Firstly, this location is a complex of apartment and villa rentals, not a hotel. For best pricing book direct with Tuseta the management company.
The complex is in a small town called Bogazici. It is about a 30 minute car drive away to Bodrum, so if you are looking at this to be part of Bodrum, it isn't. The area is very, very quiet and non commercial. There is no centre area to go with restaurants and bars, so if you are looking for some local 'life' look elsewhere. There is a local selection of very good, and very cheap restaurants, that are traditionally Turkish. This means either with BBQ meat or with fish.
If your intention is to sit in the sun all day and relax then it's perfect and you wouldn't need a car. However, if you intend to eat in the evening (!), there isn't really anything in walking distance, so a car is essential. Also if you intend to see the area and travel to other resorts or beaches, then a car is a must.
What I was not clear of when I booked was just how hilly the area and site is. No not hilly, mountainous! The area is lovely with great views because of the mountains, but this means huge elevation changes whatever you do. Our 2 bed villa was one of the Larus ones, which were one row from the top. To go the bar/pool you have to go to the bottom. I reckon this is about 5 floors down effectively, so 5 floors up on the way back. If you have small kids, disabled family or elderly relatives, forget it, unless you are in the smaller apartments nearer the ground level.
Even the beaches which I thought may be walkable are not. It is just too much of a hike back. Even the local supermarket Migros, is not far, maybe 2km, so not a bad walk, but when you add the hills, forget it. You need a car!
While we are talking about cars, get the extra insurance. I don't normally myself, but the driving standards in the area, and the roads themselves are appalling. I am a member of the Institute Of Advanced Motorists and consider myself a very competent driver, but it feels like a bit of a lottery on a journey if you might have an incident, even when you are maximum cautious, due to the other road users and the roads themselves. Don't let this put confident drivers off. I would drive there again, you just need to be aware of what it will be like.
So, to Lakeside Gardens itself. It is a combination of apartments and 2 or 3 bed villas. It is all set on the side of a mountain with steep angles. Although this means lots of walking up and down, it means you get great views. We were in Larus 7, a 2 bed villa with pool. We had stunning sea and mountain views across the wider area, and it really was stunning. Keep in mind the whole site faces east, so sun in the first half of the day, and shadow later in the day. The sun set behind us, and we lost the sun on our pool just after 4.00pm with sunset at about 8.00pm. The main pool had sun until about 7.00pm. This is not necessarily a problem, just something to keep in mind.
The villas are beautiful and well laid out, the site is perfectly maintained, and the staff are great and professional. It really enhances an atmosphere of calm and relaxation. The site is very well maintained. Even our pool, was cleaned and tested for chlorine levels regularly. I was very impressed. Aircon in every room and worked well. Showers always had hot water and worked well. We did run out of water once for about 6 hours and we were told this was due to demand at this time of year. They do not have mains water, just water tanks.
There is not a lot to do on the site. Even though we were there in peak season, it was still quite. The bar/restaurant was always quiet, so there is not really any atmosphere or action in the evening. As it is a non commercial area, the site is mostly Turkish. I reckon it was about 20% English, so if you are looking or a get together and exchange of stories in the bar every night it won't be here. As I said, a car is essential so we spent every evening out and about visiting other resorts or restaurants where there was some action.
It's all about what you are looking for. If you want a beautiful location that is peaceful and you don't mind driving out to different places then it is perfect. If you like a party or a lively bar, or if you don't like driving, then it's not for you. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Would I go back? No. There is not much to do in the area and once you have been there, there is no real need to go back.
Don't forget that the remoteness of this site is what makes it so cheap, much cheaper than Bodrum. We stayed for 16 nights in a 2 bed villa, with private pool on a stunning site, and on a great complex, in peak season for about £1100. If you like sun, pools and peace, then it's for you.
A special mention to My Beach. Great views, and table service on private gazebos - lovely.
We had 37deg C every day, but as we were on the side of a mountain there is a constant breeze, sometimes quite windy. This makes it a perfect climate for enjoying the weather.
The management company Tuseta, own another couple of sites that you can use. The main one of these is Turquoise just 2km away. This is a site that does have some life. The pool has slides, the pool area is lively, bar service to your sunbeds, and special Turkish nights every week. Well worth a visit or two.
Thank you for so much Javahouse for taking the time to give a detailed review. I'm sure many people will find these incites very useful. Sadly Tuseta doesn't own any of the sites in the area. We are rental/selling agents for a lot of the properties on site which are all privately owned and we are also the site management company but only at Lakeside Garden. Therefore I'm very pleased that you found Lakeside well maintained and our staff both helpful and professional.
Best regards, Angela (Tuseta)