If the Karia Princess Hotel were a woman, she'd be a slightly behind-the-times old lady, but charming nevertheless. Depending on your taste the hotel is either stuffy and not to your liking at all, or, reminiscent of more civilised times gone by. In any case, while the hotel is far from being perfect, it is however a refreshing change from the sometimes characterless fare on offer in Bodrum.
Where Bodrum and Gumbet meet, the Karia Princess Hotel is only two minutes walk from the ancient ruins of Myndos Gate. About half a mile to Bodrum town centre, the hotel is just over 20 miles from the Milas-Bodrum international airport.
The hotel claims to be a five star property but as is the case with so many hotels in this region, it needs a big spit and polish to truly reflect its rating. The hotel is however, open all year round.
In a quiet backstreet of Bodrum, the Karia Princess Hotel is a grande dame unaware that she is getting on a bit; the large and well-lit lobby is decorated with furniture that wouldn't be out of place at your grandma's house. Despite this, the lush greenery, enormous gilt mirrors, marble floors and the elegant wrought iron staircase that leads to a mezzanine level are still impressive.
The large three story building was last renovated in 2009 and contains displays of antique traditional costume and local art. Large, mirrored but dimly-lit corridors lead the way to the hotel's 125 rooms. There is free WIFI in the rooms, but guests may also use a 'computer corner' in the lobby, while a large and cosy games room with pool table, foosball, and chess is handy for a rainy day. Beside it, an inviting bar area with authentic Turkish furnishings shows off lovely rugs, throws, cushions, pots, jars and wall hangings.
There is a good sized outdoor pool and spa but if there is one thing that stands out at the Karia Princess Hotel it is its gorgeous garden featuring over 30 different varieties of plants. In a burst of colour, exquisite flowers in hues of sunny yellow, flame orange, ruby red, electric fuchsia and pastel pink grow freely throughout the central garden. The bougainvillea, hibiscus, giant palms and other trees provide lots of shade in this haven of tranquility that is a great source of pride.
Standard rooms at the Karia Princess are large with half of them blessed with pretty terraces complete with white brick arches and flowerpots. If you can ignore the unattractive green carpets and again, the old-fashioned décor, you will have a comfortable stay. The medium-sized bathrooms, finished in dark grey marble, are clean but for a 'five star' hotel they certainly have nothing luxurious about them. The suites are as expected, spacious with a separate sitting room, two large balconies and two bathrooms.
The bright and spacious restaurant features a large buffet area. The restaurant itself is huge with multiple rooms where diners may choose from a buffet or set menu service. Dishes are well presented while the staff is attentive and efficient. The buffet service offers a variety of both local and international cuisine and guests may choose either indoor or outdoor seating but terrace dining is the most agreeable for its view of the pool and gardens. The hotel is available on either a B&B or half board basis.
The Karia Princess Hotel is about a 15 minute walk to Gumbet beach which is far from being the most attractive in Bodrum. It is a pebbly beach with rows of sun loungers and parasols side by side frequented by hordes of other holidaymakers that eat and drink in the bars and restaurants on the beach's doorstep.
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Mark out of 10 for geographical location
flights May : average price