The Ora is a charming hotel. Our rooms were clean and adequate and I especially loved the solid marble shower.
The food and drink was plentiful and tasty and served by very friendly and efficient staff. The open air bar is set amongst olive trees and flowers and overlooks a beautiful view of the sea and hills that surround the bay.
The sea is clear and safe to swim in and there was the chance to try parascending, scuba diving and banana boat rides for an extra charge.
The swimming pool was very clean and I saw no sign of broken tiles.
We went on several excursions including the Turkish bath, Turgutreis market, the Dream Girls show and the 'Village Party' which included a trip to a little village to visit the mosque, some colourful local residents (one, an energetic 80 year old man!), a carpet co-operative and a belly dancing evening.
That's not to say that everything was all 100 percent rosy - of course there are always things that you would change, but they were generally speaking small matters that were quickly and cheerfully fixed by our
lovely First Choice rep, Charlie. So, just to present a balanced review, here are the things we didn't like:
- some members of the staff did seem to take a fancy to our 16 / 17 year old daughters. I'm sure it was pretty harmless but it was a bit disconcerting for them - as soon as we spoke to the management about this the staff members concerned apologised and there was no more trouble.
- no tea/coffee making facilities in the room
- only one English speaking channel on TV and that was the European News!
- Most of the shops inside the hotel closed and there was very little entertainment, but that was because we were there during the very last week of the season.
On the whole, you have to take some responsibility for making your holiday enjoyable and if you go there looking for things to complain about you'll find them.
We all had a lovely time and would definitely go back again in the future.
Travel operator: First Choice
We overheard several members of the group we arrived with making numerous complaints to the rep (who was very nice and helpful) and to be honest, it seems that some people go on holiday with the intention of finding fault with everything (the glasses in the bathroom were too small was one we heard!!). You have to make the best of things sometimes, and I thought there was enough good things about this hotel to build a happy holiday around.
OK, one or two complaints in the interest of balance -
- The shop was rubbish, selling overpriced trinkets and tat but nothing in the way of papers, ice creams, cold drinks other than water (but this was the end of the season so perhaps understandable)
- The staff (bar in particular) could have been a bit more friendly at times - occasionally we had to actually go and find the barman sat with his mates in the corner of the hotel and felt bad for interrupting him to get a drink, or were met with shrugs when we asked for something in the resteraunt.
So maybe this was not a 4 * hotel but it doesn't cost 4 * money either and we enjoyed ourselves there very much.
Travel operator: First Choice
The staff are very lovely and always eager to make conversation the only problem in that department were just a couple of the male staff members liked the teenage girls a bit too much but nothing major.
The pool was lovely and clean, no problems on that front. Water sports were very entertaining, I had a go myself on the banana boat and rubber rings both at reasonable prices and extremely fun.
The only reason I haven't rated entertainment that highly is because when visited it was at the end of the season so the last shows had already been finished.
The First Choice team were brilliant and very helpful, our rep was Charlie she was a very friendly woman and sorts out any problems promptly. Money extremely well spent.
I will certainly be returning to this hotel again more than once more.
Travel operator: First Choice
The food was awful we had stomach bugs twice, finally after 1 week of hell first choice agreed to let us change hotel, though only on a half board basis.
This was the worst holiday we've ever had. If you're thinking of going there then don't, you'll get more enjoyment burning the money you'd spend going there.
Travel operator: First Choice
We contacted the Sunquest rep who told us that it had been re-graded to 2* plus which in itself was very generous.
We did not hang around to see the 'wild life'and moved out after one night to Bitez, even though it cost us money which we are now trying to reclaim.
Do not under any circumstances book this hotel, you will regret it...
The accommodation was clean but very basic, and the 'landscaped gardens' hadn't seen a gardener for years.
The food was adequate but very limited, the only good thing was the staff who were very helpful.
I do not know how a hotel chain such as Barcelo can associate itself with such an establishment
Travel operator: Sunquest/First Choice
The setting and views were breath taking, the gardens were sparse of colourful flowers but the trees were a welcome shade while walking back to our rooms, which were basic but clean.
How thrilled we were on returning one early evening to find our bed beautifully decorated with fresh flowers. We have stayed in gold star hotels and have not seen this act of hospitality.
RATS if there were rats I blame the guests who were dirty enough to leave half eaten food around the pool and outside their rooms.
The food was first class, plenty of choice, yes maybe the odd fly, I, have the odd fly in my kitchen!
The staff were brill, the pool bar was idyllic. Tables were clean and cleared of classes at all times. All inclusive we could have stayed in the hotel and not spent a penny.
It would have been nice to be able to have an evening walk, there are no shops or restaurants at hand, but the minibus takes you into Bodrum every half hour. Where they drop you of they are there to pick you up.
I can only say we had a really great holiday.
Travel operator: first choice
At the rep's meeting the following morning, we complained and had our room changed. Although advertising 'sea views' we could see nothing apart from very unkempt 'landscaped' gardens. This room was no better and we started talking to other people who had arrived the previous day to us. We were all up in arms. That night, there was a howling gale and everyone's windows shook with the force of the wind, keeping all of us awake all night. On the second morning, the outside eating area was not used at breakfast because of the high winds, so there was insufficient room in the main dining area for everyone, so we were all walking around with glasses of orange juice and cereal bowls in our hands, looking for somewhere to sit - bearing in mind, this hotel was not full to capacity at the time. Tea and coffee were served on the bar terrace area from plastic beakers which weren't easy to hold because they were hot.
By that time, in excess of fifty of us, complained bitterly to the rep and we were told back then, that the Barcelo Ora had been downgraded to a 2* star plus and that what we had got had been reflected in the price we had paid! We none of us appreciated that remark, especially as we had all booked a late deal, some three weeks before and had all specifically requested named, four-star all inclusive holiday accommodation. We stayed together as a group and by the second night, we had all been moved to the Hotel Izer, some ten minutes away. What a difference - this was definitely a 4* in every way and couldn't be faulted.
Don't touch the Barcelo Ora with a barge pole is the only advice I can give you because if you do, you'll find it'll be the original 'holiday from hell'.
The staff were very good and it wasn't really their fault that there were so many problems. In fact, as we left there, I went over and thanked the manager for all he had tried to do for us and he said "I think your problem is with the tour operator" and he was dead right. How First Choice, Sunquest or Barcelo (who have been bought out by First Choice apparently) can put their names to this particular hotel and accommodation, I just don't know.
Had we stayed there for the full two weeks, never having been to Turkey before, we would have assumed that all their 4* star properties were of the same sub-standard quality and it would have been a very sad reflection on the other hotels within the area. Don't be put off going to Bodrum though - or any of the other fabulous hotels that are around because there just can't be any as bad as the Barcelo Ora!
We have been fighting the case with First Choice since our arrival home but have only managed to get a
Travel operator: Sunquest via First Choice
Ask a Question
Got a question? Ask our community of over 1.5 million users.