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A luxury holiday to Turkey

Joanne Davenport | 28 May, 2014

My boyfriend Jim and I have just returned from a beautiful break in the Bodrum area of Turkey, where we started our trip with a night at the Kempinski Barbaros Bay hotel, just 45 minutes taxi drive from Milas-Bodrum airport.

We arrived at 11.30pm where we were greeted by friendly staff and escorted to our room. Due to the late hour we took advantage of the room service which was delicious and well needed! Awaking fresh the next day we discovered our room had panoramic sea views over the Aegean Sea which was a great sight first thing in the morning!

I did not know where to start at the buffet breakfast; I have never seen such a selection of different kinds of nuts and cheeses (there were also pastries and bread but I was trying to be good!). After breakfast I treated myself to an express spa treatment in the hotel’s spa which was very much needed after the flight and eased away the tensions from the day to day grind of 9-5! I must say for an ‘Express Back Massage’ of 25 minutes it certainly did the trick…although the masseuse did say I needed longer!

Our stay at Kempinski Barbaros Bay hotel was short and sweet and soon we were heading to another hotel, very different, hotel – Amanruya. Part of the Aman Resorts group, I was aware of the brand’s properties in the Far East, but am told they have a number within Europe too, with this being my first experience of an Aman property.

The service was exceptional and discreet, much like the high service levels you would experience in the Far East. Our personal favourite aspect was the Beach Club; perfect for chilling out with an Efes beer looking out to the seas and surrounding mountains. Afternoon tea is served in one of the many chill out areas around the property where you can sample homemade sweet treats and local Turkish Tea (or cappuccino as Jim preferred!) while dinner can be enjoyed in one of the two intimate restaurants or in your cottage. We chose to dine in the restaurant, small and intimate with just five tables, and the menus changed daily with local dishes included.Amanruya is small with just 36 cottages all with private pools and four-poster beds and they have tried to keep the style of the property in line with the Ottoman era. In this secluded location you really do feel like you have got away from everything and everyone!

After a couple of nights of five-star luxury we made our way to our private villa, not too far away for a week of pure relaxation and time to ourselves. This was my fifth visit to Turkey, my first dating back to the early nineties, when my family and I travelled there when it wasn’t the popular tourist spot it is today. Back then they used to recommend having inoculations, and the entry visas have gone up from £5 to £10 – which you’re now able to complete online! Needless to say I would return time and time again not only for the warm climate, but for the local food, local charm and the friendliest people! I am sure we will be heading that way again in the not too distant future.

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