For my first visit in Turkey, me and my wife chose the Arora Hotel, a 4 star resort in Kusadasi. This hotel is on the cheap side and this should be always considered when trying to judge or review it. So if you are curious to see if it is worth spending your time at Hotel Arora in Kusadasi, Turkey, read on this review.
The first impression that you get when entering the hotel is not that great: it seems to be a bit on the old and outdated side and the luxury or the wow factor that you could expect from 5 star resorts in Turkey is nowhere to be found here. However, the personnel is always smiling and tries to be as helpful as possible, even though in most cases we’re talking about really young, untrained people (I guess that the waiters were as young as 16 or 17, all wearing pink t-shirts and shorts, therefore not looking very professional). However, they were all doing their best.
Rooms in Hotel Arora
We were lucky enough to be given a full sea-view and the view was indeed amazing. The room itself was big enough for two people who don’t actually need too much space and it was clean. The carpet was a bit too worn out and there was just one chair in the whole room, but since we’re not actually going in a holiday to stay in the hotel room, it was OK. Nothing fancy, but nothing to make us want change rooms or move elsewhere.
The bathroom was small but again you don’t need much space there either. It was in a pretty good shape too and awaited us with a single pair of slippers, shower gel and shampoo (which where both refilled every three days or so) and there were no problems with the towels or the hot water.
Pool and beach in Hotel Arora
The pool seems to be very small for the number of tourists in the hotel and unless you wake up very early to reserve your sunbed, you probably won’t find a free one. That’s the reason why we didn’t spend too much near the pool, even though strangely, one day, we managed to find empty sunbeds at around 9 AM and took them.
The beach is very, very small but kept clean and rarely overcrouded. There are sunbeds and umbrellas and the water is crystal clear, even though you will probably need watershoes because of the vegetation. There are two big things that I didn’t like about Arora’s beach: there was no beach bar in the first place and in order to get there, you had to either go down a very steep road or through a nearby hotel (which, strangely, most people did).
Food & drinks in Hotel Arora
Food is always a delicate subject and personal opinion certainly matters a lot here. Persoanlly, I didn’t find the food too attractive: it was incredibly repetitive and basically breakfast and dinner were always the same thing – you had some choice, indeed, but eventually it became boring especially since there were just a few dishes that I found eatable. Lunch was a bit better, having a wider array of food types to choose from, but don’t expect to get back with extra pounds following your visit to Arora in Kusadasi.
One other problem with the food here is that you again had to be present to eat as soon as the time was right otherwise you ran the risk of not finding the good things. Especially when it came to sweets, they did not tend to replace the ones that were finished. So the later you arrived, the less options you had for your meal.
The drinks were extremely limited. For an all inclusive resort, you would expect them to have some variety. Here, there was not much of a choice: the Turkish beer (Efest) which was probably halved with water, a traditional Raki which was the strong alcoholic drink, Turkish vodka and gin: these were the options when it came to alcoholic drinks and they usually finished them too very quick and never refilled until next day. Juice was pored from 2 liter bottles, glasseswere all plastic and overall the feeling you had was that they were doing their best to offer something as cheap as possible.
Personnel and entertainment in Hotel Arora
Unfortunately, the people there barely speak any English, but they do their best to be helpful and always have a smile on their face. They do tend to get rude to single women, especially blond ones, but it apparently is a thing of the Turkish people and not necessarily of the Arora staff.
Entertainment is decent – far from being impressive, but at least the hotel tries to keep you entertained: every night we had a different show, including live music and a very impressive water ballet team and during the day there was music from the DJ. No entertainment team but the place was so small that there wasn’t much space to do stuff anyway.
Location of Hotel Arora
The hotel is outside of Kusadasi (or at least pretty far from the City Center) but there’s a dolmus station (their bus) right across the street and they arrive every few minutes and for 2 Turkish lira (1 Euro), you can get there in 10 minutes.
Around the hotel, there’s not much to see or do. The hotel itself is rather small and surrounded by other hotels. There are no quality restaurants around and just a few shops within walking distance, but it might be best to visit the center of Kusadasi if you want to do some shopping.
Hotel Arora is certainly not one of the top hotels in Kusadasi. However, the price you stay for an All Inclusive service there is extremely low so you can’t have huge demands from them either. However, if you add 100 Euros more per person, you could probably find a deal at a 5 star resort in Kusadasi and most likely have a better vacation. If you’re on a tight budget and you’re not extremely picky, go for it. We survived and even though I would not return there, I do not regret my holiday at Hotel Arora!