Lisa Munniksma

freelance writing, editing, farming, travel

Less than “ideal” pension


The great view is one of the only promises kept by the hostel.

If you like to sleep in hot, public places, you don’t mind moldy and wet bathroom floors, and you are OK with water dripping from a random open pipe in your bathroom ceiling, stop reading now. You won’t get what my gripe is about in this post.

I’m lucky in that I have a lot of choices of where to stay as I travel–on farms, CouchSurfing, in hostels, with friends and friends of friends, and with hashers. For my one-night stay in Fethiye, Turkey–a stop-over only to hash with the Fethiye H3 before moving on to my next farm assignment–I chose to go with an inexpensive hostel whose listing promised to be clean and modern and feature stunning views. Only one of those promises held true, and I’m pissed. The owner and the website I booked my stay through know I’m unhappy, so I’m not ashamed to post my complaints (with accompanying photos) here, too.

If you’re looking for a dorm hostel situation, Ideal Pension is a scam, as far as I’m concerned. If you’re booking a private room, this might an OK place, though as I’ve been writing this, two people have come in to complain about issues with their rooms.

This is my corner of the shared sleeping platform in the hostel lobby.

I’m writing this blog post from the Ideal Pension lobby, because that’s where I’m sleeping. This is what they call their three-bed mixed dorm with ensuite bathroom. There are eight of us sleeping in the lobby. Five of us don’t have pillows because the hostel ran out. My sleeping space is a lounge platform. Right next to me is a couple sleeping together–is this awkward, or is it just me? I’ve never had a shared sleeping space quite like this in a hostel.Β It’s 11:30 at night, the lights are all on, and right now a computer printer is making an extraordinary amount of noise. Did I mention this is also the 24-hour reception area? Oh, and the “ensuite” bathroom is two floors down.

So what the heck am I doing here if I’m so unhappy with the situation? I had a bit of a bus issue this morning, making what was supposed to be a 12-hour overnight journey into a 17-hour overnight journey, with very little sleeping involved. (This was not Ideal Pension’s fault, of course, rather a story I need to write about Turkey’s bus system.) So I got to town at 3 p.m. rather than 10 a.m., leaving me only an hour and a half to find the hostel, get checked in, get cleaned up and changed for my hash, find a minibus to the other side of the city, and find the hash. I didn’t have time to look for a new hostel; never mind it’s the height of tourist season in this Mediterranean Sea-side town and I’m lucky I found this place. I would guess that’s what the Ideal Pension owners are banking on.

When I–not very nicely–reminded the hostel owner that I reserved a three-bed ensuite dorm room online so that’s what I should get, he made light of how great this room is because it’s so big and it has an amazing view (which it is and it does) and when breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m., I will only have to roll out of bed to eat. Fantastic. I can get woken up when the kitchen staff arrives to cook breakfast, because the kitchen happens to be 30 feet from my sleeping platform. (My bed was originally on the other side of the room, but between when I left for my hash at 4 p.m. and came back around 10 p.m., someone else had taken it.) If I’m lucky enough to sleep through the cooking process, I get to wake up to others staring at me while they eat their breakfasts.

Hostel bathrooms are notoriously gross, but this was really over the top.

I also get to shower in the filthiest hostel bathroom I’ve seen yet, complete with moldy, slimy floor and door and open pipe dripping mystery water from the ceiling. It’s gross, really. There’s nothing more I can say about it.

I’m hoping I can actually get some sleep in this room tonight, because two nights in a row with no sleep will not bode well for me or, unfortunately, anyone who crosses my path tomorrow. In trying to find the bright spot in all of this, I guess I get to have breakfast in bed with a view.


And to update this post after “sleeping” on it: I did actually sleep OK from about 12:30 a.m. until 7 a.m. When I got up, I actually had to walk on the other people’s bed to get off of the platform–sorry about that, strangers.

Breakfast, as promised, was good. I had a nice traditional Turkish breakfast of bread, cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers, which I’ve come to love over my few weeks in this country.

The whole situation was weird beyond weird, but had it been advertised as such to start and been a lower price than advertised, I think I could’ve just gone along and had a chill backpacker experience. It’s the false advertising just to get you through the door that infuriates me.

I’m about to check out, and I’m going to ask for a lower price, considering I’ve gotten very little of what I signed on for. So wish me luck. If I do get a price break, I’ll come back and update as soon as I can.


  1. Wow! I especially like the walk to breakfast across other travelers’ beds!! Being an incredibly light sleeper, I’m very impressed by your fortitude in getting some sleep in the midst! Did you have earplugs with you as essentials? Hoping you find Turkey filled with delightful surprises!!

  2. I ended up paying 15 lira ($7.50) instead of the 20 lira originally quoted for the three-bed dorm room. Of course, the owner wanted to charge me the original price, and I had to remind him that I was sleeping in a public space with a gross bathroom three floors down, and then he gave me the new price.

  3. Bwahahaha! The developing-country scamming begins. πŸ™‚

    Have some Turkish coffee for me….yum.

  4. Sounds less than ideal… but now you’re a stronger person, right??? πŸ˜›

  5. This sounds sketch even for a hostel. I bet this place got shut down after your online reviews. I applaud your effort in getting a partial refund.

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