Hotel Alavya, Alacati,Turkey: Room service

You can fall in love with village life in Turkey

It was about two days into my stay in Alacati that I realised I was walking very slowly. My stressed-out city strut had gone and my elbows had been firmly put away as I glided along the cobblestone streets of this idyllic town on Turkey's westernmost peninsula, Cesme.

It was not just the unhurried pace of village life that instilled a sense of calm in me, but a couple of days spent at Alavya. The hotel opened last summer on a tree-shaded street just off Alacati's main square. The story behind it is a sweet one: the owner Erol, bought the property for his wife Rana; she named it in honour of their young son, who couldn't pronounce the English words "I love you" correctly and instead would say it phonetically as, "A-lav-ya". Correspondingly, the hotel's restaurant is called Mitu, as if the parents are calling back "me too".

However, behind the endearing tale is a bold business story: the couple owns Polimeks, one of Turkey's largest construction companies, responsible for erecting government buildings, sporting complexes and shopping centres. While they've delivered hotels for clients before, this is their first personal project – with sister properties planned in Istanbul and the seaside village of Torba.

Perfect match: modern art is mixed with traditional materials Perfect match: modern art is mixed with traditional materials The site they've chosen served at one time as Alacati's open-air cinema. It's a composite of the town's old stone houses and some new-builds that have been crafted to resemble their older neighbours, all standing around a lush, green lawn in the middle. The look is harmonious – and not by accident.

The hotel was designed around the existing gardens, instead of the reverse. The grounds feature bougainvillea-draped perimeter walls, fruit trees and fragrant herb bushes, giving the effect of being in a secret garden. This means that whether sitting by the pool, watching birds and butterflies flit in the branches overhead, or sinking a cocktail beneath the sprawling mulberry bush that reaches out across the restaurant's leafy courtyard, nature surrounds you.

Thoughtful touches make the experience all the more enchanting. The meze-style breakfast goes beyond the normal requirement, with baskets of home-made breads, local cheeses, plump tomatoes and black olives. Chilled fruit juices are produced on arrival and again during hot afternoons by the pool. And little treats are left in the rooms at turn down: a teddy bear one night, a kaleidoscope the next. There's also complimentary bottled water, fresh fruit and home-made biscuits to enjoy. Then, as the sound of the muezzin's call to prayer wafts across the grounds, the magic is complete – it's almost as if the trees are whispering the words, "A-lav-ya".

Location

Fifteen years ago, Alacati was a one-horse town. It was spared the mass development of Turkish resorts further south, thanks to its location – 3km from the nearest beach. Slowly, windsurfers came to dance on the waters that surround the Cesme peninsula and artists started moving in to Alacati's idyllic stone houses.

Restaurateurs followed, setting up atmospheric eateries in hidden courtyards – Agrilia and Asma Yapragi are two of the best. Later, well-heeled types from Istanbul started flocking here for weekend breaks, but it's only recently that the town has begun to catch the attention of tourists from further afield.

The hotel staff are geared up to help you prise the most out of the area – whether it's recommending a boat trip to the Greek Island of Chios or a taxi to Ilica Beach, home to powder-white sands and midnight-blue Aegean waters. On Wednesdays, they also run cycling trips around the area. Bikes are available to borrow at other times, and staff can put you in touch with local surf schools if you want to try the watersports.

Comfort

The 25 rooms are all styled by Turkish designer Hakan Ezer, who has created interiors for the likes of British restaurateur Tom Aikens. The result is a mix of creamy, neutral textiles, balanced against ancient stone walls in some and wood panelling in others, all offset with Turkish kilim rugs and eclectic modern art from the family's private collection.

They range in size from two gargantuan loft suites, one of which has a towering four-poster bed, several hammam-style bathrooms and an outdoor terrace, through to premium rooms that feature pool-facing fronts and concertina-style doors at the back, leading on to snug courtyards. Mine was the smallest option, a Classic Room, though the scale was still generous, with a balcony that delivered garden views. All have Acqua di Parma toiletries, hooded white robes and those all-important extras, which just seem to keep coming.

Travel essentials

Hotel Alavya, Alacati, Cesme, Izmir, Turkey (00 90 232 716 66 32; alavya.com.tr).

Rooms ****

Value ****

Service *****

Doubles start at €190.

Exclusive Escapes (020 8605 3500; exclusiveescapes.co.uk) offers three nights' B&B at Alavya with flights from £700pp.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor