Diary of a holiday to Icmelar, Turkey
One of our regular customers has just returned from a holiday to Icmelar in Turkey and she has very kindly sent us a diary of her holiday for us to publish on our travel blog. They spent 16 days at the Marmaris Palace Hotel as part of an all inclusive holiday package.
The two ladies seem to have had a great time and you can read about their holiday exploits ranging from where the best places to eat are to their experiences of a traditional Turkish Baths.
Read more …. click the link below
Friday 15 April
Left home at 4:00 a.m. after 1 hr’s sleep for me and 30 mins for Liz. Checked in quickly with Thomas Cook, bought perfume in duty free and headed for Epernay Champagne bar for English breakfast. Upon finishing breakfast found out there was a delay of 45 mins. so had a Bucks Fizz whilst waiting. When we eventually took off we were 1¼ hrs late. Made up 5 mins on way. Dalaman airport has definitely changed for the better since our last visit 28 years ago. Arrived at Marmaris Palace at 6.15 p.m. after dropping people off along the way. We got a very nice welcome and were taken to our room, a bungalow in the grounds, with the poor porter staggering under the weight of our cases.
Fantastic room with double and single bed, TV – no English channels, fridge, safe – payable, hair dryer, nice bathroom with bath and shower, shower gel/shampoo provided for entire holiday. We then headed off back to the main hotel to get our bearings and pay for the safe in our room and changed some money. Had a beer in the bar and took 2 G&T’s back to our room. It was now 7.45 p.m. so had a quick bath and got ready for dinner. Our first meal was fantastic Turkish food, not a chip in sight and a diet bar obviously filled with salads; hope the rest of the meals are as good. Back to the bar for coffee and brandy. Not much room to sit at first, people soon vacated. First impressions excellent, no complaints, very friendly staff.
Saturday, 16 April
Cold in bed, but after room cleaned cleaner had left blankets for us. Excellent breakfast, spoilt for choice but had fresh fruit with nice bread and Turkish honey and warm croissant. Had a morning on beach then lunch in beach bar, usual selection of beach bar food – burgers, hot dogs, pasta, and salad. After lunch went to welcome meeting.
Very good informative rep (Thomas Cook). Back to beach after meeting for rest of afternoon. Had stuffed pide bread which is cooked all afternoon/early evening by the pool/beach also a beer whilst reading for a while then back to room to get ready for evening dinner and the big game ManU/Man City FA Cup Semi Final. This was shown in the hotel and met up with the rest of the ManU fans – disastrous result but met up with a good crowd with whom we then continued to spend our evenings with for most of our holiday. Rushed off to dining room to get dinner before returning to watch Real Madrid/Barcelona game and helped the Spanish people in the hotel support Real Madrid and Jose – didn’t do much good though!
Sunday, 17 April
Bit dull looking today so walked into Marmaris. Changed drastically since our last stay about 28 years ago. Only consisted of old town then. Love the walkway/boulevard though, makes it so easy for waling. Looked up what used to be our favourite eating place – was rickety painted chairs and rough looking wooden tables but great food – is now an upmarket, trendy looking restaurant. Lots of designer shops now too at the far end of the marina. Loved the look of all the new restaurants in the old town marina area though and plan to go out for a couple of meals in the evening on our second week when hopefully it will be a bit warmer.
Stopped for a beer to recover from our walk and had a chat with the owner about the old days, which he seemed to prefer, but overall we thought some changes were for the better. Most of the restaurants seem to be up and running in the marina area and are hopeful of lots of business although they do seem a bit worried. Tried to reassure the ones we talked to that we thought the tourists would be back. Unfortunately many of them will be AI and probably won’t venture into the restaurants and bars outside of their hotel. We changed some money whilst in Marmaris as someone in the hotel told us we would get a much better rate out of the hotel. On the surface this looked very true but when we got back to the hotel and scrutinised the rate we discovered we had been ripped off big time, the commission rate was astronomical, no commission in the hotel – so be careful and check everything first. Got back to the hotel about 4 pm and found lunch was served at the beach bar until 4 pm so grabbed a quick late lunch and a drink by the pool before getting ready for the evening. After late dinner went back to room for an earlier night and a read before bed.
Monday, 18 April
After breakfast went to Spa in hotel to decide what treatments we were going to have. Mari, girl in charge, discussed treatments with us over a glass of detoxifying tea which was quite nice. As we both have neck/back problems and other aching, painful ailments she thought we should speak to the doctor there who does Chinese massages, something we had never had before. He was amazing, after a quick check over he could tell what was wrong with us and even what we had been eating and drinking! Was impressed with our long walk to Marmaris though. We decided on 3 treatments each to start that afternoon after lunch. As it was a bit cloudy we decided to walk into Icmelar which was only half as far as Marmaris.
Nothing seemed to be open in Icmelar and they didn’t seem to be making much effort to open things either. They will have to get a move on before 1 May. We had a good look round though and headed back to the hotel for lunch. We decided we were in the best spot, in between both resorts. After lunch of a bowl of soup in the sunshine we had our first massage which was different to any we have had before, but excellent, then went into the Turkish bath to rest off. Read my book with an apple tea in the sunshine whilst waiting for Liz to have hers. Spent the rest of the afternoon reading in the sunshine then had later afternoon tea and cakes. After evening dinner spent the evening in the lounge over drinks with our ManU friends and even an Arsenal friend!
Tuesday, 19 April
Day didn’t start very bright but we both got ½ hr sunbathing in whilst waiting for each other to have second massage. A strong massage this time. The late morning got decidedly worse and the rain came down. As it was now lunchtime we changed into something warmer and after G&T’s decided to have a long lunch. Headed back to the lounge for coffee and books. Evening – another disastrous football match – Man Utd v Newcastle, at least we didn’t lose. Consoled ourselves dancing in the disco until 1 a.m.
Wednesday, 20 April
Third and last Chinese massage then beach for morning. Lunch at beach bar then the rain came down again and stopped with us for the rest of the day. Once again headed for the lounge with books and numerous coffees. Dinner at 9 p.m., cards in lounge then earlyish nigh with books and Raki and lemonade dodging the downpour on the way back to our bungalow in the gardens.
Thursday, 21 April
Smiles all round, the sun is shining and we have blue sky. Had breakfast outside to make the most of it then headed down to the beach for a long lie in the sun. After beer and a read we had a late lunch at the beach bar then headed back to the beach. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before the clouds returned so after another read we headed back to the hotel lounge for coffee and afternoon cakes. Dinner in the evening then late night in the bar with friends 2 of whom were going back to the UK tomorrow – the Arsenal fans.
Friday, 22 April
Good sunny day. Breakfast outside, day on beach. After dinner, played cards in evening.
Saturday, 23 April
Another sunny day. Booked our boat trip for the next day. Left the beach at lunchtime to watch Manu/Everton game which we won. Would have been annoyed if we had lost again after forsaking the sun to watch the game. After dinner spent the evening in lounge with friends.
Sunday, 24 April
Great day for boat trip around Paradise Island, Kumtork bay, Amos Bay, Turunc. Like Turunc better than Icmelar. Would go there again. Our suntans were will topped up by the time we returned to the hotel at 5 p.m. Would mention that the drinks were quite expensive on the boat. The trip itself cost around £25. Usual evening in lounge after dinner.
Monday, 25 April
Jeep safari today. A brilliant trip and would recommend. Lovely scenery and lots of wild flowers to see at this time of year. Front jeep – no dust. Lunch could have been better. Video of trip £15! A bit steep so didn’t buy. Back at the hotel around 4 p.m. Had a Turkish bath booked for 5.3o pm, scrubbed down with sea salt and Aloe Vera face mask (free) 75TL each (15% off). After dinner, last evening with friends who were all going home tomorrow evening.
Tuesday, 26 April
Nice long day on beach. Met up with friends early evening to see them on their way. After dinner watched ManU/Schalke CL. We won 3-0 great result for us. Finished drinks and went to bed at midnight.
Wednesday, 27 April
Woke to the sound of pouring rain. Dressed for English weather and headed off for breakfast. After breakfast headed off to lounge loaded up with books, newspapers, board games and chocolate for what was going to be a long morning. Nice comfy chairs though and it did beat going to work. After lunch the rain stopped so we had a sunbathe on the beach then in the late afternoon walked into Icmelar. After dinner we watched Real Madrid/Barcelona game then off to bed at midnight.
Thursday, 28 April
Another dull start to the day so wrote postcards whilst waiting to see whether the sun is going to come out. BBC weather forecast showed a big sun for today but as they can never get it right at home not much change of them getting it right here. Decided to walk to Marmaris even though it was still raining but we just about got there and it began to really pour down and as our feet and clothes were by now wet through we decided to return to hotel. When we got back to the hotel the rain stopped so we had an ice cream which are only served free for ½ hr in the morning 11 am to 11.30 am.
We then sat in the lounge and read until lunchtime. After lunch the sun decided to try and make an appearance so we headed for the beach. The weather wasn’t that brilliant though and not bikini weather but we stopped there until late afternoon. After coffee and cakes we got ready to go out for the evening into Marmaris. We caught the dolmus and went to Divella restaurant on the sea front in the old town. It wasn’t cheap though we had a lovely meal – 2 G&T’s, fried mussels, lamb shank, ½ bottle of wine – cost £70 for 2 of us. Got a taxi back after some argument about the fare. Cost 20 TL. Had coffee and brandy at hotel before bed.
Friday, 29 April
Cloudy again today but as it was the royal wedding day we didn’t mind as we intended to be glued to the TV for most of the day. The sun did make an appearance on and off during the day. Did manage to get an hour or so on the beach in the afternoon but then it started to thunder about 5 pm so we headed back to the hotel, we had very loud thunder then for the next 4 hours but no rain.
Saturday, 30 April
We were lucky we had a lovely day for our last day and spent it lying on the beach all day. Did last minute packing before going for dinner in the evening.
Sunday, 1 May
Early breakfast and we left the hotel at 9.40 a.m. An uneventful trip back and arrived home at approx 5.30 pm.
Overall we had a great holiday, met some nice people and would go back again but I think next time it would be after the end of May as the wind can be cool and the air temperature is not very warm when the sun isn’t out. We could have just been unlucky with this year’s weather though.
I do wish parents would control their children in the dining room though. They seem oblivious to the fact that they are running through the restaurant when people are carrying hot food and waiters are carrying numerous plates, dishes and glasses, we heard smashing of plates several times. I appreciate children need to run around but not in a dining room. The hotel was huge and there was plenty of space for them to run around.