Hotel Villa Mahal, Kalkan
Legendary Stylish Hotel. Doubles from £160.
Now that its charming old fishing port has been choked by a treeless periphery of costa-style villas, it’s a wonder that sprawling Kalkan continues to figure so prominently in the glossier holiday brochures. Redemption takes the form of this divine hotel which occupies a steep seaward site on Kalkan’s quiet eastern fringe. The layout is as striking as the setting, with a long descent from the hill-top reception and breakfast terrace through shade-throwing groves of olive and lemon. The winding path then passes among 14 widely spaced rooms, minimalist white blocks with delightful interiors, French windows and sea-facing decks, and some wonderful villas. It continues past the infinity pool to a spa, shore-side dining terrace and beach club (though a rocky shore means quayside loungers and swimming platforms rather than sand expanses).
With its uncluttered lines, lovely spaces and magnificent cuisine, the Villa Mahal is exceptionally seductive. It’s insistently a place of rest, its very location actively militating against any forays further afield; the clientele, a cosmopolitan crowd with a considerable British element, find it can be hard leaving the shore-side lounger when some 200 steps (the staff T-shirts claim less) lead to the outside world beyond the hotel entrance, though there is the option of the hotel’s boat shuttle service to Kalkan’s main jetty. Better to surrender to a life of snoozes and lantern-lit dinners, immured in this enchanted place until the airport transfer awaits.