Turkey is fast becoming one of the most luxurious hot-spots for jetsetters
High end spa treatments and 5 star service as standard
Exclusive bars and restaurants with paramount views in the glorious sunshine
Sometimes getting away doesn’t mean the nearest sight-seeing holiday or an excuse for a boozy trip abroad. Often enough you just want to actually get away, to relax in calmness without the intrusions of the outside world.
That’s precisely what D-Resort’s quietest hotel aims to do.
From the offset D-Resort Gocek feels more like a holistic wellbeing getaway than a Turkish resort. Not that the two things are mutually exclusive of course, but the latter does have a certain reputation, one more along the lines of middle-aged tanning-bed residents and all-inclusive cocktails than a well-rounded spa experience.
Nevertheless, it’s not just the three-floor spa and gym dominating the centre of the resort that gives it that feeling of a much-needed getaway. There are no high-rise blocks here, just small groups of 10 or so rooms in their own buildings, giving the whole place a village feel. That said the spa treatments are exceptional and, while there’s no indoor pool, there’s a vitality pool and hammam to round off the usual treatment offerings.
The actual village of Gocek is separated from the hotel by barely a dusty road and has a few shops that certainly cater to the luxury feel you expect from D-Resort. Other than that it’s a typical coastal village, complete with fishing boats, convenience stores and a wedding apparently every weekend.
Each of the apartment buildings has its own pool and while they aren’t as spacious as some resorts, their nautical blue and white themes give them a calm, relaxing ambience – all the better if you have a view of the marina. I did; it was spectacular.
That marina is actually one of the key reasons anyone should stay at D-Resort Gocek. It’s actually owned by the group and while it might be the reason the hotel’s private beach is a buggy ride away, it also makes the resort the perfect stop-off or departure point for a long cruise. It’s easy to imagine rocking up in a sunseeker and spending a couple days recuperating and losing your sea legs over a massage, drinks and some good food.
The last comes courtesy of the resort’s two restaurants, the first of which is Günaydın, a steakhouse that doubles as a butcher and kebab house. Vegetarians shouldn’t even contemplate a visit; we opted for a tasting affair which included more cuts of meat than I’d care to name, including but not limited to fillet steak and local spicy kebabs. My mouth waters at every memory of those kebabs…
If you want something a little more elegant however, there’s also Q-Lounge, a hill-top restaurant that makes the most of its panoramas. It’s set just above the beach and the views of the blue waters dotted with green islands is almost as enrapturing as its cocktails. Almost. That particular list is extensive, though I do suggest the volcano – fiery, fruity and just what you need in humid 32-degree heat.
The food is the kind of fare you’ll have tried at London’s Sushisamba or Zuma (with whom is shares an architect). Think sushi with bolder flavours and fish you’d normally find in a ceviche. Between flowing cocktails, sharing platters and an all-night DJ, ‘lounge’ is definitely the right word for it. If you go with a group, you’ll find yourself there every night.
As for the days, D-Resort Gocek is pretty relaxed and there’s not a vast amount to do in the way of sightseeing in the area. That said, the hotel does have its own yacht which guests can rent for the day, complete with an endless fridge of wine and someone to serve it. There are plenty of secluded little coves in the area perfect for a swim. Though there’s not all that much point snorkelling as brown is the main colour of the sea floor and fish in the area, even if the water is beautifully clear.
Other than that there’s not much to do other than while away the hours at the beach, either on the swinging loungers or in beachfront restaurant Breeze, lounge around with fine food and drinks or spend the day at the spa. For some that might not be enough; for me, it was just about perfect.
Words by: Sam Kessler