Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Full Day, More Impressions

Other than Zoltan's 3 screaming wakeups (each 2 minutes or less, Alex slept through each) the kids did pretty well the first night. We had put them to bed roughly when we wanted them to sleep to shift their schedules and I guess Z was so overtired he couldn't make the morning transition. Breakfast opens at 7am, we were up at 6am. Even Alex couldn't sleep through the crying at that hour, she got right up. There was a thunderstorm the first night and it was still damply chilly in the morning. The walk over to the main building was refreshing to say the least. After we ate we checked out the playground and beach and the kids had a blast. We were glad we'd thought to bring rain pants for each. Then it was time for Z's nap – Terry took Alex to the indoor pool while I stayed behind to put Z to bed and deal with yet more issues (the safe was locked and unopenable so the front desk said someone would come at 10am to unlock it for me. This was probably the one and only time that everything happened perfectly – he came at exactly 10 and the whole transaction took 2 minutes).

Then the phone starts ringing. It's the front desk saying something about us forgetting to sign our credit card slip. Huh? That usually doesn't happen until the end of a stay. Whatever. A bellboy gets sent to our room with the slip to sign. It's just a credit card slip with the amount and signature line, no itemization of what we're paying for. I ask what it's for, the guy speaks no English so he calls someone, puts me on the phone and the guy says we just forgot to sign the slip yesterday and to sign it now. I say my husband isn't here and we'll deal with it when he gets back. The bellboy leaves the slip with me and leaves. A few minutes later the manager guy comes himself and asks for the slip. I tell him I want my husband to see it, he says he needs it back for the accounting department – something about us losing the paper – so I give it back to him. I still think this is incredibly sketchy especially given the nightmare the hotel put us through Turns out it's relatively legit, at least Terry says the cc was charged but nobody gave him anything to sign – the paper he got didn't have the signature line. So he signs and all is well.

More reasons not to come here: the high chairs have not been cleaned once. We have used the same one 3 times a day for 3 days now and it's all the same crumbs and leftover food. We have been wiping the tray and seat with our wipes or if not too bad with water and napkins. Disgusting. Also the tables are not always cleaned and never have all the tables been cleaned. This morning we never found a clean table for breakfast but we found one with only crumbs and no spills on the tablecloth and they had new silverware on the table so we figured it was good enough and sat down.

There's no ATM at the hotel, in fact the nearest one is 4km away in front of a different hotel. The hotel told us 4 different buses we could take to get there but never told us the bus fare. Babysitting is 10 Euros per child per hour, which does seem to be the going rate but is scandalous to me, especially as the kids would be sleeping (we were thinking of trying an adult-only dinner at the reservation restaurant). So, we're just going to keep them up a bit late one night to try it out because even if we wanted to pay for babysitting, we don't have enough cash to do so and no motivation to schlep over to the nearest ATM for more. We had to adjust the kids' schedules anyway due to time zones so we just decided to shift them a bit more to see if we could get them to sleep later, and be up later. The latter worked, but the former not so well. It doesn't help that the footballers are up at 6am for their practice – except the ones who are in the rooms right by us apparently are deep sleepers because their phones ring on and on and on at manage to wake us all quite well but not the intended sleepyhead.

As a safety precaution (I assume) the room door sounds an alarm when it is opened to remind the occupant to shut it (again, I assume). The alarm isn't TOO loud, thankfully, because the one for our room has started to sound the moment the door is opened rather than wait a reasonable time for a person to actually walk across the threshold and shut the door and then determine whether it was shut properly.

Can you tell I am entirely NOT in love with this place?

There are some good points. Between the playground, beach and indoor pool Alex has been loving life. The Turkish food is excellent, the pide at dinner every night is amazing, in fact Zoltan ate meat for the first time - devouring a piece of pide with minced meat. I was excited the first night because the desserts sucked, so I thought I could work my way back to pre-Thanksgiving weight. Fortunately or unfortunately, there have been several really delicious treats at each meal since. The two times we called for housecleaning to be at a certain time it was within 15 minutes of our request.

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