Inspiring Travel Company Marketing Manager Emma Donovan discovers why Turkey should be on your hot-list for holidays in 2020.
It can’t have escaped your notice that Turkey is having a resurgence of late, and is often found amongst the hot-list of must visit holiday destinations. I travelled to Hillside Beach Club in the Fethiye region of Turkey to find out the real reasons why you should visit Turkey on your next escape…
Like many parents with school-aged children I was faced with the conundrum of wanting a luxurious summer holiday for the whole family filled with sunshine, activities for my daughter, some parents-only time, delicious food (with enough variety to please every member of my family) and most importantly at least a week away without the hassle of long-haul flights. It was for these reasons that Hillside Beach Club in Turkey really appealed to me.
A mere four-hour flight from the UK and less than an hour’s transfer from Dalaman Airport, Hillside Beach Club is nestled in its own private cove. After a swift check-in we were whizzed on a buggy up to our deluxe Double bedroom complete with children’s bed, a private balcony and sea views. We wasted no time settling down onto the comfortable sun loungers and downloading the Hillside App which was recommended to us at check-in. The App tells you everything that is happening in the resort that day, but most fantastically it allowed us to order drinks that were swiftly delivered right to our sun loungers!
The wide beach at Hillside stretches the length of the resort and is shingle (not sand) with warm, clear Mediterranean waters and a floating pontoon to swim out to. There is also a large swimming pool with a shallow kid’s section and enough sun loungers for everyone to enjoy.
There are three restaurants to enjoy at Hillside Beach Club – the main restaurant, a beach-side Italian eatery and Pasha, the adult-only restaurant. The main restaurant is self-service and offers a mind-boggling array of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every taste is catered for, and chefs preparing dishes ranging from Turkish to Spanish to Japanese are waiting to cook your food to order every day. The salad bar and dessert bar require at least a week for you to get chance to sample everything on it – I’d definitely recommend trying the stuffed aubergines and the handmade chocolate truffles!
The next day we decided to try out the resort’s kids’ club. There are four kids’ clubs in the resort for youngsters aged from 0-15, and my daughter skipped into Kidside, specially created for 4 – 7-year-olds. Here there are crafts, face painting, pools, water slides, sand pits and daily activities for the children to enjoy. The delightful staff wasted no time in welcoming my daughter and getting her to personalise her own locker for the week. Kidside is open from 9am to 10:30pm every day, and the team will even take children to mealtimes should you so wish!
That next night my husband and I decided to take advantage of the Kidside late opening and booked ourselves into the adults-only Pasha restaurant for an early dinner. Parents will understand the joy of a quiet dinner for two. Sitting on a moonlit deck, uninterrupted whilst enjoying a cold glass of wine and an eight-course dinner menu – pure heaven!
Previously, I have found that evenings can be a little difficult on a family holiday. The two-hour time difference in Turkey compared to the UK meant that my daughter could stay up later than normal and we could enjoy the evening entertainment laid on by the entertainment staff. Each evening there is a live show at the theatre – a truly impressive lip-syncing musical extravaganza – with professional dancers recreating the best of the West End for your enjoyment! These shows are followed most nights by a beach or bar party with a DJ and drinks flowing late into the evening – not to be missed for those looking for a lively holiday.
After a restful night’s sleep, we adventured out of the resort on Hillside’s own yacht - built in the traditional wooden gullet style - for a day’s sailing whilst visiting twelve nearby island bays for swimming, diving and sightseeing. The staff cooked a fabulous fresh fish barbeque lunch with salads and, of course, baclava for dessert. This daytrip was a definitely a highlight of our holiday – especially when my daughter spotted a turtle swimming near her in the sea.
After a few days of sun, sea and family-time my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a couple’s spa treatment. There are two spas in resort, and we opted for the lush Sanda Nature Spa, nestled in the verdant hillside with treehouse-style treatment rooms. Our 90-minute flower petal massage was absolute bliss. Feeling about as far away from stressed-out mum as I’ve ever felt, we spent the remainder of the afternoon on the adults-only Silent Beach reading books, sunbathing and swimming in the sea – the lovely ladies from the spa even nipped down to give guests a little complimentary shoulder rub and ginger tea on the beach!
After a few days of lazy beach time we decided to sample the complimentary Hillside activities included for all guests. My husband and daughter set out in a canoe whilst I did a HIIT gym class, then the following day I took out a paddle board on the sea and my husband joined a volleyball match. Again, the Hillside App allows you to see which activities are available throughout the day, and the entertainment staff will cajole you into joining in if you show an interest.
Finally, after seven nights it was time to leave Hillside Beach Club. Slightly more tanned, definitely more relaxed and with a memory bank full of priceless family moments, this is one holiday I’d be happy to return to year after year. This fantastic destination offers easy short-haul travel, great value for money and a whole host of treats in resort to entertain and delight every member of the family - same time again next year? Count me in!
Discover more about Hillside Beach Club, Turkey on our website, or call our Travel Specialists for a bespoke quote on 01244 355 400.