A terribly short history of hotels in Turkey

When we first sent guests to Turkey, way back in 1988, the accommodation that we provided tended to be located in the more unspoilt resorts of Olu Deniz, Kalkan, and Kas. The accommodation consisted of very simple ‘Pansiyons’ or guest houses. Often these were converted farmers houses or even stables with about 5 or 6 bedrooms, no pool but within a short stroll to the water’s edge.

Basically the farmers owned the land near the beaches and more and more entrepreneurial Turks bought up the land for what the farmers thought was a fortune but was really a pittance.  These entrepreneurs built a slightly better standard of Pansyion and added small pools. With the influx of more and more British tour operators the accommodations became bigger and ‘better’ and the pools became larger and of course air-conditioning became the norm.

To cut a long story short, Olu Deniz, which once was the most beautiful resort in Turkey, became a ‘bucket and spade’ resort with burger bars, fish and chip shops discos and even a MacDonalds in nearby Fethiye. The price of so called progress.

Kalkan and Kas have, however, thanks to responsible tour operators (Tapestry Holidays and Discerning Collection) and decent restrictions on building, managed to retain most of thier original charm. These two harbour towns have one thing in common that has saved them from mass tourism….no beaches! Now you’d think this would be a massive negative for its tourism. Quite the contrary, both Kalkan and Kas are flourishing with very discerning guests from the UK market and the main types of build are classy villas with private pools and boutique hotels that have no more than a maximum of 40 rooms. The Likya and Asfiya are two such boutique properties as are the Likya View Villas which are ideally located within a 7 minutes’ walk to the harbour.

What has also preserved these two resorts is the wealth of fabulously good restaurants that offer near Michelin star food and service at a tenth of the price….and with serious sea views.

However, both Kas and Kalkan have upped their game once again. Not content with the truly stunning Likya Residence and Spa (one of only eight officially listed  Boutique hotels in Turkey), Kalkan has now added the Likya Boutique…six duplex rooms each with their own private pool and stunning sea views. In Kas, the Kas Peninsula has 18 rooms, 13 of which have their own pools and the accommodation also benefits from its location by the waters edge. Service is absolutely fantastic and the Likya properties boast  62% repeat business year on year. Most of our guests will book these properties again with many of them requesting the same room and I believe we are one of the only tour operators that can confirm your room at the time of booking…..a truly unique service.

There is no substitute for service and many in the travel industry only offer lip service to this fundamental attribute to holidays. What’s so refreshing is that over the years with all the improvements in accommodation Kalkan and especially the Likya group of hotels and private villas has always kept service at the forefront of its raison d’etre and I urge you all to make a visit to these truly beautiful properties.


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