11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Friendliest place ever
"We, have just returned to Liverpool after a marvellous 10 days stay at the Caretta. I did a lot of research before booking and that really paid off. Originally we had planned to stay with friends we have in Fethiye but that fell through but we both agreed that this was the best thing that could have happened as we got the chance to meet some wonderful people who made the holiday that bit more special.
On arrival (quite late) we were met by Can ( John ) who made us feel really really welcome and explained how things worked.
The apartments were very clean and more than big enough for us, air con, microwave and small oven were more than adequate for us. The maids were wonderful, visiting every day with their cheery smiles.All the amenities were of a really good standard, the gardens were beautiful and the pool just the right size with enough shade if the sun got too hot.
The best thing I would say about my stay here is that I have never met a more genuinely nice bunch of people, the best being our hosts themselves John and Mary. Nothing is too much trouble for them, they even swapped us to a room with a better view without us having a problem with the original room. They are fab! The rest of the staff there are also wonderful, very friendly and easy to be around.
We also met the gang of regulars who have been going there for there for the last 16 years, what a fun lot they were..Glenys, Rita and Ann you know who you are! All of these people made our stay 5 star. The apartments were ideal, not far from shopping or the beach but quite enough to relax. If you don't enjoy yourself staying here you must be very hard to please indeed.
Thanks again everyone for a brilliant time, hope to see you in May xx"
- Travel date: Fri 8th of October 2010
See you next year...
"What can I say except: 'It is that good we have booked 2 holidays there next year'.
The staff are all very friendly and the key people have good English language skills. The place is clean and tidy and if you decide to eat in the bar / restaurant then the food is good and reasonably priced.
The grounds and pool are well maintained and there is plenty of outside seating.
It really is a 5-10 minute walk from the main Calis shopping area and beach (on the flat) should you feel the need to visit one of many restaurants in that area. It is also on the main Dolmushe (sort of mini-van bus service) to the main town of Fethiye a few km away. (Though I prefer the short walk and the water taxi from Calis)
There is a local under canvas market on Tuesday that is a 10 minute walk away and has a wide range of spices, fruit and veg and 'Genuine-Fake' designer clothes, handbags and jewellery that will keep your friends envious.
Many of the Caretta's patrons return year after year and are friendly and welcoming. We have made new friends every time we go. Those people we have taken there, have without fail booked again and again."
- Travel date: Sun 3rd of October 2010
Becoming so popular we book a year in advance now ...
"This place is real gem. The other reviews describe why with accuracy.
Proof of the pudding? We - along with almost everyone else who returns year after year - tend to book a year ahead: we arrange our holidays to be at the same time as friends we have made from earlier years - and if you leave it too late the apartments can already be booked!
Can and Neriman have a wonderful balance in providing a comfortable and efficient safe haven, whilst encouraging an informality and friendliness - which stands Caretta head and shoulders above anywhere we have been.
Our first visit? No deposit - simply pay Can (Dr John) in cash at some point during your stay (which was a little scary being used to package holidays up until this point!). But picked up from Dalaman airport as expected (by their own people/minibus) and welcomed by name on arrival. Spent the first two days thinking we had come to a "club" as everyone seemed to know everyone else - and within three days felt completely at home and in the middle of things. By the end of two weeks we had already decided to come back the following year!
We have some very good friends we see each year (and sometimes twice a year). Yet even with that familiarity there is ample personal space, privacy and independence to do "your own thing" as well as join in the trips Can organises - where we can spend the day with "friends" rather than strangers as on a "commercial trip". Because the Calis and Fethiye area has a variety of places to see, places to go, and fun "tourist" activities as well.
Is is perfect? For what we love and enjoy: a relaxing holiday with plenty to do when the mood takes - time to chill and socialise - friendly and informal - comfortable and value for money. It is as close as we have found! Which is why we keep going back (and are flying out to Caretta for another two weeks - our second fortnight this year - in 3 days time!) Yippee!!"
- Travel date: Tue 14th of September 2010
Caretta home from home
"We have stayed at these apartments several times nice friendly atmosphere 5 minutes from the beach and centre plenty of things to do.
Privately owned by Dr. John and his family you get a great welcome from them and all the staff. We always seem to bump into people who have stayed before.
The apartments are clean, spacious and self catering, the pool is a good size attached to the bar area with plenty of sunbeds.
the dolmus (local bus) stops right outside if you need to travel to other areas.
Calis is a really nice town with lots to do for families"
- Travel date: Wed 21st of July 2010
The friendliest place we have ever stayed!
"My mother and I were looking for a relatively cheap, sun filled, relaxing break and this is exactly what we got.
I was recommended Calis by friends and through a bit of Google research and looking on this website John and Marys apartments seemed like a good choice. We were welcomed from the off, met at the airport by their driver then greeted on arrival at the apartment by Dr John.
The rooms are simple but have everything you need, they are cleaned every day by the maids and all towels replenished. We had a one bed apartment right next to the pool, it had its own little eating area, and was remarkably quiet!
John and Mary, the owners along with their head barman Paul were fantastic, uber friendly and helpful. John runs excursions every few days but is not at all pushy-you can join in as little or as much as you want! Paul is fantastic with the kids and will perform magic tricks all day long for them!
The apartments are a 5 minute walk from the sea front with all the restaurants, and also close to the Sunday market, local supermarket, and boat trips. Calis is still pretty unspoiled, and we were amazed at how un-pushy the restaurateurs were - a massive novelty!
Many of the other guests had been going for several years in a row - and were re-booking whilst out there. I would definitely return and my Mother has said she will get my Dad to take here again soon!
Definitely a hidden gem."
- Travel date: Tue 20th of July 2010
Amazing value for money, lovely place to stay
"Synopsis (Overall + Value)
Dr John and his staff are very friendly and warm. There was a nice atmosphere at this cosy, quiet place. The apartments were warm and clean. HOWEVER, beware that Calis and Oludeniz beaches are PEBBLE beaches and not smooth, sandy beaches. However, with respect to the hotel, it was first class at a good price.
5-10minutes walk from the beach, 5minutes walk from the rows of shops/restaurats/travel agents.
Clean and spacious apartment rooms. Kitchen/Living room had a sofa, fridge, cooker, table etc - open plan. The bathroom was of a good size, as were the 2 bedrooms (sleeps 4 people). However, one of the bedrooms did NOT have air conditioning! we had to sleep with all the doors open to ensure the cool air circulated! Otherwise no complaints - was clean and spacious place.
Comfortable and no problems.
Spoke very good english, very friendly and helpful
Wifi available at the bar, pool and if you're lucky in your room (depending on how far you are). There is also a small computer behind the bar that guests can use.
Daily service, well kept.
Not included, but a comprehensive menu of snacks. Dr John uses a clever system of "tabs" so you don't have to carry around cash all the time. Reasonable prices, good portions of nice food.
They collected us on time, and it was a good pickup service.
The pool area is lovely, this a very quiet place and I don't think they accept bachelors, they only accept couples/families. Thank you Dr John for a memorable stay! It's a shame we were disappointed with the local beaches (pebble, not sandy!)"
- Travel date: Mon 19th of July 2010
When can I come back?
"This was my third trip to stay at Caretta Aparthotel in Calis beach in ten years. It is my favourite holiday destination and I return because I know that I will always have a fantastic time. I'm 30 now, my first trip I was 20. Most guests are older (50+ couples and single people or groups) or families with young children.
Dr John and his family own the hotel and treat their guests like valued friends, nothing is too much trouble and he will do his best to make sure you get what you want from your holiday including arranging reservations in restaurants nearby that he thinks you will like and arranging trips to your specifications including finding other guests to split the cost with you. If there is anything you need, ask Dr John and he will try to help.
The first time I went with a travel operator but the 2nd two times I researched and found the cheapest flights possible to Dalaman, then contacted Dr John who arranged a car to transfer us to his hotel (usually Duran, his son Cem or he himself do the driving). He charges Â£70 for transfers in total (worked out as only Â£17.50 each as I travelled with my parents and partner). A room is Â£24 a night for a large double, shower room and separate kitchen/living room (equipped with sofa beds meaning can sleep up to 4 in a room), plus balcony. All rooms have air con and are cleaned daily. He no longer has any association with travel operators and relies on his reputation and repeat guests. And wow do his guests return! This trip every other guest we met had stayed there previously, many stayed twice annually! Two separate retired couples were booked for 6+ weeks and again later in the year.
Dr John is a doctor, although no longer has his practice. On my last trip I got an ear infection from swimming daily in the sea which had me in agony and he took me to the chemist and got me antibiotics which sorted me out! Another guest had terrible tooth ache while there and a terrible fear of dentists, he found her a dentist he said was good, she was so impressed that she had a full mouth of crowns fitted at a bargain price compared to the uk. My point is, while you stay with Dr John, if there is anything spoiling your holiday he will look after you as if you are a member of the family.
This trip Dr John taught a few of us how to play the Turkish game of Oki when we had a rain shower one afternoon, keeping us out of the sun - it's addictive! I had so much fun, I was quite glad it was raining!
I cannot recommend the hotel itself or Calis beach highly enough, I love the place and I'm sure will return in another couple of years after a few more holidays that are not quite as good as the great week I always have in Calis staying at the Caretta aparthotel.
About Calis - it is not a very big place. The beach is simply stunning with the best sunsets, if you catch one you will want to see every sunset after that! Along the beach are a range of hotels/restaurants bars. Turn left at the front to find the more Turkish restaurants at the end - turn right for the more tourist fare. The Caretta Aparthotel is about a five minute walk from the front via the back way (through a very pretty garden along a stream where you can see non-poisonous snakes, frogs, lizards... maybe even a turtle if you are lucky) or ten minutes along the main road past Aqualand funpark (waterslides etc) and various shops/markets/restaurants/bars. Calis has a lot of holiday homes these days owned by Turkish as well as western people. There is a good market every Sunday (five minutes from the hotel). The market sells clothing (including fake designer brands) and food. I love their cherries and pistachios fresh from the market as a snack for the room!
I ate out every night in a different restaurant and every meal was excellent. Try the Turkish Pide or Turkish Pizza where they make it fresh in a Turkish Pizza oven, their ravioli called something like Mantri and their excellent mezzes and casseroles... mmmm! Spicy Antep paste was a delicious mezze with their flatbread which is like pitta bread and comes straight from the oven full of air like a beach ball and is delicious. I sought out the most Turkish fare I could find, but you can eat pretty much whatever you like. The tourist restaurants have Italian, English Breakfasts, even Indian and Chinese these days. Also the local beer is lovely in the heat and I love the Turkish brandy mixed with coke - yum!
My absolute highlight of Calis beach, the best memory from each of the trips, is my early morning swim along Calis beach. It is stunning. If you try to swim during the day once the wind has come in it is quite choppy but if you get to the beach before 9 it is like glass and the most beautiful place to swim I have ever found. The current moves from left to right so swimming in that direction you have the current to make it easy, swimming up the beach against the current is much harder! Be careful getting in as it is a stony beach and can be rough on the feet but once in the water is warm and it takes your breath away how perfectly beautiful the world is! The perfect cure for a hangover and excuse for the next one!
Last thing to mention is the shopping! It is FAB! Take the Dolmus from right outside the hotel (every 2 minutes, 1.5 TL) or the water taxi from the front (every 30 minutes, 5TL, but if you are lucky you might see the stunning kingfisher) into Fethiye. Fethiye is a proper Turkish town, you will see normal Turkish people going about their everyday work and life. Market day is Tuesday - huge! You will find fantastic shops - leather, clothes, gold, silver. The quality is fantastic and it's nice to find really unusual one-off designs in jewellery. I have two beautiful handbags from my trip (both copies of designer bags but equal in quality and a lot cheaper). I could have spent a lot of money on bracelets, jackets, pendants - so much fun! Book your man a scuba diving trip or a proper Turkish massage and hit the shops!
In summary - great hotel run by people who will soon be friends, delicious food and drink, beautiful beach, fantastic shopping and in the sun! A perfect place."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of June 2010
Home from home
"We had heard of the relaxed, friendly and informal feel of this hotel and that is exactly what we found. We felt immediately at home and all the way through our two lovely weeks there. Nothing is too much trouble for Can and Neriman (Dr John and Mary) who run the Caretta efficiently yet discretely. The first thing that struck us was the cleanliness. What a joy to have crisp bed linen, changed daily that always smells fresh. It has everything you could wish for; a lovely pool, and a small one for toddlers, plenty of shade if you want it, good food, excellent access to just about everywhere around Fethiye. Dr John does regular trips to some of the best sites in the area. Do yourself a favour, don't ask him too many questions about them, just go along and see for yourself. Don't bother with the other tour operators either - they are usually overbooked and are not very well organised.
It is a very impressive achievement that many of the residents return year after year (some have been coming since they opened the place 15 years ago!).
I have never stayed anywhere on holiday where people (including our 7 year old son) cry when leaving. We will be going back"
- Travel date: Tue 8th of September 2009
"I would not attempt to improve on the review of the Caretta Apartments submitted by TheShortlands.
My wife and I have just returned after two weeks there and have already booked for this coming September.
The owner,Dr John,is a true 'gentleman' and his family and staff are the most pleasant,obliging and friendly people we have ever met in our lives.
I would unhesitatingly recommend the Caretta Apartments for the perfect holiday."
- Travel date: Fri 26th of June 2009
My family have never felt so welcome and...
"My family have never felt so welcome and valued as a guest and customer on a holiday as we did at Caretta Apart.
Caretta has a great family feel to it and John in particular puts so much effort into making guests feel welcome and looked after.
Cem is great for teenagers as they can relate to him easily and he and some others from the bar will go with the guest teenagers to the clubs in Calis. They think that is great.
Mary brings a calm presence to. But everyone at Caretta seems to be genuinely interested in making sure that you have a good holiday. And this is the best thing about Caretta. Not the accommodation, nearby scenery, food, drink, transport and entertainment â although they are all wonderful.
Itâs the people there, your family and their employees, who make it something very special. That, I think, is why so many people return year after year.
Many of the guests return year after year and john has built up a very loyal client base, even those who visit for the first time are almost guaranteed to return again.
The rooms are spotless and if you need anything extra such as an extra pillow there is no delay in a member of staff bringing you one.
We have been staying here for the last five years and are planning on returning for many years to come."
- Travel date: Sun 14th of October 2007
caretta apart hotel turkish hostpitality at it's best
"the caretta apathotel calis beach (fethiye)tTurkey
For us the Caretta and it's crew was such a lucky find, chosen from the calis beach webb site.
We have been visting turkey for something like 24 years and have always loved the country and it's people known for their friendly and generous ways, this in a nutshell sums up Can (Doctor John as many of the English call him) Mary & Cem.
The hotel is very much family run, the feeling you get, when you stay at the caretta is more like you are a guest in their home rather than a hotel guest, Can in particular goes that extra mile to ensure you have an enjoyable time, he will arrange all sorts of trips and days out, so that you make the best of your time there, I think it is quite significant that many of the people you meet in the bar have been going back year after year, even those who, now have their own apartments in calis still call in almost daily for a drink and a chat.
The rooms are all very comfortable, light and airy, complete with a fridge and cooking facilities, great for breakfast, although I am fairly certain, once you have tried the meals cooked by Can and Mary's excellant chef (his Kofta is second to none) you are unlikely to cook your main meal in the room.
There is a nice pool area with sunbeds set in amongst the mandarin and jacaranda trees, just a short distance from the bar area. It is within this area you will find the adorable and now famous Cookie, who will find the ball as long as you have strength in your arm to throw it, you will tire long before he does, you will often see guests taking him for a walk. For all his playful ways he is obediant, great with the children and speaks excellant English. According to Can he taught Cookie english in a shorter time, than he can teach us to speak Turkish. Can has a very dry sense of humour.
The Caretta location is excellant, only a few minutes walk from Calis Beach Centre, where you will find Bars & restauranrts. You could walk outside the gates and pick up a dolmas into Fethiye and then onto Olu Deniz.
To summarize the Carrettta, is clean comfortable with a warm and friendly atmosphere, where you will feel very much at home very quickly. We as a family look forward very much to visiting Can, Mary and theiir team later this year
Sonia, Gerald, Hannah and Wayne
- Travel date: Sat 11th of August 2007