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Hotel Grand Aquarium Hotel 4 star
136. Street No:2, Icmeler-Marmaris, Mugla, Turkey Marmaris, Turkey -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Sister hotel to the nearby Club Aquarium, Grand Aquarium is the second in a group of water-themed hotels. A smallish, friendly hotel with basic accommodation and limited facilities, Grand Aquarium is popular with a repeat, mostly British clientele.

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    Location 3.0 /10

    Located in a residential area of Icmeler, Grand Aquarium is a short drive to Marmaris, and almost 70 miles from Dalaman Airport.

    Accommodation 6.45 /10

    Accommodation at Grand Aquarium is housed in terracotta coloured buildings with aqua trim (on the door frames), black wrought iron balconies. There aren't any elevators throughout the three-storey buildings so guests with mobility difficulties should request rooms on the ground floor.

    There are 61 rooms: 53 1-bedroom apartments, 6 2-bedroom apartments and 2 studio rooms. The basically-furnished rooms feature grey and white marble-look tiles (browning at the edges in some rooms) and a dated look, however they are clean overall. The décor is very simple: wooden furnishings painted a dark aqua colour and a living room with two armchairs (the hotel's logo is even printed on them) and a small dining setting (no television or large sofa). There is also an equipped kitchenette and a small but functional bathroom (decorated using the same grey/white marble-look tiles). Finally, each room has a small furnished balcony. Unfortunately, there are fees to use certain things that would normally be free of charge elsewhere; the safety deposit box is charged at £10 per week, and air conditioning at £30 per week (except between 7:00am and 10:00am, and 6:00pm and 9:00pm when it is offered for free).

    Overview 7.45 /10

    From an open-air lobby, guests step straight into the heart of Grand Aquarium where a large free-form pool (with waterslide) comes after a mini-market and jewellery shop. Long strips of bright green turf line the pool and while they ensure a slip-free surface, they stand out like a sore thumb. Tall palm trees and date trees provide some shade, while an enormous fake cavern is the setting for the bar and restaurant. Here, guests will find a couple of pool tables as well as a Playstation area. Next to the pool are an elevated Jacuzzi and separate kids' pool, while behind it is the hotel's on-site hairdresser. On the basement level guests will find a huge fitness area with polished timber floors and plenty of exercise machines. There are a couple of massage rooms, a sauna, a Turkish bath and a facial treatment area closed off by purple voile curtains. These services are available at an extra charge to the guest.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    The bar and restaurant are situated in the 'cavern' which is adjacent to the pool. In the centre of the large dining room is a stage (nightly entertainment), while the tables are laid with aqua-coloured tablecloths. The restaurant also features a big screen TV and rustic-style iron chandelier, while the bar area is decorated with 'stalactites,' continuing the cavern theme.

    Food is mostly international (more specifically, British, to please the majority of guests) with some Turkish dishes. During our stay we requested authentic Turkish food and sampled a delicious meze of dolma (stuffed vine leaves), imam bayildi (braised aubergine stuffed with onion, garlic and peppers), cigira boregi (not unlike a fried spring roll, but stuffed with cheese), ezme (a spicy salad) and pita bread to dip into hummus. We then tucked into a desti kebab (lamb cooked in a sealed pot, and broken and opened in front of us), a traditional Anatolian dish.

    Finally, the hotel obliges a payment system when it comes to food and beverage. Upon arrival, guests must purchase electronic "watches" or "smart bands" (£5 deposit) and top them up in advance. When ordering food and drink or purchasing goods from the mini market, the amount will be deducted from the watch and then any money left over on the watch will be refunded upon departure.

    Beach 6.95 /10

    The beach at Icmeler is a 20-25 minute walk from Grand Aquarium. The beach is not only attractive but clean and safe ('blue flag' status); it is also made up of a several private beaches where guests must rent a sun lounger and parasol.

    To know

    Grand Aquarium is open between May and October.
    A free shuttle bus service is offered between Grand Aquarium and its sister hotel Club Aquarium. Guests are welcome to make full use the facilities at Club Aquarium.
    There is free WIFI connection available in the lobby only.
    There are no pool/beach hotels available at the hotel, guests must supply their own.


    • Car park
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, sauna, hammam, Turkish bath

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, fitness, sports

    • Whirlpool bath


    • Quiet location on the edge of Icmeler
    • Convivial ambiance created by staff and repeat guests


    • A long walk to the beach
    • The rooms are in need of a makeover
    • The fees to use some services that usually come free at other hotels

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    • Overall Score nc/10
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