EMMA FERGUSONis stirred, not shaken by the turquoise glory of Fethiye, home of Pegasus
Fethiye on Turkey’s south coast is most recently famous as a setting for Skyfall, the latest Bond movie.Located in the region of Lycia (wolf in Greek), it is an area steeped in ancient history, with breathtaking mountains and a coastline often referred to as the Turkish Riviera or turquoise coast. It is the destination of choice for Turkey and Europe’s yachting aristocracy, as well as an extremely pale Irish couple seeking a week’s rest and relaxation.
We stayed at the Club Hotel Letoonia, a relaxing, hassle-free retreat. This large resort hotel with three private beaches set on two kilometres of shoreline, is built in the Ottoman style with carved wooden shutters and romantic balconies trailing vibrant pink bougainvillea. Letoonia’s resort works on an all-inclusive basis, with not only all meals and drinks included (yes, drinks too), but also most activities and entertainment.
With a choice of buffet, snack bars and a la carte restaurants, there is something to suit even the fussiest eater, with breakfast, brunch, lunch, snacks, afternoon tea, dinner and evening snacks on offer. Freshly squeezed orange, carrot and tomato juice are served daily in the bar by the pool. The Moonlight buffet restaurant is a particularly beautiful setting for sampling the cuisine on offer.
Much of the fruit, vegetables, fish and cheese are sourced locally in the surrounding farms and the sea, which is evidenced by its freshness and quality. The variety of fare is also impressive, from fresh grilled whole fish to the traditional and delicious gozleme (wafer thin Turkish pancakes filled with cheese and spinach) and a delicious array of salads and dressings.
The a la carte restaurants need to be booked in advance, which incurs a small charge. They offer Asian food (including sushi), fish and Turkish menus. The fish restaurant is superb, romantic dining at its best. At 8pm nightly, Dolphin beach is transformed by the addition of candlelit tables along the shoreline, where we were served four courses of delicious fish dishes. Be warned: the portions are extremely large so it’s best to avoid afternoon tea if you’re booked in for the a la carte.
During the day, there are a host of sports and activities available, from chess to canoeing, not to mention a fully equipped fitness centre and three outdoor swimming pools with water slides.
For the less energetic guest (like myself), the spa is a haven of relaxation, with indulgent treatments available, as well as complimentary use of the indoor pool, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room and Turkish bath. We booked in for the traditional Turkish steam bath or hamam – essentially a full body scrub, followed by a wash with a huge amount of foam on a heated marble slab – followed by a Turkish massage.
When the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t stop. Every evening there is a packed entertainment programme, including theatre shows in the amphitheatre (again, with an impressive quality of production), beach-parties, firework displays, and live music performances. The resort has nine bars, including the Moonlight Disco for your fix of cheesy dance tunes, set against an authentic lighthouse with a 360-degree view of Fethiye Bay.