Our recent Turkey trip was pure magic, and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt the hard way, it’s that where you stay on your trip can make or break your entire experience. That being said, overall we were pretty happy with the hotels we stayed at; they all had their hits and misses so here’s what we loved and disliked about each.
It’s tough to say the cost per night as all of these rates will fluctuate throughout the year and differ depending on when you want to go, but generally, for our September/October visit, each place was priced in the range of approximately R1500 – R2700 per night.
Another thing I noticed about every hotel we stayed in is that not one of them were wheelchair-friendly or had a lift. Everywhere we visited in Turkey was an area made up of many, many hills. I think they just assume if you can walk up the hills, you can walk upstairs too?
- JADE RESIDENCE – OLUDENIZ | Rating: 9/10
General Overview: We stayed at Jade for two nights because that was all that was available, and this spot was recommended to us by my cousins who couldn’t stop raving about it, and honestly, I don’t blame them. A quaint adults-only hotel with only 10 rooms, Jade Residence is a stunning oasis on the Belcikiz beach front, with a beautiful 200 year old garden, amazing staff, FANTASTIC food (their restaurant is a must for a beachfront sunset dinner) and the pool area is the perfect haven for relaxation. Breakfast was a FEAST; every couple is brought – as a standard – 12 plate selection of different foods. This is a typical Turkish breakfast, and you’re just asked how you would like your eggs so there’s no buffet but there’s a selection within what they give you.
We had a room overlooking the pool with a gorgeous balcony, the bed was super comfortable, and the shower doubled up as a jacuzzi. Stepping into this property feels like a total dream!
Negatives: There were two things that bothered us a bit, the first being noise from the beachfront bars and restaurants. Music plays nearby every night until about 1am, so if you’re a light sleeper, it’s not really ideal. Also the room is just a tad small, but that may have been only in our case because you know your girl does not travel light so it felt like our luggage was everywhere at times. This also could be because with only two days there, we didn’t bother unpacking and putting clothes in the cupboard because we knew we had to move again soon.
We’d stay here again in a heartbeat!
2. FLAMINGO HOTEL – OLUDENIZ |Rating: 8.5/10
General Overview: We stayed in one of Flamingo Hotel’s newly-added four suites for five days, which are completely separate from the main hotel. These four suites share an adults-only private pool, they have a veranda adorned with the most lush bougainvillea and an outdoor sitting area. We got really lucky with the suite pricing; since our trip was so last minute the price of the room was reduced by about R800 per night, taking it from R3500 to R2700. If this is out of your price range (I mean heck, without the discount it was even out of ours!) do check out their other available rooms with varied price options. The property itself is really beautiful; you won’t have the semi-private stoned pool but the other one is also really lovely, and we actually swam in that one more because it was warmer and pretty quiet!
The location is uphill and not as close to the beach as Jade Residence was, but still really central. It’s a 7 minute downhill walk to the beach front but three minutes’ walk to the general Oludeniz hub, and even at night it’s all very lively and perfectly safe to walk back. The breakfast was a decent buffet, and their dinner wasn’t too bad either (the portions are massive).
But back to the suite: the room is so beautiful in its design and decor, with the perfect balance of Mediterranean accents with a luxury feel. The suites are big, with a shower (no bath) and I had a mild obsession with the tiled inset in the wooden floor.
Negatives: Although the bed was comfortable, by the looks of the images I see online, ALL of the rooms, including the suites, do not have duvet bedding on them which I found beyond strange, even if it gets hot. Instead, you’re given one thin blanket to share, which Abdul Malick politely pulled off me multiple times while we slept, so it wasn’t ideal. I got housekeeping to bring an extra one for me, only for them to take it back the next day. What you see on the pictures looks like bedding is actually just a tucked-in sheet. Another negative was once again, loud music until 12 or 1am. Lastly, they light up the private pool in a really exciting way but the suite curtains don’t do it justice to block it all out. All in all, while I loved staying and lounging here and the space was beautiful, I didn’t really rest well in this hotel.
If they sorted out those negatives though, I’d love to stay again!
3. HEYBE HOTEL – GÖREME, CAPPADOCIA | Rating: 6.5/10
General overview: We stayed at Heybe Hotel for three nights only because, once again, with last minute bookings pretty much everything in Göreme was fully-booked. It’s really important to book Cappadocia accommodation in this area really early, since it’s a SUPER small area, one of the most instagram-famous places on earth and each hotel only has about 10-15 rooms. So from hotels to activities to flights, everything in Cappadocia books ridiculously, insanely fast! But back to Heybe Hotel.
The location is absolutely wonderful and so central, and the communal areas of their hotel are lovely. Their rooftop terrace gives the best views of the hot air balloons at sunrise, their lobby lounge areas are harem-chic and a wonderful place to chill, and they’re one of the few hotels in Göreme that has a pool; an indoor one at that! Although we never tried their spa, it’s been called the best place in Göreme to go for a Turkish bath experience (open to the public).
Negatives: The room was TINY. Aside from the entrance, we probably only had 60cm of free space around the bed. There isn’t a proper cupboard, only a concrete box structure with a small rail for your belongings (again, I brought many, many things. I mean, I was in Instagram heaven, let’s be real here). When you showered, there was absolutely no way of getting around water going absolutely EVERYWHERE and covering the floor.
However, the bed, as sunken and kind of old as it felt, was oddly so comfortable and I slept like a baby here every single night. Between that, and the awesome location, if I found myself in Göreme again, battling to find a place to stay, I’d still stay at Heybe.
4. ZARA CAVE HOTEL – GÖREME, CAPPADOCIA | Rating: 10/10
We only stayed at Zara Cave Hotel for one night, we extended our stay in Cappadocia in an attempt to catch a balloon ride on another day since ours was cancelled and Heybe was full (our ride was cancelled yet again so we basically didn’t need to stay in Cappadocia an extra night, but that’s a story for another time).
However, what an absolute pleasure it was to stay at Zara Cave Hotel! They had only opened a week before, so needless to say everything was brand new, the rates were decent (around R1200 for the night for the room, but they upgraded us to this four-sleeper family room) and the staff were beyond wonderful and helpful.
But from a general perspective I loved how big the room was, and you can tell by pictures that the other rooms were significantly well-sized too. The bathroom was spacious, and the multiple terraces at different heights provided spectacular views of Göreme. The location of the hotel itself is a little uphill but absolutely excellent. Overall, the hotel had the perfect balance between old and new.
Negatives: None! The pictures I’ve taken were done so quickly just as we checked in, and really don’t do the place justice. It’s absolutely gorgeous with amazing service all-round.
We actually stumbled across this place when our drone got lost. It was the wonderful staff at this hotel that found it for us and went above and beyond to get our details so they could return it. We were so impressed with both the space and their kindness, we were only too happy to stay!
5. AVICENNA HOTEL – SULTANAHMET, ISTANBUL | Rating: 7.5/10
Avicenna Hotel is a three-storey boutique hotel with French-inspired design. Situated about 400m from the Blue Mosque and 800m from the Sultanahmet tram stop, it is based in a quiet neighbourhood and close to loads of shops and other main sites. In other words, the location is really great.
Our room had a lovely balcony and cute decor. I loved that they have two closets in the small entrance passage of the room, so the bedroom itself can stay clear (having luggage out of the way and a clutter-free room is super important to me). The staff were really great and always helpful and efficient.
Negatives: while I liked the decor, it’s all a bit worn out now. So it photographs well, but needs a little maintenance. We also had to change rooms after a few nights because Abdul Malick had what felt like a spring from the bed poking into his back. The second room was a bit bigger though and the beds were comfortable, but don’t expect that plush, luxury hotel feel. We liked that they were so prompt about fixing this for us. Then the breakfast buffet was quite limited and repetitive and every day the only eggs they had were boiled. I would have killed for some scrambled or for someone to whip up an omelette but the option wasn’t there.
None of these were deal-breakers though, and we would stay here again if we couldn’t find a better place.