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SWISSOTEL BÜYÜK EFES, İZMİR

Many places call themselves "art hotels" but few of them are actually any such thing. In contrast the Swissotel in İzmir is the real deal, not only an oasis of greenery in a mainly concrete city but also a hotel that prides itself on acquiring works of art by well known artists and putting them on display to its guests. This becomes obvious as soon as you step past the security box on the gate and spot the Fernando Botero sculpture framed by palm trees and fronted by miniature fountains that faces the main entrance. 

The Swissotel could hardly be better placed for sightseeing, poised as it is midway between Alsancak, Basmane and Konak with almost everything you'll want to visit within easy walking distance. 

Rooms are comfortable although personally I found the decor a little dark and mannish for my tastes. But the bed was very comfortable and a change of pillow was quickly on its way when the one on offer proved too soft. The minibar was well-stocked, the air-con pretty good. The wifi connection was irritatingly slow and I felt that the choice of channels on the TV could have been better. But the bathroom was delightful with a separate bath and shower, and even an extendable washing line to pull out over the bath to dry one's washing on. 

My balcony looked onto the garden and the magnificent outdoor pool, a huge bonus in summer although there is also an indoor pool along with a spa for winter. 

The top-floor features a fine Sky Bar with views of the sunsets over the bay and the Equinox Restaurant which offers fine dining. The Aquarium Restaurant beside the pool offfers more casual options. 

Breakfast is a magnificent spread on the first-floor with tables spilling out onto a terrace for summer. 

Tel: 0232-414 0000

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