92 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Holiday from hell
"We have just returned from a week at Grand Aquarium. Staying at the hotel/apts was one of the worst experiences ever.
The hotel itself was clean with friendly staff but the owner and manager were rude, deceitful with no idea about customer service. Examples of some of the issues we experienced during our stay:-
1. Mis-sold the airconditioning by advising we would have it for 24hrs if paid 20GBP. Rubbish! The AC only comes on while you're in the room and even then we only got 40 mins max before re-setting it manually which meant getting up several times during the night. Waste of money!
2. The hotel staff searched our room whilst we were out one night! Luckily no valuables were taken.
3. Cleaner left a bottle of disinfectant in our bathroom - in an unmarked Vittel water bottle. We had kids with us and they thought it was mouthwash. By sheer luck, they didn't touch it but this could have been fatal. When confronted manager, she did not accept responsibility and even accused us of planting the bottle in our room! Ridiculous.
Stay away from this place if you value your life! This is the worst hotel we have ever stayed in on holiday (and we have travelled a lot) We won't be going back to this hotel which is a pity as the entertainment staff were really great with the kids."
- Travel date: Sat 9th of August 2008
we had a great holiday but the rooms in...
"we had a great holiday but the rooms in grand aquarium were too small. the staff were great and very friendly. disappointed to see that there was not a internet area for the older children. The rooms were very clean and the whole pool area was spotless cleaned every evening and morning. The restaurant on site was lovely and the shop was stocked with everything you should need."
- Travel date: Sun 27th of July 2008
I visited the Grand Aquarium this year f...
"I visited the Grand Aquarium this year for the second time (we stayed last year too). I wrote a review last year rating it 10/10 and wasn't going to write another this year until I read the two 1/10 reviews. I cannot believe that these people are talking about the Grand Aquarium. Surely they have the name mixed up with somewhere else.
Again, all of my party thoroughly enjoyed our holiday at the GA. There are many many plus points. The pool area is fantastic; clean and safe. The slide is good fun. The staff are very friendly. Yes, the hairdressers etc are a bit full-on but if you make it clear you are not interested then they leave you alone. The entertainment team had changed from last year and although I did prefer last year's team (one of the reasons for only giving it 9/10) they work very very hard. They were just in the process of setting up a kids club as we were leaving and I think this will be an added attraction to the GA if it is run properly.
The only (and I mean only) complaint that I have about the GA was that the restaurant service was not brilliant. The lunch time menu was great and we ate lunch in the restaurant on most days but the evening meals were not as nice as previously. Therefore, we ate out on most nights. But then, eating out is one of the reasons that we go on holiday.
The prices in the shop are a little steep but there are supermarkets within a few minutes walk that are much better priced.
I felt that our apartment was clean and adequately sized for our party. We certainly did not experience any "flooding" from shower and the kitchen was large enough for the few times that we did use it. Our towels were changed every day and we had clean sheets on quite a few occasions. No ants either!!!
We would definitely stay at the GA again and would recommend it to anybody."
- Travel date: Sat 26th of July 2008
Dont know where these people were stayin...
"Dont know where these people were staying to rate the grand aquarium a 10;they must
be really easy to please. The place was a total mess.Should be reported to ABTA for
representing themselves as a four star.
I liked the resort but the Aquarium was the back of beyond and boy did they cash in on it.
The place was dark and dingy was supposed to represent some kind of cavern dug out
of the hillside,cave being the operative word here.
The apartments were small and not very clean.The furniture was shabby as was the decor. I dont go on holiday to stay in but i like some kind of standard of comfort and
Our toilet floor was manky covered in somebody else,s body hair. When we tried to use the shower it flooded the sitting room.
Our kitchen was home to an army of ants.
The pool area was small and full of annoying hotel staff who constantly pestered us with
deals for hairdressing and other nonsense .
The food was dry,tasteless and over priced.
When i asked the rep if the hotel was a four star because i thought i had made a mistake she said it was rated four star because of the facilities.... it certainly couldent have been for the accomodation.
There is a wee pub/ cafe down from the hotel with four tables where you can get a breakfast but it was nothing much to write home about
Icmeler town is about 15-20 minutes walk away,taxis are 10 turkish lira one way or you can get a local bus at the bottom of the road...... still leaves you with a trek uphill to the
Turkey is a great place to visit especially Icmeler ,a lovely resort .Take my advice dont
be in a hurry to visit the Aquarium.. its a dive!"
- Travel date: Fri 25th of July 2008
"We have just got back from this hotel 1 week ago and wish I never had to leave!! The whole hotel was very very clean, with been left a nice heart shaped towel on our bed every day was a nice treat to come back to !!!
The pool was fantasic and there were plenty of sun beds, for us to lounge around and the slide was fun too, as it helped you cool off alot!!
You should defo do the turkish night has it is so funny and it was nice to experience some of the different types of food!!
We found all the reception and entertainment staff very friendly and my husband became water polo king by the end of the holiday!! Although they were helpful I found the staff in the bar and resturant rude at times!
It is a bit far out the town centre but the buses cam every 10 minutes and ran till after 1am!! (pick up outside tommys)
When to Tommys bar and the food was disgusting and I couldn't even eat it!! I would not go there if they paid me again!!
All the food in the town centre was lovely and would reccommend trying different places each night!!
To sum it all up I would definatey go back and wish I could have stayed for longer!!
If you stay there I hope you have a lovely time!!"
- Travel date: Sun 20th of July 2008
Was totally disappointed with what i und...
"Was totally disappointed with what i understood to be 4 star accomodation having been in Icmeler before.Was looking forward to it so much.The Grand Aquarium leaves a lot to be desired.The rooms were barely bigger than two dingy toilets knocked together,werent even clean.
In the sitting room the two available armchairs which doubled as single beds were dilapidated and badly stained.The rooms were dark and generally depressing. We had opted for self catering and this area was little more than a passageway with no worktop facing the toilet door.The whole flat resembled a turkish bath,not as hygenic covered in garish black and white chipped tiles,described as marble incidentally.
The outlook from most of the tiny verandas was cramped and dismal.Because of their close proximity to each other there wasnt any danger of finding some privacy from the neighbours.
There were two windows in this appartment which offered little consolation by way of a view ( both filthy) even if you could have seen through them.
As a last comment locals call this place the "cave" need i say more?
More like Bedrock City, a good 15-20 minute walk from civilization.
I arrived at this place at three thirty in the morning and was on the phone to the main tour operator by nine am.
I nor any of my family unpacked.We were offered alternative accomodation after some
discussion that morning.
I love Turkey and the hospitality of its people but ending up in accomodation like the
AQUARIUM on a first time visit could really put people off.
- Travel date: Wed 16th of July 2008
Fantastic time, first visit to Turkey an...
"Fantastic time, first visit to Turkey and we are looking a going back again next year already, the hotel was amazing. July was perhaps a bit hot (46 degrees) but that is hardly the hotels fault, and the pool was cool and refreshing!
I agree the apartments would have been small for four sharing but there was just me and the other half in ours and it was plenty big enough. Kitchen includes toaster, microwave, table top double hob, large fridge, kettle, sink and enough cutlery and cooking equipment to get by, but to be honest it was cheap enough to eat out everynight and we hardly used it. The air conditioning was free in the morning and evening but you have to pay extra for use at other times (Â£20 for the week or thereabouts).
The 'watch' system is a good idea, money is paid and credited on to a waterproof watch thing at reception then you use this as credit for payment in the on-site shop or restaurant, we found it very convenient and much more secure. Any money left is credited back to you when you leave. If you have got a higher rate of exchange before getting to Turkey may be advisable to used Lira rather than Pounds to credit it as the hotel exchange rate will not be as good.
It is worth attending the rep meeting in the morning as there are several locals that will give you information (and try and sell you stuff) but it answered alot of our questions. The Thomas Cook rep was very good and helpful, but be mindful that excursions will be made available to you at the hotel introduced by them, which are also widely sold throughout the towns. We got a different experience for the same excursion as some one booking elsewhere (ours included a stops at various carpet/ ceramics factories to be sold stuff, though interesting).
What made this holiday though was the staff at Grand Aquarium and they were so helpful and friendly, and so so hardworking. The Turkish Bath was hilarous, the water slide good fun and lots of extra entertainment and activities during the day and night. The pool is clean, deep and well maintained. The entertainment team and the on site hairdressers/ beauty team will encourage you to join in, but we did not find them pushy and really were happy just to make friends and have a chat. Don't be put off by other comments about chatting the women up; most of the staff are summer workers only and have partners who are there to be happy and approachable, and not interested in anything else.
The location is in the 'old town' of Icmeler, which is less commercial than the town centre (which in itself is not over exploited yet). It is a 20 minute walk or 1 Lira each way on the local bus and worth that little extra distance.
Thank you for a great holiday Grand Aquarium, from Dawn and 'Mick-Mick'."
- Travel date: Thu 10th of July 2008
AWESOME.. the best holiday weve had ``ev...
"AWESOME.. the best holiday weve had ``ever`` Staff were brilliant, they were very helpful and friendly and involved us in all activitys, especially lee and a.j. who kept us amused all week, the complex and rooms were spotlessly clean new towells and sheets everyday..rooms were a bit small but you dont stay in them all day-tommys bar opposite hotel was great also, full english bril,good evening meals and very friendly-mr chef does a wicked fajita steak, and also ozzys-fab!!!!!!! waiters ,etc.. are friendly and great fun to be found in most of bars-try the irish bar-great!! we did venture into marmaris one night, it was dirty and we were hassled constantly-we stopped and had a meal in natalees worst meal weve had ANYWHERE........ we couldnt get back to icmeller quick enough, started saving to go again asap-"
- Travel date: Sat 5th of July 2008
it was amazing and the entertainment was...
"it was amazing and the entertainment was great it is a beautiful place and the locals are very nice and always greet you xxxxx"
- Travel date: Thu 26th of June 2008
my first time here and i will definatly...
"my first time here and i will definatly be back .different entertainment every night .my kids loved the brk dance show and lee one the entertainment team could easily match them .the hotel rooms were spotless and the food in the the restauran t was also good.if u want to go to its sister hotel teh club they will take u up themselves in the shuttle bus .i would also like to say hello to aj snoop and lee who kept the guests happy nothing was to much trouble will defo be back nxt yr ."
- Travel date: Fri 20th of June 2008
absolutely amazing apartments, the best...
"absolutely amazing apartments, the best we have ever stayed in!!! rooms are a touch on the small side but are absolutely fine in cleanliness, you do get people round the pool like hairdressers and the photographer but they are very friendly and if you dont want anything you just have to be blunt. the entertainment team are fantastic really nice lads who make the holiday enjoyable, i highly reccomend it!!!!! well we got back last night and we have already booked up to go there again in a few weeks!!!!!!!!! "
- Travel date: Sat 14th of June 2008
this is a very nice hotel and a lovely c...
"this is a very nice hotel and a lovely country but the staff at the GA are like dogs on heat . allover your girlfriends and never leave you alone to catch the sun.
And entertainment hahaha, 15 minutes a day doesnt really cut it with me.
Can get better at my local pub !!!"
- Travel date: Fri 13th of June 2008