Hotel Perdue, Faralya
Luxury Shoreside Tenting. Flight-inclusive packages from £1190 pppw
Doubles from £180 B/B
Anybody who drives the precipitous coast road to Faralya would be forgiven for writing off the shore as unreachable. In fact, a concrete track leads down to where Hotel Perdue – from the Italian ‘for two’ though the French ‘lost’ would do just as well – opened in 2013. It’s just so steep that the hotel’s service vehicle, a heavy-duty 4WD Chrysler pick-up, is required to transfer guests from the road. Pity the gearbox, envy the guests.
The Perdue combines luxury campsite standards with absolute seclusion in a way that’s unique to Turkey. Eight raised wooden platforms, each topped by a spacious safari-style tent, occupy wooded rock-strewn terraces yards above the sea. Each excellently furnished and powerfully lit tent – what a pleasure to be able to read under canvas!- is backed by a walled rear section housing a superior bathroom and fronted by a deck with a sunken Jacuzzi. A timber frame surrounds each tent to shelter it beneath a pitched roof thatched with river grass, reinforcing the East African feel.
Beyond the tents there’s the Perdue’s exceptional setting; a line of outdoor tables overlooking the sea is the restaurant while the only actual building, a nineteenth-century storehouse fronted by a low pediment, has been converted into the airy foyer-cum-office. Bluffs above the water have been fitted with cushion-strewn platforms and there’s a massage cabin among the avocado trees. A small pool surrounded by loungers has been installed while swimming ladders are set in the rocks. A picturesque fishing boat, which supplies the daily catch, is often moored there. Taner, who sports a splendid grey pony-tail, leads regular sessions on the dedicated yoga platform. Coastal walks to Kabak or Faralya can be had by picking up a path leading through the grounds.
If the Perdue has a weakness, it’s a particular vulnerability to the rare occasions when the weather takes a turn and the winds blow strong, especially at either end of the season, when this wouldn’t be the place to be. But that’s a practical consideration, and this is a place for romantics prepared to risk it. Owner Hakki Bey dreamed up his hideaway after a camping stay on the nearby Gulf of Gököva. ‘I loved the nature and the star-lit sky,’ he told me. ‘What I couldn’t endure were the standards.’ At the Perdue, where the breakfasts run to barbecued aubergine, fabulous cheeses, olives, pastries and juice, where the night is lit by lanterns, where the tents run to superior beds draped with gorgeous throws, he has put that right.