Friday, 9 July 2010

All Inclusive Holidays

All inclusive holidays have only really taken off in Turkey in recent years.   It's never been something that has appealed to me, particularly when holidaying in a different country.  I always think it's a bit of a shame to spend an entire holiday confined to one hotel, and being restricted by mealtimes etc.  Surely the joy of travelling abroad is to experience as much of the country and culture as possible.   And that means getting out and about and just using the hotel as a base. 

It would seem however that the all inclusive holiday is popular with lots of people.  I suppose those on a strict budget, will find it easier to pay one price, and know that they don't need extra money for food and drinks.

Turkey has given in to the demand for all-inclusive deals, but a little reluctantly I think.  It's certainly an unpopular concept with local businesses...restaurants, bars, shops, etc and as a result many have closed down in recent years.

When Mr Ayak negotiated the deal on his Hamam business with the hotel in Bitez, he was of course aware that this was an all-inclusive hotel.  It would, you would think, be to his advantage....the hotel guests being on site for the duration of the holiday, would provide him with potential customers.

Unfortunately, things are never quite what they appear to be. 

Firstly, without wishing to offend any nationality (so I won't mention any specifically), it is well known in this country that certain nationalities don't like to spend money when they are on holiday.  Naturally the all-inclusive deal suits them fine.  Mr Ayak is aware of those nationalities who are likely to spend money on Hamam, massage, etc...and those that are not.  All of this was discussed before signing the contract.  The General Manager, who knew exactly which nationalities had booked for the season, assured Mr Ayak that the majority of guests were from countries who would spend money.

He was lying...the majority are in fact those people who don't spend money on extras.  With a little luck and a lot of hard work, Mr Ayak and his personnel have at least managed to sell their services to as many hotel guests as is humanly possible...but considering the very high rent being charged by the General Manager, they are struggling somewhat.

Another issue has arisen.  It would seem that the General Manager has instructed his staff to encourage guests to go out of the hotel.  Well...from a personal point of view..this is not a bad thing, because they will at least see a bit of the area.   However...this is not the General Manager's motive for doing this.  He is trying to restrict  the dishing out of "free" drinks.   Well of course they aren't free as such...they are included in the package. 

He has taken it one step further.  The bar is now closed at 9.00pm every evening.  Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous?  As if people on holiday would be happy to stop drinking at 9.00pm!   So from this time onwards the hotel is empty.   It's a blow for Mr Ayak, because a lot of their customers were coming to the Hamam mid-evening,  finding it a relaxing way to end the day.

Mr Ayak had a meeting with the General Manager today, who insisted that Mr Ayak close the Hamam at 9.00pm every evening.  Mr Ayak said he was not prepared to do that.  He also pointed out that the GM had misled him about the type of customers, and had certainly not made it known that guests would be encouraged to go out of the hotel as much as possible.   Mr Ayak is being charged a very high rent for the premises...and  there has been downright dishonesty at play here. In a nutshell...Mr Ayak is being ripped off...big time!

The meeting today brought no satisfaction or even compromise on the part of the Mr A has reluctantly given a month's notice to terminate the contract.

Naturally he is extremely disappointed, but he is already starting to look around at other possibilities.  He had planned to go to Istanbul to rent similar premises for the winter...but he may well bring this forward.  At least Istanbul has year-round tourists.

Nothing is ever straightforward in Turkey.  There are always disappointments and setbacks.  I am trying not to worry about it all.  Mr A could of course have bowed down to the General Manager, but someone has to make a stand and stick with what is right.  And in spite of the problems we will no doubt face soon, I admire him for standing his ground, and he has my full always!


  1. A lying toad, there's a lot of them about in business I suppose, but what a thing to happen and just when Mr A had got everything up and running. Well, there may be difficult times ahead, but I'm sure you'll both pull through x

  2. What a miserable beast, the G.M.
    He had a good deal already and now wants to mess it up.
    It's not ony in Turkey that these things happen.
    I'm sure Mr. Ayak will get another deal going...but how rotten to have some greedy beast spoil something that would have worked so well.

    Thinking of you...and wishing I could send a guillotine in the post for the GM...

  3. Jan and Fly...of course I agree with you both. The GM is a lying bastard. I have a sneaky feeling that this deal was an "in the GM's back pocket" arrangement. After all he is only the GM. I wonder if the hotel group are even aware of it.....hmmm!

  4. Oh no sorry to hear about all of this ..... things are never what they seem are they..... sending you both hugs and hope there is something better that will come out of all this xx

  5. Bugger, hope he finds somewhere else soon xxx

  6. Oh I am sorry to hear this. It must have been very aggravating for Mr A and it is good he has made a stand - but I can totally understand your feelings of worry.

    As for closing a hotel bar at 9pm, someone ought to let the owners know - although perhaps they would be glad that not too many 'free drinks' were being had.

  7. I'm sorry too to hear this. But Mr.A is doing the right thing. You can't let these lying toads get away with it. He's loosing a service to his hotel and hopefully clients will complain about not getting a drink after 9 and receiving bad service. Good luck for the next venture, he sounds a determined man your Mr.A!

  8. Oh bummer. How bloody ridiculous to close the bar at 9pm. At least he won't be getting many repeat bookings at the hotel. Why is it always 2 steps forward 1 step back? Good luck to Mr A.

  9. What a horrible person that manager is. What goes around, comes around, hopefully in his case...

  10. Thanks everyone for your comments. All is not yet lost..I'll update with a post later!

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. This has been my general experience of contracts in Turkey. I've always been fascinated by the fact that Turks who have known each other for years and have always had the best relationship will screw each other over when it comes to a business deal. It's always been a big mystery to me.

    There is definitely a difference between family & business and friends & business.

    Hopefully the situation rights itself out.

  13. Hi Nick and a warm welcome to a fellow ex-pat. You are so right...friendship goes out the window when it comes to business.
    And I am glad you visited which has enabled me to find your fantastic blog!

  14. Oh now I understand the problem. Ridiculous. 9pm? No way should it be closed then. It would be after that when all the drinking would be done. Hope it resolves in your favour.

  15. Lilly: It's crazy isn't it? The GM is getting complaints so let's hope he takes notice


I love getting comments, but don't feel obliged...I'm just happy you're reading my blog.

Posts are moderated to avoid spam, so if you post under "Anonymous",leave your name at the end of your comment so that I know it's a "real" person!.

If you would like to help my rescue dogs and the strays (dogs and cats) of our village and local industrial estate, please email me for details at Thankyou x