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Reviewed 1 May 2012

We stayed at Mustafa for 3 nights and had a great stay. I'm surprised to read some of the reviews here to be honest, not to diminish anyone's negative experience, but we (2 couples) had an almost flawless stay. I give Mustafa a 4 not because it is a 4-star (it isn't) but because of the value for your money, which is excellent, and the great customer service we enjoyed. At the bottom of the review, there's also tips for getting to and around Pamukkale.

STAFF
Ozgir, the main guy, speaks very good English, he is very laid back and easygoing. Any request we had, the response was always "no problem" and it was done. We were taking an evening bus, and he allowed us to keep our luggage in an empty room during the day, no extra charge. Samra, the little Turkish lady doesn't speak any English but is so sweet and helpful that it's hard not to like her. I was sitting with my wife on the terrace in bare feet and she was so concerned she brought us a pair of slippers each and my wife a blanket. The cook is quite friendly and speaks some English, and the young guy doesn't really speak English, but is quite nice as well. All the staff we met were very hospitable and welcoming and polite.

FACILITIES
Free WiFi is provided which is nice, signal might be weak or nonexistent in some rooms though we found if we connected while in the terrace we could stay connected if we moved to our room, but if we tried to connect in our room, it didn't always work. The rooms are basic, but this is a backpacker type pension, not a 5 star hotel. The beds were comfortable, the rooms were clean and towels were provided. The terrace does provide a view of the Travertines but it isn't totally unobscured, however if you sneak up to the roof you get a fabulous view :). You can also walk 30m up the road for a great view.

The bathrooms are small, and the shower is a part of the bathroom, no shower curtain, sometimes with a drain in the floor. Also, being Turkey, you can't flush toilet paper here. Might be unpleasant if you aren't used to that, but its pretty much the same all around Turkey.

The restaurant provides delicious food at fair prices. The breakfast is included in the stay and it's quite nice. Usually bread, tea, cucumbers, tomatoes olives and an egg, also jam and butter. The pides are quite good, nice and cheesy. Nice to sit on the upper terrace and enjoy the view.

LOCATION
No complaints here. It's probably more like 100m to the actual entrance gate, but about 30m to the road where you get a perfect unobscured view of the travertines. Unless they build more hotels you won't find one closer than Mustafa. That being said, Pamukkale is a small village and from pretty much most places you can reach the Travertines in 10-15 minutes walking. By the way, the Travertines are open 24hours. Yep, you can beat the tourist hordes by waking up early. Tours start arriving usually between 8:30am and 10:30am and finish around 4:30-5:30pm

SUMMARY
Mustafa provides excellent value for your money, very good customer service, basic facilities but more than sufficient. Never felt unsafe here.


***OTHER PAMUKKALE TIPS: BUS COMPANIES & TRANSFERS TO DENIZLI AND AIRPORT***

Don't be confused by Pamukkale (the village) and Pamukkale Bus company, they aren't the same thing and all bus companies will take you to Denizli bus station. You transfer to Pamukkale in a little 20 seater minibus,it takes about 30 minutes. Every minibus operator knows where all the hotels are in Pamukkale and if you don't have a hotel booked, guaranteed the minubus driver will take you to his "friend's hotel" and try to get you to stay at that hotel(at a nice overpriced tourist rate). Do your research on the internet first.

At Denizli main bus station (Otogar) you might get greeted by a man wearing a tweed suit jacket, speaks good English, will transfer you to Pamukkale for 3TL (He works for the bus company Pamukkale). No problem, he's humorous and a good businessman if you know what I mean. But he will stop to show you a map of Pamukkale village before delivering you to your hotel. He doesn't do this out of the kindness of his heart. After explaining everything he will offer you a tour for 70TL including lunch and entry fee into the Travertines (20TL). But for us and the other passengers on the minibus "tomorrow I am offering a special, 50TL instead of 70TL". What he didn't mention was that entry was free that day because there was an airshow over Pamukkale (so the entire population of Denizli was there too) What a sly guy. Fortunately for us, we didn't book the tour, and you really don't need to either. Pamukkale is small and easily explored on your own including the ruins of Hieropolis, in a few hours. (Oh and that red mud pool ... not very exciting at all. Really, it is nothing special, it's tiny, with a bit of warm water bubbling out of it. You'll be like "why did I waste my time coming here?")

The point is, Pamukkale is small. Everyone is connected, and they're all trying to get a slice of your business. Everyone knows someone who will do something for you. It's not personal, it's just how business is conducted in Turkey. Everyone wants to be your "friend" and show you "Turkish Hospitality" which really means, they want your business. When they ask you "where are you from?" its not to be friendly, it's to determine how much you can afford to pay. If you say Europe or North America, you'll get quoted a higher price than if you say Somalia. As long as you are aware of these things, you'll be fine. (If you're white, try telling them you're from Moldova, or Estonia, instead of a western European country)

In Pamukkale village, there's 3 main bus companies: Varan, Metro and Pamukkale bus company. (None of these 3 will take you directly to the airport ... a different guy will for 23TL see below)

The guy at Varan bus company is very pushy and rude, gives you the "hard-sell". Tried to sell us tickets for 50TL to Istanbul, when we said no, became very angry, told us we'd have no seats on any bus because they'd all be full. We walked over to Metro (another bus company), the guy was quite polite, easygoing, lots of seats available 40TL to Istanbul. We didn't pay him until a day and a half later, and it was no problem. He speaks good English as well. Then again, maybe these guys all play off each other, its a small town.

The Metro guy also offers a sunset trip for 10TL to watch the sunset from on top of a mountain. It's not bad, but probably not worth 10TL.

Choosing between bus companies, always go to the different ones and get price quotes, don't let one guy pressure you into booking without checking around. Most people will rip you off if they can, nothing personal, it's just Turkey (I've spent 6 months here). Personally, I'd choose Pamukkale (bus company) over Metro because Pamukkale provides free high-speed WiFi on the buses. Metro is supposed to, but it never seems to work (except when overtaking a Pamukkale bus on the highway or parking beside a Pamukkale bus in a bus station). And none of the movies have English subtitles, only really bad Turkish dubbing :).

Also the guy from Metro arranged a transfer to Denizli main bus station, we were given the impression it was a free shuttle and when we arrived at Denizli Otogar, the driver asked us for 3TL each. No big deal, but I don't like being given the wrong impression and hit up for money when not expecting it.

***Airport Transfers***
The main bus companies will not transfer you directly to the airport, they will will transfer you to Denizli Otogar (main bus station) which is 20km away, and then to Denizli airport, which is another 60km away.

Tours4Turkey has a specific arrangement where they will transfer you directly to the Denizli airport for 23TL. The main guy, Yunus seems to be a pretty good guy actually and speaks excellent English. Incidentally T4T happens to be right next door to Mustafa, but I didn't meet Yunus until the night I was leaving. My brother and his girlfriend booked an airport transfer with him, and his shuttle was full, so he (at his own expense above the 46TL) paid to have them delivered in a taxi to the airport because he had promised them a seat. So even if you don't book anything with him, I think he's a good guy to talk to because he seems to be one of those rare honest businessmen.

The key to getting the best price here is to always shop around. Don't take the first price on offer. One of the beauties of Turkey is that prices are negotiable. Any other questions, drop me a line.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Global-Reporter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2011

If you are woman and stay here alone, be careful.
This is one Japanese woman's experience.
I think that other women stayed this hostel alone may have similar experience.
http://hitodenotabinikki.blog92.fc2.com/blog-entry-159.html

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
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7  Thank Onakagasuita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2011

I was surprised to read these others reviews which could make you thinking Mustafas Hotel is some kind of a rip off place. Because I liked it.
I stayed there for one night in May 2011. Well, of course the standards are better somewhere else but compared to the price there's nothing to complain. My room was clean, also the sheets. The lights are working, the powerplug too. There was warm water in the shower. Okay, the shower is combined with the toilet, so the toilet can become wet. But that was no problem to me.
There's a causy terrace in the second floor. And the hostel is just a few steps from the famous Pamukkale tubes. Although they have their own restaurant (which I didn't checked) there are several restaurants close by.
The thing I liked most was the relaxed atmosphere. Mustafa and his girlfriend are nice hosts without being presumptuous. It was a good place to have chat without these 0815 "where are you going?" "where have you been?" talks.

BTW; I also had some questions in the tours4turkey office besides .They've been very helpful, gave me all informations I need and more some very valuable secret hints ;-) They really took care!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
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Thank lusiatan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2011

I really didn't like that one of their people started selling us the place as soon as we arrived at the coach station (which is in another town). We agreed that we would have a look at the place, why not. He tells us a price for the room too that seems very good.

A Dolmus trip later we arrive in Pamukkale and two more people of his... circle? family? business? literally escort us to the place and try to charge us more than the first guy said.

We ended up staying there because it was late and we very tired.

Room was OK, nothing special. The sheets could have done with a wash and passing the hoover wouldn't have hurt either.

NO hot water. Ever. We complained twice but the guy (another one of the gang) kept smiling and saying it was OK and it would come. It didn't.

We were only staying one night so you know, not worth getting angry for.

Breakfast was not very fresh either.

In the morning, they tell us that they have a luggage room and that is (casually) at the back of the travel agency next door. There, another one of the gang shows us the room and tries to sell us bus tickets, which we decline as we were not sure where to go next.

We spend the day in the Roman town and when we come back to collect our bags, mine has disappeared. We discuss and finally the guy makes a couple of phonecalls. It turns out that someone else from a big group took my bag and they were currently travelling on a coach of theirs (!). The guy very efficiently made that coach stop, check their bags, make them leave mine at a station on the way, and then had another coach pick it up and leave it at the coach station that serves Pamukkale. But wouldn't give me a lift there to collect it!!!

Location is good but the village of Pamukkale is so small you're not too far away from the Roman city anywhere you book!

I recommend the Kale hotel which is just 2 buildings down the road and for 5 liras more gave us a lovely room with heating and air conditioning, hot water and a good breakfast.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank int0_the_wild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2011

In one of our weaker moments we have allowed an agent to advance book accommodation on our behalf.
Mustafa's is a stones throw from the main attraction of Pumakkale and therefore is in a great location.
The rooms are rather sparse, yet quite roomy, with a double & one single bed. This being said, the double bed was in a awkward position, pushed up against the window so it was more like a semi double, where one would have to climb over the other to get out of bed.
There was hair in the bathroom and the linen and towels were thread bare.
Free WiFi was accessible in some areas, the staff were friendly, good breakfast in the morning and not noisey despite the hotel being busy.
If I was to stay in Pamukkale again, I would probably do some more research.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank m_m2500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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