Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is booking half-board in Marmaris daft?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
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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