Luxury holidays abound in Turkey, with Bosphorus views and fine dining on offer at innumerable venues in the city of Istanbul.
Many hotels across the county also offer spacious suites, private infinity pools, spas, butler services and the like, with most concentrated in the tourist areas on the Aegean and Mediterranean seas – including Antalya, Cesme and Bodrum.
Such resorts have a large number of five-star establishments, with the emphasis being on affordable luxury.
Luxury establishments can also be found in converted cave dwellings in Cappadocia and renovated caravanserais in the east of the country.
The un-spoilt, 8,000 kilometer-long Turkish coastline offers spectacular beauty, 352 Blue Flag Beaches and 19 Blue Flag Marinas, as well as being the second highest producer of luxury yachts globally.
Turkey also ranks among the top sailing and cruising spots in the world.
Sailing enthusiasts enjoy a tradition of regular international boat races and festivals throughout the year, while the more leisurely can discover the serene ‘Blue Cruise’ on a traditional wooden boat and a breathtaking coastline accessible only by water.
A multitude of anchoring points offer fantastic settings for snorkelling, swimming and diving, as well as the opportunity to explore secret bays, local fishing villages, vibrant resort towns and the numerous archaeological sites which litter Turkey.
The sophisticated resort of Belek in Antalya is Turkey’s most important and Europe’s fastest growing golfing destination.
The courses are superb - including those designed by Sir Nick Faldo and Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie – with the majority of hotels being five-star and inclusive.
Thermal Springs & Spas
Turkey offers the ultimate relaxation and spa experience, reflecting its unique geological and historic make-up where over 1,600 thermal springs abound – and where hammam and massage treatments have been perfected over thousands of years.
A huge array of luxury hotels, Turkish baths and spa-centres offer visitors the perfect spa experience.
The spa holiday with its pampering and health and beauty treatments may seem like a relatively new phenomenon, but the health-giving properties of Turkey’s natural springs have been renowned since antiquity.
Many hotel spas also continue Turkish tradition by incorporating modern versions of Turkish baths into the spas, some with new twists such as couples hammams or special types of massages and treatments on offer.
These days Turkey has its own roster of cutting-edge home-grown designers with those in the know visiting Istanbul for its unrivalled shopping.
Luxury Turkish brands are on offer in the Galata and Nisantasi areas and at shopping malls located all over the city. The savvy can head to Istinye Park, towards the upper reaches of the Bosphorus.
Istanbul and Ankara hold yearly shopping festivals, offering discounts and 24-hour shopping.
Luxury New Hotels
Notable recent hotel openings include a brand-new Raffles hotel in the award-winning Zorlu Centre in Istanbul, the first Le Meridien hotel in Turkey in Istanbul’s Etiler district and the D-Hotel Maris luxury resort on the Aegean coast’s Datca Peninsula.
Forthcoming are Thomson’s fifth Sensatori hotel, near Side in Antalya, and the arrival of the luxury Mandarin Oriental group in Bodrum in 2014.