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Travel: Stop, hammam time! Chilling out in Marmaris in Turkey

© PAThe port of Marmaris.
The port of Marmaris.

A short morning commute can set the tone for the day, I ponder, on the 30-second walk from my hotel room to the beach at Cooks Club Adakoy.

After a short detour to the hotel bar to get a fresh apple juice, I find a sunbed and listen to the waves crash against the rocky shore.

Part of the Cook’s Club franchise, Adakoy is the lushest resort I have ever stepped foot in. And, although prices have been steadily rising, favourable exchange rates still make Turkey far more affordable than Euro favourites like Portugal and Spain.

Located within the Marmaris National Forest, a two-hour transfer from Dalaman airport, the five-star, adults-only resort is on a private cove and marina overlooking crystal-clear waters. Along with 151 rooms, it has a spa centre and hammam, a beach disco and bar, a tennis court, a co-working space and a private disco room to rent.

There are three private beaches, lined with sunbeds and wicker parasols, a large pool and a bubbling Jacuzzi. My double room is fully equipped with a modern en suite, with everything from a hairbrush to a dental hygiene kit, and a balcony overlooking the pool and beach.

The Cantina restaurant, in the centre of the hotel, prides itself on its homemade cuisine, with every dish made in front of you and perfectly to order. Although the core menu – which changes daily – doesn’t have an abundance of meat-free options, the chefs are happy to accommodate vegetarians and vegans at their seven live cooking stations.

A mini ice cream parlour also offers a huge array of flavours all day long – something I’m relieved to discover in the 35°C heat. Over the course of the week, I eat traditional kebabs, pizzas, pasta, sushi (both vegan and otherwise), noodles, steak, and much more.

There is also a mini-market with snacks, souvenirs and other holiday bits you might need if, like me, you forget to bring a plug adaptor.

Every day, the hotel hosts sunrise and sunset yoga sessions on a pier overlooking the water and the nearby Bedir Island.The ultra-modern, white-walled spa offers a range of services. Although the idea of a body scrub in the hammam sounds intriguing, I opt for a Turkish massage (£29.50 for 30 minutes).

In what feels a little bit like a consensual beating, I have the knots forcefully removed from my back. But even though I feel much better afterwards, I conclude a Turkish massage is not for the faint-hearted.

The hotel offers a full itinerary of activities, including cocktail making, Raki tasting (the Turkish national drink similar to sambuca), a movie night on the beach, and water sports.

As I board a spacious two-tiered boat for a sunset sailing tour, I have no idea how sensational the evening will be. Sat on the front deck, I drink Turkish beer and eat fresh fruit as we sail for 20 minutes before turning off the engine to watch the sun go down.

In the evening, the beach transforms into an outdoor nightclub, where I dance and sing along to noughties sounds.

At around 7am the following day, I join a group led by our hotel host for a somewhat gruelling trek up to Nimara Cave.

Starting only minutes from the hotel entrance, we follow the path up to a high point of the national park where we are greeted by incredible views of the ocean, Marmaris and beyond. On the way down, we visit the cave – a must-see expansive echo chamber accessed via a rickety wooden staircase. I also discover the joys of canoeing which, despite being a first-timer, is surprisingly enjoyable and costs only £7 an hour for a single canoe and £10 for a double.

We paddle to Bedir and jump in for a quick swim before completing a lap around the island in our canoes.

Back at the resort, I spend my final evening enjoying a cocktail on the beach, feeling more relaxed after a holiday than I have in a long time.


P.S.

Marmaris is a 25-minute water taxi ride (£3.90 each way) from the resort. The old town has hundreds of shops, with a wide array of designer (and not-so designer) brands. A key part of shopping in Turkey is the haggling, so make sure you drive a hard bargain.

Factfile: 

Prices start from £117 per night for two guests, including all meals, branded alcoholic drinks, beers, wines and soft drinks. Visit cooksclub.com