Azur Hotel

Cirali (Olympos), Mediterranean Coast, Turkey Book from Book from £68 per night

Beachside bliss on a budget: simple wooden cabins set in idyllic gardens, with pool, restaurant, big smiles and stunning landscapes
In 12 years of hotel reviewing, this is one of the happiest places I’ve stayed. Staff welcome you with open arms and beaming smiles; by day 3, they’re kissing your children like a favourite aunt. At breakfast tables shaded by mulberry and palm trees, and laid with fresh-picked loquats, homemade poppy seed jam and juicy tomatoes, guests - mostly from Germany, England and Turkey, many with kids in tow - greet each other with broad grins and glowing accounts of the previous day’s gulet excursion.

The gardens here are so idyllic - fringed with blood red hibiscus, orange lilies and rampant dogrose - that you feel as if you’ve unearthed a 21st-century Eden. You’d barely guess that there are 20 wooden cabins among them, screened by citrus trees. They may not be the most stylish inside, but they’re extremely comfy (superb mattresses and sofabeds), and practical too (netted windows, impeccable bathrooms). There’s also a 20-metre pool, a small playground and a handful of 2-bedroom bungalows. Best of all, it’s only 5 minutes’ stroll to one of Europe’s most stunning beaches: the 2-mile pebble-and-sand sickle of Cirali. Flanked on one side by the ancient town of Olympos, on the other by the bizarre flames of the Chimaera and the pine-clad majesty of Mt Tahtali, this is paradise indeed.


  • It’s a stunning part of the world, perfect for coastal hikes, snorkelling, boat trips, exploring ancient ruins or just lazing on beach loungers (at their sister restaurant)
  • The gardens really are a treasure: hidden hammocks, canopied tea houses, lush lawns, all tended by 3 full-time gardeners (5 at harvest time)
  • The pool is a godsend in the scorching summer, particularly for energetic children
  • Dinners are excellent: grilled meats and fish, salads and sweets, all served alfresco at candlelit tables
  • Fantastic value, especially in the shoulder seasons


  • The garden lodges are simple, clad in wood with few embellishments, but just right for the setting
  • You can’t bring food and drink to your rooms - understandable as they don’t have kitchenettes, but sometimes you just fancy a snack on your terrace
  • The beach can see several visiting gulets and a clutch of sunbathers at the Olympos end, but head the other way and there’s acres of space
  • You may be asked to settle your accommodation bill in cash on arrival - and be aware that the nearest cash machine is a few miles away
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    The stone bungalows are best for families of 4-5, having 1 double room and 1 twin (with kid-sized beds), plus space for 1 baby cot (provided on request). They are also within baby-monitor distance of the restaurant, though you'll have to bring your own monitor. The wooden cabins are perfect for a couple with 1 child, using the double sofabed for the child (or 2 children, if they don't mind sharing).

    Parents should know...

    The sun can be scalding in midsummer: anoint your children liberally, keep them in the shade in the middle of the day, and think twice before coming with babies.

Restaurant staff can provide half portions or cook a particular dish to order (within reason) for your children.

There's a small playground with sandpit, seesaw and swings, aimed mostly at toddlers, and a pool.

Apart from the beach, older kids will enjoy walking up to the natural flames of the Chimaera which lick out of the ground; and going on skippered boat trips to remote coves and coastlines (pirate hats optional).

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • Beach Hotel
  • 28
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Board games


There are 2 types of accommodation: the original 8 stone bungalows, which sleep up to 4 in one double bedroom and one twin; and 20 newer wooden cabins dotted among the lush gardens, which each have a double bed (no twins) and a double sofabed in a half-separated room. We’d recommend the garden cabins for couples with (or without) 1 child; and the bungalows for families with 2 children.

All the garden cabins or lodges are identical, and in terms of setting there’s not much to choose between them: all are nicely screened by fig, palm, orange or mulberry trees. Inside, you get plenty of wardrobe and storage space, mosquito-netted windows (handy for night breezes, though there’s also A/C), and a gleaming tiled bathroom with spacious power shower that would be a credit to a Scandinavian city hotel. It does all feel a bit boxy, but we slept blissfully on new pocket-sprung mattresses (which grace the sofabeds too, though being only 140cm wide I wouldn't recommend them for 2 adults); and the sliding door between the 2 parts meant that we could read after our son was asleep.

The stone bungalows are next to the restaurant, which can be handy for families wanting to use baby monitors. All of them have a secluded rear terrace looking onto the gardens and playground. The main bedroom is spacious, the children’s twin-bedded (or bunk-bedded) room less so; both have simple decor with a couple of kiddies’ sketches on butter-coloured walls. They share a slightly more dated but still perfectly effective bathroom with shower.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Beach towels
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Mosquito net
  • Phone
  • WiFi


Breakfast is a blissful start to the day. At wooden tables shaded by palm and mulberry trees, smiling staff bring a platter of rolls and homemade spreads (including poppy-seed paste and a yummy cinnamon-flavoured marmalade), fresh cherries or succulent orange loquats from the gardens, and healthy Turkish fare (cucumber, tomatoes, wrinkly black olives and mild feta cheese) for those who’ve gone native. For the more conventional, there’s also cereals, eggs as you please, fresh OJ and unhomogenised yoghurt which you can sprinkle with walnut halves and viscous honey (a jar of this is yours to take home if you book through i-escape). The coffee is strong, and there’s all manner of teas and infusions including a powdered apple cay to set you up for the day, or what’s left of it after such a lavish, leisurely spread.

If you’re down on the beach at lunchtime, try their sister restaurant Azur Aïda, whose octopus salad, marinated sardines and aubergine-garlic yoghurt all slipped down a treat. At one point, the young waiters jumped up in symphony, hosed the dirt track down and then grabbed our parasols; a moment later, a strong gust of wind came - they must have seen it rippling across the sea. Alternatively, eat a light lunch at the hotel's Antik Pool Bar, which also serves drinks until 11pm.

Come dinner time, the hotel offers a limited but delicious array of grilled meats, seafood and homemade salads, followed by baklava-style sweets and thick Turkish coffee, all served in leafy gardens where kids run around the ancient mulberry tree. We ate here on the first night, and rapidly realised there was no real reason to do anything else during our week. Lamb skewers, fresh calamari and the local ratatouille were highlights, but nothing disappointed - least of all Hassan, Chennai and Turkan’s cheery service. If you do want variety, there’s no shortage of eateries within walking distance, including a pide (Turkish savoury pancake) restaurant, which was warmly recommended. Or you could drive to Ulupinar (5km) for fresh trout on the banks of the plane-shaded stream.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu


  • Walk to Cirali beach (2 mins away along a direct path) and swim in the wonderfully clear blue waters, grab a sunlounger at Azur's sister restaurant Azur Aida, hire a kayak, go snorkelling - or come for a night-time dip and marvel at the underwater phosphorescence
  • Explore the ruins of the Lycian city of Olympos at the end of the beach: a riverside quay (it was a wealthy port) with ruined houses, cisterns and vaults, a small theatre, a hammam, scattered sarcophagi and a monumental arch hidden in the jungle... you could spend hours here
  • Head the other way to the astonishing natural flames of the Chimaera (2km), where sulphurous flames lick out of gaps in the rocky hillside; sailors once used these as navigational aids, and they're best seen as night falls (bring a torch for the walk back down)
  • Follow footpaths north along the coast towards Tekirova (signed 'Lycian Way') to reach a series of lovely secluded beaches fringed by vibrant green pine forest and clumps of pink oleander
  • Book a cruise on a gulet (traditional wooden boat) - the hotel can advise - for secluded coves, snorkelling and picnics Robinson Crusoe style
  • Drive or sail to the atmospheric Lycian ruins of Phaselis (20km), another 2500-year-old town with aqueducts, streets and a theatre looking out to Mt Tahtali
  • The hotel arranges occasional jeep tours into the mountainous interior, all jagged peaks and wild forests dotted with boar, eagles and riots of wild flowers
  • Keen hikers can tackle the 2,300m summit of Mt Tahtali (starting from Beycik), and descend by cable car; families can book a gentle donkey tour to Beycik waterfalls (book through Vira Natura)
  • The towns of Tekirova and Kemer (20-30km) offer an unexpectedly bling taste of shopping and nightlife

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Trekking

Best Time to go

The best times are the shoulder seasons of April-May and mid-September-October, when the sun is not as fierce. It's the perfect time for gentle coastal hikes, and the sea remains warm enough for swimming until early November (though in early April it takes some bravery to plunge in). If you come in high summer, be prepared for temperatures nudging 40 celsius (or escape by cable car to the summit of Tahtali, where it's always around 20 degrees cooler). Don't rule out winter either: it's a mild 20 celsius most of the time at beach level, though the sea will be chilly and the summits covered in snow.

Our Top Tips

  • Bring toiletries as there was no shower gel or shampoo when we stayed. But no need to bring beach towels - these are provided, along with bathroom towels of course.
  • For a different kind of swim, seek out some of the secret river pools nearby. My favourite is a crystal clear stream shaded by pines, with only the frogs, terrapins and butterflies for company. To find it, from the top of the Chimaera, continue walking up to the crest of the ridge, then follow a small red-waymarked path downhill for about 15 mins. Just before reaching the valley floor, bear right and down. On your left is the biggest pool - deep and long enough for a cooling swim. Back on the main path, if you want to make a loop: continue to the junction with a larger stream, cross on the wooden bridge, and follow the forest track left to emerge after half an hour on the Cirali road, just below a simple roadside eatery. Here you can eat your fill for a few euros before (with luck) hitching a ride back to Cirali (2km).
  • Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 29 independent reviews from i-escape guests


    Amazing hotel set in its very own Garden of Eden, with beautiful pool area.


    This is one of the best hotels I have stayed in. The gardens were incredibly beautiful, the staff were very friendly and helpful, and was the location was simply perfect. Wonderful beach for swimming, so peaceful and fabulous ancient ruins to explore. I will be coming back, and strongly recommend this to anyone wanting to stay in alittle bit of un-discovered heaven!


    I stayed in Azur hotel for three nights and had a wonderful stay. The garden was really beautiful, it was a very short walk from the beach and the staff were extremely helpful. It's also very family friendly. All in all a lovely stay and I hope to go back soon!


    The thing that sets this hotel apart from all the others in Cirali is the stunning landscaped garden. Meandering paths wend their way past orange trees, heady with blossom scent and the constant hum of bees (in April when we were there). Flowers abound, not in any formal way, but in a delightful higgle piggle of colour amidst terracotta pots, shady seating and secret corners. All of this set in the beautiful backdrop of mountains, and only a lazy ten minute meander to the beach. We stayed in a garden cabin - simple, and at first sight a bit too simple. But you know what? It is all you need for a simple outdoors life for a week or two - and with a comfy bed and a really lovely bathroom, we were happy.


    A truly stunning location, open and friendly locals, plus friendly and welcoming staff make the Azur an amazing place to stay. We are seriously tempted to come back next year.


    We absolutely loved our stay at Azur, which is probably the most beautiful that I have stayed at. The gardens were a pleasure to walk through all day and the pool area and restaurant were well thought out. The staff could not have been more accommodating and helpful. Thoroughly recommend this hotel and would go back any day! (If it weren't for the pebbly beach which got a little boring for the kids without sand castles being on the agenda!)


    What an amazing place. The location is spectacular, the gardens are stunning and the staff are all incredibly helpful and friendly. We were very well looked after by Hassan, Cenay and Esra, thank you. I would recommmend taking at least one boat trip, swimming with Turtles was a real highlight for my family and a visit to Phaselus, for the beach as much as the remarkable ruins. Azur Hotel attracts an eclectic clientele and there was a real warmth amongst the residents throughout our stay.


    Loved this place. The gardens were gorgeous and the vibe was lovely. Great service. Food a bit samey at lunch/ in the evening (we would suggest you don’t do half board and instead eat out in the village - Simge in particular is a fab restaurant). Currently the whole area is suffering from lack of visitors and we felt sad for the delightful staff. We would definitely recommend the Azur as a proper get away from it all and do very little holiday! Great for kids. We hope to go back.


    We had a wonderful relaxing time. The staff are so friendly and welcoming. The hotel is a lovely and peaceful environment. We will definitely be returning!


    In mid-April, we had lovely weather. Our five-year old son enjoyed roaming the grounds and swimming in the pool. We were essentially the only guests there so it was very quiet. Staying in one of the stone bungalows, this was essential. If it had been busy, it could have been very loud. The single cottages would be a better choice for those who like their space and peace. While we were outdoors every day and enjoyed the natural flames and the Roman ruins, we got lost on one of the hikes and would suggest a better map or directions for treks. The food and service were wonderful. We felt very safe and had a relaxing holiday.


    {{ review.rating }}/10, {{ review.firstName }}Anonymous{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},

    Rates for Azur Hotel