During my last – and what I firmly believed would be my only – trip to Turkey, I spent the majority of the holiday attempting to regulate my body temperature inside a freezing (but well-styled) marbled bathroom and hugging the toilet bowl in what I can only describe as torturous agony. Major tummy issues somewhat impaled my ability to appreciate where I was, and like a 5-year-old with no toys left in the pram I blamed the whole of Turkey for my ailment and insisted that I would sooner dance around naked in the middle of the airport than voluntarily holiday there again.
None was more surprised than I when I booked a luxury deal to Kas and decided to give the place a second chance. It’s funny how the promise of a plunge pool, large private juccuzi and personal section of the Med can change a girl’s perspective. We booked through Voyage Prive, a luxury travel provider who specialise in seriously discounted holidays! You can sign up to become a member here.
As much as my 18-year-old self would disagree in a rage of defense, Turkey is a beautiful country. Not in a what-a-lovely-change-of-scenery kinda way but in a totally awe-inspiring have-I-fallen-into-a-different-world beautiful. Whilst there are obvious similarities to Greece, Turkey is somehow more fascinating. It could be down to the unmistakable feeling of impending doom when you jump into any form of public transport, or it could just be the perspective of a Norfolk girl accustomed to vast, flat landscapes being thrown into a scene of dark blue mountainous backdrops plastered to every horizon.
I’m not kidding about the public transport thing by the way. It’s as if the generous hands of God gathered an almighty arm-full of boulders, threw them down all over the country and yelled, “Hey! Here you go guys: roads!” One minute you’re at the foot a mountain – towering walls of darkness closing in on you from either side, and the next you’re barely clinging to a cliff face with aerial views of the rocky terrain you’d hit if the boy racer in the driving seat was just one inch closer to the edge of the “road”.
It was a genuine surprise when I was delivered in one piece by Elixir’s luxury transport bus to the Doria Hotel in Kas.
We were welcomed in style with exquisite home-made Turkish delights, wine and macarons, not to mention a luxury suite with generous loft space, a huge terrace and French doors framing a view of the ocean. The bathroom was separated from the room by only a pair of shutters, whilst the duke box (yes duke box) flashed pink, blue and green blasting familiar hits.
The room featured an incredible king-size bed with all-white everything and super-soft purple chiffon draped across each corner of the bed frame. Whilst the over-sized clock above the bed was a welcome addition, it was always 2 and a half hours out of whack, which made for some pretty confusing middle-of-the-night bathroom trips. Outside, we could have hosted a party twenty-people strong. The terrace offered an enormous Jacuzzi that was more along the lines of a pool, a spacious seating area and a platform equipped with plush sunbeds, an umbrella and steps into the sea. Did I forget to mention the over-sized telescope and rocking chair for romantic stargazing sessions? I don’t know if any hotel room I ever stay in will be ever able to top it – ever.
Our two nights at the small and intimate Doria hotel were complementary upgrades from the lovely folk over at Elixir Holidays. The first day we spent rather well – spotting turtles from our sunbeds (I wasn’t fast enough to get a photograph) and enjoying a dinner lit by candlelit and serenaded by a string duet.
The second day was only vaguely more energetic; we had a long lazy breakfast in the sun, I had my eyebrows done at their super cute spa on the beach and we swam lengths in the infinity pool to work off dinner from the night before! The hotel is plonked perfectly on Kas harbour, only a short walk or taxi drive from Kas, which is a busy little town full of authenticity.
We didn’t stray far from the hotel for our second night in Kas either, choosing to dine on the marina at a place called Vati Cafe and Bistro. We ate pink hummus and Turkish meze that consisted of aubergine cooked with garlic, spicy green peppers with yoghurt, beans in tomato and garlic sauce and green beans with samphire. Whilst there’s a heavy focus on meat in Turkey, it’s so easy to avoid if you’re a vegetarian – the veggie dishes are cooked to perfection with fragrant herbs and spices, and are often better than the options that include meat.
The hotel has a limited number of rooms, so the atmosphere is extremely welcoming and personal. The bar served awesome cocktails, which we enjoyed before heading off to dinner on the picturesque marina.
We didn’t know it at the time, but our next five nights in Turkey were set to be even more luxurious thanks to Elixir Holidays. Part two of my trip will be up soon.
Have you ever been to Turkey? Where did you stay? Did you fall in love with the country?