“In the unspoilt wilds of seaside Faralya, 2 villas with 18 laid-back rooms offer peace, romance and fabulous food”
The owner, Ghislain, is well-travelled (born in Izmir, his father was French, his mother British), but this is where his heart lies. He invites his guests to make themselves at home; relax in the gardens or chill by one of the 2 pools; listen to the soothing sounds of, say, Billie Holiday (Ghislain is keen on jazzy-bluesy music, antiques, real fires, old leather chairs) as the sun sets over the Bay of Fethiye. Reconvene each evening for dinner (all stays are half-board), which is a fabulous feast of 5 courses showcasing traditional Turkish cooking. Then, once rested and refuelled, head out to discover the natural joys of the region: unspoilt beaches, rustic hamlets, pine forests, rocky bays, Mount Babadag and beautiful Butterfly Valley - keen walkers will be in paradise. You're only a 10-minute drive from Olu Deniz, but this peaceful spot is a world away from the package-tour crowds.
- The stunning scenery - this is one of the most unsullied corners of Turkey’s southern coast
- The walk down to Kabak beach - through pine-scented woodland, down steep cliff paths, to a magical little bay
- 16 spacious, luxurious rooms and 2 plush Pool Villas - all with private Jacuzzis
- The sheer peace and tranquility (no kids under 12), and the stunning views of the Mediterranean
- The food - breakfast, afternoon tea, 5-course dinners (all included in the room rate) - served in the garden, where the air is perfumed with jasmine and oleander... truly romantic
- The hairpin drive to Faralya - not for novice hire-car drivers with a nervous disposition
- The gardens attract wasps during the summer months
- No night life to speak of, other than a quiet drink after dinner. Guests tend to retire early
- Though rich in walks and wildlife, Faralya is off the beaten track in terms of guide-book attractions. You will want transport, although dolmus (public minibuses) pass by regularly
- Full pre-payment in advance of stay is required
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant + bar (open daily)
- Over 12s only, unless exclusive rental
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
The rooms are spread across both villas, and the décor is typical of Mediterranean Turkey’s traditional style. Every room benefits from a private balcony or garden, plus a Jacuzzi for 2.
Mandarin has 6 Deluxe Double rooms, while Mango has 8 Superior Deluxe rooms (6 doubles, 2 twins). Each flaunts bespoke, hand-carved furniture (some made from cedar wood, which gives an amazing scent to the rooms), antique rugs on marble floors and fresh flowers. The bathrooms are contemporary, with marble and glass showers, and glass basins. Be careful of the glass doors in Mandarin - we kept walking into ours!
There are also 2 suites in Villa Mandarin: both have a cool, airy living room, bedroom and a terrace. The Deluxe Suite on the upper floor sleeps 4 and has a generous private terrace with fantastic views of the sea; the Junior Suite on the ground floor sleeps 3 and has a secluded private garden.
For an extra splurge, there are 2 Pool Villas, which are open plan and very spacious. Each has a private pool, a downstairs living area with a single bed, and an open staircase leading up to a bright and airy main bedroom; we loved its huge panoramic window, which acts as a picture frame for the beautiful views out to sea.
If you're travelling as a large group, there's the option to rent out Villa Mandarin on a self-catering basis. It sleeps up to 12 in 6 double rooms, and has a private kitchen. Plus, of course, you'll have exclusive use of the swimming pool.
- Air conditioning
- Coffee / tea making
- DVD player
- Mosquito net
Your day starts with a leisurely breakfast - fresh fruit and juices, a plate of traditional Turkish cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, eggs to order and crusty bread - usually served in the garden. The jams and marmalades are homemade; eggs are courtesy of Mandarin’s own chickens.
At lunch, guests usually fend for themselves (though there is a lunch menu), but most drift back to the hotel in time for afternoon tea and cakes: a little pick-me-up of traditional Turkish pastries and a pot of tea or Turkish coffee.
The star of the show, however, is the candlelit, 5-course evening meal. Prepare to unbutton your trousers as you tuck into a Turkish feast: usually traditional mezze followed by a meat or fish dish with fresh vegetables, and culminating with homemade cake for dessert. Courses are set each night, though vegetarian meals are available on request.
If you want to eat out at lunchtime or, for a change of scene, in the evening, your best bet is to take a taxi, or a dolmus, to Olu Deniz. There are also a few small, local family-run restaurants nearby. One of the best is the Olive Tree - on a cliff-top terrace overlooking Kabak beach.
- Coffee / tea making
- Dinner by arrangement
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Simply lounge around by the pools, on the low sunbeds or in a little shady corner of the gardens. Some guests barely leave the hotel
- Others come here specifically for the walking and the hotel has immediate access to some wonderful walks: beautiful Kabak beach is a 45-minute hike along cliff paths. Aktas (20-30 minutes' walk) leads to a tiny beach/ rock shelf, where you can swim in clear water
- For a more challenging walk (more of a climb) try Butterfly Valley, an hour-long descent along steep, stony goat tracks to a glittering bay and sandy beach
- For a quiet, civilised beach experience, head for Kidrak (10 minutes by car or dolmus). There is an entrance fee, but it’s a peach of a beach, and in the quieter months (June or October) you can virtually have the place to yourself
- Visit Fethiye (21km) for shopping, sightseeing (Lycian tombs, Roman theatre, the Archaeological Museum), hanging out in harbour bars or lunching in one of the town's many excellent restaurants; there's an International Culture and Arts Festival mid-May
- Explore one of the region’s ancient cities - the ruined remains of the Roman and Lycian civilisations are everywhere. Our favourites are Tlos and the lesser known Cadianda, near Uzumlu, in the hills north of Fethiye
- The hotel can organise a variety of tours and activities: a cruise on a gulet (traditional wooden boat), guided archaeological tours and walking weeks, photography and Turkish cuisine, scuba diving in Olu Deniz or Fethiye, horse riding, waterskiing, paragliding over Fethiye bay
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Scuba diving
- Scuba diving courses
- Shopping / markets