Tourists book Turkish all-inclusive only to discover it is now a halal hotel after being taken over by Islamic owners who banned booze and introduced segregated pools for men and women
- Holidaymakers were attracted to Ova hotel, in Oludeniz, by sunsoaked images
- But under new Islamic managers alcohol has been banned and pools segregated
- Zehra hotels, which took over, is also offering all-halal meals at the resort
Tourists who booked an all-inclusive getaway in Turkey were shocked to discover the hotel had been taken over by Islamic owners who banned alcohol and introduced segregated pools for men and women.
Holidaymakers were drawn to Ova hotel, Oludeniz, by photos of families splashing in the pool while guests sunbathed on loungers and queued up at the bar for a drink.
However, they have been forced to re-book after the £200-a-head idyll was bought by Zehra hotels, which has set about transforming the hotel into a venue ‘good for your Islamic lifestyle’.
As part of the shake-up, the destination will now also serve an all-halal menu and require women to cover-up while at the swimming pool.
Tourists who booked an all-inclusive getaway at Ova hotel, Oludeniz, pictured in August 2018, have been forced to re-book after it was taken over by new management
Zehra hotels, which took over the business, has banned alcohol and introduced segregated pools for men and women. Pictured above is the hotel before it was purchased
Families that booked stays at the hotel on package holidays have been forced to re-book. Pictured above are men on the slide as families enjoy the pool in September 2017
British tourist Paul Rogers, who regularly stayed at the Ova, said: ‘So sad to hear our hotel has been sold. I met so many fabulous people since I’ve been going there.’
Former guest Sarah Robins, 45, from East Sussex, said: ‘We had nine wonderful years coming to the Ova resort. We used the hotel as our wedding base in 2013 and the staff did everything they could to make our day as wonderful as it was.
‘We have spent our wedding anniversary there. The owners were kind nice people, and we will truly miss the resort.’
Sam Taylor, 51, from Slough, Berkshire, told The Sun: ‘I am absolutely gutted. This place was like a second home for a lot of us.
‘But now they’ve banned booze we can’t go back. You can’t expect a Brit to take their holiday without a few pints by the pool.’
Hotel staff pictured pouring what appears to be vodka into a bucket at the hotel before it was purchased by Zehra hotels
Guests pictured lounging by the side of the pool and enjoying the sunshine before the sale
The retreat, based in the pine-covered Mendos and Babadag mountains and less than three miles from the beach, had also offered guests a friendly atmosphere and late-night entertainment including belly-dancing.
Waterslides, free Wifi, open buffets, billiards and Turkish baths and massages had also been offered by the business, based 24 miles from the airport.
It had been sold by January the start of this year after offering an ‘established business’ with a ‘healthy income’ to potential buyers.
In a message to guests posted online, the former owner said: ‘It is a pleasure to see many had a good time at Ova and made new friends here. It had been like a family getting bigger with each season.’
A guest standing with one of the hotel’s performers at the bar. Two pints of beer are also visible
A performer pictured during a show at the hotel during the 2017 season
Package holiday titan TUI has apologised to customers who had booked to stay at the hotel and said it is in contact with them to offer alternatives.#
They also said they would no longer offer holidays to this hotel. Ryanair stopped offering holidays to the resort last year.