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“5* location, 5* food, 3* standards”

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Labranda Mares Marmaris
Ranked #10 of 77 Hotels in Icmeler
Antalya, Turkey
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“5* location, 5* food, 3* standards”
Reviewed 30 June 2010

I heard this hotel was owned by Divan Hotels of the Koc Group (biggest conglomerate of Turkey) and later sold to Yazici Group. Its standards have been reportedly falling ever since. Its management seems to try cutting corners to stay competitive and attractive but it comes off as cheap. To be fair, the hotel has its pluses as well as minuses. Here's how we would list them:

Ups:
- Great location, great views
- Room cleanliness was top notch
- Food! Great tasting food, reasonable variety,
- Friendly staff
- Some effort made for disabled guests

Downs:
- Not child friendly, high seats for children substandard
- No central cooling from midnight until 8 AM
- Generator supplies power only for lighting
- No sandy (or pebble) beach
- Drinks provided in disposable plastic cups
- Dolphin park visit is a rip off

We were made to feel welcome at check in. The staff was helpful, attentive and friendly. Although checking in late, we were able to find almost every variety of food at the buffet ten minutes before closing time.

However, staying with two toddlers who need high chairs at the dinner table, it was a problem to find these. When we were able to locate and request them to be brought, none of them had functioning safety belts and the trays were not thoroughly clean although plastic cling wrap might suggest otherwise. Kids eat making a mess on the trays and the seats, therefore one would think that a purportedly five star hotel should plan accordingly. But not Mares, no amount of complaining to the restaurant manager could correct this fundamental hygiene problem.

Marmaris being a hot and humid place, air conditioning is standard even in non-starred bed and breakfast hotels. But Mares management chose to turn off the central cooling after midnight, probably to save some money, until 8 AM. I prefer to sleep at around 22-23 degrees (C) but my east-facing room would become uncomfortably hot after 6 AM until the central cooling starts in two hours. I had the most uncomfortable sleep during my ten days. When I mentioned it to the technical service, they denied that they turned off cooling during night. The thermostatically controlled room unit would continue to blow air but it was not cooling.

I sleep with a CPAP machine that requires constant mains supply. However, during (admittedly rare) power outages Mares Hotel's power generator does not supply electricity to neither the air conditioning nor to the wall mains outlets. Which made me wake up, because I cannot sleep without the CPAP.

Our young children love to play in the sand. But nowhere in the online or on paper information about the hotel is it mentioned that the hotel does not have a sandy beach. or any beach at all. All it has is a concrete, admittedly well designed, sun deck and swimming platform along the waterfront of the hotel.

And, what is the deal with disposable plastic cups for, of all things, coffee and tea? It is cheap, cheap and miserly.

Last but not least, the unique dolphin park in this hotel leads one to believe that the dolphins put up a show for the spectators. However, on close inspection of the finer print, it mentions only "visit" with the dolphins. Let me clarify what a "visit" with the dolphins means: It means that you sit and watch the trained dolphins get friendly with the park visitors who pay up to USD 100 for swimming literally ten minutes with them. For this viewing privilege, adults pay USD 20 and children (6-12 years) USD 10. This is a rip off and I should complain to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

For all its beautiful location, above average food and friendly staff, no, I am not coming back to this hotel and I do not recommend it to any of my friends.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Avni A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Falkirk
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2010

We arrived at the Mares very late at night and I was less than bowled over by the reception staff and the lobby area, some negative tripadvisor reviews instantly popped into my head. We were not given any information on the hotel apart from a poorly copied bit of paper with some times on it for the bars and restaurants. We dumped our bags in the very nice room (I said this grudgingly at the time) which is in the main hotel building and we ventured out to get a welcome drink. The only place open for us was the nightclub, the music was blaring and there was nobody to be seen; get me out of here I said!
We woke up early the next morning, I opened the patio doors and all I could see was sun and sea! We walked all around the hotel and thought it was fantastic. No, it's not a UK 5 star but you must know that... This is a very nice, beautifully positioned hotel with extremely nice staff (not at reception) good enough food (Italien and Turkish are excellent, the buffet is not the best but it's okay), nice rooms and a bit of entertainment if you want it. The pool area is quite loud but fun and we loved the beach which is well set out.
It's quite a lively hotel, you can take part or not but over our 11 nights it seemed to us that everyone took part in some way or another. We never saw any of the shows or went to the pool party or beach party but it's there if you want it. We loved the Sultan Bar and danced like loons to the band that played most nights.
Our room was on the second floor of the main building and it was lovely with a dressing area, big bathroom, fantastic shower and the patio doors have a bug screen you can pull over which is a rarely seen but a great idea. Our room was cleaned every day but often not until later in the afternoon, who cares? It was perfectly clean and if we needed anything we got it. We heard people saying they didn't like their room, we think there are some still to be done up and we didn't talk to anyone who had a bungalow.
We did lots of walking day and night, the coastal path is easy to walk on and we loved Icmeler. Be careful walking around the hotel and the paths are steep and can be dangerous when wet or when you wear platform wedge sandals!
So, go, enjoy and this fussy Scot will definately return one day...and if you heard me on the first night then that is certainly a recommendation!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank SazLac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exmouth
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2010

My husband and I stayed at the hotel all inclusive with our teenage daughter. The hotel was excellent value for money, It was spotlessly clean, the staff were friendly and our room which was right at the end of the corridor on the second floor was huge. We had a seperate bedroom which we were not expecting and our balcony was massive! The food was very good. There was a huge choice every meal time with 4 chiefs every night cooking food fresh in front of you, The views from the hotel are amazing you can see all around Maramis Bay and one morning at breakfast we were watching dolohins swimming in the bay. Antonio and all the entertainment staff were fabulous, they were freindly, funny but not too pushy. The evening entertainment was not great but it was only the 2nd wk of the season and i am sure it will get better. Overall we had a fabulous holiday and will be going again.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank DW1Exmouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland, fife
1 review
Reviewed 2 June 2010

firstly, on a positive side, the hotel really was lovely. As for the food and entertainment, i would not recommend it. The food.... well if you like to eat turkey and meatballs then fine!! As for a snack at the pool during the day, you have no chance. No snacks at pool bar for a start. Thankfully i dindnt have my son there, as for a start, He wouldnt be able to get little snack by the pool if he was hungry and would have to spend a fortune paying for ice-cream(which i thought would be free all day) Entertainment for both kids and adults was terrible. You pay for all inclusive and end up having to eat out every night!

Lastly, was not happy at the fact that there was no shower room for the guests that had later flight and had to be out the room earlier in the day. Should at leats have little room ro freshen up

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank stewartScotlandFife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2010

So unhappy with our holiday at this hotel, we logged an complaint with our Tour operator "Cosmos" yet nothing was done "There were deficiencies at the hotel, which fell below the standard reasonably to be anticipated of a 5 star rating" who on earth rates these hotels My stay lasted 1 week during my time there not once did we receive a hot meal the hot food and drink is very much below par and cold.

If your looking for 5 star hotel and 5 star service this is definatly "NOT" please dont be lured into the all inclusive booze is cheap and local crap... avoid !!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jimmyjam67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Telford
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2010

Firstly it's not a UK 5 star, but it's clean and spacious and the family rooms catered for 5 of us easily.
The location is very beautiful and you can walk 20 mins to Icemelar one way along the paved sea path or 30 mins into Marmaris the other way. Well worth venturing into Icemelar at lot more picturesque than Marmaris, and a few bars along the way to stop for a drink and ice cream, and worth a visit to the Wednesday Market.

The food was ok there was enough choice each day to find something and the soup most nights was really good, our main critsicm would be that the evening meal is not until 19.00 hours which was a bit late for our 3 year old and there is no real options for the other two teenage kids.
The staff were all polite and friendly though the service at the bars is a bit unorganised with the staff unsure who is next so who shouts loadest gets served first. the strange thing is the Sultan bar is extra but is just serving same drinks as the other 2 bars within 60ft of it. NO IDEA WHY?

The Kids enternatainment give 110% and do the best that they can do with the facilities, they work from 9.30 am until 2.00am six days a week so give them some respect.
Antonio, Katie , Oskar, Memo and Soloma did a fanastic job of keeping our 3 year old Melissa very happy.

Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank andy6565
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Helens, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2010

First let me start by saying that, by British standards, this is not a 5* hotel...more a 3 or 3+ hotel but we are talking Turkey and standards are different. The hotel is solely all-inclusive and despite, this, there is no queues fo food or at the numerous bars (the duty manager, in all his pristineness, makes sure of that). What i can say thought is that the food is, by far, of 5* quality. The choice is almost overwhelming and the only real thing you have to decide is which of the amazing selections you want to put on your plate. You also have the choice of eating in the main restaurant, the pizzeria or the Camlik (outdoor) restaurant. The selection is varied, from the traditional to the obscure, and you are guaranteed to eat something that you have no idea what it is, and despite the rudimentary translated name labels....you still will be guessing (nit sauce being one....never did figure that one out). And for all you boring, ooh i want British food, out there....they do pizza, chips and baked potatoes. I could go on and on about the food but just believe me that it is definitely worthwhile.
Now to the rest...accommodation was not of British 5* quality but was clean enough, well looked after by the chamber guy...and, to be honest, for the little amount of time we spent in the room...it was more than adequate for the job. Just a shame that there were 40 channels on the TV....30 of which were in German and none, except BBC news, were in English. This is despite that the hotel guests were 90% English, with one Italian family and the rest Israeli.
The staff were, on the whole, helpful...and the bar and restaurant staff more than willing to help....with, it would seem, making the kids happy high on their agenda.
The entertainment, I would say, is probably what lets it down the most...along with the alcohol selection (but will get to that shortly). I know we went at the start of the season, and was not expecting amazing things yet, the kids activities were a little limited but by the end of the holiday...they had improved and the staff, who were amazing throughout, had bumped up their activities.
Ok...and I am sure this is the bit that you most interested in...the alcohol...........this was probably the biggest let down. If you are a lager drinker then you have the option of Tuborg (which to be perfectly honest...is as good as Fosters or Coors, so more than served it's purpose)..but if you like your wine, then the white wine was disgusting, the red was palatable....and the rose was, one quarter white to three quarters red.....(hmmmmm). The cocktails were okay....a mixture of gin, vodka, grenadine, blue caracao and the stuff to fill it up (they were refreshing and drinkable though).
All that said...the hotel was more than up to standard and is in the higher echelons of Marmaris accommodation...I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed with it....just so long as you don't go there thinking it is going to be amazing 5* standard.....but the food...ah the food....mmmmm....now there's the rub. Enjoy!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thevontrapps
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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