As we munched on our hearty treat at the Yeni Bodrum Ocakbaşı, we gazed across at the Istanköy Hotel. I felt a shudder down my spine. Back in 2008, a couple of months before we finally paddled ashore with all our worldly goods, we spent a week in the hotel courtesy of Thomas Cook. When we arrived we were escorted to a dingy sunken room the size of a broom cupboard. Natural light was supplied by a caged slit. It was not a good start. I complained and we were moved to a better room. I say ‘better’ purely in the comparative sense. Our stay was challenging. The over-familiar staff greeted us with ‘yes, mate’ or ‘hello Jimmy’ and it was impossible to get round the rowdy pool for tattooed honey monsters with their brats in caps (despite being in term time). To top it all, we were sure that something dodgy was going on with our safety deposit box.
We had booked cheap and cheerful because it was only a bed for the night. The purpose of our trip was to dolly-hop across the peninsula trying on the towns and villages for size. Early readers will know that we settled on Yalıkavak, a pretty coastal village, about 20 kilometres northwest of Bodrum.
The town of Bodrum is not well-served with good budget hotels. There’s a real gap in the market for the cheap and chirpy rather than the cheap and nasty.
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