PRESS TRIP & REIVEW
Earlier this year, we were invited to experience Hillside Beach Club in Turkey.
We didn't need to be asked twice!
Easter is such a wonderful time to go away, as we come out of the LONG UK Winter - the thought of a bit of sun on my skin is always next level wonderful! I also knew I was about to launch LIMITLESS LIVE - my group personal development programme - and I knew I was coming into busy season after Easter, so a bit of family time to connect and chill sounded AMAZING!
First off - getting there!
A chauffeur drive from home was a new experience for us (full details at the end) but it really helped to feel chilled from the moment we left our front door. Chilled until I realised allowing my youngest to pack his backpack was a bit of an error as I discovered the HUGE number of plushies who were apparently joining us! *sobs
Drinks in the Aspire Lounge at London's Luton Airport, a quick peruse of the TRAVEL FOLDER OF JOY (and no - it's not just me! I asked on instagram and yes, LOTS of us are fans of the travel folder!) and "Joy of the Journey" - a phrase I'm big on in Coaching with regards to LIFE - was massively applicable here!
The 4 hour flight to Dalaman passed quickly and a quick 1-hour transfer later, we arrived at HILLSIDE - always wonderful at night when you know awakening to "the view" will be so worth it.
And WOW - WAS IT?!
The resort is truly one of a kind, nestled on the Aegean just outside of Fetiye - it curves around the privately owned Kalemya Bay - giving it a super safe and secure vibe. It's like being in your own HILLSIDE holiday bubble for the whole time you're there.
We had a Superior Family Room which is actually SO much more than the name suggests!
It's a massive double room with the biggest bed and stunning walk-in wardrobe - then there's a courtyard area to hang out in, off which is a shower room and toilet AND a separate bedroom for the kids - which can sleep 3.
STUFF. OF. DREAMS for EVERYONE!
Alone time for the kids AND us is pretty unheard of on a family holiday, right? SO good.
It's actually more like a family suite than room and although in April the "outdoor / indoor" shower area was a little chilly, there was an overhead heater to save the day.
*More on travelling there in April at the bottom of the blog if you're interested
The resort really does have EVERYTHING you could possibly need for an amazing family holiday - - two spas, a fitness centre, morning beachside yoga, bikes for hire, huge swimming pool, THE comfiest loungers you'll ever find, kids clubs, arts area, adult beaches...
We spent our days chilling, playing beach volleyball, indulging in some arts and crafts (you pay extra for this) and booking out the complimentary kayaks and paddleboards for extra family fun!
We took to the water most days and there was never an issue getting the paddleboards and kayaks - I guess that might be different in high season - so one of the perks of being there early maybe?
In April the sea was a little too chilly for lengthy swims so the watersports options were great. We also had an hour on the motor boat / inflatable sofa which was the most I've laughed in ages!
Then there's the A-MAZING calibre of evening entertainment in the resorts own amphi theatre (and yes - we still sing the Yamma Yamma Yamma song - if you know, you KNOW!)
By day, the resort is full of the most helpful staff from all over the world who cannot do enough for you, by night - like a Stars in Their Eyes smoke transformation and with a LOT of glitz and glitter - they transform into actors, actresses and dancers - to put on the best entertainment I've ever seen at a resort. I'm REALLY not generally one for evening entertainment at a resort but once we'd seen one show, we didn't miss a night!
And then - THE FOOD.
Which could have an entire blog all on it's own.
IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE!
With a vegetarian, pescatarian and two carnivores in the family, buffets can prove a little tricky but we didn't have to worry.
In our TV careers Trey and I have travelled a LOT - staying in some amazing hotels around the world, and we both agreed this was the best buffet we'd ever experienced - ANYWHERE! Truly next level. Super clean, huge variety of fresh food - the buffet alone would be a reason to return!
On the first morning I counted 10 flavours of butter which, for the savoury toothed like me - is pretty much HEAVEN! The fresh fish blew me away - and the honeycombs with their local honey were perfect with the local yoghurt. I could go on...
Trey and I managed to experience a few SPA moments - for which I will be eternally grateful.
We headed to the outdoor balinese style spa for a COUPLES MASSAGE which was so good, we went back again the next day!
The outdoor Nature Spa has to be seen to be believed - it's like finding yourself in a hidden Balinese paradise and hitting a whole new gear of relaxation.
Another highlight for me was the HAMMAM experience at the Sanda Day Spa. We were half way through our trip and I wasn't at all sure that scrubbing was what my skin needed but WOW - am I a convert now! I would totally recommend getting it early in your trip.
I found it hard to put into words how incredible the experience was - it was a whole new level of relaxation. Scrubbing with salt, bubbles, warm stone to lay on - 100% do this in the evening and then go to bed. My skin was SO soft and that night I slept better than I have in years!
Midweek we got up early, grabbed coffee from the Coffee Shop and headed on the complimentary hotel shuttle bus to Fetiye, to experience the famous market. However wonderful a resort is, I always want my kids to experience the culture, colour, smells and sounds of the local area - so heading to the market was all kinds of fun!
I was expecting a Moroccan Bazaar - which this isn't. Think imitation designer clothes and bags but it was a fun way to spend the morning - and totally worth a visit. If you go - be sure to head to the back of the market which was a highlight for me, where the locals were selling spices and herbs, every kind of turkish delight you could imagine and nougat. ALL. THE. NOUGAT!
What else can I tell you?
Our room was up high which made for a lovely view - AND I got a thigh workout every time we went back to our room!
For those not wishing to do the stairs, there are 2 x funicular railways to take you up the hill because yes - as the name suggests, the resort is built around a hillside.
The BEACH is expansive and stunning and there was never an issue getting beds, all of which have parasols above them. I personally loved the super small shingle which was comfy to walk on but, unlike sand, didn't find it's way EVERYWHERE!
There was an adult beach which we never made it to, since we were there for a family holiday.
The adult beach is accessed walking around the cliff path OR by the resorts stunning traditional boat - which handily matched one of my dresses so I DID have an excuse to get onboard!
Well, rude not to for some pics for The Gram!
All in all - a breathtaking holiday!
Would we go again?
In a HEARTBEAT!
A gorgeous family we were out there with actually booked for October half term WHILE WE WERE ALL STILL THERE!
Says it all really!
HILLSIDE: 5 nights of our 7 night trip were complimentary, courtesy of HILLSIDE BEACH CLUB This is not a paid partnership and all views and opinions are my own.
TRANSFER: UK Transfers were complimentary, courtesy of WHEELY
FLIGHTS: We paid for our own flights for all 4 of us.
LOUNGE: HOLIDAY EXTRAS gave complimentary entry into the ASPIRE lounge at Luton.
GOING IN APRIL:
In April, the evenings were chilly. As in COLD. The locals all wore North Face jackets to dinner. Not. joking! I'd only taken summer clothes so wore every item of clothing I owned and was super grateful for my gym leggings to wear under my summery clothes in the evening! The pool and sea were also chilly at that time of year - so be prepared.
But there were SO many plusses to outweigh the evening chill and if you're ready for it, happy days! Hillside had blankets readily available for outside dining and entertainment.
For more on our trip - head to my INSTAGRAM account @ImKatyHill - there's a HILLSIDE in my highlights with all my stories from while we were there plus full tour of our room.
There are no irons in the rooms so if you like your clothes crease free, pack your travel iron! Hillside provide everything else - as in everything! Amenities kits like I've never seen - including hair grips and bands! Don't take shampoo, conditioner, body lotion - all there!
Oh - the MEMORIES! Thank you Hillside - we'll see you soon!