we stayed in was in main building sea view. view from the room were breath taking. food was lovely plenty of choice.pool could have been bigger.
had to speak to reservation team for minor issue but they have solved the problem professionally and very quickly. reservation supervisor/chief she was excellent lady. dine in the fish restaurant by the sea is must.you need to book through guest relation team.

We travel a lot but never want to go same place twice to stay but will go back to Mares to stay again.......

Thanks

Golam

Room Tip: Please book sea view room in the main building......
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Golam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2013 via mobile

Staff are her helpful. Food is lovely. Right on the sea front. Entertainment by the pool daily, family friendly. This is my 2nd visit to this hotel and I will be returning next year. Everything you need in the one complex. Transfer from airport is a little long.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank X Lulu X T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2013

We have just returned from this Hotel and on the whole had a great time. This is the first time I have written a review and it is with the intention of forewarning, in the hope other families do not experience the same negativity that we did. The incident that marred our stay here and will prevent us from returning was due to our interaction with the Hotel Assistant Manager Mr Ulas Yumartas (or something similar as I cannot decipher his handwriting). We traveled as a "family" of four My Partner myself and two children-a boy of almost 13 and a girl of 11. We chose the hotel due to location and facilities. I was confused by room descriptions before booking- options being rooms,villas,bungalows etc without too much description...I did e-mail the hotel for clarification but never received a reply..therefore booked a double Villa and hoped for the best-rather naively .On the Hotel website it described some villas as having a Double bed and a sofa bed for triple occupation (amongst several other options but nothing definitive).We were quadruple occupation therefore assumed this would be taken into account when allocating one of the many various accommodation options. I completed the express check in with ages and gender of our party on-line before travel.When we were shown to our "Villa" at 4.00am there was a double bed and in the same room a small futon/sofa bed-we explained at reception this wasn't adequate, the surly receptionist on duty basically grunted we would have to see the manager in the morning.What a delightful experience this turned out to be! I will award him 5 stars for the most insincere welcome ever experienced.I explained our dilemma politely in typical English well mannered fashion-explaining I had made a mistake and hoped he could assist us in rectifying this-his response? Pure hostility-quote"You book a cheap room and expect me to upgrade you for free?" Well "cheap"is debatable and no I never once asked for anything Free- fully expecting to pay any difference in upgrade to enhance the holiday experience. I accept I could have chosen a de-luxe option initially but as I didn't intend to spend too much time in a room I didn't think this a necessity-but expecting non-siblings to share a bed at the given ages wasn't acceptable. His proffered solution-book another twin room-to cut a long negotiation short, as the only choice offered we initially agreed-then asked the price-bearing in mind we had already purchased all inc for four and whether in one room or two the same amount of linen is used...£150 per night! That's £1050 extra for the remaining 7 days. We politely declined and thanked him for his assistance.As it happens we procured another bed from a more helpful staff member and made the most of staying out of our "dormitory room". Some will say it is our own fault for not ascertaining prior to travel the exact room provisions-but that is easier said than done..allocation appears to be hit and miss...and there were no photos on the internet that showed the Villa Interior. In addition it wasn't just the unhelpful attitude and unwillingness to compromise that I found most offensive-it was the sneering cold manner that the information was delivered. Perhaps Mr U Y should direct his hostility at the more deserving...the vacant sunbed hoggers and the wasters who prepare whole buffets at their meal tables and then walk off without touching a high portion of the acquired food-depriving others of as much choice. Or the Adults who have no manners and cannot grasp please or thank-you in their own language so how would their children learn manners?
All that said the food was better than expected with choice for everyone..the location was fabulous...the children had a wonderful time and yes I would have considered going back with more family members and prior knowledge of accommodation choice but there are many similar hotels around the Med that understand Customer Service with hopefully a more sincere "Welcome".Lastly our room attendant Hafiza was lovely-a credit to the hotel,always smiling and helpful despite hard work in difficult conditions..the management could learn from her example.If you've booked here don't worry the positives well out weigh the negatives and there are some unexpected benefits....but if you do have a problem that requires a solution make sure the assistant manager ULAS is not on duty!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank adrenalyn01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Labranda Mares Marmaris

Property: Labranda Mares Marmaris
Address: Icmeler Mah. Ataturk Cad. No: 64, Icmeler 48700, Turkey (Formerly Grand Yazıcı Club Marmaris Palace)
Phone Number:
Region: Turkey > Turkish Aegean Coast > Mugla Province > Icmeler
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Icmeler
#6 Luxury Hotel in Icmeler
#6 Spa Hotel in Icmeler
#32 Family Hotel in Icmeler
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — Labranda Mares Marmaris 5*
Number of rooms: 440
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Previously known as Grand Yazici Mares, this 440-room, all-inclusive resort is ideally located on the beach within the pine woods of Içmeler, Pamucak and in close proximity to Marmaris center. With a wide range of recreational facilities including, 4 swimming pools, a tennis club, kids activities, and water sports, LABRANDA Mares Marmaris is an ideal resort for families and couples alike. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mares Hotel Marmaris

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