What comes to mind when you say “luxury”? For a person of the 21st century the main luxury is time and the opportunity to be alone with himself. We found this opportunity in a hotel near Alacati, one hour from Izmir, and the name of this hotel is Biblos Resort, Alacati.
Acquaintance with the hotel begins with a surrealistic garden, where glass flowers, over which Turkish glassblowers have conjured, alternate with trimmed boxwood and banyan trees. The same masters created multi-colored lamp-balls that shine above the handmade silk carpet in the reception area. There are lots of such carpets, they were all made to order as well as the furniture. A delightfully unlaboured union of art and nature...
From the moment you check into the hotel, you will spend most of your time in the ivy-covered gazebos, in the shade of lush gardens, on the terraces of restaurants and under umbrellas on the beach.
The Aegean Sea is very salty, clean, cool. A small section of the beach is covered with fine white Egyptian sand, which is not carried away even by strong gusts of wind. And the wind here practically does not subside, it only changes the strength – from the fervent gusts, familiar to all Bakuvians from childhood, to the faint breathing of the sea breeze. When noisy resorts, filled with tourists, are roasting in the sun, there is no suffocating heat in Biblos Resort. Even on the sunniest days, it is easy to breathe, and the skin is quickly getting a right tan.
Colored triangles of windsurfers glide along the watercolor-blue horizon: the local landscape can’t be imagined without these. Due to the continuous wind and shallow depth (you need to go quite far so that the water was on your shoulders), this bay can take – and does take – the World Windsurfing Championships. The best surfer schools in Turkey are located in Alacati, here you can take a one-hour lesson for a fee – and if you have a strong sense of balance, then in that hour you can master the basic skills. The salty air, the spray of the sea and the sun – this is the unity with nature we all lack so much. Thanks to the well thought-out architecture and the masterly work of the gardeners, the hotel is a continuous oasis of peace. The complex of three-story buildings is immersed in greenery. The territory is very diverse, one simply cannot get bored. So, in the “Palm Yard” you can lie on a wicker sunbed in the shade of sprawling palm trees, looking at the clear-blue water of the pool, or sip one of the original cocktails under a canopy in the bar. The “Olive Yard” is lined with old knobby Spanish olives. Everywhere cacti bloom and tangerine trees are dotted with small suns-fruits.
“Lagoon” rooms are, reminiscent of Hollywood storey bungalows, braided with jasmine and go directly to the private pool, fenced off from all by the lush tropical greenery. Half of these rooms are prudently designed to rest without children – this is the best solution for those who want to enjoy the peace.
In total, the hotel has seven outdoor pools. And there are also indoor swimming pools in the Alatia Spa. This is a whole separate world, smelling of olives, wood, and expensive care products.
In this spa, which is about 2000 sq.m., you can forget about all the troubled world outside. Here guests are greeted by a cozy twilight, fascinating threads of light under the ceiling, vaguely resembling deep-sea creatures, all the same incredible textures of wood, glass and stone everywhere, whatever the hand touches. What a delightful mixture of Mediterranean, Scandinavian and Art Deco! You can choose from a huge selection of spa treatments from top-notch professionals from Turkey and Bali who can gently take care of you while you are relaxing. Aromatherapy Associates cosmetics is used for massage, Biologique Recherche is used for treatments. In the paired suits Baal and Yam, rituals specially designed by Aromatherapy Associates are conducted for two guests using essential plant oils from the Aegean region.
Outdoor massage is carried out near the beach. Those who choose bath procedures will appreciate the heated marble podium on which the scrubbing and foam massage take place. And all guests can visit a steam room, a salt bath, a refrigerated room with an ice generator, a gym, a yoga and pilates studio for free.
The wellness bartender will offer herbal-based health drinks from the hotel’s own garden, and stylists will help you prepare for the evening event. The importance of this item should not be underestimated: Biblos Resort is suitable not only for leisure, but also for business meetings and conferences, and even for weddings for 700 people. The hotel has seven ballrooms ranging from 17.5 to 539 sq. m.
Let’s go back to the rooms. The hotel has 176 rooms of nine categories. Bathrooms are equipped with L’Occitane miniature bottles. Some rooms offer such a panoramic view of the bay that you want to immediately take up the brush and paint... others come out into the garden with winding paths, tall, sprawling palm trees, huge cacti – and the same blue sea in the distance. All rooms are united by one stylistics, there are luxurious bedding Frette and mosaic panels. These panels are a special pride of the hotel. For three years, they were manually assembled by a team of craftsmen from Lebanon, and if you wish, you can spend the whole day looking at only these stone mosaics that adorn the entire hotel.
Food deserves special mention. Breakfast is served in the brasserie Le Jour, where exotic fish swim in the pond, and in the morning it smells like fresh pastries and coffee, and the tables are full of farm eggs, cheese, olives, honey, and fruits. It is pleasant to sit in the shade on the terrace of Le Jour, enjoying a leisurely Turkish breakfast.
And for lunch and dinner, it’s worth a visit to the Amante di Mare restaurant by the sea. Here they serve a delicious pizza from a wood-burning oven, and in the evenings the tables are covered with white tablecloths, and in the evening menu excellent seafood is served. At the entrance to the restaurant in the window on the ice are local red mullet, red perch, tuna, wild sea bass, shrimp, lobster – basically they are all local, Aegean. To them, in addition, there is a selection of meze, which only a person with impeccable taste could make up. All this is picturesquely served on pottery, the wine is poured into glasses with the finest fragile legs. Mediterranean cuisine is unthinkable without excellent wine.
Speaking of wine. The Biblos Resort Alacati wine cellar holds an impressive collection of old and new world wines, but the local selection is out of competition, because Izmir is one of the wine-making centers in Turkey. You can go at leisure to the nearby town of Urla, famous for its wines.
There are many other attractions nearby that are worth seeing. Add to the bay of the surfers the very ancient city of Alacati, this “Turkish Mykonos” with its Greek architecture, narrow cobbled streets, lush blooming bougainvilleas and wooden balconies, and a little further away – the ruins of Ephesus, which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, with what is left of Temple of Artemis – one of the seven wonders of the world, and Izmir itself, where, according to legend, Homer was born. This whole region breathes culture and history!
Biblos Resort, Alaçatı – remember this name. As well as a symbol of the hotel – half snake, half horse hippocampus – the name of Biblos refers to the ancient culture of the Mediterranean. This is a living reminder of how a man tamed the sea, how the craft and trade flourished, and what immense wealth were owned by the ancient kings. The king of fish, the hippocampus was carrying a cart in which the god of the seas, Poseidon, sat. The sea and the land, the past and the future, the gods and people are connected by this myth and this heavenly place on Earth.