15 May Visit to D-Hotels, Turkey
Having suffered the perils of Monarch Airlines, departing on a Friday afternoon from Luton, I was more than thrilled a few days later when I heard the news that British Airways will fly to Dalaman from July 2015.Thank the Lord for that!
Arriving in Dalaman at 21.30, I was relieved to see the smiling face of my driver and relaxed into the back of a very comfortable Audi with a bottle of iced water, knowing that civilisation was not far away!
Following a 20 minute transfer to D Resort Gocek, a warm welcome awaited from the hotel team, clearly very proud of their completely new resort and sporting their smart new uniforms, eager to please in whatever way they could.
I had anticipated a room service dinner as it was so late but after a cold towel and refreshing glass of fresh lemonade, a golf cart awaited to take me to Breeze restaurant, signature restaurant at D Resort Gocek and D Hotel Maris, both in idyllic locations by the ocean, serving fresh fish of course but also delicious tapenyake, prepared by the Japanese chef.
I have to say it was a wonderful dinner, despite the late start, in the company of Selen, D Resort’s enthusiastic and charming Sales Manager. We actually declined dessert but Selen insisted that we try the “chocolate bomb” and she was absolutely right to do so – hard to describe but a moreish, mouth-watering chocolate panache covered in melted hot chocolate and served with ice cream and berries…AMAZING and a must if you go to D Resort Gocek! Surprisingly, we were dining alfresco in May and as it got chillier (towards midnight) the staff arrived with warm, lamb’s wool wraps.
And so to bed…..the mayhem at Luton airport was a distant memory!
There are many different room categories at the resort and I would recommend the deluxe ocean view rooms upwards for the majority of your clients, although there are ten attic rooms with terrace and nice view for those on a budget.
The Presidential Suite (max 5 people) is 193 Sq. metres with 2 bedrooms – a double and a twin (with sofa bed) and 24 hour Butler service. There is no kitchen. A 25 m pool is shared by suite guests and the other rooms either side of it.
The layout of the hotel is such that there are 8 accommodation blocks (103 rooms in total) with waterways between them and most blocks have a pool. There is also a main hotel pool and very small children’s pool.
The junior suite category is one of my favourite with living room and bedroom combined; totalling 52 sq. metres and pool outside. There are only 2 of these so book well in advance!
The superior rooms are spread on the ground floor and first floor and each one has a roof top terrace with loungers or a garden terrace.
The 70 sq. metres Premier Suite and Premier Poolside Suite both have a separate living area for couples who like a little extra space. All rooms have air conditioning and free win – fi.
One of the great things about D Resort Gocek (4* deluxe) is the location. Set in the maritime town of Gocek and only 20 minutes transfer time from Dalaman, guests can enjoy a stroll into the marina, visit local shops and restaurants or while away the afternoon people watching in one of the many bars, seeping up the local culture and chatting to the locals.
There are complimentary bicycles available for guest to explore and of course excursions to local ruins, Fethiye, the beautiful beaches of Oludeniz and historic Kalkan can be arranged by the concierge team
Many of the gulet cruises depart from Gocek so the hotel is also a great option for pre or post gulet charters.
Naturally, the bar is a focal point and the Olive Tree restaurant serves food throughout the day .I can honestly say that the buffet breakfast here was one of the best I have experienced, both in terms of presentation, food quality and the choices on offer.
After a wonderful treatment at the ESPA spa which is state of the art and purpose built with a wonderful roof terrace for relaxation after treatments.
Prior to travelling to Turkey, the weather forecast was torrential rain for the whole weekend but so far, we had managed to enjoy blue skies and a pleasant temperature .As we travelled to D Hotel Maris on Saturday afternoon (a 90 minute drive) there was a torrential downpour which cleared as we arrived at the hotel ….The Gods were with us. Beautiful wild horses appeared on the hills as we ambled up the 5km drive to D Hotel.
Once again, we were warmly greeted by the entire management team (a little overwhelming!)
The feel of D Hotel is very different to D Resort Gocek .Part of Leading Hotels of The World, D Hotel Maris is a 5* resort with 200 rooms and feels quite grand as oppose to boutique on arrival. The hotel enjoys spectacular views of the Datca Peninsular.
Guests can arrive by helicopter and also by seaplane from Bodrum or Dalaman which will cost E2500 each way.
Again there are many different room categories and I was in a deluxe ocean view which was very spacious and comfortable with a good sized balcony and a bath tub with an incredible vista.
All Mountain View rooms (lead in category) are on the 1st and 2nd floor and although children need to be 8 years and over, there are 12 interconnecting rooms mostly deluxe.
The Presidential Suite on 8th floor is a different more contemporary design with kitchen/ lounge and dining room and it can interconnect with a deluxe ocean view room via the balcony. There is a rooftop Jacuzzi and large deck with loungers so this suite is very private. A chef can be booked for private dining but as the restaurants are so good, I would not recommend this!
The two bedroom private villa offers complete privacy and has been finished to the highest standard with Minotti furniture and Calacatta marble. The private hammam has to be seen to be believed .There is a big garden and pool for families to relax and spend quality time together.
All suite guests can access the Executive Lounge on the 8th floor which serves breakfast, lunch and pre dinner cocktails and canapés on a complimentary basis.
Executive suites have a separate living area and balcony and I thought would be ideal for three ladies travelling together which is very possible given the amazing spa at D Hotel Maris. There are 11 treatment rooms and 7 therapists plus a hammam therapist .The Spa Manager, a lean and very healthy looking Russian lady (Irina) is compiling some wellness packages which I can forward on to you if you’re interested for your clients.
A very exciting development since my visit is the new partnership between James Duigan and D Hotel Maris to promote Bodyism. There will be a number of workshops throughout the season and guests can enjoy a “Clean and lean “menu if they wish. To learn more about the “Clean and lean” philosophy, see www.bodyism.com or see the attached press release.
Classes include yoga , Pilates, stretching beach volleyball and aqua gym and then guests can pay extra for mountain biking ( accompanied by a trainer) kayak tours and personal training.
Back to my trip ….It is difficult to choose where to have dinner at D Hotel Maris as there are five restaurants on offer ranging from Turkish, Italian, steak grill, Breeze seafood and new for this season Zuma. I felt that as I was only staying one night , I should try the Turkish restaurant and I have to say I am always really impressed with Turkish food , particularly the mezze and this one did not disappoint. Guests can now enjoy after dinner drinks with music ant the new Zuma bar though this was not completed when we were there.
After a leisurely breakfast on Sunday, we were thoroughly spoilt with a private yacht charter on Blue Dream, a 55 foot Azimut yacht available for guests to charter. She actually sleeps 6 people – 1 twin and 2 doubles and can be charter for half a day or for a couple of nights. Bodrum is 3 hours sailing time and Simi in Greece only 1 hour. Rates on application but they are very reasonable.
For those who prefer to stay on the beach, you have a choice of 5 including a silent beach (my preferred one) with no mobile phones and water taxis or golf buggies can take guests from one to another should they not wish to walk.
After a delicious lunch of fresh fish and grilled vegetables at Breeze, it was time to pack our bags and depart for the airport. As you can imagine, I was relishing the thought of a return flight with my travelling companions on Monarch but actually it wasn’t all that bad. I think I was so relaxed that I didn’t really care…..
Your clients will love you for sending them here …I promise!