Friday, 4 July 2014

Turkey's best coastal resorts...

June 2014 - The Telegraph / Luxury

The best coastal resorts in Turkey, perfect for sophisticated family stays, romantic getaways and exclusive retreats

4,970 miles of coast – are lapped by the waters of three warm seas.

The shorelines of those seas – Black, Aegean, and broad, blue Med – are natural assets that have brought overseas visitors flocking. Already, Antalya – the gateway to the Turquoise Coast – is the third most visited city in the world after Paris and London. Now, the aim is to make these coasts as alluring as possible for upscale travellers. More and more marinas are being built, so wealthy visitors have a wide choice of places to park their fabulous yachts.

Twelve marinas are currently under construction. Two of them, with more than 1,200 berths, are within easy sailing distance of the unarguably cool byways of Bodrum. And a 700-berth marina is being built at Sifne, close to Alaçatı: the pretty village, a skip and a jump from the coast, that is overtaking Bodrum as the hippest summer spot in Turkey for chic Istanbulites and foreign visitors alike.

So it is no surprise that the Turkish coast has attracted the attention of the top-end hotel chains. Aman brought a touch of south-east Asia to this, the north-western corner of the Asian continent, when it planted a resort just outside Bodrum two years ago. Amanruya’s appealing little villas will soon have some competition on the Turkish Riviera in the form of a Mandarin Oriental, which comes later this year to Cennet Koyu – or “Paradise Bay”. Four Seasons is set to launch its third Turkish property in 2016. The new hotel will stand on the horned Çesme peninsula, where the views are westward, towards the Greek island of Chios and the sunset.

More than 2.5 million Brits visited Turkey in 2013. Many were drawn by falling costs in the country – 16 per cent down on the previous year, according to a new Post Office study – but also accessibility: there are more flights to the Turkish coast than ever before. At the same time, Turkey is a luxury destination, now more than ever. Why, Exclusive Escapes has even launched a dedicated terminal at Stansted, from which clients are flown by private jet straight to Dalaman.

Once in Turkey, where should they stay? We have selected eight charming coastal properties: some wonderfully old-fashioned; some über-hip; some, run by locals, that epitomise the best of Turkish hospitality and design.

The Aegean sea, viewed from D-Hotel Maris

How to get there

Exclusive Escapes (020 8605 3500) is Britain’s prime operator for luxury holidays to Turkey. A seven-night stay at Hotel Villa Mahal costs from £1,250 per person, b&b, including return flights to Dalaman, transfers, a Turkish bath and a day’s gulet cruise. The company offers the only premium-class flights direct to Dalaman, using a British Airways aircraft from Heathrow or Manchester, or a Titan Airways private jet from Stansted. Airlines that operate economy flights to the Turkish coast include Easyjet and DialAFlight (0844 811 4444) and the Charter Flight Centre (0844 050 0100) can advise on tickets with tour-operator charters.

From April 2014, visas cannot be obtained on arrival in Turkey; they must be obtained online ahead of departure.


click to view the properties in Turkey

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