Oleander Hotel Side

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Hotel class: 3 stars
Ilica Beldesi Kumkoy Mah. Manavgat, Side, Turkey

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Oleander Hotel Side Reviews

cheesy1 cheesy1
1 reviews
1-2 Fly all inclusive Jul 11, 2010
1-2-Fly: Hotel Oleander - all inclusive

Summer 2004: Paging through various travel brochures with my mother, I suddenly spot the perfect hotel for me and my family. The four star hotel “Oleander” near Side in Turkey, situated directly at the beachside, easily affordable for the whole family and the pick of the basket – all inclusive.

Two months later, we got off the plane in Antalya and on the bus to our hotel near Side. Sweating and tired but full of anticipation, we entered the tidy and spacious lobby, where we met a Dutch family, that should accompany us on our stay more than we could have ever known.

The first day also became the model day for the rest of our holiday. After a really good breakfast buffet with fresh-baked bread, warm rolls and croissants, we decided to go the sandy beach. Leaving the hotel, we did not even see the beach but a hotel employee informed us, that a historic tram would bring the guests to the beach regularly. There we stood, waiting for the tram and forced to listen to the Dutch family, arguing about the costs of alcohol in Turkey and Denmark, when suddenly the tram arrived, already crowded with German and Dutch tourists with inflated plastic dolphins and crocodiles. Seeing this holiday idyll cramped in a little tram, we decided to search the beach by foot.

Actually, we discovered the beach, but only by eye. The direct road was closed and we had to take a narrow and incredibly dirty path, in which a diesel generator blew its stinky fumes.

Arriving at the beach in the end, we could not even think about lying on the sand, enjoying the tanning sun and relaxing by snoozing, because, different from the tram, a host came more than regularly to inform everyone about bocce, volleyball and squash by shouting from one side of the beach to the other only interrupted by illegal beach vendors that offered fake Nike or Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses, shirts, shoes and golden watches that already started corroding in the sun.

Three hours later, we took the dirty path again, to return to the hotel which offered a lunch buffet with regional cuisine at noon. The dishes lead from fresh and refrigerated fruits to sticky-mushy cakes that swam in sugared water. Thanks to the enormous heat, we were not highly hungry anyway and adhered to fruits and apple tea.

After lunch we stayed at the pool in the shadow to let the skin relax from the hot sun. This decision turned out to be less relaxing than baking in the sun at the beach. Masses of children ran around the pool, screaming and splashing over-chlorinated water all over the half-sunbathers, only interrupted by the extremely motivated hosts that shouted out the bocce and squash hours again. Not wanting to spend our holiday in a small room with a broken air conditioner, we returned to the beach again.

At dinner, we encountered the fat-dripping sausages and cakes that drowned in sugared water again. We had the choice between becoming fat or suffering from a fatty degeneration of the heart.

Leaving the hotel restaurant, we saw the bocce-shouting host, dressed up as a woman and entertaining the guests by inviting them to learn the belly dance. Seeing this high-quality evening program, we went to our room to rest and brace ourselves for the next day.

Though, sleep was only a dream until midnight because the children-disco filled the hotel facility with the sound of “Veo Veo” followed by Turkish music that accompanied the second part of the belly dance training program.

To give variety to this nightmare, we booked a countryside-and-people-tour, that turned out to be the best day of our whole holiday. Starting with a pleasant airy journey through the mountains, this trip allowed us to bath in a cooling and clean mountain lake. Relieved and refreshed we had lunch at a farmer’s market. Afterwards, we rode on donkeys to a last stay at a goats’ farm, where we learnt much about cheesemaking and got dinner in the shadows of huge, old olive trees. After this healthy, light and refreshing meal, we entered the bus and returned to our holiday fiasco again.

Two weeks later, our relief at flying home should not last long. Because of the plane being late, the small airport in Antalya was crowded with sunburnt tourists quarreling about their last and next holiday. Felt six hours later, our tourist group got a surrogate-plane and was penned in an old bus with a driver who did not want to open a single window because of the loud planes that landed while driving across the airfield.

The loud discussions with the bus driver stopped as soon as we saw the plane we were supposed to get on. A smudgy sign identified the airline as “Onur Air” and to affirm all prejudices about Turkish airlines, the plane was not only old but also cluttered with welded joints. Listening to the jokes made by the Dutch man on the one side, I heard my mother quoting from a report she read about “Onur Air” in the ADAC newsletter just before our holiday. It informed about a stewardess fixing the luggage rack with handkerchiefs because the doors did not close down.

Entering the plane, we stared at a steward sitting in his seat and cramping his fingers in the armrest. He looked as if he has never flown in an airplane before. Another stewardess started closing the luggage racks while a third one stuffed cloths in between the doors so that they could be closed. This was the moment when the Dutch woman got the giggles that last even during the turbulences due to air holes and stopped only when the plane landed in Frankfurt. One positive remark has to be made: alighting has never been as fast as that time.

To cut a long story short, if you are interested in a whole-day-program and have children on your own, this hotel is an affordable possibility to bake in the sun. It is nearly impossible to spend a relaxing holiday in this all-inclusive facility. Furthermore, you should always inform yourself about partner organizations (like airlines) that work together with your travel organisation. If one of these partners is “Onur Air” you should definitely change the organisation.
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photo by: aloneinthecrowd