This trip was a bit of a different experience for us this time. After a few months of bugging Mitch to go on holiday, he sent me this ‘golden ticket’ for an all-inclusive 5* holiday, but it was at a secret destination. For months building up to it, I wasn’t allowed to know where we were going. Even up until the day we were travelling I wasn’t aware; we got to the check in desk and I honestly felt so uneducated because I had never heard of the airport we were travelling to – Milas Bodrum. It wasn’t until we walked to the plane where I saw the Turkish flag on the side that I found out we were travelling to Turkey!

The location

We were placed fairly ‘in the middle of nowhere’. Along the long road where our hotel was placed were just all resorts that you could not access their land.

The hotel was placed in a cove and was in a very peaceful area. Every morning you were greeted by the sun, which filled up the bay from the top of the pool, all the way down to the beach area.

The resort felt like it was an unbelievable size, there was plenty of places to go and walk around. There’s not so much to see in terms of traditional ‘Turkish’ buildings but if you take the short 5-minute walk up the hill, you are able to see the whole resort, the landscape of the surrounding islands and the next town.

The resort is the last one on the row and so there are plenty of places to go out and walk without being disturbed by the surrounding resorts. When you are at the top of the hill looking over the resort, it allows you to really appreciate everything this place has to offer.

The Hotel

Rated a 5* all inclusive adults only hotel, located in the Usulu Bay of Bodrum Peninsula – it offers a private beach, outdoor pool, indoor pool and spa facilities. The hotel states it has “luxurious rooms with modern amenities and free Wi-Fi”.

The hotel offered 3 options for dinner. There was the main Asgard restaurant, which is all you can eat buffet style, a Fish Rosco restaurant and an Italian restaurant. The fish and the Italian restaurant were in the same area in the hotel on alternating days. Monday, Wednesday and Friday was Italian and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday was the fish restaurant. Meaning the Asgard restaurant was the only option on a Sunday.

Fish Rosco restaurant we did not try here, as we don’t eat fish and there wasn’t actually any vegetarian options, but our friends at the hotel who went really enjoyed it and went twice!

Italian dishes at Caliente Restaurant – we booked into this restaurant and ate here twice as it was so good the first time. It is a set menu and there was plenty too choose from. Unfortunately the entire main only offered meat but they let you sub it in for one of the warm starters instead, I had the vegetable risotto and the ravioli – which was amazing!! The portions were massive and we didn’t think we were going to be able to finish it! Mitch had the entrecote with peppercorn sauce, and he really enjoyed it!

Waffle and ice cream bar – located between the pool area and the beach area was an all you can eat waffle and ice cream bar! There was an array of different flavours on offer, in which we tried all of them. The waffles were also good, made to order right in front of us, with the addition of fruits and nuts on top. There wasn’t just waffles and ice cream on off here; there was also an option of a savoury potato crepe. The potatoes were already seasoned and were spicy, but other than that they were really nice!

Beach bar – This was located just above the beach area, the food was good and came out really quick, compared to what other guests had written in their reviews about how slow the service was and how bad the food was there. The only thing I can fault with this beach bar was the wasp! They were everywhere; so many couples couldn’t stand them and left before they could order. The staff gave us an ashtray filled with burning coffee to help get rid of the wasps, not sure if it worked though, we had plenty of wasps still flying around us!

Cocktails/drinks/bar – There was a total of three different drinks bars dotted around the resort. The lobby bar was open 24/7, serving all types of drinks including cocktails. This bar was the bar we spent most of our evenings at, the bar staff were really friendly and made us all kinds of wonderful cocktails! The second bar was located by the pool and was open from 9-5, again serving all kind of drinks from non-alcoholic fruit cocktails to alcoholic drinks such as beer. This bar was a 10 second walk away from the sun beds around the pool, which was really handy when we got too hot in the Turkish sun! The final bar was located down by the beach and was open from 9-7. At this bar the staff would make a tray-full of pre-made drinks to take down to everyone lying on the beach. At this bar there was a table football table and a ping-pong table, it turns out I am better than Mitch at ping-pong!!

The Room

We were taken to the room by one of the hotel staff, he was really nice and offered to carry our bags to the room and he gave us the ins and the outs tour of the room. Unfortunately Mitch didn’t have any Turkish lira in his wallet and was unable to give him a tip, we felt really bad as he was stood by the door waiting for us to give him some money!

Before the holiday Mitch had told me that there would be a surprise in the room, and I now know what he meant by surprise – there was a Jacuzzi in the room! There were two beds in the room, one single bed and a huge king size bed, which was so comfy, and big enough that we didn’t even touch when spread out in the bed! In the bathroom there was a waterfall shower, which was incredible to just stand in and lap up how nice the bathroom was. In the room there was air conditioning, however we had no idea on how to turn it on. We went to the reception to ask about it, and the receptionist took Mitch’s phone and added a web page as an app to control our air conditioning from our phone! This could only be done by Wi-Fi though and the Wi-Fi was quite intermittent in places, and so if you had no Wi-Fi, you had no air conditioning.

The spa and wellness centre includes a Turkish bath, sauna, steam room and massage rooms. There is also a fitness centre at the hotel, which is open 24/7. On one of the days we decided to have a spa treatment, which was really lovely and relaxing, this cost 665 Turkish lira = £140. The spa treatment included, peeling, a foam massage, stone massage and facemask. This experience was great to have and the staffs were very accommodating, if you get the chance to do this, I would definitely recommend getting one of the packages.

Now as a typical Brit, we often expect everyone to speak English and in the hotel description it does state that they do. I usually like to learn the basics of the language for when I am travelling to the country but unfortunately only finding out on the day I was travelling I wasn’t able to. The majority of the resort had local Turkish couples staying here, and most of the staff here actually didn’t speak English – which is totally fine, it wasn’t a problem- just on occasion it was hard to order an orange juice!

Things to do

There was a lovely beach area with sunbeds looking out onto the Mediterranean Sea. As well as this there was a pontoon filled with Balinese beds and sun beds. On the first day we were lucky enough to grab ourselves a bed right next to a ladder into the sea, almost like our own private area! The hotel staff would come around and offer us pre-made refreshing drinks, which we couldn’t pass up. As well as this was a fridge filled with ice-cold bottled water that we could help ourselves to. If we did want a different drink, the beach bar was only a short 20-second walk top the top of the beach. The sea was lovely, although a little cold at first! For the first couple of days the sea was really calm and we were able to go for a swim out to the buoys and back. There were so many fish around us in the sea; Mitch loved diving down to see them! I even managed to open my eyes under the water to look around (swimming in water and seeing fish freaks me out a little bit). Towards the end of the week the wind picked up and the water started getting really choppy. Not many people were in the water at this point, however Mitch still braved it and went out for a swim around the pontoon!

At the hotel were three swimming pools, two outdoors and one indoor. One of the outdoor pools was a circular shape, which allowed us to swim loops around; the other couples must have thought we were crazy! We managed to grab ourselves a double sunbed that we could bot sit on and relax, I stayed more in the shade and Mitch wanted the sun, this meant he was up moving the parasol when the sun hit me (pale skin)! Unlike the beach, the hotel staff didn’t come around with pre-made drinks; we had to go over to the bar to grab them. This wasn’t a problem as the bar was only 20 meters away from where we were and if we did get hungry, the Asgard restaurant was just around the corner from the bar. The indoor pool was located underground on the level with the spa and fitness areas. This pool was always really quiet and peaceful, I’m not sure many people knew it was there! The pool water was really warm, which was really nice to just paddle about in, however when we started to do lengths we definitely how hot it was.

When Mitch booked the holiday the hotel promised all types of different entertainment activities, these included yoga, Pilates, Zumba, water sports, aerobics, water gymnastics and nightly entertainment. However when we got to the hotel we couldn’t find any information about any of these. We went and asked the reception staff about all of these activities and they told us that all of the entertainment was finished for the year! Luckily we managed to book a trip to the Dalyans to see the sights and the local turtles.

On one of the days we decided to go on a hike to the neighbouring town. We walked up the massive hill that leads out of our hotel; this hill seemed to just keep on going and going! We got to the top and saw a dirt road in which we thought just to follow it and see where it led. We followed the dirt road for around 40 minutes until we were met with a quaint looking town. We saw many different hotel resorts and we even walked into a few to have a look around. When we decided to start making our way back we were faced with a dilemma, either to walk around and up a long windy road, or to go straight uphill through the bushes and across rocks; we chose the latter. Once we got back to the top, a few scratches and bruises later, we were met with stunning views.

On the last day we decided to go on a river trip to Dalyans to see the Lycian tombs and the local turtles. This was an early start; with a 6:45 pick up to take us to the main bus. We were the last onto this bus, which meant that we couldn’t sit next to each other. About an hour into the three-hour journey the bus decided to break down, just our luck! We were stranded in the middle of nowhere at a petrol station and it took over an hour for a new bus to come and pick us up! Luckily when we got back on the bus and we were able to sit next to each other! The first stop was the mud baths, where we lathered ourselves in mud and let it dry out in the sun! This was a fun experience, and worth the time it takes to get here. The next stop on the tour was onto the river, where we travelled by boat to grab our lunch which was an all you can eat buffet, and you had the choice of chicken/fish (veggies just had whatever was on the buffet). After lunch we headed down the river to look at the Lycian tombs, which were cut from rock around 400 BC, which lit up in the fading sun. The final stop on the tour before we had to head back was the Dalyan turtle beach. At this beach there was in injured loggerhead sea turtle, which was separated until it recovered. We were given over an hour to relax on the beach in the sun and enjoy the sea, this beach is the point where the Mediterranean Sea and the fresh water of the river meet, but don’t mix. After this we then made our long journey back to the hotel!

Overall we both really enjoyed the week away, I think it was a deserving break before the full adult life kicks in. It was a lovely hotel, although I’m not sure whether I would keep the 5* rating from our trip, but it was nice to have experienced an ‘all-inclusive’ holiday for the first time. This is something I will consider in the future for trips. I still can’t believe Mitch managed to pull this off! I would definitely come back to Turkey again in the future!

Top tips for Turkey:

– Not many places take card, bring cash with you. Total of £100-£150 spare. (either sterling, euros or Turkish lira)

– You need a visa to enter Turkey, you can get this in advance online or on arrival to the airport for £20 each

– Be aware of the wasps!

– Be patient with the staff in terms of the language barrier

-Pick up some Turkish words!

-Be respectful, if you are going out of resort, make sure you are being respectful with what you are wearing.

– You may encounter some ‘squat’ toilets on your travels!

-Enjoy and have fun!