FAM trip to the Turkish Riviera 

Co-hosting my first Familiarisation trip was always going to be special. D Resort Gocek and D Maris Bay gifted memories that I will cherish forever.  

My debut fam trip as a Sales Manager, with Theresa alongside, sharing invaluable skills and insights as my mentor. Writing this blog brings goosebumps of pride – Theresa is such an inspiration.

This trip also welcomed in my 40th Birthday on our last day. Dipping into a Christian Dior branded pool – it can’t get much better than that!

With both resorts being easily accessible from Dalaman airport, we took advantage of the BA lounge before heading to the sunshine arriving 3 hours and 20 minutes later and a short transfer of 20 minutes took us to the dreamy marina town of Gocek. Part of the Dogus Hospitality Group, D Resort is sister to D Maris Bay and Argos in Cappadocia.

Walking into the bright breezy lobby, we were welcomed by the wonderful Hatice and Barkan. I met Hatice a few months prior at our showcase in London. Her presentation for the resort didn’t disappoint – a stylish, contemporary design with a super homely feel.  With all our supportive agents greeted, we headed to D Breeze restaurant perched over the water’s edge, a private beach to one side and the exclusive marina on the other  – paradise. Glancing into the crystal waters, we savoured a mezze platter and our first of many seriously delicious meals.

There is something exciting about arriving in the evening, there’s a sense of anticipation for the next morning. Finally reaching my room with fresh linens  and a nautical theme, I closed my eyes in my luxurious four poster bed.

With a pre breakfast morning stretch on the itinerary, Theresa and the agents centred themselves in the outdoor wellbeing studio but I opted for a run in the superbly equipped gym. Wellbeing and fitness enthusiasts would be at home here as guests can enjoy numerous activities such as Ariel yoga, Pilates, complimentary bike hire, and of course sailing on the hotels private yacht.

Breakfast is a feast for the eyes – so many delicious options to stay healthy or go for it with the vast patisserie corner.

A site inspection was next on the agenda. D Resort is open year-round so in Winter a good combination with Istanbul for those happy to enjoy temperate weather rather than the heady temperatures of summer. 103 elegant room and suites are set in two storey buildings, nestled between waterways, swimming pools and meandering paths. All dressed the same, expect exposed pale wood with nautical linens! My favourite was the romantic attic suites as I loved the high beams and top floor balcony! Or it could be the pool access suites, be sure to check prices for both.

With an array of glamorous yachts bobbing in D-Marin and as we are Highlife after all, we boarded the private yacht for 3 hours of uninterrupted bliss. Exploring stunning local and mostly uninhabited islands, not to mention some privately owned by A list celebrities.

Lunch at D Breeze, a harmony of flavours – mostly Mediterranean accompanied the unsurpassed view of Aegean Sea.

It’s clear why it is known as the Turkish Riviera, the whitest of sand (imported from Egypt) surrounded the private bay. The shallow waters and whitewashed sun loungers called our names along with a stop at D Scoop ice cream parlour!


The evening and a highlight of the trip was  a date at Q Lounge nestled in the  treetops, a Zuma style menu with some of the best sushi I have ever tasted and panoramic views, I felt lucky.

The next morning, we took a leisurely stroll into the town with individual boutiques and welcoming cafes – of course with four females in the group, no trip would be complete without some retail therapy!



That afternoon we departed for the one hour 40 minute transfer to D Maris Bay.  Earlier in the trip one of our agents and I had a conversation discussing the criteria for a hotel to be accredited as one of the best in world. Close to the top of the list for her was a phenomenal lobby. Standing here together – the accreditation was awarded. There is unquestionably a unique sense of arrival at D Maris Bay.

A champagne toast on the terrace which showcases the five private beaches. A speedboat cruises across the lagoon, which is pointed out as the ‘shuttle’ where guests put a flag in the sand to transfer between the unique beaches and have a different every day of their stay.

Highlife really keeps on giving, the view is beyond spectacular, no photos or videos will do it justice. It is a hidden paradise, captivating, with an aura of an unspoilt  island. Guests will never believe they are in Europe and yet they are less than 4 hours from London.

Opening the door to my deluxe sea view suite, an elegant and homely interior with the best part being the hot tub. These rooms have  a panoramic window view of the sweeping bay!

Time flies, so after a quick spot of lunch at Maris kitchen offering authentic dishes, it was time to succumb to the beach cabanas. Equally appealing was to float on a day bed over the water at the soothing silence beach – complete tranquillity!

Dinner was at Manos, a Greek taverna (originating in Symi) and one of six branded restaurants. It reminded me of Amoudi fish tavern in Santorini. The most amazing evening, spoilt by our hosts with Greek delicacies and traditions including plate smashing, dancing and star gazing out to the ocean by the beach firepit.

Waking to the soft birds sounds of nature’s paradise, a yoga class was on the schedule, set in a hidden pavilion. It was one of the most peaceful classes I have ever had, aligning our senses for the day a head. After we gathered for a breakfast fit for a king.

Perfectly set up  for our in-depth tour of this Leading Hotel of The World, we set off to explore the domain and the plethora of facilities on offer to guests . Children of all ages and adults alike are catered for at D Maris Bay. This summer they have collaborated with Christian Dior, opening a brand-new boutique and have given the main pool a designer makeover.

The hotel is set in a protected nature reserve, where strict instructions were given when the renovations took place. To avoid disturbing the wildlife, we took glass alpine style funicular down to Bay beach and although the resort is vast there are many options to get around.

Behind Bay beach is an  outdoor supervised kids club, completely complimentary for children aged 4-12 years. No need to prebook you can drop the little ones off, for even just a hour.

My favourite part of the trip was lunch at La Guerite. Having heard about the one in Cannes, I was so excited to visit. Surrounded by a huge white sandbank, with diners enjoying 360 ocean views. Draped white daybeds and a sultry ambience soundtracked by live beats, set the vibe for a pre birthday celebration! The most incredible ice cream profiterole cake arrived, accompanied by singing waiters with sparkles -I felt very special.

Alas it was time to leave feeling super excited to be representing these properties and to have experienced Turkey at its best. 

To make an enquiry about D Resort Gocek or D Maris Bay or to find out more, please contact Theresa Feeney.

E: Theresa@highlifemarketing.com