Tas Otel

Alacati, Aegean Coast, Turkey Book from

Reviewed by Rachel Howard
Romantic, rustic-chic guesthouse and family-friendly villas that put Alacati, the best-preserved town on Turkey’s Aegean coast, on the map
Alacati was a sleepy backwater until the gusty bays nearby were discovered by windsurfers in the 1990s. Now, it’s one of Turkey’s best-preserved towns - largely thanks to the charismatic Zeynep Ozis, who abandoned a high-flying marketing career to convert a century-old mansion into a bijou guesthouse. “My ex-husband told me I’d be better off becoming a Formula One driver than running a hotel,” Zeynep laughs. How wrong he was. Tas - the first hotel in Alacati when it opened in 2001 - has spawned dozens of copycats, but still remains the most popular.

No wonder. Everything feels effortless, from the gracious welcome to the 7 antique-chic bedrooms (located in the main guesthouse) with their floral quilts, embroidered linens and whitewashed walls. There’s a pool garden for lazy summer afternoons, and a fireplace for curling up beside on winter afternoons. For those seeking a little more independence, there are 2 gorgeous stone private villas next door with basic kitchens and secluded gardens. And come evening, it's a joy to venture out to the chi-chi boutiques and gourmet restaurants up the road.

“A British reviewer once called our hotel 'unpretentious',” says Zeynep. “I didn’t know the word, but when I looked it up I thought: yes, that’s the secret of our success!”


  • The intimate, easygoing atmosphere - you’ll feel more like a house guest than a customer
  • Lovely local staff who are eager to share their insider tips
  • Fabulous breakfast feasts on the vine-shaded patio, plus complimentary afternoon teas with homemade cakes
  • The tranquil walled garden with a pool and hammock (both the guesthouse rooms and private villas come with one) - you’ll feel secluded from the holiday crowds and high winds even in peak season
  • Beautiful sandy beaches 2km away, great watersports centres for windsurfing and diving, and Alacati itself - cobbled and charming with alfresco classical concerts in summer


  • Antique wooden floors means in the main guesthouse you might hear your neighbours coming and going
  • Blue Room (#1) is small and only one room (Blue Room #2) has a tiny balcony, but the lovely communal garden makes up for that
  • The private villas face each other across their shared garden and pool, so perhaps not for those who want complete privacy
  • No children under 12 in the main guesthouse, except by special request - a high for some. All ages welcome in the private villas

Best time to go

For gentle coastal walks, go in April and May. To enjoy the beaches without the crowds, go in June or September. Avoid July and August, when the region is overrun with Turkish holidaymakers; after August 30 - a national holiday - the hordes disperse. Guests can join in the olive harvest in late October. Rates drop in winter, but many restaurants and shops are closed, except on weekends.

Our top tips

  • Time your stay to include the wonderful Saturday antique market
  • A long weekend is enough to get to know Alacati, but a week would allow time to explore the region’s many beaches and historic sights
  • Pack some dressy clothes for evenings in Alacati’s fancy restaurants - Turkish tourists definitely like to dress up for dinner
  • Leave enough room in your luggage to stash souvenirs: olive oil, lavender, ceramics and linens
  • Great for...

    Cheap & Chic
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique B&B
    • 7 rooms + 2 cottages
    • Breakfast only (+ walk to off-site restaurants)
    • All ages welcome (restrictions apply)
    • Open all year
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    • Concierge Service
    Room: Room 6


    These rooms are made for romance. There are 5 doubles and 2 twin rooms in the main guesthouse, which vary in size (Blue Rooms or Large Rooms), in keeping with the original layout of the house. Some overlook the garden, others the lane. All are on the first floor, except one of the Large Rooms, which is in a stone cottage guarded by a pair of palm trees - ideal for courting couples. If you plan to stay more than a couple of nights, opt for a Large Room.

    The décor is rustic luxe: lace-trim curtains, polished pinewood floors, beamed ceilings and antique dressers with vanity mirrors. Inviting beds are draped with mosquito nets, pretty patchwork quilts and crisp linens. Whitewashed walls are offset with vibrant kilims and baby blue woodwork - Zeynep tried 13 shades of blue before she was satisfied, an indication of the extraordinary attention to detail throughout the hotel. Original built-in cupboards provide ample storage space.

    Bathrooms are small but spotless, with walk-in power showers, fluffy bathrobes, and olive oil soap, shampoo and shower gel.

    All rooms have air con, though stone walls and high ceilings provide natural cool. There’s WiFi throughout, but no TVs, phones or minibars. Instead, browse the library of books and jazz CDs in the cosy living room.

    We’re yet to see the 2 private villas next to the main guesthouse, but they come in 2 sizes - small or large - and the décor appears to be very similar to that of the guesthouse rooms. The Small Private Villa has a twin bedroom, and perhaps looks a little dark, while the 2-bedroom Large Private Villa seems brighter> It has a master bedroom, a bathroom with tub, a fireplace and a terrace in the garden. Both villas have a living area and a kitchen area, plus they both overlook, and share, a pool in a gorgeous garden full of bougainvillea. All ages are welcome in the private villas, and guests have access to all the facilities at the main guesthouse.

    Features include:

    • Air conditioning
    • Bathrobes
    • Extra beds
    • Hairdryer
    • Mosquito net
    • Safe box
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi


    Breakfast, served on the terrace in the main guesthouse until noon, is a traditional Turkish spread with knobs on: simit (sesame bagels) and warm rolls baked by the neighbour Mrs Ferhunde, home-grown olives, boiled eggs, kasar, tulum and feta cheeses, spicy ricotta and walnut spread, tomatoes, cucumbers, pine honey, home-made fig, quince and watermelon jams, fresh orange juice and seasonal fruit.

    Throughout the day, the tempting aroma of carrot cake or lemon tart wafts through the lobby from the gorgeous country kitchen. Most guests rush back from the beach by 6pm so they don’t miss this complimentary afternoon tea. Those who can’t tear themselves away from the pool full stop are refreshed with minted lemonade, or gin and tonics flavoured with fresh basil.

    Those staying in the private villas can self-cater, though they do have breakfast included in their rates (eaten in the main guesthouse). The Large Private Villa has a full kitchen (cooker and fridge/freezer) while the Small Private Villa has a simpler kitchenette.

    Alacati has plenty of classy (and pricey) restaurants. Agrilia, an atmospheric Italian in an old tobacco warehouse, serves fabulous artichoke and pistachio papardelle, T-bone steaks, and weekly tango lessons. Lavanta and Tuval - offering sophisticated Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine - are where weekending Istanbullus go to see and be seen. For seafood, pick any of the scenic restaurants along the harbour of Dalyankoy. Imren Patisserie specialises in sweets flavoured with mastic, grown exclusively in Cesme and Chios. Another local ‘delicacy’ is kumru - a grilled sausage, cheese and tomato sandwich.

    Features include:

    • Afternoon tea
    • Bar
    • Breakfast
    • Restaurants nearby


    • Bliss out by the pool; the tranquil garden is filled with olive, palm and cypress trees, vines of jasmine and honeysuckle and beds of geraniums, lavender and daisies - it's hard to leave
    • Wander through Alacati’s cobbled streets, browsing the tasteful cafés, galleries and craft shops - there’s not a plastic chair in sight
    • Trawl the lively Saturday market, centred around Pazaryeri Mosque, for antique vases, delicious melons and artichokes, and bargain Lacoste samples
    • Soak up the scene at Ilica beach - 2km of pure white sand and underwater hot springs
    • Learn how to windsurf, kitesurf or scuba dive at one of the many watersports centres on the Cesme peninsula; sheltered Yumru Cove is ideal for beginners
    • Get dirty in Sifne Bay’s mud baths, whose therapeutic effects were praised by Pausanias back in 146AD
    • Enjoy alfresco classical music concerts in Alacati’s main square in summer
    • Take a boat trip to the sandy coves of Donkey Island, 5km from Cesme
    • Dance under the stars at trendy beach bars like Babylon and Otto
    • Take a day trip to admire the magnificent Roman ruins at Ephesus (150km)

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Classical concerts
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Scuba diving
    • Scuba diving courses
    • Shopping / markets
    • Snorkelling
    • Swimming
    • Well being
    • Windsurfing


    The policy is children over 12 only in the main guesthouse, but a younger child can sometimes be accommodated in Large Room (#8) by request. Children of all ages are welcome in the private villas. Teenagers will enjoy the watersports and beach bars nearby.

    Best for:

    Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    The Small and Large Private Villas can both sleep up to 5. The Large Private Villa has 2 bedrooms (1 double and 1 twin) and can fit an extra mattress, while the Small Private Villa has a twin bedroom, plus the option of adding 2 single beds in the living area, and an extra mattress, too.

    Baby equipment:

    There are 2 baby cots available for use in Large Room 8 or the private villas - request in advance

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

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