Aydos Club, Dalyan, Turkey

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Sometimes you visit a place that is so friendly it is like a home from home, and so it is at the Aydos Club in Dalyan. Many of the guests have been going there for years. It opened 13 years ago and is managed by the charming Rahmi, ex Sheraton in Istanbul, who treats his visitors as if they are staying in his home, with warmth, the right level of familiarity and a desire to ensure everyone has the best possible time. This atmosphere pervades the hotel, and all its staff, many of whom are long standing and all of whom take huge pride in their jobs and the Aydos Club.

One of the most amazing things about the hotel is its location, on the banks of the meandering Dalyan river, facing sheer rock cliffs, topped with pine trees, where eagles lazily circle in the thermals above. The view is totally ageless and timeless, little changed since the historic, 2000 year old, Lycian rock tombs were carved in the stone. It’s a view of which you simply cannot tire or better.

Aydos Club is an intimate hotel, with just 20 rooms, each one on two floors with a double room and bathroom on the ground floor, then up a pretty wooden staircase to an attic style room with two single beds and a sweet balcony. The feel up here is of an alpine chalet somehow. The usual electronics are in place, with a DVD player too and a selection of films available in reception. And indeed the layout of the hotel repeats this alpine feel: two buildings facing each other, reminding one of a street, each room with well tended flowers and shrubs in front of it.

The gardeners here do a great job, particularly around the pool and grounds, where shady corners can be found to escape the summer sun. Hammocks, swing seats and chairs are thoughtfully placed for privacy and relaxation. The free form pool is central to the public area, beside the restaurant, with tables laid out around it for al fresco dining. There are plenty of sun loungers and an outdoor bar serving practically every drink under the sun. Perhaps my favourite spot, however, is by the river on a wooden jetty, overhung by trees, where cushioned seats just beg to enjoyed for a spot of reading, a snooze or watching the boats gently wander by on the water. It’s so tranquil, you really can be forgiven for nodding off.

Reception is bright and cheerful, with a library for swopping books, sofas, a variety of rather stylish sunhats decorated with Rahmi’s photos, all rather good. You can wait for taxis here, get information about the area or just have a chat! Aydos Club is about 15 minutes flat walk from Dalyan itself, along the river path, which winds through the trees passing fruit orchards, other hotels and restaurants until you reach the main stopping point for the boats in the town.

The river is absolutely embedded into life here and every day the hotel takes guests on its own rather special Ottoman style boat on the 35 minute river journey, past the Lycian cliff tombs, to Itzuzu beach. It’s sandy, spotlessly clean, has changing rooms, showers and loos as well as a café, which serves delicious gozleme (large stuffed pancakes) and Magnums. What a great combination.

And food at the Aydos Club is delicious, the Turkish breakfasts hit the spot, with cheese, eggs, bread, dried fruits and fabulous tasting tomatoes. At dinner a good variety of Turkish dishes are served, including meze, grills and salads, all fresh and all reasonably priced. Local wine is surprisingly good. Light lunches and snacks are available throughout the day. Aydos Club in Dalyan is a great place for a holiday, you may never want to go anywhere else!

Read about Dalyan and the attractions in this resort.

Jennie Carr

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