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by : Vera V Christopher | written on :14/02/2009 | permalink

Ms. Vera V Christopher

I was ripped off

WELL, I HAD THE WORST VACATION EVER LAST AUTUMN IN TURKEY AT A HOTEL CALLED THE "SUNSHINE HOTEL" IN A SMALL TOWN CALLED ALANYA, ON THE TURKISH RIVIERA NEAR A MAJOR CITY CALLED ANTALYA (AND I WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF IN ANTALYA IN A GOOD CLASS HOTEL, I BELIEVE).

THE WEATHER SAVED THE DAY. HAD IT BEEN BAD I THINK THAT I WOULD HAVE BECOME ILL. I BOOKED THIS "REST VACATION" FOR OCTOBER, IT WAS DURING THE TIME OF MY BIRTHDAY. THE HOTEL ITSELF WAS VERY CLEAN AND PLEASANT ENOUGH, BUT WHAT REALLY DRAGGED THE PLACE DOWN WAS THE "ALL INCLUSIVE" DEAL, AS THE PLACE WAS ON THE MAIN ROAD ABOUT A HALF HOUR JOURNEY BY BUS FROM THE CENTRE OF TOWN. I USED TO CATCH THE BUS WHICH STOPPED OUTSIDE THE HOTEL FAIRLY REGULARLY. THE HOTEL ITSELF WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF A BANANA PLANTATION. AND WE NEVER SAW ONE IN THE RESTAURANT, BY THE WAY!!! ANYWAY, I JUST NEEDED SOMEWHERE QUIET WHERE I COULD REST AND READ AND JUST EAT WELL AND GET STRONG FOR THE COMING YEAR. WELL IT WAS GOING TO BE A DISAPPOINTMENT, AS THE FOOD, ALTHOUGH APPARENTLY PLENTIFUL AND FULL OF VARIETY WAS IN FACT "A REHASH OF PREVIOUSLY SERVED FOOD". I KNOW THAT THIS HAPPENS IN ALL INCLUSIVE HOTELS BUT THIS WAS REALLY OVER THE TOP, AS THEY SAY IN THE UK. I MEAN BY THIS THAT ONE DAY WE HAD STONE COLD CHIPS (FRENCH FRIES) WITH TOMATO SAUCE ON A LARGE PLATE AS A STARTER DISH. THE SALAD WAS ALWAYS THE SAME, THE FETA CHEESE WAS THE CHEAPEST QUALITY, VERY SALTY AND NOT TASTY, THE TOMATOES LOOKED "TIRED", AND THE EGGS WERE VERY PALE YOKED AND MUST HAVE BEEN THE CHEAPEST VARIENTY IN TURKEY, AS A FEW GUESTS COMMENTED ON HOW TASTELESS THEY WERE. SOME GUESTS CALLED THE FOOD "CATTLE FODDER" BUT BECAUSE THEY WERE IN COUPLES OR MORE MEMBERS TOGETHER THEY USED TO GO OUT MORE TO DINNER, SO MUCH FOR THE ALL INCLUSIVE! THE SOUPS WERE THICK WITH FLOUR TO MAKE MORE IN QUANTITY. THERE WERE NO FRESH LEMONS ANYWHERE, A COMMON ENOUGH FRUIT SERVED IN THE CHEAPEST PLACES IN TURKEY. BUT NOT AT THE HOTEL. THE FISH WAS SERVED OVER DONE AND TASTELESS, AND NOT VERY OFTEN. THE KEBABS WERE STUFFED WITH BREAD, THERE WAS VERY LITTLE MEAT IN THEM AND REALLY THEY WERE TASTELESS ALSO. I NOTICED THAT THE SAME MEAT USED FOR THE SOUP WAS SERVED IN THE STEW! THIS MEAT WAS LIKE DRY WOOD, TOTALLY TASTELESS. YOU COULDN'T HELP NOTICING THAT ECONOMY WAS THE NAME OF THE GAME ALL ALONG, BUT REALLY FOR A "FOUR STAR HOTEL" THE FOOD SHOULD HAVE BEEN OF A MUCH HIGHER STANDARD. THERE WAS A LOT OF PASTA AND BEANS AND A LACK OF FRESH MEAT AND FISH. REALLY I LOST WEIGHT, AS I WAS VERY TIRED OF THIS FOOD AFTER THREE DAYS AND I HAD BOOKED FOR TWO WEEKS. SOME OTHER GUEST WANTED TO BE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER HOTEL BECAUSE OF THE FOOD BUT THE TRAVEL AGENT' REPRESENTATIVE, WHO WAS TURKISH, SAID THAT THERE WAS "NO CHANCE" OF THAT, AND HE SMILED CYNICALLY. I DID NOT SAY ANYTHING AT THE TIME BECAUSE I REALISED THAT THEY HAD OUR MONEY, WE HAD PAID IN LONDON AND NOW HAD TO PUT UP WITH ALL THIS LOW STANDARD FOOD.

THE COLOURED "FRUIT DRINKS" WERE SICKLY SWEET AND VERY DARK IN COLOUR. IN THE MORNING THE COFFEE WAS FROM A COFFEE MACHINE, AND IT WAS TASTELESS, THE SAME APPLIED TO THE TEA, WHICH HAD A FROTH ON IT FROM THE MACHINE, BUT REALLY IT WAS JUST AWFUL. YOU WERE BETTER OFF DRINKING THE WATER. AS REGARDS THE "MILK" FOR THE CEREAL IN THE MORNINGS IT WAS RECONSTITUTED MILK. I WOULD NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT BUT SOMEONE TOLD ME THAT SHE COULD RECOGNISE THE SMELL. THE ONLY GOOD THING IN THE MORNING WAS THE HONEY AND THE SESAME PULP WITH CHOCOLATE. THE BREAD ROLLS WERE FRESH ALSO. BUT THAT WAS IT.

THERE WERE A LOT OF RUSSIANS IN THE HOTEL AND FRANKLY THERE WAS A LOT OF GRABBING FOR THE DESERTS AND BEST FOOD, THE LITTLE THAT THERE WAS OF IT! IF YOU WERE NOT SMART ENOUGH TO GET TO THE RESTAURANT EARLY YOU WOULD MISS A DECENT DESERT, WHICH WAS MORE OR LESS ALWAYS THE SAME, SEMOLINA WITH HONEY OR SYRUP. THERE WAS SOME FRUIT - THE WATER MELON WAS THE BEST. IN A COUNTRY RENOUNED FOR ITS SWEETS AND DESERTS WE NEVER HAD BAKLAVA IN ALL THE TIME THAT I WAS THERE. I MEAN THAT IT IS SO COMMON IN TURKEY AND WAS SERVED EVERYWHERE. ALSO THERE WERE NO GRAPES, NO POMEGRANATES, NO FIGS, NO PEACHES, ALL OF THIS WAS IN SEASON AND WAS VISIBLE IN EVERY RESTAURANT ALMOST. BUT NOT IN THE HOTEL! THIS WAS ECONOMISING TO THE LIMIT!

IT WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT AND I REALISED THAT I HAD MADE A MISTAKE, BUT BECAUSE I HAD NEVER TRAVELLED TO THAT PART OF TURKEY BEFORE I WAS UNFAMILIAR WITH THE AREA. ANYWAY, MY NEW BEACH TOWEL, A LOVELY FRENCH GREEN BAMBOO TOWEL WAS TAKEN FROM THE BEACH BY SOME OF THE OTHER GUESTS AND THAT REALLY TOOK THE BISCUIT. I HAD MADE UP MY MIND THAT IT WAS NOT THE PLACE TO GO TO AGAIN. AND THAT IS THE PRINCIPLE UPON WHICH IT SEEMS TO BE RUN i.e. THEY SEE NEW FACES EVERY TIME, THIS IS WHAT I COULD SEE, NO ONE COMES BACK, AND THERE WERE A FEW HUNDRED GUESTS ALTOGETHER.

THE ROOMS WERE CLEAN AS MENTIONED BUT THEY WERE STINGY WITH THE TOWELS AND THE BATH MATS. THE BATH MATS WERE NOT WASHED OFTEN. THE TOWE

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