Azur Hotel

Cirali (Olympos), Mediterranean Coast, Turkey Book from Book from £65 per night

Beachside bliss on a budget: simple cabins and villas set in idyllic gardens, with pool, restaurant, big smiles and stunning landscapes

In my many 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 three, 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 32 cabins and houses among them, screened by citrus trees. They may not be the most stylish inside, but they’re extremely comfy, and practical too (netted windows, impeccable bathrooms). There’s also a 20-metre pool and a small playground. Best of all, it’s only five minutes’ stroll to one of Europe’s most stunning beaches: the two-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.
Covid update: see our Flexible Booking Policy.

Highs

  • 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 three full-time gardeners
  • 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 al fresco at candlelit tables
  • Fantastic value, especially in the shoulder seasons

Lows

  • The accommodation is simple, but just right for the setting
  • 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
  • If you haven't prepaid, the hotel prefers to settle in cash on arrival so make sure to get cash
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 Azur Villas have two double bedrooms and their own kitchens so are ideal for a family of 4 - providing the kids don't mind sharing a bed. The wooden cabins are perfect for a couple with 1 child, using the double sofabed for the child.

    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...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Beach Hotel
  • 32 cabins and houses
  • 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
Room:

Rooms

There are 4 types of accommodation: the original 8 stone bungalows, 20 wooden cabins dotted among the lush gardens, 2 Green Valley Houses, and 2 Azur Villas. We’d recommend the garden cabins for couples with (or without) 1 child; and the bungalows or villas 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.

The Green Valley Houses and the 2 Azur Villas are new since we last visited. They are simple in design but look spacious inside. The Azur Villas are good for families as they have two double bedrooms each, plus a kitchen. The Green Valley Houses enjoy an enviable location close to the beach.

Features include:

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

Eating

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.

If you're staying in the Azur Villas you get your own kitchen for preparing food - ideal if you've got kids in tow.

Features include:

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

Activities

  • 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:

    Location

    Azur Hotel is situated in the seaside village of Cirali, near ancient Olympos, and about 80km south of the city of Antalya. It's in the shadow of Mt Tahtali, the Lycian Mt. Olympos, on the Mediterranean (south) coast of Turkey.

    By Air:
    Antalya (80km / 1 hour) has lots of flights from Europe, mostly charters. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving this airport.

    From the Airport
    If you don't intend to explore much, you can book an airport transfer through the hotel (see Rates), and then use local buses or taxis for the occasional day trip.

    By Car:
    Otherwise you might prefer to rent a car - see our car rental recommendations.

    Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

    More on getting to Turkey and getting around

    Airports:

    • Antalya 80.0 km AYT
    • Dalaman 250.0 km DLM

    Other:

    • Beach 0.1 km
    • Shops 0.1 km
    • Restaurant 0.1 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 19 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    9/10
    Room
    9/10
    Food
    10/10
    Service
    10/10
    Value
    9/10
    Overall

    This is a really special place. Comfortable, lovely staff, great breakfast. Good size pool (and no music - what joy!) and right on the beach. Loads of local restaurants along the sea front and main street. We had such a lovely time .

    9/10,

    LOVED this hotel. The cabins are simple, but very comfortable. They are also A/C equipped which was a godsend! The gardens were just stunning. It really is a calm paradise. It felt private and so relaxing. Breakfast is full of fresh fruit, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheeses and homemade jams, with the option for hot eggs how you like them.
    There were a lot of children around, which wasn’t always ideal, but you can easily avoid them and head to the beach when you want some peace and quiet. The Azur is perfectly placed to walk to the beach or into the small town where we had dinner every night and a variety of local places.
    We absolutely loved it and would highly recommend.

    9/10,

    We loved our stay at the Azur hotel, the location was amazing, lush green gardens, 3 minute walk from the beach with turtles nesting. Also the small village with lots of options for good food and a few shops was only a 5 / 10 minute walk. The rooms were spotless and a good size. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We would definitely go back.

    10/10,

    Paradise - loved everything about this hotel. Beautiful gardens, friendly and helpful staff, everything immaculately clean, generous breakfasts, great pool area. Everything close by - great restaurants, couple of shops, sandy/pebble beach with hotel sunloungers, beautiful views and crystal clear turquoise waters. Felt very safe to let our children (6 and 8) wander the hotel grounds with their new holiday friends.

    10/10,

    We've just got back from an absolutely wonderful week at the azur. The staff were brilliant, the grounds stunning and the pool the perfect way to cool down. The beach is a short walk away with a variety of restaurants as is the small village centre and the entire setting is perfect for switching off. We went with our daughter (6) and found it the perfect family environment where we could all have the holiday we wanted.

    9/10,

    Our trip to Azur hotel was great. The hosts were accommodating and helpful, the room perfectly equipped for the stay, the pool and amenities spot on, and the gardens just beautiful.
    The hotels location was ideal and the town and beach made for great eating and simple strolls. Perfect for our small family holiday.
    We will be back.

    10/10,

    The Azur hotel is a fantastic resort with amazing gardens and really friendly staff. So many standouts about the hotel but in particular the great pool and the super breakfast make the Azur hotel special. The resort of Cirali is quiet but has some good local restaurants and a great beach. Would highly recommend.

    10/10,

    We had such an amazing time here. It was my husband and I and our 5 year old daughter. The cabins were simple but completely spotless and with fresh towels each day it was more than comfortable - and such a reasonable price! They are surrounded by orange and lemon trees and the blossom smell is out of this world. The setting in general is beautiful, sandwiched between a backdrop of stunning mountain and a lovely beach. We went in April and the temperature was perfect for lounging around the pool, a bit chilly in the evening so bring long sleeves/trousers if you're going then. The pool is great for kids (who all end up playing together) and there is a playground too. Yasmin was so welcoming and friendly - we absolutely loved our stay and are recommending the Azur to everyone!

    10/10,

    Yasmine was absolutely wonderful. Pool was great. Fantastic location. Would recommend.

    8/10,

    My 10 night stay at the Azur Hotel was a perfect rest from work. The garden cabins are simple but very comfortable and private. The staff are very welcoming and nothing is too much trouble. The reception organised several day trips for me as well as airport transfers and they have a local doctor on hand for PCR testing prior to departure. The breakfast was plentiful and delicious - fruits, salad, cheese, bread, etc. The village is small but has plenty of cafes and restaurants if you don't want to eat at the hotel, a couple of nice boutiques and a small supermarket; nice for an evening stroll, after dinner coffee and shopping. The beach is a short walk through the beautiful garden and was never crowded.
    I will definitely be making a return visit to the Azur.

    10/10,

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    Rates for Azur Hotel

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