Think of the ultimate sunshine-filled break amidst crystal clear blue waters, adrenaline filled water sports and the most scrumptious food you could possibly want to indulge in and you get Hillside Beach Club. Not sure about you but I associate all-inclusive resorts with trips spent in a tacky sticky resort surrounded by screaming kids with paint on their hands. Now that I’m older, the concept is rather foreign to me as I have yet to revisit since my previous mediocre experience. However, Hillside Beach Club mixes the image of a trendy boutique hotel with the ease and luxury of an all-inclusive concept. From cute banana leaf print coffee cups and sunrise yoga classes to romantic Italian dinners by the water and evening movie screenings on the beach, Hillside is the most wonderful place to spend your week indulging in fine food and extraordinary experiences. It is the perfect holiday destination for those looking to escape all the planning and stress that comes with travelling as the only decision you will need to make each day is where to eat and sunbathe!
WHAT I LOVE
- Ensconced in its own magnificent beach cove, the resort boasts picturesque seaside views from most of its lush rooms. The décor in the rooms are white and wood based. Clean, chic and comfortable.
- From pontoons to private beaches, Hillside has so many beautiful locations for you to choose from to sun bathe. Each one as beautiful as the next, and for those not as beach inclined, there a huge pool right next to the bar. The sunbeds on the main beach come with a button that you press when you’re in need of a cocktail top up or towel change. It is hard to be stressed when everything you need is at the tip of your fingers!
- The resort boasts two spas (because one isn’t enough), the Sanda Day Spa and the Sanda Nature Spa. The Day Spa is perfect for a dreamy traditional turkish candlight filled hammam experience whereas the Nature spa is for those looking for something more Balinese inspired with aromatherapy massages and flower baths.
- Make sure to visit Serenity Beach, a little beach that you can access through a 15 minute hiking route or a 5 minute boat ride on the cutest turquoise and pink wooden boat. The beach is designed for relaxation and escape, it is decorated with Robinson Crusoe-esque white string hammocks and wooden huts. Definitely try to take some photos on the super cute boat as well while travelling there.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed in a gorgeous Superior Double Room with Large Terrace. The room features a vast outdoor terrace which is the prime place to watch the sunset whilst picking out clothes for dinner in our massive walk in closet. All rooms are modern in style and feature large windows so you can fully enjoy the beautiful views. I would say 100% go for a room with a terrace as it really is just so lovely to be able to walk out the room and enjoy the sunrise or sunset in the privacy of your own rooms. Also try to go for a sea view room as well as you want to wake up facing the ocean. Wifi is included in all rooms, as well a nice strong air conditioner, Tv and hair dryer.
WHAT TO EAT
So I wanted to include the food at Hillside as one of the things that I LOVE about this resort but I was worried I would gush and gush about how good it was and leave nothing more to be said in this section! The food at the main restaurant is SO indulgent, I have never seen anything like it. The buffet is loaded with every form of fresh fruits, vegetables and mixture of salads. There is a steak station where they grill your steak to your choice, a fish station where you can choose from a range of freshly grilled fish (my favourite was the seabream), an oriental station which serves bouncy dumplings and flavourful stir frys, a healthy station where they serve cold-pressed juices, salads and gluten free / vegan options and more. Not to mention the biggest dessert table I have ever seen which is laden with all sorts of imaginable sweet treats, and this is just for lunch and dinner! Breakfast is a whole other story with egg and yogurt stations. The food was just endless and delicious. There was something for everyone and it was delicious. Meals at the main restaurant also include unlimited bottles of house wine in the form of Turkish white, red or rose depending on what you fancy on the day. For those who are looking for something a with a bit more ambiance, Pascha on the Bay serves a gorgeous selection of Turkish mezzes and fresh seafood amongst beautiful views of the cove. The Beach Bar and Restaurant is a wonderfully romantic little candlelit restaurant on the beach serving mouth watering mozzarella, pastas and other gems found in Italian cuisine. All the food in these restaurants are to be ordered a la carte and they are in high demand though so make sure you reserve a table to ensure you get to experience these two beautiful restaurants at the resort.
WHAT TO WEAR
Casual summer chic is the way to go, think linen shirts and shorts for men and summer dresses and denim shorts for the ladies. The resort is generally quite casual during the day with everyone walking around in swimsuits, sports gear and general holiday wear. The evenings are a little more elegant with people dressing more smartly for dinners and drinks around the resort. The weather is warm during the day but drops quite rapidly during the evenings so be sure to bring something warm for the cool summer nights.
WHEN TO GO
The best months to go are September and May, when the temperatures are still warm but the prices are a bit lower as it is not quite peak season. Summer months including June, July and August are extremely packed with the highest hotel rates due to the beautiful summer heat.
- The gorgeous romantic waterside restaurants serving beautiful food under the stars, how dreamy and indulgent is that?
- Hillside’s beautiful beach cove is just so spectacular and is something that you can only witness if you stay at the resort.
- The water sports centre can cater to basically all your water sport needs, it is also well known for employing great water ski and wakeboard instructors for first timers and those who want to improve.
- The resort is filled with the friendliest and most welcoming staff! As you start to recognize the smiling faces and charming staff, you start to feel like a part of a big family away from home. Dirty dancing Kellerman summer hotel vibes!
- Hillside also offers adventures away from the resort, they have a full on activity centre that helps organise sea or land excursions from boat rentals and all day boat trips to quad biking and village visits. For those who want to explore more of what Turkey has to offer, definitely hit up the excursion centre to see what they have to offer.
STEPH YT TRAVEL TIPS
- Come prepared with lots of memory space (or film if you’re into analogue photography) because Hillside is abundant with photo opportunities. The place oozes Instagrammable spots, especially at sunset when the skies turn pink and casts everything with a golden glow. My fave instaspots in the resort are the pontoons and main beach at sunset, the straw beach bar, the white ‘greek vibes’ pascha bar by the water and the walkway to the rooms that give you a panoramic view of the entire beach and cove.
- Make sure to book yourself in for meals at Pascha by the Bay and the Beach Bar! Both dinners were extraordinary and beyond romantic. It would be such a shame to miss out just because they were fully booked so be sure to get your name in there as quick as you can!
- Out of the two spas, I would go to the Sanda Nature Spa as it is just so beautiful with all its wooden accents and Balinese flowers. 100% my pick of the two spas!
- Be sure to keep an eye on their daily activities schedule so you don’t miss out on something you may want to do. My favourites were sunrise yoga, cocktail making and a screening of The Greatest Showman under the stars by the beach.
Rooms start at £2050 for three nights. Click HERE to book at a low price!