Thursday, 13 June 2019

Hotel Review: 5 Days at Hillside Beach Club, Turkey.

Recently I spent five days at the luxury five-star Hillside Beach Club in Fethiye, Turkey, as part of their Global Influencer Meet-up. Every year they hold the meet-up with influencers from key markets all over the world, and this year I was incredibly lucky to be one of them. I had THE BEST time ever over my five days there, and have so much to tell you all about and so many photos to share of the beautiful resort! So, grab a cuppa (or cocktail!) and settle down, this is a big one...

Location of Hillside Beach Club

We arrived into Dalaman airport on Thursday afternoon, and our lovely driver was ready and waiting for us at the entrance to the airport! Thankfully Hillside is a very digital-savvy resort, and so the car we were in had free WiFi, which was ideal for our hour-long drive along the stunning Turkish coastline and through the mountains - you're going to want to upload photos to Instagram ASAP.

The resort itself is set at the foot of a mountain on the coastline, right opposite the Greek island of Rhodes. This is a very safe part of Turkey and the entire Dalaman coast is incredibly safe. The resort is inaccessible to anyone who isn't a guest, and there are guards stationed at the entrance to the resort. We were lucky enough to jump out of the car at the top of the hotel entrance to snap some photos of the dramatic views...

Rooms at Hillside Beach Club

Every room at Hillside has an impressive view over the ocean! The rooms are perched on the edge of the mountain as the resort wanted to do everything they could to minimise their impact on the land, and the result is that every guest has a version of this stunning view...

We checked in at the reception and then a golf buggy took us to our rooms with our luggage. As I entered my room I walked straight into a gorgeous terrace with a comfy sofa from which to watch the sunset, and there were separate double doors leading to the bedroom. 

The bathroom was open-air - there was a beaded curtain giving some privacy from the enclosed terrace, and then frosted glass doors to the toilet and shower on either side of the sink area. I actually really loved this and it felt very tropical and holiday-y! 

The bedroom itself was well appointed and absolutely stunning in all white, with soft beige and blue accents. There was a large bed which faced the double glass doors overlooking the terrace, a dressing table with stool and large mirror, and a huge walk-in wardrobe with plenty of hanging space, shelves, a safe, and a full-length mirror.

The Beaches at Hillside Beach Club

The beaches at Hillside Beach Club were without a doubt my favourite thing about the resort! There are three beaches at Hillside, with two of them being adults only, and the big main beach being for everyone. The main beach stretches the entirety of the front of the resort where the swimming pool and restaurants are. I wasn't a huge fan of this beach as although beautiful, it was quite noisy with lots of small children, however the two adult-only beaches were absolute bliss...

My favourite was Silent Beach, which is tucked around the corner and a short walk from the main beach. The walk itself is beautiful, and en-route to the beach there are two floating decks with big squishy sunbeds and umbrellas on them! This was my absolute favourite place to relax and sunbathe while I was staying at Hillside. I adore boats and being on the ocean, so for me the bobbing gently up and down on the floating deck was just pure bliss. I did however also love Silent Beach, with the same squishy and comfy sunbeds, it was the ideal place to go for a quick dip in the ocean when you needed to cool off!

Serenity Beach is the other adults-only beach. This one is a little further than Silent, and you either need to walk the 15-minute walk round the edge of the mountain (sounds much scarier and harder work than it actually is), or get the 5-minute boat ride which goes from the main jetty every half hour. I went to Serenity a few times, a couple of times taking the boat, and a couple of times walking. The walk is really lovely and well-worth doing at least once! Serenity Beach is incredibly quiet and it has its own bar from which to order drinks.

Another thing I LOVED about Hillside was their bar service! Every single sunbed has a buzzer next to it with a letter and number. You press the buzzer and a waiter comes and takes your order so you never have to move from your sunbed. Even better? THERE IS AN APP. Yes, an app. I got so excited about this and ordered so many drinks with it! It's so quick and easy and means you get your drink faster than if a waiter has to come and take your order first. You simply choose what drink you want from the menu, click order, type in the code of your sunbed, and ta-da - it arrives! 

Spa at Hillside Beach Club

You guys. The resort has two spas and omg they are literally incredible. I indulged massively and had two massages and a body scrub while I was at Hillside, but they're so cheap compared to London - and so much better - that I just had to do it! Hillside Beach Club have a Nature Spa, which is located right by Silent Beach and is nestled amongst the trees on the mountain-side, and then there's also the Day Spa which is in the main resort area and more of a traditional hotel spa with a Hammam, Sauna, Jacuzzi, and treatment rooms.

At the start of my stay I visited the Nature Spa and had a one-hour body scrub and then a one-hour massage immediately after, and oh my goodness I was so relaxed I literally woke up at the end of the massage drooling (so awks) from the state of relaxation I was in! My skin was also baby soft after the body scrub.

At the Day Spa I had a Hot Stone Massage which is my favourite type of massage (it's especially good when *ahem* ladies it's that time of the month - which I wasn't this time, but I often have them when I am as they make me feel so much better). It was dreamy, and I loved being able to use the Jacuzzi and Sauna afterwards. 

Food at Hillside Beach Club

Technically Hillside is full-board rather than all-inclusive, as you do have to pay extra for drinks at the beach, and food at certain food places, but it's very well-priced for the quality (the ice-cream is ah-mazing). All main meals are included though and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of all of the food! 

I will say though, that if you're after a more a la carte style of food you're better off dining at the Beach Bar and Pasha restaurant. They're more relaxed and stylish, and less intense with the amount of food on offer. I found all of the food to be really fresh and delicious, especially at the Beach Bar which was my favourite place to get lunch! We also had a really beautiful group dinner at Pasha restaurant one evening, which ended with a 'White Night' party.

The main restaurant is very big, and the amount of food can be quite overwhelming. Everything was of a good quality though and I enjoyed a lot of what they had on offer. They do everything from fresh pasta, fresh fish, grilled meats, salads, etc, to the biggest dessert station I have ever seen in my life! I love how they make most things right in-front of you so you know it's fresh.

I've honestly never seen anything like it, and on our first night I tried a little bit of lots of different things because I just couldn't decide what to have! I found the best desserts though were the traditional Baklava's, and the tarts etc. The cheesecakes and cakes tasted a little meh, and I left a few as I figured they weren't worth the calories, but hey, I'm fussy when it comes to dessert!

Breakfast was a similar affair with stations for fruit, salads, hot breakfast items, pancakes etc. At Pasha I loved the omelettes, fresh crepes, and the relaxed style of the restaurant!

Activities & Nightlife at Hillside Beach Club

There are so many things to do at Hillside! Kids can do everything from learning how to DJ to learning to sail, while adults can get involved with various workshops, watersports activities, and diving. 

We went on a Sunset Cruise one evening and it was so magical. My soul felt so at-peace being out on the ocean again (I'm SUCH a waterbaby), and the meditation workshop we did on the boat was incredibly peaceful and relaxing.

One morning we also drove out to Kayakoy village which is another thing that all guests are able to do. We walked around the village for about half an hour, and it felt so eerie. Apparently the Greeks used to live there but a lot of them were killed during the massacres of Greeks and other Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. This meant the majority of Kayakoy's 6,500 inhabitants either died or became propertyless refugees and were sent back to Greece. The history of the village is hauntingly sad, and the entire town turned to rubble when a huge earthquake struck in the 1950s.

After Kayakoy we had tea and a delicious lunch at a beautiful cafe called Senit Ekmek!

As well as excursions and activities, Hillside Beach Club also puts on a number of shows, parties, and silent movie nights on the beach. It's such a great place for all ages as there really is something for everyone! I loved the Pasha White Party on the Saturday night, but I will say that if you're hoping to catch up on sleep whilst at Hillside you might want to take some earplugs as the parties don't stop until 11pm, and you can hear the music *very* clearly whilst trying to sleep as we all discovered on a couple of other nights when we weren't actually at the party. 

Overall Thoughts

I spent five days at Hillside Beach Club and I honestly absolutely loved it! I've had a really intense 12-months and I hadn't had a relaxing trip where I just chill-out and sit on a beach for almost a year! All of my trips have been really intense and full-on lately, especially with my exhausting recent Roadtrip in the USA. 

Hillside was the perfect place to unwind and relax, and I loved it so much I'm actually looking to go back and pay for a holiday there myself because I enjoyed it so much and think it's such a magical place! I just loved how you don't feel as though you *have* to leave the resort to go and do things, everything is right there and it was honestly heaven. It's so picturesque and pretty, the weather was glorious, the beach was perfect in every way, and I miss my lazy days of just eating, swimming, sunbathing, reading, repeat.

If you're looking for a relaxing week in the sunshine doing absolutely nothing, with beautiful surroundings and a short flight from the UK, I can't recommend Hillside Beach Club enough! 

*I was part of a press trip to Hillside, and as such my trip was complimentary. However all views are my own, and I loved it so much I'm genuinely planning to go back and pay to stay there again. 


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