Lake and River Side Hotel & Spa

Thrown out of the hotel for complaining about video documented behavior of staff. MixxTravel refuses and says everything is fine

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By Tripreviews

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It should have been a wonderful long vacation on 5 stars with lots of fun and luxury.

“Kicked out of hotel for complaining about video documented behavior of staff. Mixx Travel refuses and says everything is fine.”

Mixx Travel’s own representative in Turkey even admits that Lake and River Side Hotel & Spa is one of those hotels you send guests to when others are busy or they have to choose for you because you make more money there. It’s scary to be told this when you’ve asked 3 times about the problems at the hotel.

Lake and River Side Hotel & Spa

Lennart Øster

Cleaning – Rooms
Cleaning – Restaurant
Service – Reception
Service – Rest of the staff
Pool bar


A little background

In April 2023, in collaboration with Mixx Travel and their very friendly Amalie, we chose to book 10 days at Lake and River Side. For the record, we weren’t sure if we should choose this or Water Side. Both according to Mixx Travel, 5th star hotels.

Having visited Haydarpasha hotel and Litore in Alayana several times in the past, we knew what 5 stars are in Turkey; or so we thought.

I ask Amalie directly which one of the hotels we should choose and she says

“Definitely Lake and River Side. It’s incredibly delicious. The rooms are large and the pool extremely nice. The staff are friendly and the atmosphere is great. I’ve been there myself and it’s one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed at.”

Amalie – Mixx Travel

We were sold.

Cat Poop in Restaurant – Mixx Travel knew it

In May 2023, we read a story in the Danish media BT that it might not have been as good as Amalie had told us. Read the article here

The funny thing for me is that Mixx Travel says that 125 families traveled in the same period – 7 days in May and NO ONE other than the couple who were in BT has complained.
When we went in high season, there was 1 other Danish family at the hotel. I wonder if they know something at Mixx Travel that they just didn’t want to do anything about, or if there were actually 125 other people at the hotel?

I then called Mixx Travel a total of 3 times. In June and 2 times in July to ask them to rebook to another hotel if it was not in order. As many as 3 different employees assured me that it was 100% under control. They had visited the hotel and received reports from there. I could be completely calm.

How Lake and River Side hotel & Spa was

We have been traveling in Turkey for the past 9 years and never have we been in such a bad hotel before, and that says a lot because we have vacationed in both 3, 4. and 5. star hotels. Lake and River Side Hotel & Spa is said to be a 5th star hotel. It’s just so far from reality.

From the outside, the hotel looks amazing. The lobby is beautiful, but we immediately realize that it’s not up to the standard we’re used to. Because it’s really hot. The other hotels have had air conditioning in their lobby. Nothing that sets alarm bells ringing; however, it’s happening quite soon.

We get checked in and go to our room. We have booked and paid for an upgrade to a Family-room and sure there are two separate rooms, but holy vacation they are small compared to the other places we have been in Turkey.

Well, here we are and the guy who carried our luggage up is looking at me. Oh yeah, right. Tips. Sends him EUR 5 and thinks that’s enough. He looks a bit disgruntled and I think the price has gone up – there will be an explanation for that too

Surely it can’t be that bad?

Now you can’t wait to unpack and get in the pool while the room cools down. But alas, no.

  • Both Airconditions don’t work and just blow out hot air
  • The fridge does not work and is 25 degrees
  • The TV (hardly ever use it) is an old 20″ doesn’t work either
  • The toilet bucket is defective and the lid flies when you open it.
  • The toilet brush is broken and filled with something it shouldn’t be filled with
  • The curtain looks like something you’ve peed on
  • And yes. Previous guests have left some hair in the closet and on the beds – Nice to share
  • There are holes in the bedding – which also doesn’t smell completely clean – the duvets – a bit sour.

Well we talk to the reception and they get a technician up and after 1.5 hours there is some cold air in our air conditioning. However, it cannot cool below 25 degrees.

The fridge is cleaned of dust and we’re told that the cabinet it’s in must be open or it won’t work – great when space is tight, but hey, we’re optimistic.

2 hours later, we have video and many pictures showing that we’re probably another 3 stars; well, maybe less
Here’s what we experience the first 2 hours at the pool (16-18)

Cat poop in the restaurant

Here’s how to remove cat poop from your restaurant – with the same mop you use to clean the rest. Always good with top hygiene.
  1. Cat poop in a restaurant
  2. Staff who cleaned the entire floor with the same mop as cat shit was taken
  3. Staff wiping sweat off their foreheads and sticking their fingers in the food.
  4. Staff spending time on their personal cell phones and sticking their fingers in the food.
  5. Leftovers everywhere. Poor hygiene in the kitchen
  6. Garbage, food scraps, cat poop in corners
  7. Staff do not speak English. Only 2 of the people we spoke to at the hotel spoke English. 1 super sweet girl at the reception and their Guest Relations Manager
  8. Pool cleaning was pouring sodas, wine and other items directly at guests, up walls, on the floor, etc.

Now the bells are ringing – especially when you’ve read the backstory, right?

Here’s what I wrote to Mixx Travel, who sent a representative out to me

  1. The room is very small for a suite
  2. Refrigerator not working. Unusable. Cabinet should be left open said technician – Could not cool to more than 14-15 degrees
  3. Both Airconditions are not working. Was made, but didn’t work optimally. Still warm in the room.
  4. Pool is quite dirty with plastic debris floating around
  5. Pool is very small
  6. Pool closes at 18:00
  7. No guards at the water slide (children run up the slide even though it is closed)
  8. You can’t get drinks by the pool. No bars or anything else. No snacks because it’s always “sold out” the wait is 20-30 min and then the queue is so long that by the time you get there it’s empty again
  9. No drink options. Soft drinks and water only
  10. Everything is hot (drinks. No ice, water in fridge is approx. 25 degrees)
  11. You can’t get a large cola, but you can get a 0.15 children’s cup without ice
  12. Several umbrellas have broken
  13. Staff speak no English other than reception and very poorly
  14. Staff spend more time on their cell phones than providing service
  15. Food staff wear gloves but don’t change after fiddling with their hands, wiping sweat off their forehead or using their personal cell phone. One scratches his backside – vigorously
  16. The food for the evening was cold and some races sold out
  17. Not possible to get a seat between 19 and 19:55 and tables were not cleared.
  18. We had to remove old service ourselves
  19. Very small selection of food compared to Haydapacha which we specifically asked comparison with. 20% on a good day
  20. No fresh juice (expected on 5 stars) everything is watered down from machines
  21. Pool loungers for maybe 20-25% of guests

How staff clean the pool

I go to the reception and have a nice chat with a super sweet girl who apologizes and is really embarrassed. I have to talk to the Guest Relations manager who arrives at 20:00.
She tells me that they get 4-6 complaints a day and that the owner and manager of the hotel do nothing. She’s looking for a job elsewhere after this season.

I’m then asked to send pictures and video to the reception and now something happens.

Day 2. Here we don’t hear anything and I just talk to 7-8 other families. Both Danish and foreign (Polish, German, Norwegian and a single Russian) All agree that the standard of the hotel here is far below what you should expect. The vast majority rate it less than 3 stars due to the room, food and staff, and poolside options.

PS. In Denmark, this vacation costs 34,000 for 3 people. In Poland, a family of 4 can get to the same hotel for 19,000 and from Germany it’s only 23,000
It’s great to be Danish and pay over the odds for such a nice hotel.

Day 3:
The next day at 09:05 I get a call from the hotel manager asking me to come to the reception. We joke around and say we’ll probably get kicked out – and sure enough, we do. We get 60 minutes to pack. Here are the words we were given on the road, in very bad English.

“Pack your shit. You are no longer welcome here. You can wait outside. Not in the lobby”

Hotel Manager, Lake and River Side Hotel & Spa

They wouldn’t even help with a Taxi.

Now, good advice was expensive and even though I am far from satisfied with Mixx Travel, I must say that they stepped in and saved the rest of our vacation. In just 1 hour they arranged for us to get to the Water Side hotel & Spa; the very same hotel that Amalie told us not to choose.

Thank you for this. Now we had landed in a real 5-star hotel. It’s really nice and we’ve already decided to come back here.

Is it just us that’s a bit of a know-it-all?

All I think we are actually reasonable people, but when we pay 34,000 DKK to go on a 10-day vacation, you can expect to get the service and luxury you pay for.

At no point did we raise our voices or be rude to the staff. We even cleared our table ourselves when we were eating – mostly because otherwise there was no room. We carried our empty tableware away ourselves and made room for other guests both in the restaurant and by the pool.

Read what’s written on TripAdvisor .

It is my opinion that reviews on TripAdvisor and the system MixxTravel uses can be easily manipulated with false positive reviews. Somewhat the same problem you experience with the Danish Trustpilot.

Status of our complaint

8/9-2023 – 9 weeks processing time
At this time, Mixx Travel has not taken a position on our complaint where I have asked for 3 vacation days to be refunded. This corresponds to approx. 10,000 DKK.
They have refunded 0.5 vacation days because we had to change hotels in the middle of our vacation + 6 EUR for a Taxi

5-Stars in Turkey – Can you trust it?

I was sure that, like restaurants getting their stars, it was the same with hotels in Turkey. This is where I also learned something. They are awarded by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism. You get 5 stars if you have

  • Spa
  • Pool
  • Over a certain number of rooms
  • Lobby

So getting those 5 stars is pretty easy – keeping them shouldn’t be so easy, but it is.
So be careful where you book – and don’t ask your travel agent