Turkey is the go-to destination for us Brits. Every year, around 2.5 million of us venture across the Med to escape for a week or two. However, tourism in Turkey has been down by approximately 34% since August 2016.
According to the home office, fears over safety since the military turned against the government, plus further terrorism threats, have cemented the nail in the coffin for the country when it comes to tourism.
This all sounds crazy to us, as we have found the country delightful. On numerous occasions. Despite when terrorism was at its height, and travel, for a short period, wasn’t recommended. Honestly, we have had the best time meeting genuinely lovely people, in what seems to be a country with excellent safety in place for tourists.
For business, I have travelled to Istanbul many times over the years to visit my manufacturers. From what I have seen, it’s a stunning city of vibrancy and diversity with an eclectic montage of cultures and beliefs that all come together and enjoy good food. As well as the occasional Shisha, of course!
I adored Istanbul not only for the beautiful markets selling an array of fabrics, leather goods and lots of other crap you usually see at hugely inflated prices but also for the friendly banter of the locals, the hustle and bustle. Therefore to hear of the Istanbul bombings just a few weeks after I said goodbye to friends and colleagues came as a huge shock. How dare a group of cowards do such a thing to a stunning city with such beautiful people inhabiting it.
It honestly makes you wonder what the world is coming to.
Aside from this, and how much it kills me not to continue my heartache of such atrocities, for this particular excerpt, we are talking about our family holiday and what a wonderful time we had, so never let negativity sway your thoughts on time together as a family…
We stayed in Bodrum Resort and Spa as a rather large group of around 30 of us and the staff dealt with us as if we were a family of 4. Nothing was ever a hassle. At breakfast, lunch and dinner the tables arranged for us, and the older ferrel children running around the resort asking “have you seen my parents?” for a laugh, were escorted to us wherever we may be within the restaurant. Likewise, when the little beasts decided to try to escape from our embarrassing Dad dancing, or Mum belly flops into the pool, the staff were always on hand to happily guide them back.
We were fortunate to have a family room with STUNNING views of the Aegean sea that was perfect for watching the sunset or witnessing the late-night twinkling stars setting across the calm ocean. The hotel is set in the hillside so while this does give each room beautiful views, some areas can be a bit steep when armed with a buggy and a sleepy toddler. However, everything is accessible in general. Of course, providing you bear this in mind for bedtime when not only your little one is tired, but you too, you’ll be solelyfine.
All of our rooms were lovely – light, airy and within close proximity to all the amenities without being on top of the bar and having to endure the noise if you so happened to fancy an early night.
We never did. We were probably the people keeping you up at night. Sorry about that.
There are two restaurants, the a la carte (which you need to book) is exceptional and the main buffet-style restaurant that serves a good selection of quality food without too much repetition. Yet enough staple dishes so even the fussiest of little people won’t starve, was equally tasty. All in all, for an all-inclusive, the food is delicious. Furthermore, as are the drinks. They are local alcoholic beverages, but no one in our party complained and the main thing, the wine was always cold and crisp, so that deserves five stars straight away.
The main bar, with its outdoor seating, took advantage of the beautiful surroundings of Bodrum and overlooked the sea with mountain views. Mainly, warm nights when you got a gentle breeze as you sipped your cocktail were idyllic, all from the on-point location.
The great thing about Bodrum Holiday Resort and Spa was the amenities. Honestly, you could never get bored here! Whether you’re pampering yourself in the spa with treatments, enjoying the Turkish Baths on offer (which were fabulous I have to say), in the gym, getting a new hairdo, lounging in the relaxation suite, playing tennis, playing squash, enjoying a game of darts, football, billiards, chess, snooker, enjoying the on-site waterpark with water chutes galore, taking advantage of the board games in the bar area, entertaining the kids in the park, wandering around the exceptionally well kept gardens, lazing on the beach, snoozing around the outdoor pool, chilling by the indoor pool, booking yourself some water sports, enjoying a boat trip for the afternoon, taking part in the daily games that the team put on, stretching out for yoga, limbering up for some aquafit. The choice is endless. It’s all here for the taking!
After a fun-packed day, in the evening you can chill in the restaurant, or chill in the bar, venture to the beach bar, relax by the sea, immerse yourself in the varied evening entertainment or go crazy in the nightclub – there literally is something for everyone no matter your age or state of sleepiness.
It’s also in a great location with Bodrum city centre only 3 miles away from the resort and the airport a short transfer of 25 miles and Bodrum Milas airport just 25 miles away.
One thing not many tourists can review is the medical centre on-site. We can. Unfortunately, Finn was attempting a black flip into the pool before anyone could shout “NOOOOOOOOO!” He had misjudged it and slammed his chin onto the edge of the pool. Thinking he had knocked himself out, we scooped him out of the water and realised how bad he had messed up his chin – through fear of those reading this who do not have the strongest of stomachs, I’m not going to go into any detail, but there was a lot of blood and it was bad.
Running up to the medical centre, the staff laid him down and started to try and calm him. At this point, he had gone into shock and was shaking uncontrollably, but within a few minutes they had got the bleeding under control, calmed him down (as well as us) while also notifying the local hospital we were on route and organising a car to take us directly there.
The staff at the hospital were fantastic, the rooms were exceptionally clean and they whizzed us straight through for antibiotics, pain killers and to get started on treatment. Usually, you are required to show all of your insurance documents before they will proceed treating you, but the surgeon stated he needed injections, his chin reconstructed and stitches immediately, and to deal with the paperwork afterwards as “money matters not when a small boy is involved”. Our English interpreter was fantastic the whole way through and while Finn was getting treated she dealt with all of the paperwork in reception on our behalf as well as speaking to our insurance company, Insure & Go. In a little over two hours from when the incident first happened, hotel medics had seen him, he had been taken to hospital, treated, discharged and we were back sat around the hotel pool, trying to make sense of what had just happened – you would never get that in the UK. The staff back at the hotel medical centre both morning and evening came to see Finn and change his dressings and ensure there was no infection; they were fantastic, and we would recommend this hotel to families because it caters for everyone. Obviously we had an unforeseen accident that was nothing to do with the hotel but regardless of this, our stay was impeccable and after a drama, we didn’t expect, the level of care warrants a 10-star award to this hotel, not a 5 star!!!!