Likya Gardens Hotel

Kalkan, Mediterranean Coast, Turkey Book from £247

An uber-romantic adults-only hotel on the Turquoise Coast with private plunge pools, cabanas and sea views for every spoiling suite
In recent years, Turkey has undergone an impressive re-vamp. A growing number of chic retreats have sprung up along its glorious (and mostly unspoilt) coastline, attracting those in search of total relaxation. Leading this trend are the atmospheric and historically significant fishing villages of the stunning Turquoise Coast. In Kas, Peninsula Gardens introduced a sophisticated alternative to panysion accommodation, and it was so successful that its owners have since launched this beautiful bolthole in neighbouring Kalkan.

Our expectations where certainly high thanks to the standards set by its older sibling, but we needn't have doubted the luxury that awaited us. There it lay, perched on the edge of the peninsula overlooking the azure bay; cleverly hidden away from prying eyes and the noise of the town. And despite having road-tripped along an extraordinary cliff-side road between a string of spectacular seaside towns, we still were blown away. With just 7 sumptuous suites, each with a private plunge pool, a sun-drenched deck and a palm-fringed cabana by the sea, it’s the perfect hideaway for couples seeking secluded romance. No detail has gone overlooked, from antique pine floors to brass lamps and sumptuous loungers. We felt spoilt, and were spoilt. Perhaps we’d cancel the rest of the drive and hole up here…

Highs

  • Incredibly warm and welcoming staff, who go out of their way to make you feel completely at ease while providing you with all the space you desire; a hard balance to strike
  • Spacious, chic and spoiling suites with wonderful views of Kalkan Bay and private plunge pools
  • A private Beach Club on the seafront, with a cabana for each hotel room. You'll find an iPod dock, minibar, loungers and butler service, plus a ladder into the sea
  • A perfect base for exploring the Turquoise Coast's hidden coves by gulet, and stunning Patara beach is an easy drive away
  • A chilled-out destination, ideal for a restorative and romantic holiday (no children or day-trippers allowed)

Lows

  • No on-site restaurant; breakfast is delivered to your room, and other meals are on request. There are numerous eateries a short stroll away in Kalkan, however
  • It’s a long drive from Dalaman airport; you’ll want to hole up here for a while to recover. Alternatively book a transfer and rent a car in town, or do as we did and travel from town to town
  • Expensive for Turkey, there's a 3-night minimum stay, and payment and cancellation policies are strict
  • You'll have to walk a short distance to your plunge pool if you're staying in a Superior Suite. Also, they are overlooked so not as private as you may like
  • Staying in Kalkan isn’t necessarily an authentic Anatolian experience - two thirds of Kalkan’s population are British expats - but the old town is very pretty

Best time to go

The hotel is open from May to November. May is an ideal month to visit the region as temperatures can climb to 40 degrees in July and August. It is also less busy in May and June. September and October are also lovely, with cooler evenings but a warmer sea.

Our top tips

The Patara region is a national park and key biodiversity area with heaps of birdlife. Keep your eyes peeled for woodpeckers and nightingales as you walk.

Great for...

Beach
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 7
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • 14+ year olds only
  • Closed: 4 Nov 2015 - 24 Apr 2016
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Beach club
Room:

Rooms

The 7 spacious suites are light-filled and modern with classic Art Deco, and Ottoman influences. Each is slightly different, but all are decorated in a bright, white palette, with hints of pistachio, silver and purple in the opulent furnishings. Beds are a mixture of kingsize and four-poster, dressed in crisp white linens, and there are plush velvet chaise lounges, wingback chairs and large dressing tables. Marble bathrooms are equally impressive, with large drench shower heads and deep roll-top bathtubs, most in-room. Acqua Di Parma toiletries and kimono-style dressing gowns are a nice additional touch.

Best of all, though, are the spectacular sea views from your private terrace and plunge pool. The Superior Suites (Huma and Gulbahar) and Deluxe Suites (Kosem and Hurrem) are on the second floor of the hotel with little balconies to lounge on, and a plunge pool surrounded by decking a short stroll away. Larger suites have their plunge or lap pool directly outside their door.

We were lucky enough to be in the breath-taking Nurbanu Signature Suite, whose 2 glass walls open onto the huge terrace. On it, you’ll find your large plunge pool surrounded by lanterns, loungers, and tables for 2 so you can dine under the stars. The very private Mihrimah Penthouse Suite stretches over 2 floors, with amazing views of Kalkan Bay, stylish rattan furniture, cushioned daybeds and shady gazebos by its infinity plunge pool. If you want to swim laps, go for the gorgeous Garden Suite (Esma), which has a long, thin pool, an outdoor dining area and an in-room Jacuzzi.

Each suite comes with WiFi, an iPod dock, an espresso machine, a DVD player and a minibar. Oh, and did we mention staff just a push of a button away...?

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Beach towels
  • Butler service
  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dvd player
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Plunge pool
  • Plunge pool
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Slippers
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

The hotel doesn't have a restaurant; instead it offers a butler service for meals, which is available all day. Food is a simple mix of Mediterranean with a Turkish twist; think pasta, burgers and salads. Meals and snacks can all be served to your terrace, seafront cabana or pool.

Breakfast is served whenever you fancy until 11am. You fill out a multiple choice card the day before - just be wary of filling it out on an empty stomach, as we ended up with a little too much food one morning! We enjoyed crepes with honey and lemon, as well as fresh fruit salad and yoghurt, but were tempted by eggs, cheese and vegetables (the more Turkish option!). All were delicious, though we were disappointed to find that our juice was very watered down.

As a thank you for booking through i-escape, guests are able to enjoy a BBQ meal at sister hotel Likya Pavilions (a 5-minute walk away). It’s certainly one of the most impressive BBQs we’ve ever tasted, with numerous traditional Turkish mezes (bean salad, tzaziki, cheese and walnuts, stuffed vine leaves, chilli salad and more) appearing before the main event arrived - our waiter kept telling us to not fill up on bread! Do note that you will have to be a lover of grilled meat to enjoy the main, which consists of lots of kebabs, lamb wraps and meatballs, as well as a succulent piece of chicken.

If you fancy a change of scene, stroll into town where you'll find a huge number of restaurants and bars. We had an exceptional meze lunch in Akin and a relaxed dinner with cocktails in Coast on the harbourfront; Mussaka, Trio and Aubergine all get good reports, too. Do note that the walk takes about 15 minutes along a dirt track, so wear comfy shoes or catch a taxi.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Sip cocktails in your private seafront cabana (each room is allocated one), chilling out to your own playlist on the iPod dock. Then climb down your ladder or jump off the deck for a quick dip in the warm sea
  • Alternatively, head to the beach club across the way (hotel guests have free access) for a different vantage point of the cove
  • Chill out on one of Turkey’s stunning stretches of sand - our favourite, Patara, is a gorgeous 12km expanse. It's an easy drive away, as is Kaputas. Kalkan has a blue-flag pebbled beach
  • Whilst at Patara, visit the ruins of the ancient city, which include an amphitheatre, temples and Roman baths
  • Head to the magnificent Saklikent Gorge (Europe's second deepest gorge), where you can go walking, rafting and tubing
  • Explore the cobbled streets of Kalkan with its harbour-side restaurants and rug shops, stopping to sip spiced çay (tea) in the sun
  • Book a trip on the hotel’s boat. We spent a day drifting between hidden coves, swimming and snorkelling in the crystal-blue sea. You can also go on visits to Kekova (the sunken city) or Patara
  • Alternatively jump on a sociable gulet cruise from Kalkan Harbour (daily trips leave at 10am, but get there early to avoid disappointment)
  • Hike part of the Lycian Way, home to several archaeological sites - the spectacular route stretches for 400km and passes through Kalkan. Wear sturdy shoes and take plenty of water and suncream
  • Take a trip to ancient Myra for its impressive rock tombs and amphitheatre. Stop in at Demre on the way, to visit Saint Nicholas' tomb
  • Go on a boat ride from Kas out to the charming Greek island of Meis (Kastellorizo) with its pretty waterfront shops and churches
  • Relax with a massage in your private cabana. Your butler can also arrange tennis, horse riding and fishing trips

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Private guided tours
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Yoga

Kids

Children over 14 are welcome, but there are no extra beds or activities on site.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
8/
Food
10/
Service
8/
Value
9/
Overall

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