14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Great stay in Celay
"We have just returned from this lovely hotel,our second visit and it was as good -no better- than our first visit.We arrived on May 1st and we wereânt aware that it was the first day of the season and we were the first and only guests for the first 4 nights,there were more staff than guests for a while,but the hotel started to fill up as our holiday wore on.
Celal and Ayten (the owners) greeted us as long lost friends.They run an extremely efficient,welcoming and friendly hotel supported by their helpful,friendly and hard working staff Urgur,Java,Inci (the cook),the new chef (didnât get his name) and especially Orhan,who went the extra mile for us,were fantastic,nothing was too much for them even though they do work very long hours.
It happened to be our wedding anniversary whilst we were there and we were presented with a card,some flowers and a lovely scarf for my wife by Celal and Ayten,and a greeting from Orhan of âHappy Anniversaryâ at breakfast.
The next day Seuim the cleaner had bought a towel and embroidered it with some hearts and her name upon it which was a very touching thing to do. WHAT WONDERFUL STAFF the Celay have !!!!!!
We had a deluxe room in the fairly new block and were very comfortable,the breakfast is a Turkish breakfast and there is plenty to choose from.You can have a snack at lunch time from a good menu,and in the evening the is an excellent menu ranging from a Pide to the specials or an A La Carte menu cooked by the new chef who has imaginative ideas.
There is plenty to do in the area including the Blue Lagoon near Uladeniz what a wonderful place to soak up the sun,or you could paraglide from the mountain or get Gustaph to take you up in the microlight,there is horse riding,boat trips and our paticular favourite a trip on the river to the mudbaths.
Although the Celay is rated as 3 star,we would say that is nearer to 3.5 to 4 star
Thank you Celay Hotel for a wonderful holiday
Ray & Kath
- Travel date: Thu 16th of May 2013
All right all in all.
"Stayed for 2 weeks, just me and the missus. Had stayed at the Perdikia last year.
On arrival the manager (Uhr)greeted us warmly and asked if we would care to upgrade our room. I advised that i had been on their web site and the rooms seemed quite good so i would prefer to see my allocated room before deciding to spend more
When i saw my allocated room it was very poor, lats falling out of the bathroom ceiling ,no shower cubicle, scruffy painted furniture, a balcony so small that me and my wife couldn't use it at the same time. I actually asked if they thought we should holiday in a Swiss clock, one in one out.
I went back to reception and basically told him what he was offering was substandard and i wanted a different room. He wasn't having any, all the standard rooms are the same ( which they are) so he advised i take the upgrade. We had a good 20 min argument. The guy tries to tell me I'm "going to have to stay now " so it would be better just to upgrade and have a nice holiday. That ended in me advising i would stay one night, find a new hotel,sue the travel company for a refund when i got home and slag him off on every review site as a hobby until next season.
When i calmed down i decided that for the money i couldn't be bothered with it, went back, mended bridges and upgraded so my wife could get on with her much awaited holiday without strife. Also i had got a hell of a cheap deal so took the upgrade cost on balance.
That as the last problem i had at the hotel, the owners, manager and all the staff were kindness personified although i think i only bought about 10 bottles of water and an ice cream over my full stay and never ate there. If you want lots of attention they put the show on, if you want to be left alone they acknowledge you daily with a warm smile and respect that.
Nice pool, clean, loads of space when we first arrived but a few sunbed savers moved in last few days and upset the balance. I mean, towels on sun beds at 6.30 am, would you? (didn't bother me I've had me brekkers and laid out for 9 when there is loads of beds left)
Upgraded rooms ok , but only 4 news only channels and no fridge. Balconies on the back of the block get no sun ( but that can come in handy, its hot in Turkey)
Bit out of the way and up a hill if you're older, have disability or are very unfit ( 200 yards of 15% incline probably sums it up)
Breakfast was OK for me,(even made mates with the hotel dog and fed him a bit every morning). They do have a gym but its small, never open and they want to charge you Â£4 an hour. Couldn't pick up this wi-fi server they reckon they have .
Maid service very good in the upgraded block. Pleasant women who do a good job. Towels and linen fine.
Sure they don't like you taking your own food and drink in and have signs up saying they "reserve the right to take it from you" . After me chucking all the toys out of the pram when i first arrived, I don't think they would have though that issue worth pushing but they never asked to search my bag or anything. ( or anyone else's as far as i am aware)
All in all a decent out of the way spot with nice Turkish people trying to make enough to live on in 6 months a year. Wouldn't stay without an upgrade for a gold pig but many seem to return every year and do just that. some have been going 11 years + and its a bit of a family atmosphere for them. Staff calling to older repeat visitors " i love you baba" and i think more than half meaning it.
So there you go Uhr, the review I promised when we first spoke. I think its fair.
- Travel date: Sat 9th of July 2011
"We have just returned from another wonderful holiday at the Celay Hotel. My partner & I got a great deal from Holidays4U in May at this hotel & enjoyed it so much we booked up whilst we were there to go back again with the kids in July.Craig at Holidays4U in Glasgow was fantastic with all his help & information on the holiday. There was not 1 negative thing we could say. The food, people, location, rooms everything was perfect!! Ayten & Celal who own the hotel get to know each of their guests by 1st name & cannot do enough for you, as do the guys in the restaraunt & Bar areas.
At 1st we were amazed at the amount of guests who were on their 3rd, 4th or more visits to the Celay but after just a few days we could undestand why. We have already booked again for next year & will be taking friends with us."
- Travel date: Tue 25th of August 2009
The staff were very helpful and very fri...
"The staff were very helpful and very friendly, making you feel extremely welcome. It actually felt like the star rating was too low for the quality of the hotel. The rooms were clean with regular towel change and beds made daily. There are great views from the hotel. The pool was freshly cleaned every morning, also bigger than most others in the area.
Food was a mix between Turkish and English and very well presented. Half board meals were different from those available to buy from the restaurant during the evening. Spirits are quite expensive, local beers etc are cheaper drink wise.
One tip for anyone who suffers from mosquito bites; take some repellent as at certain times of year they are annoying! (especially when eating as the restaurant is part covered and open).
The cheapest way to travel is by Dolmus (bus) very frequent, about 5-mins walk from the hotel. The closest bus to the hotel is Ovacik 2, this takes you along top road but finishes around 7pm. Ovacik 1 is 10 minutes walk but the buses are more frequent and run later into the night. If you do take a Taxi which are also frequent, haggle, otherwise they will charge loads! Hirosonu is a 10 min bus ride and has the clubs, restaurants and shops closest to hotel. Although there is a restaurant 5 minutes from the hotel called the Turtle Bar if you fancy eating out not too far away.
Trips can be booked from loads of different places including the hotel. Boat trips, Paragliding, Jeep Safari etc are brilliant, shop around to get the best prices. Such good fun! Olu Deniz beach is 15-20 min bus ride and well worth it as it is beautiful. Some of the boat trips are run from here. Most trips once booked actually collect you from the hotel and drop you back at the end!
We had a thoroughly enjoyable time in Turkey and made all that more special by the Celay Hotel and it's lovely staff.
- Travel date: Thu 31st of July 2008
lovely,friendly family run hotel
"We have just returned from our first ever trip to Turkey and stayed at the Celay.As it was a last minute booking, and really inexpensive,we werent sure what we would find;we were delighted;the hotel is lovely, only 3 storeys, and the rooms all face the pool, have balconies or terraces; are clean and well kept, with maid service daily. You couldnt fault the staff, who were so friendly and helpful, with nothing being too much trouble for them. You only had to speak to the other guests there to see how good it was, as about 70% of them appeared to be return visitors, having enjoyed it so much the first time; I can only say that we will be joining them by going back again; the only quibble we would have would be over the hot water, which wasnt normally available til after 6pm; however as we were checking out at 3pm on our day of departure, we asked if it could be turned on for us to have a final shower - having spent the day in and around the pool and again they were happy to accomodate us (the room being kept for us until checkout - not having to pack up and move out & camp by your bags).
So yes, we would recommend this hotel, particularly if you just want a nice relaxing holiday - and thanks again to the staff for a lovely holiday"
- Travel date: Sun 17th of June 2007
Love the Celay
"Just had another fabulous holiday at the Celay Hotel. The staff as ever were very friendly and inviting. I celebrated my birthday there with over 20 friends and Celal and Ayten made the most fabulous birthday party for me. I can never fault the care and attention given to their customers. However can I make a suggestion if you are going. Book this hotel independently and this can be done cheaply. There were problems with one of the travel companies (i think they were called Vision Holidays) who do not pay for rooms so you may be turned away by the owners as they obviously do not give out rooms for free. But as I said if you do go there you will be treated excellently."
- Travel date: Mon 4th of June 2007
Escape the crowds and relax here...
"I came as a female solo traveller in September 06 for some peace, sunshine and a chance to read those books that I'd been "getting around to" for months. I booked very much last minute and based my choice of hotel (and holiday!) on the reviews of other travellers on this site. I'm so glad I did - everything that people write about this hotel is true.
It's a small, family hotel, nestling off the beaten track in the shadow of a beautiful mountain, world renowned for its paragliding. If you're after SKY PremPlus, fried breakfasts, and comparing sunburn over 15 pints of lager, this is not the place for you. If, however, you want personal service (Aytan is so kind and helpful - she rang the ever-late excusion buses when they failed to materialise to collect me and berated them in Turkish - and even drove me into town, with my luggage, to enable me to make my airport transfer), a beautiful uncrowded location and fabulous food (the hotel kitchen will cook you whatever you fancy, you only have to ask for it!).
Half an hour in Hisonaru was more than enough for me. Instead, hail a local dolmus into Fethiye (approx 10 minutes by car) and wander round the market, shops, ancient rock tombs, and along the harbour front where the old men gather to drink Turkish tea and play backgammon. There are so many restaurants and cafes to choose from (and none "hassle" a lone traveller unlike in places such as Bodrum) - but especially good are the Muhallabici (Patisserie) cafes with their mouthwatering cakes and puddings.
Not more than 5 minutes stroll further along the harbour front is the ultra-chic Gece Marina in Fethiye. It's worth the walk as you can wander amidst the yachts of the super rich, watch the sun set with a coffee in your hand at the cafe in the Marina complex, and you might even catch a glimpse of the local Loggerhead Turtles (caretta caretta) who live in the natural harbour that is Fethiye bay.
For the more adventurous, I'd definitely recommend you try Scuba Diving and Paragliding during your stay in the area. For the former, try Aquapro Divers based in the Marina - their safety standards and equipment is much better than other companies I've dived with across the world - and the staff are fun, friendly and speak fluent English! Whilst the Mediterranean fish are not as exotic as in the Red Sea, naturally, the rock formations and corals are just as pretty.
The blue lagoon at Oludeniz is exquisite - it's not one of the most photographed locations in Turkey for nothing...
All in all, I would recommend Celal Hotel as a pefect holiday base to forget the cares of the "real world" and have paradise on your doorstep. Everyone I met in this hotel was a return traveller and for me, that speaks volumes. Will I go back? Definitely!"
- Travel date: Thu 15th of February 2007
Celay Celay - Nothing bad to Say!
"I will keep this short and sweet but i must say that i have never been to a hotel which treated me so well - The owners and staff were amazing, so kind, friendly and thoughtful.
The hotel was lovely, clean and wonderfully situated.
I was really sad to leave!"
- Travel date: Tue 31st of October 2006
Best Hotel in Ovacik
"Well, what can we say that has not already been said about this superb hotel in Ovacik. We have been to this hotel 7 times in the last two years and it never ceases to amaze us how everything looks so clean, tidy and beautiful. We found the hotel on teletext holidays.com and booked a one week half board stay in July 2004. We fell in love with the location and returned for a two week visit in September 2004. Since then, we have been back twice a year, to visit this hotel, the staff, and the owners, which we now call our friends.
This place has got into our hearts, as have the owners and staff at the hotel. They have treated us impecably and nothing is too much for these people to do for us.
We have loved it so much and the people so much, that we have now bought an apartment nearby, so we are now their neighbours. What more can we say than this, except that we still spend most of our evenings there because we would miss them if we did not!!!!!
We would recommend people visit Olu Deniz and the Blue Lagoon including a visit to Gemc beach and Joseph's bar. Also Hisaronu by day and night is a must. A visit to Fethiye main town for its narrow streets, bars and restaurants and harbour by night. Try to visit Saklikent gorge, this can be organised through local travel companies in Hisaronu.
Once again, Aytan, Celal, Orhan, Inci, and Berrak, will all make a visit to this hotel a memorable one. One that you will hopefully return to, like us, time and again."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of September 2006
"I shed silent tears on the coach when we left as Celal and a few other members of staff waved us off. It's common to say "oh, I never want to leave" when on holiday but, for me, it was absolutely heartbreaking to do so. We had such a wonderful time!
We suffered from a few mosquito bites but once we were introduced to "lemon cologne", we didn't have a problem. Buy a bottle or two as soon as you can!
Celal, Ayten and especially Orhan (best barman in the world!) made our holiday what it was and we're thankful to them for making our stay so enjoyable. They treated us like family and we can't wait to go back next year to see everyone again."
- Travel date: Wed 13th of September 2006
Good .... and Bad
"Other reviews about this hotel are generally accurate enough in what they say, but these, of course, are based merely on personal perceptions and experiences which can vary enormously. The main redeeming feature of the Celay is the large size of its pool, but this is offset by other factors which might suggest that there is, for many, much better value for money locally available elsewhere.
Yes, the Celay certainly is clean and tidy, with rooms being serviced every day, but for most guests the hotel had a virtual monopoly on where it is possible to eat and drink and it is well aware of this fact. Poolside bar and hotel restaurant prices were, we discovered, far higher than anywhere else in the area, albeit admittedly still slightly cheaper than in the UK. The evening menu was bland in comparison to that on offer in the literally hundreds of excellent restaurants in nearby Hisoranu and far more expensive, to boot. As breakfast was clearly advertised as 'Turkish', the self-service selection on offer was good, although, for our own children, it became boring and unappetising after a day or so. Wasps were also an early morning problem when eating at the open-air tables. Due to the elevation above sea-level, the relative coolness from mountain breezes, along with regular spraying of the locality by the authorities, mosquitoes were almost absent - even in the hottest month of August.
Without one's own transport, it is at least a 1/2 mile dusty trek each way at night down largely unlit roads to even the very nearest restaurant, bar, or supermarket. In addition, there is no public transport available within reasonable walking distance and taxis have to be summoned by telephone from Ovacik village or Hisoranu. Those wanting nightlife would be advised to look at Hisoranu or Olu Deniz. The only entertainment on offer at the Celay was a once-weekly barbeque with belly-dancer and this (optional) meal was at an additional cost approximating to almost double what value one could get elsewhere.
As others have already observed on various websites, one's own food is certainly not permitted on the premises and our family's supermarket carrier bags repeatedly appeared to be questioningly scrutinised by the owner's wife - who always appeared to be sat somewhere in the vicinity each and every time we returned at the end of a day out (in our own, locally-sourced, rental car).
Maid-service was good (apart, that is, from repeatedly having to ask for toilet rolls at Reception when these failed to be re-stocked), but do make sure that management are made perfectly clear that you do NOT wish all your possessions to be tidied away each morning. At the beginning of our stay, my wife had all her jewellery and other personal items gathered up and thrown into a drawer. When we complained, our rooms were not cleaned the next day. Also be sure to LOCK AWAY all your valuables, particularly if you find you have a ground-floor room â as the maid invariably left the patio door unlocked.
The nearest beach is over 4 miles away and the nearest town (Hisoranu) just over 2 miles. For those forced to make regular journeys in taxicabs, or even local 'dolmuses' (minibuses), the costs will soon start to escalate alarmingly.
Most patrons, during our stay, appeared to be content to spend their days by the hotel pool, or possibly to partake in the occasional organised outing by the package holiday company. That, quite naturally, is their privilege, but we checked prices locally in Hisoranu for these very same excursions and were astonished to be quoted up to 1/3 of what 'Jewel in the Crownâ, for example, were asking.
Furthermore, when we were asked to settle our bill for the additional Â£3 per day per room air-conditioning (which automatically turned itself off each time we left our rooms), the exchange rate offered for sterling travellerâs cheques was extortionate.
Although any issues that we had were usually attended to promptly enough by the management, our own perception of the couple who own the hotel was that they were generally quite surly and uncommunicative. Language difficulties appeared to be utilised as an excuse when problems arose, although we were pretty sure these two understood EVERY word we said!
Upon our arrival, we had most of our luggage carried by staff to our rooms at the far end of the premises. Upon our departure, the same staff merely leant against the poolside bar and watched us as we each dragged a large suitcase back to Reception (even our struggling 9-year old daughter was totally ignored). On our final day, we had to be up at 6-00am in order to pack for a 7-30am departure. At 5-02 am, the power went off â only to come back on at 7-23am. We were forced to pack in total darkness. No-one at all came to our rooms to explain or to assist us and our phone calls to Reception were consistently ignored. As we walked out to our transit bus, the ownerâs wife appeared to have been aware of our departure, as she was stood by the door. No apologies were offered to us, indeed, not a word was said by her â not even a âFarewellâ or âThank Youâ!
For those of you on a budget and not deliberately seeking total isolation from civilisation (and most of us are in that category), far better value is available elsewhere nearby. Try, for example, the much smaller âFriendly Hotelâ."
- Travel date: Sat 26th of August 2006
Idyllic spot and wonderful staff
"We have just returned after a week at the Celay and it really is the most wonderful "chill out" place. I don't think I've ever stayed in a hotel as clean as this - anywhere. The gardens and pool are beautiful and we saw wild tortoises roaming around there.
The staff are fantastic, consequently service is first class. We had b and b, intending to eat out but after trying the food at the hotel we just didn't bother as it was so very good. On our first night we fancied trying a Turkish bath so we asked the owner where we should go. He made a call and before we could even finish the drinks that we then ordered, the masseur from the Green Anatolia hotel arrived to take us to the "Haman". That was quite an experience -well worth trying.
We went on Explora's jeep safari and would thoroughly recommend it if you want to laugh a lot and don't mind getting dirty or wet! It was a brilliant day!
When we left at the end of the week (reluctantly) Ayten and Pete (the chef) waved us off lwith the kind of personal touch that characterises this hotel. I would recommend it to anyone who prefers not to be in the centre of a resort, but likes the option of going somewhere busier (Fettiye or Hisaronu)."
- Travel date: Sat 15th of July 2006