Hillside Beach Club
The lowdown If your idea of paradise is a private cove with azure waters, quiet pebbled beaches and just steps to an ultra-pampering, treehouse spa, this five-star Turkish beach resort won’t disappoint. Tucked into the hillside of a 30-acre private bay just outside Fethiye on Turkey’s south coast, it offers 330 rooms built into the hillside on five levels, backed by a vast pine forest and overlooking the azure Mediterannean sea. (Note: If your legs are stiff from wakeboarding overload, two lifts on either side of the resort will whizz you from top to bottom). The idyllic view alone from your outdoor (but covered) suite terrace will leave you mesmerised and feeling super refreshed (equally due to the salty sea air!).
The vibe This Turkish gem prides itself on its super romantic locale, making it the ideal spot to take in a jazz session at Abacco Bar, chill out on Serenity Beach or enjoy the sunset while sipping cocktails at Beach Bar. But it’s also family-friendly, meaning you can drop your little ones off at Kidside (they offer full and free all-day care for youngsters aged 4 to 7 years) or leave your teens to perfect their dance moves at the Activity Club centre.
What to do For all its serene waters and luxurious outdoor spaces, Hillside Beach Club is also ideal for those who can’t sit still on a sun lounger for more than a day. In addition to daily yoga, Pilates and stretching classes, a fully-equipped fitness centre and free-for-all water polo matches, it’s an adrenaline junkie’s delight. Choose from loads of action-packed water sports on offer including windsurfing, water skiing, mono skiing and even diving and parasailing. My favourite? Wakeboarding. Beginners’ luck had me up out of the water on the first try. Not so brave? Opt for a water-skimming group ride on the Banana. It’s a scream!
Sunseekers will love the choice of four separate pebble beaches (Main beach, Pasha beach, Silent Beach and Serenity beach - a five-minute boat ride or 15 minute walk from the resort), and two floating decks complete with ultra-comfy wooden sun-loungers. Can’t see your iPad through the sun’s glare? Guest services offer free use of eReaders for your entire stay (I had the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo done and dusted by day three!).
The rooms Privacy rules here. During my stay, the entire resort was chock-a-block full but I never once felt overwhelmed or had to vie for a lounge chair. The spacious, open-air concept suites add to the exclusive feel. I was treated to a stay in a Superior Room, which featured a plump couch on the covered terrace, an oversized bed with my own pillow menu, satellite tv, and a heat lamp just outside my shower door. Forgot your washbag? Hair bands are a plenty in your bathroom and phone chargers and plug adapters are all available through guest services. What’s more, the rooms are regularly sprayed for bugs and your outdoor space is swept free of falling branches and leaves daily. Attention to detail is a must here!
The food If, like me, fresh fish and Mediterranean cuisine is your ultimate Turkish delight, then the smorgasbord of tasty dishes on offer at the buffet in the Main Restaurant is your oyster. Pasta lover? Visit the Beach Bar Restaurant for the fluffiest of pumpkin tortellini and the freshest tiramisu outside of Italy. Dining is an equally decadent affair at Pasha on the Bay. Tables are lined along the water’s edge for romantic moonlight dining. Stay on for the evening at Pasha Bar and Disco (it only transforms into a disco one night a week so as not to disturb guests) for a whirl on the dancefloor, tasty cocktails and a nibble on fresh almonds served on ice – a truly Turkish delicacy.
Don’t miss Trust us, an hour-long guided catamaran trip outside of the bay is something you won’t want to miss out on. Dolphin sightings are quite common and you’ll love the thrill of sailing the sea on a 90-degree angle! Equally as enlivening is a trip to the one or both of the two on site spas. The Sanda Spa, found in the main resort area, is the place to experience an authentic Turkish Hammam. It’s not for the shy (or faint) at heart – prepare to be scrubbed, rubbed and lathered up in only your knickers. Nature lovers will relish the Sanda Nature Spa. The tree-house style haven features Eastern-inspired treatments by qualified Balinese therapists, who ease tensions with aromatherapeutic oils and expert techniques. Pure bliss!
The details Hillside Beach Club rates start at £140 per room per night, based on two people sharing on a full board basis. For more information visit hillsidebeachclub.com. Easyjet flies to Dalaman (the resort is a 50-minute drive from Dalaman Airport) from Gatwick and Stanstead from £30.99 including taxes for one way (subject to change). Visit easyjet.com to book.