Having spent our first two nights in the magnificent Doria Hotel in Kas, our final five nights were enjoyed in a neighbouring town, popular with tourists for its beautiful location, historical appeal and abundant night life. Kalkan is alive with creative flair and tranquility. In fact, Likya Pavilion offers a quiet haven of luxury only a five minute walk from the busy town centre. It’s tucked away above the streets on the highest part of the bay, overlooking the sea with only ten rooms in total. I’m pretty sure it was what total relaxation feels like.
In case you missed it in my previous post, we booked via Voyage Prive – a specialist luxury travel provider with enormous discounts! You can become and member here.
With spectacular views comes a bit of a work-out. Likya Pavilion boasts two room types; the Duplex Suites, which are the easiest to get to, and the Loft Suites, which take a bit of effort to reach without breaking a sweat. The climb definitely helped burn off a few extra holiday calories, and the views at the top were more than worth it. Needless to say, for those with limited mobility there is sadly no friendly option.
After a bright green welcome drink (mint, lime, kiwi and apple) and a brief explanation of the facilities, we were taken to our suite. Though not as grand as The Doria, it was certainly spacious and felt more like a luxury villa than a hotel room. It was split over two floors, with the bedroom at the top. The star attraction was an infinity pool on the terrace and a pair of plush sun loungers that were so comfortable I could have camped outside.
Our days were just as lazy as the beginning of our holiday; trotting down to breakfast in our beachwear and spending the morning indulging in the view (and the pancakes) before heading to the hotel’s beach or retiring to our suite to float around on the lilo. Sounds tough, doesn’t it? There were, of course, excursions carried out by the hotel almost every day; historical sites, water sports, sunset cruises, city tours etc. We already had one booked for our last day, so we were happy to enjoy the tranquility whilst we had the chance.
My all-time favourite thing about being on holiday is dressing up for dinner, and since our package didn’t include an evening meal at the hotel we would venture into Kalkan on the hunt for traditional Turkish cuisine. As well as your pick of literally hundreds of roof-top restaurants and bars, there’s the added benefit of late-night shopping as the local shops stay open until gone 10pm! Traditional Turkish textiles are everywhere – from the softest cotton hand towels and bath robes to incredible handmade oriental rugs. The pottery is just as colourful and sits proudly in shop windows and on street corners for shoppers to admire. I bought no less than six (or was it eight?) beautiful bath towels, a whole set of serving bowls for the kitchen and a king-size bedspread all for less than £40. If you do have a trip to Kalkan lined up, you’ll probably want to take five empty suitcases!
On a couple of occasions we chose to dine in the Pavilion restaurant, as we heard it had some fantastic reviews and is popular with locals too. It was roughly the same cost as eating in town, and far quieter so it was nice to have that balance. Not to mention the decor is sensational, with panoramic views across the bay serving as the main attraction. Getting to the restaurant at about 7pm ensured that we saw the sunset and were tucking into our main courses as the harbour lights started to twinkle.
Every meal we ate at The Pavilion was like a full-blown cabaret with dancing acrobats and lavish props. Starters were served on over-sized glass-topped trays filled with pebbles and natural stones, which I can only imagine was a creative way to mimic the Turkish landscape. Main courses were placed on extravagant copper platters with domed lids, lifted off simultaneously by handsome waiters. With no room for dessert, our stomachs were ignored and we were given Turkish tea and luxurious coffee alongside a plate of homemade Turkish Delight – to wash down with a specialty liqueur. It was the same every night; absolute perfection and exquisite attention to detail. Forgive me for not having photographs of these luxurious dinners (not very Blogger of me). It was too dark, and to be honest none of them lasted long enough!
Whilst I would never turn down a lobster in Cuba or fresh seafood in the Caribbean, I often come home from long haul trips craving vegetables! That’s not the case here. There’s something a little bit special about Turkish cuisine; the abundance of quality meat coupled with exquisite veggie dishes ensures you get that all-important balance.
Breakfast was just as extravagant; instead of a menu you are served every possible option available and expected to slowly make your way through everything! Oh, and once the continental breakfast is over and done with, you must inform the staff how you’d like your eggs.
On our final day, we were lucky enough to be treated to a gulet cruise courtesy of Elixir Holidays! It really was the highlight of our trip, especially since we spent an hour or so swimming with turtles at our feet. With an on-board chef as well as a team of two, our small group enjoyed a three course meal made up of local dishes and fresh fish barbecued on the side of the boat! Water, tea and coffee was complimentary whilst the bar offered beer (efes) and soft drinks as we cruised from bay to bay taking in the breathtaking views. Swimming and snorkeling time was optional, but when you look into the crystal blue water around you and see little turtle heads popping up for air everywhere you look, there really is no other option but to swim with them! It was so surreal, and one of my most precious memories.
Can you see him?
Whilst Turkey and I didn’t get off to a great start (read about that here!) it’s safe to say that I no longer consider it an enemy. I’m eager to return and continue exploring the magnificent coastline.
Have you ever been to Turkey? I’d love to hear what you think, and where you stayed. Perhaps you did some of the historical trips I wanted to take? Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts.