R&R on the Turkish Riviera
R&R on the Turkish Riviera
Turkey’s Aegean coast is the perfect place for Winter sun
Following the early Autumn heat wave it’s safe to say London has well and truly squeezed the last out of summer. Rather cruel of Mother Nature to hand us the hottest day of the year mid-September when it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing the sun again before May.
Panic not! Turkey’s Aegean coast is still warm and sunny for a few months yet, the idyllic beaches unspoiled by too many tourists. True it’s been a bad year for Turkey following attacks in Istanbul and a failed military coup but the coastal resorts along the Mediterranean remain unaffected, meaning tourism is business as usual – and there are bargains to be had!
Visiting the resort town of Maramaris earlier this year it was easy to see why British holidaymakers have been tempted here for decades. Sat between two mountain ranges Marmaris offers picturesque scenery, turquoise waters and friendly locals. Sitting on the water’s edge is The D-Resort Grand Azur, open all year round it’s a magnet for sun-worshippers.
After a late night arrival waking up in one of the D-Resort’s luxury suites melts away my city-stresses instantly. All mod-cons, floor-to-ceiling windows, too many wardrobes to choose from and a Jacuzzi bath to die for beside a full-length view of blue; the brightest of skies and the clearest of waters beneath it.
Downstairs we feast like kings on exotic fruits, cheeses and local delicacies, with a fine spread of cereals, pastries and other home comforts too. After such a hearty breakfast I’m rendered incapable of anything too energetic so luckily it’s only a stone’s throw to the hotel’s private pier, where we set sail for the day aboard our very own private yacht.
All aboard our magnificent MedSea Yacht we cruise the Turkish Riviera past hidden coves and coastal fishing villages. Taking a dip in the warm(ish) waters it’s obvious why the area is known also as the Turquoise Coast and very popular with sailors and divers. Having explored every inch of the beautiful 30-metre wooden traditional Turkish gulet we are served a delicious lunch of grilled meats, fresh salads and local specialties before hitting the top deck to make the most of the sun’s rays, the uninterrupted views and the dangerously moreish rosé. I’m in heaven.
Our day of decadence doesn’t end there, but on the hotel’s new roof terrace with 180-degree views of the beach and the Marmaris coastline, a spectacular spot to watch a sunset as spectacular as any I’ve seen. All the food at the D-Resort is good but Steak & Bar is the jewel in the crown of the hotel’s dining options, offering 21-day aged steak cooked just as you like it and served with the scrummiest of side dishes.
No trip to Turkey is complete without a bit of flesh-pummeling and boy does the D-Resort deliver on that front. Nestled in the basement of the hotel sits an enormous newly-renovated spa and it is here that I am washed, scrubbed, and massaged into a new woman in an authentic Turkish Hamman experience. There’s a maze of saunas and steam-rooms in which to idle away the hours and an Olympic-sized pool in which to work up an appetite before the next feast of Turkish delights!
D-Resort Grand Azur, Marmaris is part of the D-Hotels & Resorts portfolio: www.dresortgrandazur.com.tr
Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates flights to Dalaman from Birmingham, London Gatwick, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and London Luton airports, with fares, including taxes, starting from £99 one way (£153 return). For further information or to book Monarch flights,Monarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, please visit www.monarch.co.uk.