While Antalya is known for its golden beaches and sparkling views of the Mediterranean, there’s far more to this Turkish hotspot than just sun and sand. Pine-strewn ruins of Greek cities, restored Ottoman domes and the flaming rocks of Yanartaş add culture to your regular beach holiday. Make one of these luxury hotels your base while exploring the Turkish coastline.
Away from the crowds of Antalya city lies Cirali, a perfect pebbled beach, stretching between a cliffside and the ancient Lycian city Olympos, the lodge’s namesake. It’s set back from the beach with just 17 spacious rooms, surrounded by a vast verdant garden. White peacocks and chickens may emerge from behind the rustic wild-west lounge furniture to check you out. This place is a wonderfully strange paradise.
Every room in this boutique hotel is just so extra. Knickknacks and artwork gleefully decorate the walls, architectural styles overlapping each other, like the banana palms and bougainvillea in the gardens outside. But then again, that chaos mirrors the Kaleici (Old Town) itself, where this renovated 18th-century manor calls home. Tuck into proper Italian pizza at nearby Il Vicino or sample Latin American fusion delights at Pio Gastro Bar.
Swim to dinner, or use the boardwalk? A canal-like pool winds its way towards the oceanfront from the ground floor, in between villas and fan palms. This upscale hotel is perfect for families, thanks to its expansive kids club complete with a colourful playhouse, Wild West-style frontier town and mini cinema. That’s not even including the free shuttle service to the Wet ’n Wild waterpark. Nine restaurants mean you could eat at a different one each night, and still not try them all.
Escape the heat by curling up with a book in the botanical gardens or spend the evening at Casa Sur’s open air cinema. This place is a classy, hippie establishment with industrial-eco decor, sunrise yoga classes and one of the best brunch menus around. Located inside Kaleici, next to Hadrian’s gate, bustling nightlife is just a few steps away. Don’t leave without sampling a Turkish picnic under the garden’s tangerine trees.
Taking inspiration from the Seljuk style of architecture, the dome of the entrance hall is glitzed with gold and sparkling blue glass. Date palms and smooth columned arches makes it seem like someone’s plucked up the Alhambra and dropped it onto the Turquoise Coast. Inside, you’ll find elegant rooms alongside four restaurants, three bars and a private beach.
The Rixos offers a Turkish twist on the typical beach resort – with no restraints in either design or hospitality. The service here is truly impeccable. Located near the centre of Antalya, you still get the expansive sea views and tranquil pool of a traditional beachside hotel. Make the most of the opulent buffet at the Panoramic Restaurant, or sip a mojito at the Sundowner Bar during the summer months.
Set into the mountainside on a series of terraced platforms, the minimalist tessellation of granite and pine makes the whole structure look like a geological feature. Choose from three beaches – our personal favourite is Long Beach with its serene, private beach cabanas and attentive table service. Don’t leave without trying the Turkish bath and Rhassoul Mud Therapy at the decadent spa.