When it comes to places to tick off your vacation bucket list, Turkey has comfortably been a must-have for quite some time, but sometimes Istanbul takes a little too much of the spotlight. Now, a Turkish town on the southern west coast plans to change all that.
Once a peaceful fishing village on the Bodrum Peninsula, Yalıkavak has transformed into Turkey’s best-kept secret. Along with its exquisite natural landscape (it’s quickly becoming known as the place to capture a sunset for the ’gram), it’s been moulded into a premiere shopping hub that houses every brand imaginable thanks to the arrival of the town’s namesake marina.
And only a hairsbreadth from Yalıkavak’s harbour is Allium Villas Resort, nestled on the slope of the coastline and overlooking the Aegean Sea. There you can receive some much needed TLC in one of the nine villas, each with four to eight rooms, that are so in tune with the natural wonders of the region, you’ll be tempted to book your next stay right there and then.
You’ve got five styles of room to choose from – who said boutique places have a lack of options? The superior room has a spacious balcony or garden terrace, while the deluxe option offers a wooden decked terrace in a small semi-private garden. The azure suites are the largest, and consist of a master bedroom and an adjoining living room, both with wooden decks because, well, why have only one deck when you can have two?
Home to a brigade of chefs led by Executive Chef Kaan Avci, the food is sourced fresh from local markets with a couple of real stand-out options. Traditional Italian trattoria Ayva stands in stark contrast to the glitz and glamour of the neighbouring marina. From the first bite of antipasti to the last spoon of homemade gelato, every dish celebrates the passion of cooking and the love of sharing. Avya is the Bodrum Peninsula’s little Italy, encapsulating the soul of Italian nonnas.
If you’d rather something a little more casual, simply try the weekly signature beach barbeque, which has become a popular playground for the Yalıkavak crowd. The best BBQ menu in town features freshly cooked seafood and steaks. Oh, and of course you should try the bar located directly on the resort’s private beach – you’ll obsess over the sunset backdrop.
Then finally, take a morning to recover in the world-class spa that includes a host of traditional Turkish and Asian treatments, or simply kick back in the steam room, sauna, or salt room. Once suitably relaxed, get ready to do it all over again.