Turkish delight, wrapped in white

White. I never knew there could be so much in this color, which is rather, well, white. Review of the Turkish resort Hillside Su.

By SHANI ROSENFELDER
November 12, 2006 10:25
3 minute read.
white room 88 298

white room 88 298. (photo credit: Courtesy photo)

White. I never knew there could be so much in this color, which is rather, well, white. White couches and large white pillows; white floors and white walls; white televisions; white remote controls; and white uniforms - enter the kingdom of white, where black will never reign, enter Hillside Su, the boutique luxury spa hotel in Antalya, Turkey. Six giant disco balls hanging from the ceiling, superb lighting and funky ambient music playing in the background greet guests as they enter. No, it is not a chill-out bar in New York City, although it sure feels like it, it's the lobby - or to be more precise - the lounge. Modern design is written all over this two-year-old hotel, from the lounge through the rooms, restaurants and pool. Architect Erin Talu did well, no doubt about it. Hillside Su has 294 spacious rooms with balconies facing the ocean. Each balcony has a white bed with two giant white pillows. The beautiful mountain range to the north can be seen in rooms facing North, though there is quite a noisy highway below. There are also 39 suites and one presidential suite, which the hotel named "Nine-and-a-half weeks" (after the erotic movie starring Kim Basinger and Micky Rourke). The 500-square meter suite has just about everything one needs to lavish himself, except the beach and comes with a $3,000 price tag - that's per night. This hotel is ideal for a romantic holiday. The atmosphere at Hillside Su is miles away from some Antalya resorts, such as those favored by quite a few Israeli families because they offer the "all-included" holiday package. The separation between the Olympic-size adult pool and the kids' pool is another romantic feature -we all love children, just not on our holidays. The hotel has a completely separate recreation area for children, with a pool, playground and everything they need to keep them from playing tag between your legs. Hillside also offers its own beach strip adjacent to the hotel with, you guessed it, white chairs, white mattresses and white beach umbrellas. The sea, however, is blue. The hotel has several restaurants in the lounge, pool and beach. It also has a great sushi bar. If you wish to pay (up to $20 for a main course) you can eat well, though I would recommend paying more and booking a bed and breakfast - not the half board, which also includes dinner. Though the hotel's plentiful buffet is tasty, it does not live up to the hotel's high standards. Relaxation should be your default activity - you won't need much more than a good book and an MP-3 player. You can also soothe into the hotel's spa and get a massage or good rub from a middle-aged Turk in the hammam. To burn those buffet calories, you can play tennis, table tennis, basketball, squash, beach volleyball or soccer. There is also a fully equipped gym where a hotel employee, armed with a spray bottle, actually cleans every machine after it's been sweat upon. Speaking of spray bottles, it is a very important tool for hotel staff as they continuously strive to keep the white kingdom white. If you must leave the hotel, you can visit the nearby Duden Waterfalls and the impressive estuary at Lara Beach. Walk the bazaar and take in the sounds and flavors, but avoid the old city, where tourist traps lurk behind every corner. Off-season deals offer a three-night stay with half-board plus flights (only 65 minutes from Ben-Gurion Airport) for about $300 per person. High season prices are usually about 25-30% higher. The hotel is marketed in Israel by Aviation Links. The writer was a guest of the hotel on a recent visit to Antalya.


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