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My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

Glasgow, United...
Destination Expert
for Icmeler
Level Contributor
2,104 posts
46 reviews
My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

The question on most folks minds this year was Is it safe to go to Turkey??? The media in general had whipped up almost to hysteria level about ISIS, bombings, and from a country that relies heavily on tourism, many people fell for the line it was dangerous.

I am not decrying people who decided not to go that is obviously a decision that only they can make for their family. My point is, London is on a higher terror threat than Turkey, most of the issues and dreadful bombings that devestated so many lives happened in countries less than an hour from the UK. Most issues in Turkey are at Syrian border over 10 hours away and in Ankara and Istanbul.

Maybe as a DE I am slightly biased towards Icmeler and Turkey in general but I offer my full and honest review, with no rose coloured specs.

Choose to book with Tommy Cook as flight times were good and in the end I was very lucky. My flight times did not change at all, although I am aware many other had flights moved

Check in at Glasgow airport was worse than dreadful. We had checked in online, but to hand our cases over we waited nearly 1 hour in queue

Flight left on time and arrived on time, enough leg room, and a decent flight over. Plane was just about full only a few seats here and there empty

We arrived at 16.05 and were the only flight in Dalaman. Through passport control quickly to cases. Started to panic a wee bit as my cases were one of the last ones off.

Off to pick up our speedy transfer, which was easy and we were just about to leave when 1 elderly lady in a party of 4 though she had left her bag in toilet. So back she went to get it, as it had her purse passport and money. No sign of it in toilets, so off she goes to security. One of her party for some reason looked in back of bus and there was the missing bag. So after about a 30 minute delay off we go.

Stopped off for the usual stop but the stop place was decent and food and drink reasonable, for 15 minutes exactly.Last ones off speedy shuttle as usual and it only took 2 h 5 min

Stopped at Celik aprtments which were very good and also pretty full most of the time. 16 apartments and usually 12/15 rooms booked. Plenty of return visitors as well and some even extended their stay, others have booked already for next May as well as staying in September

To be brutally honest Icmeler was not at its best, a few places closed that did eventually open as the weeks progressed. The area at Kontes/ Efendi/Maestro, all deserted or knocked down. A good few hotels not open, Hotel Royale/ Quadas/ Portofino/ Elite World and many more with very few guests. I thought some of the areas looked a little grubby and not the cleanest they have been.

Plenty of bars/restaurants with either very few or no customers most nights during our 2 weeks. I think unless there is a dramatic improvement in visitor numbers some of them will not last the season. Really empty places, Deja Vu/ Sylvias/ Sofra/ Charlies Place/Pagoda/ Masala/ Friends/Sizzler/BuffaloTurkish Delight/Canary.Liverpool bar/ Vodka bar/Sonys/ 3 Bells/ Romeo and Juliet/ Jimmy Okimo

Dont get me wrong some were doing well, Richards Place/ Champagne/ Bonjour/Mandalin/ Tin Tins and some of thePide places in particular Kardelen

I thought prices were up since last year, but still overall good value. Prices are detailed below

Even in the shops as there were so few visitors to the resort, no one was going in to the shops or buying anything. As the season goes on some of these places will also suffer unless there is an upturn in tourists

Hassle was no existent really a polite no was always enough. Biggest pain for hassle was the guys at Friends on the square. They have a large restaurant /bar and it was empty most nights, so they were a bit more persistant than others but not overly so.

As we have being going to Icmeler for years we decided to not eat a lot in the tourist restaurants and had many meals in the Pide places Besides we find that now some bread and meze and a main course is just about right.

Went to Nefis/ Kayra/ Cadde and the best one of all Kardelen( went there 5 times), meals were plentiful delicious and typically with soft drinks typically around 40 lira for 2. I would recommend any of those places. Also ate in Lovestar/ Tommys/ Tin Tins and the apartments all of which were also very good.

Spent many nights and some days in Tin Tins which generally was fairly busy. According to Mrs smc4761 they do the best latte in Icmeler and the fresh orange, freshly squeezed is also lovely

Went on several boat trips, booked with Eric at April Travel and went on Mehmet Reis boat. Holds about 35 people but was only around half full. This was the same for most boats. Food was lovely and a great day out for £10 which included an hour in Turunc. Again some of the boats are going out with few people on board and not going out very often

About the resort, very few Russian, German or Dutch tourists

Big thing this year is the large disability type scooters for 2 people. Plenty of the going around the resort for hire

A few prices, these are typical you will get things cheaper or dearer depending where you go all prices are in lira

Beer 8---10

Local spirit and mixer 12---15

Soft drink 5 small or 8 large

Cocktails 12-15 lira some doing 2 for 20 as a BOGOF

Chicken set meal 28--35

Steak set meal 35---50

Pizza 15--25

Chicken dish 22-28

Steak meal 35---50

Soups 8--10

hot starter 8--12

deserts 8--15

In the supermarkets

bread 1

bottle of cola 2 litre 3

small bottle cola 1.8

small water 0.5---1

large 5 l water 2.5--5

cereal eg cocoa pops 6

15 eggs 5

cooked chicken 11

fruit and veg is very cheap and delicious, much better than UK

As I said at the start this I hope is an honest review, Icmeler has lost its sparkle a little. With so many empty/quiet bars and shops. its not the same as it was say 5 years ago. The people are still as welcoming, the food is just as good and in some places the atmosphere is still there. Very little music in the resort from the bars, very few dancing waiters or Michael Jackson shows, which IMHO is a good thing

Maybe there are too many bars and shops competing for less tourists and some may have to close. This may allow Icmeler to become the resort it was years ago, as a laid back sort of place

I went through to Marmaris and some money has been spent there, you could tell and it looked a lot more vibrant and cleaner than Icmeler.

Icmeler has not quite lost its sparkle, it is still a good place to holiday, it maybe needs to up its act a little to maintain the high standards it set.

Final word on the terror threat. What terror threat, I noticed absolutley no difference around the resort, no obvious increased security presence, just folks going about there business and holidays same as they did years ago , all very relaxed and chilled

Hopefully this may put folks at ease a little. if you want any more info give me a shout

Bangor, United...
Level Contributor
72 posts
20 reviews
1. Re: My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

This is a brilliant review, thank you, we are really looking forward to going on the 18th of June, we are not party animals,lol, and will eat out every day, we have looked forward. to our restful 2 weeks, so if it is quite it wont spoil anything for us, but we do think its a shame for the traders, resturants and bars,but who know hopfully it will pick up,

Thank you again

Destination Expert
for Icmeler
Level Contributor
6,802 posts
61 reviews
2. Re: My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

Brilliant review Stewart I normally take two weeks to write mine.

We walked down the beach front today and there were several people hassling us with flyers for bars from the centre so they must be desperate.

Noticed the no hassle is ignored by rush bar as they walk over the bridge to hassle us.

More demolition started in the bank just opposite cafe annes to the right. Also the building next to three bells was demolished today and just left a mess.

We walked from marmaris to icmeler today to see the famous cafe del Mar. To be honest it just looks like a large shed so we went to brothers instead

Midlothian, United...
Destination Expert
for Icmeler
Level Contributor
5,216 posts
214 reviews
3. Re: My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

Great review, Stewart - and one which I think many people will find very useful and helpful. We're just back from Bitez, and things are pretty quiet around the Bodrum peninsula too, although I think they do benefit from having a lot of Turkish visitors who often come to that area for weekend visits. As you say, time will tell which places will survive and which will sadly fall by the wayside. Hopefully things will continue to pick up a bit though, especially in a few weeks when the school holidays begin.

Level Contributor
45 posts
16 reviews
4. Re: My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

great review, will try to emulate this one but the detail is a bit good, will spend as much as i can on trips, eating out, few beers while watching footy and rugby league.

i did enjoy the 3 bells and the irish bar and scotia too, but will try others near the eda where we are staying too

Wirral, United...
Level Contributor
174 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

Great stuff smc4761 and also a little sad to read in bits.

I hope my 3 Bells is ok, loved their Korean food.

It's made my 6 week wait before we all return a little more anxious.

Glasgow, United...
Destination Expert
for Icmeler
Level Contributor
2,104 posts
46 reviews
6. Re: My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

There are 2 places called 3 bells, the one with the Korean food in the village which is superb and the dream 3 bells near to the new Elite World hotel. That one is a bit on the loud side for me but others do seem to enjoy the livlier side of Icmeler, which is a good thing having the choice of places to go

Swansea, United...
Level Contributor
402 posts
32 reviews
7. Re: My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

Great review and very informative can't fault your honesty and thanks for taking the time to write it

Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
899 posts
26 reviews
8. Re: My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

Quite a few things which are correct as in......

Russians are not evident in the resorts... The President of Turkey ordered a Russian plane shot from the sky so Russian travel agents are not allowed to sell holidays to Turkey (there are still a few Russians mainly women who have booked scheduled flights)

The resort looks grubby and empty...Empty bars are due to the bookings for Turkey to be down over 40% so is expected for the people who work in resorts and other areas to be depressed worrying if they will earn to feed their family

There is no longer an Icmeler council, no Icmeler Mayor and no alloted money for Icmeler like before.

Marmaris though has gone up market along the beach and marina as the Mayor has got rid of the unlicensed places and made the licensed ones spend money to make the place sparkle.

Icmeler will get this too but when I don't know

Stewart is it a typo or what, what is the Quadas

Thanks for taking the time out to have a look at all the prices for the people soon to arrive in the resorts

I did hear that Venice had 5 lira beers but I have not imbibed in Icmeler this year so not sure if it is true.

I have been paying 13 lira in the bars on Marmaris front and with the view and the breeze and the live music I find that ok

Edited: 03 June 2016, 04:29
Destination Expert
for Icmeler
Level Contributor
1,783 posts
18 reviews
9. Re: My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

Thanks for an informative review Stewart although it is sad that the downturn in visitors means a lot of businesses may struggle to survive. I'm not optimistic that the school holidays will increase visitors enough overall to save them.

Destination Expert
for Icmeler
Level Contributor
6,802 posts
61 reviews
10. Re: My honest review 18 May -- 1 June, a bit long, grab a cuppa

I discussed with smc when I get back I will do a list of prices of drinks food etc as I have compiled a list and put it together with smc on the top questions so it is easy to find

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