Stylist contributor Harriet Hall embraces indulgence at the Six Senses group’s stunning new spa resort in Turkey.
Your bucket list probably contains at least one of the world’s Seven Wonders. Mine too. And yet, despite two of them being just a selfie stick away – the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis – I couldn’t tear myself away from the Six Senses Kaplankaya long enough to visit either.
With resorts spanning 20 countries including Indonesia, Fiji, the Maldives and Thailand, the Six Senses group has nailed far-flung luxury. Yet with regular four-hour flights from London Gatwick to Bodrum, indulgence feels more attainable at its newest resort on the Turkish Riviera. For those feeling dubious about visiting Turkey at this time, advice from the Foreign Office is currently to avoid the south-eastern corner that borders with Syria and Iraq, a thousand miles away.
The Turquoise Coast is certainly on the up. Best visited during the cooler months in spring and autumn, the area boasts fishing villages and bustling ports, as well as aquamarine waters perfect for snorkelling and watersports But it’s best-known for its ancient ruins including the famous Troy – the stuff of Greek legend. Now with resorts dotted along the seafront, this is a perfect destination for ticking off some sightseeing or lounging in front of breathtaking landscapes. Expect a warm welcome from locals and unforgettable Mediterranean mezze.
Having opened its doors this May, Kaplankaya is draped across the coast, with services ranging from lemon hand towels on arrival to a creche and golf buggies in case you prefer a beach-to-beach service rather than a 20-minute stroll to the resort’s furthest sands.
The food here is also bounteous. I hopped between three on-site restaurants, grabbing light bites at Sage & Sea one day and gorging on the buffet at Wild Thyme the next – although this did have a bit of an all-inclusive vibe. My favourite? Despite its lack of veggie options and patchy service, Mezze by the Sea, nestled between twinkle-lit trees overlooking the beach, was a pretty magical place to see out a meal. Six Senses is also big on sustainability, with locally sourced ingredients and glass water bottles in the rooms which guests can refill at the on-site distillery. Although a note suggesting I don’t take a bath represents a challenging ethos for a hotel with a 107,640 sq ft spa.
But oh, the spa. This vast expanse of hammams, pools, treatment rooms, gym, courts and relaxation areas really does put all others to shame. I tried watsu therapy, which combines shiatsu with water. Watch a video of it and you’ll seize up laughing, but try it before you judge. Then it’s off to one of the resort’s three private beaches to order an Aperol spritz, watch the sunset and – of course – do some serious Instagramming. With scenery like this, how could I resist?
The Healthy Holiday Company offers five nights’ B&B at Six Senses Kaplankaya from £1,009, including flights; thehealthyholidaycompany.co.uk
Images: Six Sense Kaplankaya