As I sit here in the TUI Magic Life Sarigerme reception awaiting my transfer home, I felt compelled to write this review.
A lot has been made of the travel and tourism industry in the wake of COVID-19 and this particularly hotel only reopened on the 22nd August - one day before we travelled. We did have some minor concerns here, predominantly surrounding early season teething problems however they were quickly banished when we arrived at this stunning resort. For a complex that had hitherto been shut since November 2019, the operation was slick, polished and efficient - testament to all involved.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel is only operating at 25% capacity with plans afoot to increase this to 75%. As good a resort as this is, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it quite so much were it at full capacity. Whilst clearly an expansive resort, large areas are essentially forestry meaning the complex can perhaps feel busier than it actually is. That said, it is the greenery and surrounding areas which really make this resort a thing of beauty. Arriving only 24 hours after the hotel opened meant that for the first two days we almost had the resort exclusively for ourselves.
All of the staff at the TUI Magic Life Sarigerme we’re first class - be that the entertainers, bar staff, waiters, groundsman or housekeeping team. They truly couldn’t do enough for you and the only minor criticism/frustration I had was with the apparent lack of English spoken at the resort. I’m conscious this may make me sound like a bigot but any such accusation would be missing the point. In a resort that is occupied by at least 50% of Brits, bar staff being able to comprehend words such as ‘beer’ or ‘wine’ really should be a pre-requisite. Was it frustrating at times? Yes. Did it ruin my holiday? Absolutely not!
The majority of our days were spent lounging by the main pool which was simply stunning. The water was neither too hot, nor too cold and the backdrop was first class. Do be mindful glasses aren’t permitted poolside. Whilst I understand the reasons why, drinking beer from a paper cup just isn’t quite the same. The selection of cocktails and alcoholic beverages included in the all inclusive (AI) package could do with some improvements. The resort have opted to place what I would call your archetypal cocktails on a chargeable premium drinks menu. Where other 5* resorts would include such drinks within the basic AI package, TUI Magic Life have opted not to. This can however be offset by the inclusion of certain water sports which traditionally would be chargeable. The Banana boat, sailing and kayaking all form part of the AI package so credit to TUI here.
An important factor on any holiday is of course the cuisine, and this is what truly sets apart first class hotels from those perhaps operating on the periphery. Whilst I wasn’t disappointed by the food, as a whole I also wasn’t wowed by it either. The hotel operates two a la carte restaurants - one of which serves multinational dishes, the other traditional Turkish Meze. The latter was sensational and definitely the resorts shining light - be sure to sample the Balek’s which were a delight. Positioned on the rooftop with spectacular views of both the resort and Aegean Sea, this restaurant in particular was five star personified.
If time allows, do pay a visit to Sarigerme village. Initially we booked an excursion to Marmaris to take in the Turkish shopping experience, however this was subsequently cancelled. In hindsight this proved to be a lucky escape, with Sarigerme offering more than enough in terms of ‘designer’ clothing - and all just a ten minute walk from the hotel. If this is your thing, do bring plenty of money as the range is extensive and you won’t want to leave short handed.
The entertainment on the resort was fantastic with the team offering up a number of shows within the resorts Amphitheatre - Africa a particular favourite of mine. On two of the seven nights we stayed at this resort, a live band was on hand to entertain whilst we drank the night away.
Writing this review it’s worth also mentioning the rooms which were of a good standard if not exceptional. Most bedrooms are equipped with a balcony although not a particular spacious one. All rooms come with air conditioning as you would expect in such a climate, and housekeeping do a great job on the daily cleaning and bed turning service. There is also a non alcoholic mini bar within the room which is included within the AI package, and is restocked daily with water and branded soft drinks.
During our stay we took the resort up on a 15 minute complimentary massage within the Spa. Sufficiently relaxed myself and my partner each booked a further two hour session which at £165 was great value. The traditional Turkish Hakkam (something you’re unlikely to come across in the UK), was well worth the experiment.
I’ve touched on COVID-19 earlier in this review and I feel it only prudent I revisit it given the uncertainty, concern and scepticism with travelling at the moment. Removing air travel and the flight from the equation, the reality is your no less safe in Turkey than you are at home. TUI have done a fantastic job in putting provisions in place to maximise safety - be that temperature checks on arrival, sanitised and sealed cutlery, Perspex screens within all bar and buffet areas, hands free door opening/closing and all staff (and visitors) wearing face masks when walking around internal areas. The notion of wearing masks whilst on holiday may put off some seasoned travellers but please don’t let this dissuade you. The reality is it’s only a sporadic requirement and for me didn’t in any way spoil the vacation. For the foreseeable future this is now the new norm and the tourism industry and livelihoods really does depend on people continuing to travel.
During our trip we opted (unusually for us) to have a professional photo shoot and it is at this point I need to make a special mention to Yunus. Firstly he took some first class photos, really encapsulating the moment, but secondly he was just an incredibly nice guy. People like Yunus depend on the summer months and in his case has lost five months income this year due to COVID-19 and the hotel closure. That’s one of the personal sides to COVID-19 and not always one we think about. I was gladly able to put aside my loafing of having a photo taken, to support Yunus and his business.
Overall the TUI Magic Life Sarigerme represents great value for money - particularly during these crazy Corona times. Seven nights for a family of three, in a five star hotel, during peak season and all under £2,000 (child travelling free) was a superb offering. This was my first holiday experience with TUI and the experience throughout has been an absolute joy.
If you’re looking for a relaxing family holiday, five star luxury, beautiful backdrops and attentive and diligent hotel staff, then the TUI Magic Life Sarigerme is an absolute must!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC