I am finally back from all my travelling, I have been seriously lucky this year and I don’t think I’ll have another year quite like it! If you follow me on social media then you may know that I have been away in Ölüdeniz, Turkey. I want to tell you all about my review of Oyster Residences Hotel!
As you are probably all aware, Turkey is not in the best state at the moment and with the coup, many friends and family were advising us to cancel our trip and head somewhere new. When I was in Germany the weekend before our planned trip, it was on the news that all planes were cancelled to Turkey. This was obviously a little bit of a worry and if we were advised by police/government/airlines not to go then we wouldn’t, but it turns out that planes were back to normal the following day.
I came back and did some research and it seemed that almost all the trouble was based in Istanbul. Istanbul is about a 4 hour drive from Ölüdeniz, so we thought it would probably be safe. We did lots of searching around and spoke to a travel expert who seemed to think everything should go ahead as planned.
I am so pleased we decided to stick with our plans because this really was the most peaceful trip. I am not going to tell you to go ahead and book your trips to Turkey if you don’t feel comfortable. But I will say that in my experience it really is fuelled by the media to scare you. If you have a trip to Dalaman or the surrounding areas then I hope to put your minds at ease.
I found Oyster Residences on Expedia when Ed and I decided to book a package deal. Expedia had kindly given me £500 towards my holiday as part of their my 139 blog. They ran a social media competition and I was the lucky recipient! How lucky am I?!
After searching the world wide web, we stumbled across Oyster Residences and I loved it. It had great reviews and looked idyllic!
We had a look at the different options and we also looked at different room choices but we always came back to this. We decided on a garden terrace room and I definitely think we made the right choice.
Oyster Residences is a small hotel with 26 rooms. It is tranquil and peaceful and great for a romantic get away! Ed and I nicknamed Oyster residences as our little bubble, you felt so far away from the tourist part of Turkey and outside life. When we first went out onto the beach, we couldn’t believe how different the atmosphere was. Inside the hotel is pure bliss – quiet and romantic! The architecture of the hotel is exquisite. White washed walls, with wooden shutters on all the windows. Flowers and plants draping over the terrace and around the buildings. I would relate it to something you would see in the South of France.
It was subtle luxury, great service, great food, great location and a truly fantastic hotel! I could not recommend this hotel more and here is why:
Oyster Residences is located right on the beach front in Ölüdeniz. It would take you approximately 2 minutes to walk from the pool to the beach front. When you pull up to the front of the hotel, don’t be put off by some of the other hotels. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but they just aren’t like oyster and look very “typical brits abroad like”. I would describe Oyster Residences as a little bubble in the heart of Ölüdeniz. When you go out in the day/evening, the environment is quite different but I loved it because it made me love Oyster that much more.
The hotel is situated along a strip of other hotels, bars, shops and restaurants, so there is always plenty to do! If you like variety then the evenings are fun because the restaurants are so varied.
The hotel is Bed and Breakfast. Every morning between 7 & 10 there is the most gorgeous breakfast buffet with almost everything that you could possibly want! Most mornings I was good and had fresh fruit, but I was tempted by the chocolate pancakes and 5 days in I succumbed! I also had omelette and eggs often, which were prepared for you on request! Ed asked for an english fry up on the second to last day and it was ginormous!
They also had a wide selection of drinks for breakfast. You could stay standard and have orange juice/cherry juice/tea/coffee or water or they had a huge array of herbal teas that were made up for you using the herbs freshly prepared. There was also a counter where you could have fresh fruit juices/smoothies at an additional fee.
Oyster Residences have there own restaurant on the sea front, which is for you but also anyone passing. I recommend trying it out. The food is so reasonable and absolutely delicious! There is also a great breeze, so this restaurant was our saving grace in the peak heat hours of 12-3.
We made our way through the menu quickly, loving everything! Our favourite was the Turkish Pide!
On Thursday’s they do a BBQ evening and they offer a meat platter at 63TL or a seafood platter at 71TL. Ed and I went for opposites so we could try both, and they were tasty and so filling that I simply couldn’t manage it! Fresh walnut and olive bread with meze to start and then the meat/seafood with salad for main! GO HUNGRY!
HELP BEACH BAR
For the other evenings we tried some of the other restaurants on the beach front and also the local cuisine! On our first night we ate the restaurant next door called HELP! We had had a wander down the parade but we liked the relaxed and friendly vibe at HELP beach bar! We had a late lunch so we weren’t overly hungry in the evening, we got a pizza to share and it was honestly one of the tastiest pizza’s I have ever had! I don’t know what they do differently but it was so right! HELP beach bar is great for snacking, feasting or drinking and I would compare it to a TGI Friday style.
We also tried a restaurant slightly further down called Bella Gusto. This restaurant had great service and a really nice atmosphere. It was really reasonable priced and great for families! I opted for a tuna salad and it arrived beautifully presented and beautifully filling! I think this meal for two with drinks cost a total of 50TL which equates to about £12!!!
We had gotten use to these ridiculously cheap dinners and found restaurants like Buzz bar and Jade quite pricey in comparison. However please don’t let that put you off because they are actually really reasonable and cheaper than meals in London! It’s just when you have previously paid 50TL and suddenly pay 120TL, you think it seems extortionate… it’s not!
One evening we opted for a kebab on the beach, really feel the Turkish vibe! We stopped at a small little counter down on the beach, I’m afraid I can’t remember its name but it doesn’t matter because it was nothing to write home about! They have white sofa chairs and green lit trees and it doesnt look all that hygienic! When we pitched up on the lovely chairs, we were told they had no wraps left – due to a busy day. We had got comfy (and lazy), so stayed put and had chicken kebab in a roll. It was a stingy portion of chicken, some boring salad and a chewy bread… but it cost a mere 7TL, so you can’t really complain. I now hear that the best kebabs are at the previously mentioned Bella Gusto!
Jade residence is the other side of Oyster and is another fabulous looking hotel. The restaurant is up one floor and has an incredible view of the sunset over the mountains. I recommend going just before sunset so you can witness it. It is quite nouveau riche as Ed would describe it, lots of fish tanks, white walls and bar lighting. If you don’t fancy eating here I would recommend at least going for a cocktail on the big white sofa’s. The service here was excellent and the food was good. The cocktails and service were the best part about this restaurant I would say!
THE SECRET GARDEN
We sadly heard about The Secret Garden on our final day, so we didn’t get chance to pay it a visit. We met a couple who raved about it though, so I thought I would tell you guys. You have to walk out the main entrance of the hotel to reach this one. The previous restaurants are along the beach front. This restaurant is under lots or greenery – vines and flowers and on passing it on the way home, it looked lovely and inviting. The craziest part about this is that the owner has bunny rabbits, and at the end of your meal you can pet them and play with them! They apparently seemed perfectly content and loved the human contact! The food is raved about and at looking at some reviews, it seems you’d be a fool to miss it! Oops! Wish we would have heard sooner!
For me, the staff at this hotel are what make it that little more special. They work incredibly hard and yet they always have a smile on their faces. The team are so helpful and it is one of the main reasons we stayed in the hotel for most of our relaxed trip. Sue, who works there is from England, which makes everything seem that little more homely for me. Sue is always there and ready to help, she honestly couldn’t have done enough for us – she is brilliant! Then there is Mohamed and his team, they work in the bar and restaurant and they are just the most loveable bunch. Mohamed was welcoming and friendly and his service is so quick! You walk up to the restaurant and you are seated and served within seconds.
The cleaners were pretty good too! Ed and I both agreed how clean the room felt when we first arrived and we didn’t find anything to criticise. On out last day we even got the most beautiful floral display on our bed.
Front of house, as always, were charming and spoke really good english. Nothing was too much trouble and they were there around the clock – if you needed them (which we didn’t).
As I mentioned earlier, we picked the garden terrace room. Ed and I were in debate as to which room we selected. Ed loved the Garden Terrace and I was a sucker for the suite! The suite is on the top floor and has a giant bath in the middle of the room, which looked so romantic and luxurious. Ed won the debate persuading me how lovely it would be to sit out on our terrace in the evening and pointed out that you don’t really ever fancy a bath when it is 35°C outside! Good Point!
I am so glad we picked the garden terrace room because we used it every evening. The terrace had a bed and a table and chairs, so perfect for an afternoon snooze or an evening game of cards! We loved it, we would pick that room again if we went again – definitely!
The room contained a comfy double bed, a reasonable sized bathroom (with everything working), a walk in wardrobe (with full length mirror) and a dressing table.
I think the pool area was what originally sold this hotel to me. It is nothing to extravagant but it oozes relaxation and pure bliss. With hammocks and beds planted around the outside as well as the sun loungers. The hammocks were dreamy – they’re the perfect place to snooze in the afternoon sunshine. Due to the hotel only being small, it meant that there was never a fight for a bed. There was always lots of choice and I often started in one place and ended in another!
The pool is the perfect temperature and it also has a cute little book shelf if you finish your book early!
There are lots of little areas around the pool where you can take yourself off and be in a complete private, relaxed trance! Little beds with curtain around them and big cushions, which many used to read or listen to their headphones.
Next to the pool is a little room, where you can go to get ready for you flight. Check out is at 2pm and our flight wasn’t until 9:55pm, so this room was very handy. I know that most hotels offer this, but this one was probably the best I’ve been offered. It wasn’t anything too special but better than the little huts I have previously had! It contained a toilet, shower, hairdryer, sink, plug sockets and a floor length mirror – perfect!
I also must mention that the pool toilets were always extremely clean! This is a real bonus for me… there is nothing worse!
We booked private transfers with the hotel to pick us up and take us to the airport. There are a few options and the private transfer is one of the more expensive options at £50 one way, but I definitely think it is worth it. We tried to look if Expedia offered anything but no transfers seemed to go all the way to Ölüdeniz. The shuttle was cheap but extremely long, taxi’s seemed more expensive and because it was booked through the hotel we trusted it.
Our driver was ready and waiting when we arrived in Turkey and he drove us very carefully! We were offered water and the car was well air-conditioned. The driver was punctual on both occasions and very helpful. We considered finding another way back to the airport but because he made it so easy on the way to the hotel, we decided to choose him for the journey back too!
Ölüdeniz is known for its trips, everywhere you go you will find new things to do. I hadn’t realised before our visit but it is known for the paragliding there. We heard how incredible this was and we spent evenings watching as people would sail through the sky over the sunset. The reason we didn’t do it was because we had a budget and this was certainly not in it. If you are a regular reader then you will know that we have been lucky enough to experience quite a few holidays this year and this one was a real bonus for us. We didn’t want to go crazy, so we limited our spending as much as we could (without making the trip to dull). The paragliding was £75 pp and we simply couldn’t afford that! So we enjoyed watching it from the beach most evenings.
Trips were constantly being talked about, around the pool or on the beach but we had avoided them. This is also because we have been to Turkey twice before and done a lot of them. You have to experience the Turkish mud baths!
On our last few days Mustafa (one of the members of staff), told us about a boat trip that Oyster Residences offer. It sounds like pure bliss and although we hadn’t planned on doing a trip, it was something we hadn’t done before and would certainly give us more to talk about when we arrived home! Mustafa has a boat and Sue’s husband is the captain. The trip is 5 hours long, you can pick a morning slot 9-2 or evening 2-7. We decided to go on our last day in the morning and we are so glad we did because all the destinations we visited were deserted.
The trip costs 350TL. If you are nice, you may get a deal 😉 The only people on this trip are you and the captain! Ed and I loved that about it, it makes it your trip. You can stop when you want to, where you want to and it means the whole thing is suited to you!
We were taken out to lots of different quiet beaches, including the famous blue lagoon. As this is a regular trip everyone knows you on the boat. People waving, offering you pancakes from the family boat!
We stopped at a spring water area, where the water was absolutely freezing – but apparently is amazing for you skin – so we jumped straight in!
We visited some Roman building remains and while we went off exploring, our captain had made us fresh orange juice that Sue had picked that morning – it was so delicious!
We were guaranteed turtles and this was something I was unsure about. How can you guarantee? I was so pleasantly surprised that not only did we see tens of turtles, we also swam with them! Our captain was a pro at spotting them and Ed and I spent ages in the sea following them. I was so close that I could have touched her, she was so beautiful and for me, even that small part of the trip made every penny worth it.
We also stopped at Aquarium bay, where there was a restaurant that was highly recommend to us. Once again, it did not disappoint and was one of the best meals for a fantastic price. We had freshly baked bread – made in front of us! Meze, salad, chips and then the fish of the day – a grouper! To finish we had fresh melon and that totalled to 110TL – under £30 for two of us!!!
This trip was by far my favourite part of our whole holiday and I highly recommend doing it!
Please, please don’t let the media scare you into not visiting this stunning place. This hotel and trip for me was a five star holiday and as I have said lots of times in this post – I really recommend it!