TURKEY RESORTS : Marti Resort in Marmaris – Içmeler
*** Pre-note: As I wrote over on my Top 10 tips for choosing an All-Inclusive Resort in Turkey post, all hotels are required to abide by strict rules for reopening and hosting guests. Please visit the Marti Resort de Luxe website for this information.
Just a 10 minutes drive south from Marmaris along the Mediterranean coast, the 5 star Marti Resort de Luxe sits in a pine tree-covered bay. The cove is home to the small town of Içmeler, and if your goal is the enjoy quiet, more relaxed vacation, this is your go-to area. Even though the city is known for the more peaceful atmosphere, the area is not lacking when it comes diverse restaurants, souvenir shops, and local markets. Visitors can choose from Steakhouses, Italian Pasta and Pizzeria, Chinese, and several Indian restaurants.
The hotel with its peaks tower design extending from the roof is hard to miss from the seaside, but the slow ascending hills and well-placed towering trees hide the private entrance from view. Since we came by car, we passed the gate a few times by mistake. The resort creates a slight semi-circle arching into the hillside. The pools and recreation areas strategically guide guests towards the many pool areas and eventually the reserve area on the beach.
Most of the Marmaris hotels were built within the last 30 years, which means they fell under the government tree protection law. Established in 1969, Marti surpassed the tree rule being one of the first hotels in the area built 50 years ago but worked to retain as many trees as possible. In addition, the resort has continued to plant more trees throughout the grounds replacing any destroyed trees.
As we arrived, we were greeted warmly in English by a staff member who has worked with Marti for almost 20 years. Curious but polite, he led us to the check-in counter and then later on to our rooms. Throughout our stay, I found the staff not only greeting the guests kindly but also found their interactions with one another to be that of family. One of the staff members has been working with the hotel since it first opened and everyone seemed to have great respect for him.
The entrance of the hotel does not boast the size of the hotel. As you enter through a castle-like tower, guests must walk under the two ascending staircases that curve along the wall to the second floor. Cool, refreshing lemonade is offered upon arrival near the sitting area. The check-in is tucked to the left corner, adequate for the size but not overbearing.
The 280 room resort provides several types of accommodations ranging from 40-200 meters: garden access rooms, standard rooms, ironically only two 1-bedroom Sultan Suites, a few 2-bedroom suites for families, and duplexes with a balcony area. Most of the hotel rooms are accessible from an outside hallway facing the mountain-view, but opposite the room is the sea-view balconies. The view from the sea-side rooms of the Marti Resort is better than any you can get in Marmaris. As well, each room comes with a sitting area for extra room and comfort.
With over 31,000 meters of space, guests enjoys a variety of sitting areas, both inside and out in the shade or sun. Guests have the option of over 1333 meters of the outdoor pool, indoor heated pool or a children’s pool. Otherwise, the private 115-meter beach comes setup with sun loungers and umbrellas for guests every morning.
While the hotel offers half-board (breakfast and dinner only), it is advantageous to pay full-board. The bar won’t even give you water if they see your half-board blue bracelet. While the full-board orange bracelet gives you access to all the services like the meals, restaurants, al la carte menus, snack bars, and afternoon tea breaks. The al la carte restaurants are Chinese, Turkish, and Italian but guests must receive a voucher to eat there at a discounted rate.
All the extras:
Premium service is also available at an extra cost and comes with a welcome basket and flowers with wine, daily newspaper, airport transfer, and a few discounts for the spa and activities.
Marti also has a Marti Loyalty Card program for customers who enjoy repeated vacations to the area of Marmaris and the Marti hotels. The 3-tier credit card offers discounts for direct room reservations, early booking, room upgrades, and Spa and Pavilion expenses.
During the day, the kids club offers programs from 10-12 and 2-4 for ages 4 and up. In the evenings, guests can enjoy a mix of entertainment, from live music three times a week, beach party, and karaoke. Like most all-inclusive resorts, doctors, a spa, fitness area, and beauty center are all available at an extra cost.
The Dalaman Airport caters to guests heading to the Marmaris area and this hotel. If needed, the hotel arranges transfers to the hotel. While we had a car, there is a mini bus to Marmaris that guests can catch at the entrance of the resort every 10 minutes for 3 TL.
Marti Resort de Luxe is part of 7 hotels under the MARTI name scattered through the Marmaris region: two 5-star, one 4-star, three boutiques and 1 Marina and Yacht Club. Founded in 1967, MARTI is one of the oldest hotels offering unique Marmaris locations to guests and a leader in Turkish Hospitality.
Some final and personal thoughts:
For $100 a night for a standard all-inclusive stay, I concluded that this hotel left room for improvement.
- While the hotel was renovated in 2014, I found some of the wood floorings in the room to be scuffed and even some of the boards buckled. A few details like the phone not being updated during the renovation and electric plugs covers coming off of the wall left me frustrated after a few uses. After many times of pressing the telephone buttons to call reception, I almost gave up. But I tried dialing 0 the second time and hoped it would work to connect after previously not working. And fortunately, it did!
- A few other quirks I found disappointing, some balconies are solid, and others are slitten, but all are slightly too tall when sitting in the balcony furniture making it hard to enjoy the view of the property and sea. As well, the standard room comes with a tv positioned in front of the bed, but the sitting area does not have a second TV. The angle to sit on the couch and watch the tv near the bed is awkward.
- The room did not come with the directions and services provided at the hotel, but perhaps it was just our room that was missing it. Don’t worry; all the emergency information was included. Robes and slippers, a standard room amenity even in the regular hotels around Turkey, were not provided here (perhaps it was our half-board status).
- (Disclaimer: This is entirely a personal preference!) The rooms function off of a central cooling system, so while it looks like you can control the air temperature yourself, it is all a rouse. Since the hot weather season had yet to start, the central temperature inside the room was uncomfortably warm. After calling about a fan and being disappointed that they had none, we finally gave up and slept with our door open, and sheets turned down.
- The pros of this location are the outstanding views from our seaside hotel. The hotel layout means that no sea-view is a bad one! Even though we only had one night to enjoy the room, I was up with the sun the next morning to see it rise over the tip of the Marmaris peninsula.
- Another pro of this hotel is the staff. Out of all of the hotels I toured in Marmaris, I found the resort staff to be the most relaxed and friendly. The chefs and staff enjoy their jobs and provide excellent service to the guests. My encounters felt more like a family (some of them working there a long time) inviting us into their home they loved.
- The size of the hotel means they can provide all the extra services without all the additional people like Grand Yazici Club Turban and Sentido Orka Lotus Beach. This hotel has enough nooks and corners that you can enjoy your time without being surrounded by 100 people at once.
- This property is a good option for families because the hotel offers suites with a sitting area for families to enjoy together. Unless your kids are 4 and above, there are no services or activities for them. Our visit in the early season was mostly couples and families with older kids.
- The hotel sits on the walking/bike path built from Marmaris to Icmeler. If time, guests can enjoy a run, walk, or bike ride to either city for a few hours.
- While it’s not my first choice, the hotel is my first choice for the location. If I am coming to Marmaris and staying at an all-inclusive resort, I would for sure choose one further from the city of Marmaris and in a smaller, quiet, less-crowded town like Içmeler. But if you are the bar and dancing all night type, hotels nearer to Marmaris would be your choice!
***Disclaimer*** For my travel article, I received a tour of the hotel and grounds. I did not receive any complimentary services, upgrades, or accommodations during our time at the hotel. All opinions are my own.