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My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Glasgow, United...
Destination Expert
for Icmeler
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2,100 posts
46 reviews
My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Just like last year the question on many lips was is Turkey a safe place for a holiday. I am aware of many people who will not go because of the troubles at the border with Syria ( over 1000 miles away) and the coup last year. In my opinion this fear is unfounded but I do understand peoples concerns. Unfortunately for Icmeler and other Turkish resorts, this fear is having an impact.

The report below is an honest and frank review through my eyes and having been to Icmeler every year since around 2003, sometimes twice a year there are many changes still happening and the majority are not good for the resort.

I had booked Easy jet flights from Edinburgh to Dalaman when they first came out and got them for a great price, £340 for both of us with luggage. Flights have however increased quite dramatically and again this may put folks off.

Off to a bad start, I checked the flight tracker on day of travel, about 10 hours before flight and noted a 1.5 hour delay. Check in at Edinburgh was excellent but flight delay was now 2 hours and it changed again before we finally took off 2.5 hours late

New easyjet plane, very smart inside and plenty of legroom, I am 5ft 11. We managed to make up some time and arrived 25 mins early

We had booked speedy shuttle, 4 stops only but when we checked in as flight was late they could not do this. We went to a 16 seater minibus and had usual 15 minute stop. As we were about to get back on minibus a private car arrive from tour company and us an another couple were transferred to this. Thereafter a very quick transfer. From moment plane arrived, through passport, collected bags and arrived at apartment was just a tad over 2 hours

Stayed at KURT apartments which were very good. About 2/3 full with many returning guests. No pressure at all to eat there. Decent pool, all balconies overlook pool with bedrooms at back so fairly peaceful. Typical Turkish apartment, 2 single beds which were a bit low and hard maybe for some, kitchen with fridge, 2 ring cooker and kettle. Plenty of sunbeds and no bun fight queuing for sunbed

Out and about overall most places were either quiet or very quiet and some even dead. A few places still closed, Marti la Perla and Portofino hotels. In the village as well as Wayside, Sylvias and Robin Hood has now gone. Most nights we would go out around 8.15 and many restaurant, Buket, Deja Vu, Titanic,Vince's the Indian restuarant next to Vela,Pagoda,Friends Lovestar Hanedan, Meryem,Sonys and all of the 4 beachside bars, Pier 15, Coco beach had very few customers most nights.

Richards Place was jumping most nights, the Champagne had some in but not many most nights

Lighthouse and Ida were doing OK as well. Majestic and Venice had some in but compared to previous years where you literally had to queue to get in fairly quiet

Even the bars that over the years were always busy, Sports Inn, Friends opposite Loveboat had some in but overall very quiet. Liverpool bar, Vodka bar and Geordie bar were also people free zones at around 11 oclock. Went to go to Kaktus one night but as no one in tried Magic Garden then Eddies then Oscars and not 1 person in any of them. Even my usual haunt of Tin Tin which is normally busy was less than half full most nights. Buffalo was also quiet

There are some busy places, Richards, Wonder bar, the new Daisy and Cheers pubs had a few in most nights but they are all very lively bars and very loud. If you like some crotch thrusting from young waiters you will love these places. Even Romance Palace quieter than normal.

The area where the Cafe del Mar and Brothers on the walk to Marmaris is all gone and the area looks pretty poor

My first boat trip was cancelled due to lack of number, 28 May, but we went to harbour and got another boat, the OZGE which went out with only 11 adults and 2 young children. Great day out and food was plentiful and delicious. Water was freezing. All for £10 for a full day out

Went on out original boat trip, Eren 1 later that week water was much warmer and again boat only had about 20 people on board. Stopped at Turunc for an hour on both boats.

We find nowadays that we can no longer eat big set meals so had most of our meals at the Pide places, Kayra, Kardelen and Nefis' Food there was always good and still plentiful, with amazing prices. Kayra was the best of them. But a wee bit naughty on our last visit they had increased the food and drinks by between 10 and 25%, although still well priced. Also went to Vinces, Tommys and the best one the Lovestar

For those who have been going for a few years, Ozzys used to be in Village up near Wembley. He now has a new restaurant, opposite Tin Tin, in the old Champion bar. Had a meal there as well and it was good.


An important part of many people holiday. Below is a typical example of prices, some will be cheaper/dearer

Efes/ Tuborg mainly 10/12 lira but some selling at 8

local drink Vodka etc and mixer 15/12 lira. Some doing BOGOFF for about 20 lira

Cocktails 14--16

Soft drinks 5--8

small water 2

5 litre water 2.5--5

can of coke 2

2 litre coke 3

bread 1.25

cooked chicken 13

crisps 4

eggs 5

breakfast cereal 9

milk 3

chicken or pasta set meal 30-36

steak set meal 40--55

English brekkie 5-15

wrap and chips 8--12

burger and chips 12--15

pide 10-14

kebab 18--25

soups 8

latte 8

Excursion prices same as last year. Dolmus to Marmaris 3 lira, taxi boat 15 lira

Sam Buca show is £18 with meal and drink or just £ for show only

Manicure £7

Pedicure £10

The mobility scooters are this years big thing, they are every where for young and old. Mainly double mobility scooters

The Russians are back and there are plenty of them especially on the front hotels and all the big hotels at the beginning of Marmaris.

The 2 weeks absolutely flew in and first week weather was a bit iffy a few cloudy days and rain, wee bit cold at night. But by 2nd week temps had picked to around 33-35

Exchange rate dropped from 4.55 to 4.40 then back up again slightly. Supermarkets are giving about 3 kourous more than exchange places

Time to go home. We got picked up at 16.55 for out flight back at 22.25. Travel time in the minibus was just under 2 hours

DALAMAN airport--- Read at your peril this is not for faint hearted;)

As you go in you place your cases and bags on scanner, you also get frisked remove belts wallets etc. Go to check in, they are charging if your cases are overweight. Went to Security passport control, again hand luggage scanned, remove belts wallets etc. This was fairly quick. Onto duty free, prices OK but many perfumes etc can be had cheaper in UK

Now the fun starts for those still reading. Dalaman airport prices have not changed still ridiculously overpriced. Almost a tenner for a McDonalds, £8 for a beer £2.50 can of coke. Please do not encourage them if you can take your own food. I know for many however this is still a part of the holiday and they will pay no matter what the prices

Now the fun bit. We got called to our gate at 21.25 for our 22.25 flight. To be fair this is a wee bit earlier than previous years. Again queue up to go through, this time there are 2 tables and your hand luggage gets opened, they search it quite thoroughly, you are swabbed, patted down again. Now with each search taking between 2-3 minutes with about 180 passengers, you do the maths the flight will not be on time. By 22.15 they still had around 50 people to check, eventually they decided to add 2 more desks and eventually we were all boarded a 22.50

The 2 flights due out before us are also delayed by about 30 minutes

The plane reverses out then sits for 10 minutes, Then back to parking area. A customer is not feeling well and needs to get off.By the time they are off and their luggage another 40 minute delay

Now I know security is very important but do you really need to be searched 3 times. If so fine but at least put on the resources to allow for all the additional checks.. Many in the queue were really hacked off especially with the final hand luggage search. I can see this putting a few people off going to Turkey especially when you also add in no Kindles, phones laptops etc

I would love to have painted a glowing picture of Icmeler but in many ways the resort has gone downhill. This has resulted in fewer folks going, bars being quiet which in turn is putting folk off. There is nothing worse than walking into a near empty bar/restaurant, with no atmosphere. No one was going into the shops, far less actually buying anything. Boat trips numbers are down and business are suffering. The season seems to be starting later, many apartments are very quiet.

On the plus side, I thought the resort looked cleaner this year, flowers were in full bloom, council workers were everywhere tidying the resort.

Icmeler still has something for everyone loud bars, Wonderboys, Daisy and plenty of laid back places. Still great value for food, maybe not so much drinks wise. people are still as genuine, and warm Never say any trouble anywhere, no drunks or arguments

Is Turkey still safe? Well in my opinion absolutely. Did not feel unsafe at any time, very little police/ Jandermare presence. Just a very laid back holiday feel to the resort.

So if you still swithering on whether to go. Go on you know you want to.

If you have any questions please feel to ask and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday wherever you ,may go

Edited: 08 June 2017, 00:44
Midlothian, United...
Destination Expert
for Icmeler
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5,203 posts
214 reviews
1. Re: My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Thanks as usual for such an informative review, smc - I have to agree with much of what you have said, although our experience of the final security check was a lot smoother than yours. I dread to think what it might be like in the height of summer though! Hopefully they will have got it down to a fine art by then...

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12,516 posts
53 reviews
2. Re: My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Fantastic review and just from reading your posts in general it's unbiased and honest, was an enjoyable read and I for 1 will not be put off from holidaying in Turkey, roll on October. Matt

Level Contributor
103 posts
42 reviews
3. Re: My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Great review smc. Must admit Dalaman airport does freak me out normally, not looking forward to flying back given the extra security checks, however would rather have them than not.

Destination Expert
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4. Re: My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Good, detailed review smc. I'm still thinking of going end of September/beginning of October but I'm beginning to think Icmeler may be virtually closed by then as I don't see visitor numbers improving much.This does not really bother me but the thought of all these security checks at Dalaman does. I could never understand the two security checks they used to have and the increased number they have now baffles me. I don't see why there can't be the one proper check as there is at UK airports. This would allow proper staffing rather than having them spread over the different checks.

Glasgow, United...
Destination Expert
for Icmeler
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2,100 posts
46 reviews
5. Re: My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Personally I was hacked off with the final check and there were many others who were becoming very agitated. The fact that there was only 2people trying to check around 180 passengers is just not on. This is causing delays to flights and I am quite sure easyjet Monarch TC etc will not be happy. They want their planes on the ground for only 45/60 minutes

In the height of summer with more flights and higher temps think this could cause issues

Iain, I do agree with you, if things do not improve and I mean significantly many businesses will not stay open and will cut their losses

On a positive note many folks I spoke with are regulars and they will be returning back in September

Level Contributor
281 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

I was flying Bodrum to Manchester and had the same final security checks as well as my small telephone and power pack checked for size with a measuring gauge, I was ok with this the first time but having to have full body search, bag swabbed, electronics measured a further two times because I left the taped off seating area by the gate to go to the toilet then later get a coffee from the cafe I thought was rather ridiculous as I hadn't left the terminal and was searched by the same people who looked rather embarrassed after having done a third search and yet never once unwrapped or swabbed my 1kg of turkish delight.

Balloch, United...
Level Contributor
694 posts
64 reviews
7. Re: My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Wow smc what a wonderfully detailed review you have given us. It answers many of the questions asked by forum members and will be invaluable to those still to have their holiday and in particular "newbies". It is indeed sad to hear so many places lacking customers and I hope as the season progresses there will be more visitors or as said many will not survive. We were there late September/October last year and many places closed as our holiday ended saying it was not cost effective to stay open. One particular restaurant owner said he was staying open as he was expecting a family who come every year and didn't want to disappoint them. This is the Turkey we all know and have grown to love. I am hoping to go back late season this year, health and insurance cover permitting, but will be keeping a watchful eye on the forums too gauge how the season is going. I am happy with quiet but as you say a good atmosphere in the restaurant makes it a much more pleasurable experience.

Thanks for taking the time to write your review. It is much appreciated.

Edited: 08 June 2017, 14:02
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798 posts
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8. Re: My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Thanks for the great review.. this we'll be our 4th year in icmeler..7 In Turkey out of the last 10 years ..always was a cheap cheeky getaway for a week for sun... not so now ..so unfortunately might be our last visit...greece and Spain..cheaoer options...

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77 posts
1 review
9. Re: My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Good honest review many thanks I'm returning in August I was 50/50 on coming back but I can't wait bringing my daughter partner grandson staying at Idas hotel 11 nights all inclusive £650 each bargain never done all inclusive in turkey so many great places eat but at this price even just drink there it's bargain

Glasgow, United...
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for Icmeler
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2,100 posts
46 reviews
10. Re: My review-- fairly long grab a cuppa

Hi Len

To be fair Icmeler can still be very cheap to eat out. If you like this sort of thing an English Brekkie is £2 a pide or wrap for lunch is £2 and a chicken meal at night with bread and mezes is around £7. I have been to Benidorm recently and apart from the Chinese restaurants which are ridiculosly cheap, food prices I found were a bit more expensive

Certainly beer and vodka etc are generally more expensive in Icmeler than Spain. Flight prices to Icmeler are more expensive, but then accomadation in Icmeler is generally much cheaper.

Its a matter of weighing up all options and deciding what is best for you

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