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