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Published on April 14th, 2014 | by The Town Crier


Travel – The White Stuff

Some people choose their beach holidays by country, some people choose them by resort, but we do it by hotel – and there’s only one hotel that will do. It’s called Hillside Su and it’s in Antalya in Turkey. We came across it a few years ago entirely by accident. Most years we take a holiday with a couple of friends we’ve known since we were teenagers. They have a daughter the same age as ours so it works out very well. During the annual internet holiday hunt, my wife’s friend, our holiday hunter in chief, came across a package trip to Antalya. The resort looked good, the price was right and the hotel looked sensational – we booked it.

The first thing you notice about Hillside Su is that it is big; it dominates the stretch of beach it sits on. The second thing you notice is that it is white, very white. I’m not kidding, the walls are white, the floors are white and all the furniture is white. The sunbeds by the pool are white, though at least it has teak decking to distract from all the whiteness. By some miracle of maintenance, all these white things are kept spotless at all times. Now you might think that all this whiteness is a bit much, too much of a good thing but when the sun goes down, everything changes. The lighting in Hillside Su is quite literally amazing. In the spectacular foyer which rises the full height of the hotel, the room is bathed in purple and orange light while a row of huge glitter balls refract a crazy disco display of white dots over the walls and floor. Even the bedrooms have their own complement of concealed mood lighting; it’s like something out of Grand Designs.

With such a cool hotel, everything else should be cool as well and I’m pleased to say that it is. The music that is piped into the bars and restaurants is chilled jazz funk and the hotel seems to have a policy of only employing cool people. They are all good at their job too, not something you’d necessarily expect from a hotel where half of the guests booked through Thomas Cook.

Antalya itself is a very nice resort, though the hotel is a couple of miles outside it so you have to take a cab. There is an old town with winding cobbled streets and plenty of bars and restaurants. There’s also a huge bazaar where we’ve spent many a happy hour haggling over shoes and handbags. The resort also has a small harbour where you can hire a boat and crew for the day. You have to haggle like mad but, once you’ve done that, the price is very reasonable and it’s a fantastic way to spend the day. There’s also a mega shopping mall to the east of the town.

Really though, we spend most of our time at the hotel. The beach is great, with plenty of water sports on hand if you’re that way inclined. There aren’t too many touts either, which can often be a problem in Turkey. The pool is very classy too and long enough to train for the Olympics’ if that’s how you like to spend your holidays. Wherever you go, there’s always a bar nearby to serve you up a long cool drink.

As the sun goes down, we make our way to the beach bar. Like the rest of the hotel, it is almost entirely white with sensational lighting effects that are briefly put in the shade by the sunset. Cool music drifts from the stereo and the cool bar tenders serve up the most amazing cocktails. All of them are lethal to some extent and it’s a foolish man who drinks more than three of them but, while I’m there, there is no place on earth I’d rather be.

I’ve just booked my third holiday to Hillside Su for this summer. I’m dreaming of it already.

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