“An incredibly friendly, family-run hotel in a lively Aegean resort popular with windsurfers and well-to-do Turks”
In a quiet neighbourhood, lovingly restored by the cosmopolitan Poshor family, Incirliev was designed around a century-old fig tree that gave the hotel its name. The lemon, mandarin and mulberry trees provide the ingredients for Osman’s delicious preserves, served at breakfast in a flowering courtyard. His wife Sabahat runs a tight ship with a personal touch – fresh fruit and flowers on arrival, sweeties at bedtime. Their son Can, a music producer and international DJ, presides over proceedings during summer. The 8 spacious, breezy rooms with exposed stone walls and barn roofs mix modern comforts with hand-picked antiques. As we departed, Osman threw water at our car, a tradition said to ensure a safe trip and a speedy return. It worked: we’ll be back.
- The warmest welcome you could wish for – you’ll leave as friends with your generous, down-to-earth hosts
- The Poshor family’s love for the region is contagious and they’ll direct you to all their favourite, secret spots
- Generous breakfasts featuring the finest local produce will keep you going until teatime, when you can come back for complimentary cakes and snacks
- Views are not great – all rooms give onto the garden, but some also overlook run-down houses
- Though tastefully decorated, the rooms lacked soul when we first visited in 2010, and felt somehow too pristine
- The whole town turns into a bit of a theme park in July and August
Best time to go
- Boutique Hotel
- Over 10s welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Snooker Table
Unfussy but spacious and comfortable, the eight bedrooms are all slightly different. Common features throughout are high ceilings, exposed stone walls, high quality mattresses, crisp cotton sheets and bouncy pillows, plus modern bathrooms with power showers and branded toiletries. Turkish rugs, striped bedspreads and muslin drapes add warmth, while antiques impart some old-fashioned charm – an opaline chandelier here, a mirrored armoire there.
There are three ‘special’ rooms: the cosy Blue Room has a small private patio, while the large Terrace Room has a balcony and built-in corner seats for catching the summer sun.
The third special room, the White Room, has a four-poster bed and is favoured by honeymooners. One of the few hotels in Alaçati that’s open all year, Incirliev is centrally heated but these three rooms also have a fireplace – adding to the romance of an off-season stay.
The other 'Incirli' rooms are in a newer annex, but still full of charm; even the three smallest are a generous 25 square metres. All rooms have A/C, a safe, minibar, and internet access, but there are no TVs. “We wired every room for cable TV, but then changed our minds,” says Sabahat. “Nobody has complained and many people have thanked us as it gives them time to talk and relax.”
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Extra beds
- Internet access
- Safe box
Nobody will sleep through breakfast here. It’s a feast of seasonal produce - Osman’s quince, wild cherry, and lemon jam, six kinds of bread, several varieties of olives, locally grown tomatoes and cucumbers drizzled in extra virgin olive oil and fresh oregano, spinach börek, pancakes with ricotta and crispy butter, freshly squeezed orange and pomegranate juice and strong Turkish cay. The setting is equally impressive: a rustic kitchen with antique floor tiles that opens onto the garden. Every afternoon between 5-7pm, guests are treated to an ever-changing selection of sweets and snacks.
Alaçati has plenty of classy restaurants that cater to the cosmopolitan crowd. Agrilia, an excellent Italian in a converted tobacco warehouse, also hosts weekly tango lessons. Trendy Lavanta and Tuval are where weekending Istanbullus go to see and be seen. Seafood is plentiful and delicious: try the spaghetti marinara and mussels wrapped in vine leaves at Kalamata or any of the excellent fish restaurants lining the marina of Dalyankoy. Most meals are rounded off with an ice cream, pudding or liqueur flavoured with mastic, the resinous gum grown exclusively in Çesme and the Greek island of Chios.
- Restaurants nearby
- With an average 330 windy days a year, the Cesme peninsula is one of the world’s best windsurfing spots; beginners should head to Yumru Cove, Cark beach is for the pros
- Find your perfect beach: jet-set Ilica, a 2km stretch of white sand, the child-friendly golden bays of Altinkum, or Pirlanta, popular with kitesurfers
- Catch top Turkish DJs at Otto and Babylon, two of Istanbul’s hottest venues with summer outposts on Cark beach. Famous bands also perform at Ayayorgi and Piyade bay in July and August, attracting huge crowds
- Treat yourself to a thermal spa in the curative hot springs at Ilica and Sifne
- At dusk, climb up to the Acropolis of ancient Erythrai, a national heritage site 20km northeast of Cesme, and watch the sun set over the bay
- Further afield, the spectacular 2500-year-old city of Ephesus is well worth the two-hour drive
- Pick up antiques, cheap clothes, and delicious local produce at Alaçati’s vibrant Saturday market
- Take a day trip to Greece – the unspoiled island of Chios is only an hour’s ferry ride from Cesme
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures