Hillside Beach Club, Turkey
20 August, 2018
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Tucked into the southern reaches of a broad bay scattered with pretty islands is Hillside Beach Club. A prosperous hub of the western Mediterranean, Fethiye's natural harbour is perhaps the region's finest.
The luxe hillside hideaway, chiselled into pine-covered hills and settled on the private cove of Kalemya Bay, has all the workings of a small town. Consisting of several blocks of chalets cut into the hillsides and sloping towards the bay, the resort spans some 300 acres, but despite its size manages to feel intimate and not obstruct its natural surroundings.
With its own blue-flagged beach, watersports should sit high on every holiday agenda. Alternatively, you can go for a hike, take a shame-inducing hip-hop class (we're willing to venture that you won't be a natural), or for those who think a holiday should consist of little else than lounging and lunching, there are three restaurants and five bars ready to help you realise that ambition.
Comprising of only bay-facing rooms, the chic snugs are fitted with modern conveniences (from vitals like coffee machines and Wi-Fi to frivolous fancies including organic lip balms and turquoise string friendship bracelets). Dominated by neutral tones, the vibe is very much cool and comfortable. If available, book in to one of the superior double rooms which have plenty of space, a large private terrace, walk-in wardrobe and views of the Aegean Sea.
What's for breakfast?
The "Pasha late breakfast" is a godsend. Dispelling the myth that anyone is actually seated for a 7am sitting, instead Pasha Restaurant serves up breakfast everyday until 12pm. For those who consider caffeine a sufficient morning meal, the Coffee Bar serves up one of the best flat whites around.
Hillside Beach Club
How about lunch and dinner?
The hotel's main restaurant is a food-court-style setup, serving buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinners. After a day of poolside snacking, the main restaurant's wellness menu offering light and healthy dishes is much appreciated. Other dining options include the beach bar and restaurant which offers à la carte Italian dishes such as rock salt-crusted smoked beef tenderloin, fresh pastas and homemade tiramisu. Alternatively, Pasha plates up Turkish-Mediterranean cuisine that is second to none.
Is there a bar?
There are multiple; choose from the jazz-pumping Blue Bar or DJ-spinning Pasha. At the Pool Bar music pulses all day and come evening, the Abacco bar is our favoured spot for a slurp of sangria or fine whisky.
Within the resort you'll find standard amenities including a leisure centre, pool and spa, plus a long list of watersports and other activities available free of charge - try your hand at wakeboarding or surfing any day of the week. After a cardio-heavy morning, relish the day away at the Sanda Nature Spa (we recommend one of their special Balinese treatments.)
Movie nights reach new heights in the summer when a screen is suspended over the water and guests gather beachside to watch new blockbusters and Hollywood classics from their sun lounger - bucket of popcorn and star-filled sky in tow. For classical music fans, every August there's the added bonus of catching a one-night-only performance of the Ankara Chamber Orchestra for "Classical Music on the Sea"; time to brush up on your Vivaldi.
Things you should know
The Silent Beach is child-free (read: peace guaranteed). It's also phone-free meaning the sound of the sea is your only incessant caller. For something marginally livelier, stretch out on a hammock on Serenity Beach (also adult-only) while sipping on something sweet. When your drink runs dry order another via an app; with bar-to-beach service, there's no need to move until sundown. Hillside Beach Club is big on wellness - their Feel Good Weeks (held twice a year, in May and October) have a cultish following with a programme that includes fitness training, yoga, hiking and spa treatments. Add to the mix healthy menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, plus the occasional creative workshops, and you're likely to leave with a positive outlook and a terrarium in tow.
Within a short walk you can find…
Fethiye makes a good base for visiting Ölüdeniz, one of Turkey's seaside hotspots. Head further afield into the surrounding countryside an aim for the ghost town of Kayaköy. For the less active, opt for a sunset boat tour to the islands in the Bay of Fethiye (including Şövalye Adası as seen in the James Bond film Skyfall) or change course and head for the coves of Göcek.