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Reviewed 7 April 2012

My husband and I visited Turkey for two weeks near the end of March first of April. During the last few days of our trip we planned a side trip to Kusadasi so we could go to Ephesus. We visited a travel agent in Istanbul and after much conversation, I decided to stay at the Sealight Resort Hotel. The tour agent advised that booking for 3 nights (all we had available) was more money than if booked a 4 night package. Of course that would be ridiculous so we just booked for 4 nights in a sea view room. The travel agent pointed out that they had four a la carte restaurants and we would be ultra all-inclusive guests which meant we had service 24 hours. I thought the price was quite reasonable even for 3 days and it was undoubtedly because it was still low season. We were very excited to end our vacation in a 5 star resort after touring through Turkey so we could do our tour and have a couple of days of pampering! Sadly, we did not really have a 5 star experience.

Check in:
When we arrived, we were assigned a room on the 5th floor and given a map of the hotel with all the restaurant locations and opening times, etc. I was not impressed with the room we were assigned as it was a smoking room (we don’t smoke) and it had two twin beds. We immediately went down to the front desk to ask to change it. The front desk clerk was very accommodating and we were assigned a non-smoking room on the 3rd floor with a king size bed. The view was not as good – we now had a pool view with a corner view of the sea if we sat at the edge of the balcony, but it was okay. I would not exactly call the accommodations 5 star however. The carpet looked dirty and stained – I wore my slippers. The bed cover didn’t fit the king size bed. I would say it was designed for a double bed. The bed was very hard. There were no extra pillows or blankets. The bathroom was clean however and the shower was good. I would rate 3 star at best.

Restaurants:
After settling into our room, we decided to go exploring. It was later in the afternoon around 4:00 pm and we really wanted to find something to eat. The main restaurant was closed at this time, so we walked down the steep steps to where the pool bar and restaurant were supposed to be as our map indicated it was open until 5:00 pm. Upon arrival we found the bar and restaurant was closed and workman were doing some renovations or something. They spoke no English so we made our way back up the steep climb to the top. We went to the other bar which also indicated some fast food type of meal, but there was no food available there either. We could find nothing else open so went back to the front desk. They directed us to the “back” of the main restaurant and it appeared this was a ‘makeshift’ pool restaurant – even though it was in a greenhouse type of structure. It would have been nice of them to tell us that when they provided the map! Having lunch in a greenhouse and not by the sea was not exactly what we had hoped.

In order to book an a la carte restaurant, you had to plan a day ahead. When I inquired at the front desk about where to book the Turkish or Chinese restaurant for the next day they said we could book it right there. However, we were then told that we were not allowed to book one because we were not staying 7 days. I explained that we were paying for 4 nights and only staying for 3, and their pool restaurant was closed and the travel agent had indicated it was an option – perhaps they could make an exception for at least one of our nights. But they would not. After I tried a little more to convince them they finally said if there was a cancellation they would call us…but I am sure that was just to shut me up as they were clearly prepared to make a reservation for me before I was advised I couldn’t. Considering the hotel appeared virtually empty it was rather disappointing. That left us with only one option at the hotel - the buffet restaurant for every meal. While the food was okay and we certainly didn’t starve, sometimes it was not very hot and sometimes rather unappetizing looking (cafeteria like sloppy ) The service in the buffet restaurant for offering drinks and water and clearing away used dishes etc, was also very slow. We often left with our used dishes still on the table and our water glasses empty. Again, not five star in my opinion by any means and not what I was expecting.

Bars
The lobby bar was open 24 hours. When seated in the lounge area, it took quite a while for a server to come to our table even though it appeared there were 3 staff there and we were only two of a small handful of guests. On a subsequent day, we had to go to the bar to ask for a drink and then they wanted to deliver it to our table. When our drinks were empty they did not come back. We had to go to the bar to ask for another drink. We smartened up the following day and sat directly at the bar instead. We then got better service, Turkish nuts as a snack and each drink seemed to look better as they garnished it more. There was little conversation with staff – not sure they spoke much English. We did not go to the Lighthouse pub as it was not open until later so I can’t comment on that and as I indicated, the pool bar was closed. The only entertainment we saw was a violinist and a pianist…so it was a rather sleepy kind of place. On a few occasions we got a drink to go and went back to the room.

The Pool
We did not go swimming as the water was freezing. The pool chairs were not even out around the main part of the pool so there was no invitation to even sit. The temperature outside was over 21 degrees, but that didn’t seem to make much difference. We checked out the indoor pool and the water was just as cold, so we didn’t do that either. There didn’t seem to be enough guests to warrant an animation team at the pool, but we did see one staff member sitting in the lobby offering games like Scrabble. He didn't look too energetic.

Tours
One of the main reasons for my trip to Kusadasi was to visit Euphesus. I hunted high and low for a tour agent booth at the hotel. They had a market, a souvenir shop, a hair salon, a photographer but I could find no one selling tours. When I finally inquired at the front desk they said that I would need to contact my own tour agent or go into town. I was able to take advantage of the free internet to try to find a tour, but ended up going into the port of Kusadasi to make arrangements. I have never been to a resort that didn’t try to provide a tour service, so I found that rather odd.

Transportation
The hotel did not offer any shuttles to town, but you can catch the # 5 Dolmus to the centre of town for about 2.25 lira each. We did that for two days for entertainment.

Summary
I expect this resort might be a great place to be in high season, but in low season, it was quite a disappointment. In hindsight I would have likely had more fun ending my vacation in a boutique hotel closer to the port so I could experience some more of the great Turkish food and culture at the neighbouring restaurants. If I had have planned my trip from home in Canada, versus through a Turkish tour agent, I would have done more research - live and learn I guess!

Room Tip: Before you check in make sure you ask for what you want and save yourself from trying to move after they assign you something you don't!
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank canadamjcanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2012

My wife and I had a few 'Greek island' holidays in early October and found the weather to be perfect for our mix of lounging, site seeing and a bit of hiking. As we had to go a bit later this year, and left booking until late, we decided to give Turkey a try. With Ephesus as a priority, Kusadasi looked to be the obvious resort, and most of the hotels were All Inclusive and very reasonably priced. So we took the plunge and booked the Sealight via Thompson - one of their more expensive hotels.
The hotel was very clean and well organised, and our room very comfortable. When it came to food, we found it hard to come to terms with being able to eat all day! Most meals were buffet-style in a large hall with a bewildering amount of choice. No wonder people of various nationalities were bumping into each other with half-filled plates. This food was OK. However, on dry evenings the buffet was supplemented with freshly grilled meat from the outdoor grill. This was MUCH better. With the Inclusive deal, we got to eat up to four nights at the themed 'table service' restaurants. We tried three of these, and found them to be very good. As you might expect, the Turkish one was great.
I should mention the cake shop - open most of the day with lovely custard-based tarts, eclairs and cakes. My eating was pretty moderate except in this respect.
There was a live piano-viola duo in the bar in the early evening and, for a couple of evenings, some live acoustic rock in the 'pub'. Both of these were pretty good.
A tip: the coffee served in the cafeteria is from a 'Nescafe-style' machine and fairly dire. There is a coffee bar near reception that has proper espresso machines. However, by default, the staff there will use the Nescafe-style machine. They will make proper coffee if you ask for it explicitly.
But would we go again? The package was great value, but probably not. This hotel, and the area in general, seems to target its offerings at families (and some couples) whose priorities are sunshine, with plenty to eat and drink. Back to the islands of the Med for us.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Alan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2012

We stayed at this hotel over the New Year. We booked half board and were not disappointed by the food which was a plentiful buffet with European and Turkish dishes. Rooms were clean, beds comfortable, bathrooms adequate. The hotel is situated in a beautiful stretch of the coastline. It is not within walking distance of the main town, but taxi relatively cheap, local minibus dirt cheap and efficient. All in all a good hotel which catered well for the needs of our family.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank alexmalta32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2012

Holiday started badly with a 90 minute coach journey but arriving at the hotel help erase the coach from our memories.

Room was nice and clean, lovely bathroom.

Pool was large and fun, arranged games daily.

Pool area was spotless, huge and plenty of beds.

Food was ok, bit boring after a while but you can use the restaurants on site which are lovely but you should book on arrival. Plenty to eat all day (recommend cheese burger and chips to nurse a hangover).

What did bug me was the entertainment in the evening, there wasn't any. The nightclub was awful and was lucky to get 10 people in, the Lighthouse pub was boring and the entertainment was cheesy. (message to magagement - turn the lighthouse pub in to a British pub, quizzes, kareoke, jukebox etc)

Overall this hotel is nice yet boring. Wouldnt go again but would recommend.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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4  Thank Adznsue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2012

My husband and I have just returned from a three night stay at the Sealight Resort Hotel. We were there with a group of friends to celebrate the New Year. I must admit that my general impression is a very negative one. Firstly, we arrived on a freezing-cold evening and were greeted by a freezing Lobby. The immense lobby and hallways were very cold in every sense of the word. The bedroom was medium sized but definitely not five-star material! The bathroom was small and the bath leaked profusely every time we took a shower. The toiletries were of a very cheap make- not the type to be found in a 2* hotel. The bed lacked a top sheet and the quilt was much smaller than the bed! But it was in the main buffet restaurant that the inferior quality of this hotel stood out. Firstly, the restaurant itself must be the barest and ugliest I have ever ate in. The buffet was plentiful but of the lowest quality. Breakfast was out-right bad, (left-overs from the previous dinner) with no fresh fruit, cheap croissants, terrible coffee and cheap tasteless fruit-juices. Dinner was even worse with the main dishes consisting of unappetizing pieces of meat floating in sauce. They were marked as 'kebabs' but they were nothing but glorified dog or cat food! But the cherry on the cake was the New Year's Eve ball. The 5 courses were inedible, and some of my friends were even sick during the meal itself. Others were sick during the night/morning. The only thing that redeemed the evening was the excellent entertainment. I am afraid that the Turks do not have the same standard of comfort that we Europeans are used to. In Europe, this hotel would only deserve a Three Star Rating. Avoid!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Cachia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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