It had been a while since I had been to Turkey (or Istanbul, to be precise), so the idea of a luxury holiday in Turkey really appealed. What I didn’t know, is that I would decide to go on a whim by 7.30pm on a Thursday evening and be on a plane from London to Dalaman departing at 7.30am the following morning. The destination: the tiny town of Gocek, located under an hour from Dalaman Airport and a lovely hotel: the D-Resort Gocek, which is a member of Small Luxury Hotels.
Dalaman appealed for a variety of reasons – it is one of BA’s 160 Tier Point routes, when we went in May it was the warmest place we could find, and we just wanted to get away after the news that our 5th round of IVF had not worked. So we booked this last minute trip at the very last second almost – and it was one of the best trips we have taken in a long time.
Where to stay in Gocek
We stayed at the D-Resort Gocek and we loved the hotel – it had a real boutique feeling, but it was super spacious. We booked our room last minute, and had a standard room which cannot be faulted.
It felt very local – from the stripped bedding to the Turkish towels, it was very comfortable and chic. There are much better rooms, but we wanted for nothing. Some rooms have even pool access.
We also thought that the service was excellent – nothing was too much trouble and everyone was very reliable. Turkey’s standards of service can be a bit hit and miss from previous experiences (and I have been to Turkey 10+ times) and I pull my hat off to D-Resort for providing a true luxury holiday in Turkey experience.
The beach club at Gocek Marina
We spent all our 4 days in Gocek at the hotel’s beach club which was exceptional. The sun loungers were not too close to each other, the beach was sandy and the water was warm and incredibly blue.
The hotel obviously has a few pools, which we did not use.
Where to relax at the D-Resort Gocek
The reason why I knew about this hotel is because it came up on a search related to Reformer Pilates (which I am very keen on). Sadly, it only has one machine (and not 2) – but we managed to book private classes each day (around 25 Euros each) and also enjoyed a daily treatment at the spa – from a traditional Turkish hamman (around 40 Euros), a massage and a facial (also around 50 Euros – but take note, if you book a 60 minute facial it does not include extraction, only if you book the 90 minute and not clear at all).
We thought the standards were very good and really enjoyed this part of our stay. We went to Gocek to do very little, and the spa treatments fit the bill nicely.
Where to eat in Gocek
The hotel has 2 restaurants which are always quite busy (and are known to be ‘the best’ places in town). It caters also to the marina guests, so make sure you book when you arrive).
We had lunch at the Breeze waterside restaurant every day – and we cannot fault it. I loved how close we were to the water and how fresh the food was.
We had a dinner at the same restaurant, and another at its Q Lounge, which offered more international fare (Asian fusion with great sushi). Dinners at the hotel were around 100 Euros for 2 with wine and cocktails).
The other 2 dinners were enjoyed at Ozcan in town – a very simple fish restaurant which was busier than any of the others (always a good sign, and a hotel recommendation). We love fish and I was delighted to enjoy my favorite red mullet not once, but twice. We also really enjoyed some cold mezze – and tried some other dips (the names escape me) and loved. Dinners were around 50 Euros for 2 with wine.
We had post dinner drinks at some of the bars in town – it had been a while since I enjoyed a 5 Euro gin (for real), and at the hotel things were also very well priced.
The town of Gocek
I had never heard about Gocek before, but when we mentioned where we were, some friends knew because they have boats and also really like the marina. We thought the town was very pretty and the opposite of tacky. It is not a very posh town at all – it felt quite “real” for a holiday place. It is home to 2 hotels (ours, the D Resort and also the Rixos All Inclusive) which makes it quite lively.
We went for little walks around the boutiques (which were not bad) and also enjoyed exploring the food markets.
Everyone was very friendly and we seriously felt we had hit the jackpot. The setting could not be any better for a little luxury holiday in Turkey.
How to get to Gocek in Turkey
We flew with British Airways from Gatwick to Dalaman (around £600 business class) and as a reminder – you will need an e-visa in order to enter Turkey. I only realised this after I bought my ticket and luckily, the system cleared it within a few hours. It costs $20.
We rented a car with Avis which was around 50 Euros a day (see photo below to see how ‘casual’ the set up was). We did not need a car at all as the town was walkable and we ended up not really going anywhere. Next time we would just book a private transfer, but we booked so last minute, we didn’t figure how to.
Our room at D-Resort Gocek was around 250 Euros per night (in late May) and offered incredible value for money. Breakfast is included with all room rates and is very good.
When to go to Gocek
This is a seasonal destination for BA, so flights operate from April to October. The weather was perfect in late may – around 29c.
And yes, there will be a next time. If you are looking for a non glitzy luxury holiday in Turkey, Gocek could be just what the doctor ordered.
We loved it.
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