I’ll be honest…Turkey has never really been high on my ‘hit list’ of travel destinations. However, limited travel options this Summer made us consider destinations we perhaps wouldn’t have in the past.
Instead of enjoying the luxury of a holiday build-up, we simply made the decision to block our chosen dates out and one week before, we picked a country.
With a crammed few days of research (those who know me know that I don’t take holiday planning lightly), I stumbled across an absolute gem. So much so, that I strongly thought about not telling anyone how good it was in order to keep it Clem and I’s secret. Even on arrival, regulars would question how you came across the resort and who had ‘invited’ you. As far as first impressions went, we knew by this attitude that we had stumbled onto something very special.
Let me introduce you to Hillside Beach Club; a slice of paradise tucked away in its own secluded bay where superyachts congregate, stylish European’s mingle and champagne flows twenty-four hours a day.
Yet somehow, Hillside is remarkably relaxed. Frivolity is encouraged and technology is seriously discouraged. Enjoy the company of others as opposed to plotting your next Instragram post…something very refreshing for the 21st century.
The Hillside mantra went something like this…Wellness by morning, watersports by afternoon and legendary parties by night that take place on the main beach. These celebrations were so good that all the super-yachts I mentioned had their crew bring guests to short each night to join the drinking and dancing.
The resort is around an hour from Dalaman Airport, near the port city of Fethiye. After a fairy drab journey with a baron landscape, you finally start to wind your way up increasingly narrow streets until reaching one of the highest points of the coastline. Here lies the entrance to one of Turkey’s best kept secrets.
With its Caribbean blue twinkling waters which hugged the rugged cove, Hillside is completely hidden and only reachable via the private drive or by boat.
Range rovers and old sports cars lined up at reception where staff would greet regulars and (as we found out) the occasional newbie.
We quickly discovered that Hillside is very popular with Turkish families who have continued to visit over the years, closely followed by a Russian and Greek cohort which makes for a very stylish beach crowd.
Quite frankly, I have never seen so many beautiful people in one place! Cue ‘natural’ beach makeup as opposed to what I would actually look like after going for a swim.
After a modest check in point which is located outside, you are driven by a golf buggy to your room. We opted for an ocean view suite which includes indoor and outdoor beds, balinese bathrooms and sunset views which make you never want to leave.
At Hillside, your day can start as early or late as you like, although the beachside yoga at 8am was pretty popular. Then it’s time for a hearty portion of eggs royale, freshly squeezed orange juice and natural yoghurt with honey.
To give you an idea of the service, the chef would offer different racks of honeycomb from varying regions. I have to say, I’ve never witnessed a buffet of honey options! And I haven’t even got to the part about the gourmet chocolatiers who would sculpt different creations using cocoa beans from around the world. Needless to say, we didn’t go hungry!
Hillside offers guests three private beaches, two of which are adult only with the most comfy loungers you will ever come across. As we haven’t got children yet, we opted for ‘Silent Beach’ which happened to be located right beneath our room (and near the bar).
The staff constantly go above and beyond at Hillside. Here’s a perfect example…’A Blind Date with a Book’.
They match your interests to a book they think you will enjoy, wrap it up and give it as a present.
Our mornings consisted of soaking up glorious thirty-five degree rays with regular ocean swims. This brings me nicely onto the water.
IT WAS SO BLUE! I have very high standards when it comes to beaches. My love for diving has taken me to the Maldives, Thailand and The Bahamas so when I say Hillside offers some of the most turquoise water I have ever seen, I really mean it.
If you don’t believe me, just pop onto Trip Advisor and look at other people’s photos. You won’t be disappointed.
Neither Clem or I are ones for just sitting on a beach all day (as nice as this can be).
If you share our fidgety ways, you’ll be pleased to learn that the options at Hillside were endless. It really is a playground for anyone who loves the beach and water.
With a state of the art watersports centre that owns five brand new boats and offers everything from hoverboarding to waterskiing to surfboarding (like wakeboarding but with a surfboard), you will never get bored.
Combine this with hopping from one beach to the next via a modest Turkish boat, enjoying complimentary sailing trips on the resort’s own not-so-modest yacht, and experimenting through a very extensive cocktail list meant that there’s plenty to keep you occupied.
Making some new friends along the way…
After mornings spent across the three different beaches, we often wanted to do a bit of exploring in the afternoon.
Conveniently, Hillside offers complimentary sailing trips to guests on their gorgeous traditional yacht. What’s better, there’s only 20 guests on the 70ft boat so you almost feel like you’re on a private charter.
We spent three or four afternoons aboard, island hopping, snorkelling and lapping up the Turkish heat.
After sun-drenched days by and in the water, we often opted to head into town for the evenings.
On the winding roads to Fethiye, you drive past ancient ruins, traditional towns and some unbelievable views!
I tried taking pictures on the move but when the sight was too beautiful, we jumped out to take it all in!
Although I don’t have any photos, we discovered an amazing restaurant at The Yacht Classic Hotel.
We later found out that this was where the cast of Casino Royale stayed during filming so there’s no surprise that it was so special.
Needless to say, the secret’s out. Hillside Beach Club is a utopia that we cannot wait to return to.
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