Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is booking half-board in Marmaris daft?
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
Thursday 02 May 2013
Q. Is booking half-board in Marmaris daft?
A. Not daft, because getting breakfast and dinner along with your bed enables you to have a bit more control over your holiday spending without making the dismal choice of going all-inclusive.
The "AI" concept, where you pay upfront for all your food and drink is the devil's work. It means you subsidise those who take the "free" meals and alcohol to extremes. Businesses outside the complex lose out because every guest is incentivised to stay within the walls. And holidaymakers get a much more limited experience than they should.
Half-board, in contrast, is a good compromise. In countries such as Italy, it is often done extremely well, with elaborate meals served with panache. I have not tried half-board on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, but from my visits to Marmaris I would counsel against it. The centre of the resort is a delight, with lovely cafes on the hillside. Along the shore, there is a multitude of excellent restaurants offering good value. Were I stuck in a hotel dining at the same buffet evening after evening, I would feel a bit miffed.
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