Electricity supplies cut to top Turkish hotel

A Turkish regional electricity company has cut supplies to one of the world's top luxury hotels over unpaid bills, say local media.

The Mardan Palace, owned by a Russian businessman and voted the leading luxury hotel by the World Travel Awards in 2010, has three weeks to pay off nearly 4 million Turkish Lira (US $2.6 million) in debts or face being referred to a bailiff court, Aksam newspaper reported Wednesday.

The 546-room hotel on the Mediterranean coast boasts an enormous swimming pool, aquariums and royal suites. It was launched last year with a gala evening attended by Sharon Stone, Richard Gere and heiress Paris Hilton. Singers Mariah Carey and Tom Jones performed live. It is now using its own generators to power rooms, Aksam said.

No one answered calls to the hotel near the city of Antalya on Wednesday. Officials at the electricity company for the region, AKEDAS, refused comment.

Aksam quoted the hotel's manager, Cumhur Ozen, as saying the issue stemmed from an end of year budgeting problem and promised to pay the debt.

"We are a large company. We invested 1.2 billion dollars. We won't be worn out by small debts," Ozen said. "We will pay the debt."

Mardan Palace beat five-star hotels Dubai's Burj Al Arab and the Dorchester in London for "the leading luxury hotel" award in 2010, according to the World Travel Awards website.