When I moved to Istanbul in September 2019, I was determined to make the most out of my stay to see what this beautiful country has to offer from the mountains of the north to the ancient ruins in the east to the beaches of the south. However, COVID-19 derailed many of my plans, but as they say — plans are nothing; planning is everything. My first trip after the lockdown was eased and domestic flights were resumed was to Mugla, specifically to Oludeniz and Fethiye, quaint beach towns in southern Turkey that are in close proximity to some of the world’s best beaches. My first stop was Nautical Hotel, a secluded paradise just about a 30-minute drive outside of Oludeniz. Truth be told, I didn’t even know about this place if it were not for an Instagram ad that caught my attention — one of the very few occasions when an Instagram ad proves to be useful. Upon arrival from the airport, a jeep from the hotel meets you at the main road and transport you down to the hotel since it is a bit of an off-road drive that most cars can’t take.
I am not going to lie. It was mid-June and traveling for leisure felt weird. It was even weirder being the only foreigner around, but the seclusion of the hotel made me feel a lot better. Nautical Hotel and its sister property, the Perdue, are located on a short stretch of a rocky beach although both have their own swimming pools should you choose not to venture into the blissful waters of the Mediterranean. Although I saw many pictures of the hotel before arrival, I was still pleasantly surprised by how beautifully decorated and set up it is. If no one told you where it was, you would think you are in the Amalfi Coast or on some Greek island.
I reserved the most basic room, which still had an outdoor jacuzzi. It was small and the decoration was a bit aesthetically disappointing compared to the exteriors at the hotel but the bed was comfy and the shower had fantastic water pressure and that is really all I care about in a place where you would only sleep in the room and spend most of your time outdoors. The wifi signal was pretty weak in my room but fine elsewhere in the hotel. If your life depends on it, either get a Turkish SIM card from town or ask for a room change.
Breakfasts at the Nautical Hotel were superb — the legendary Turkish breakfast spread is served here along with some freshly baked goodies to fuel you for a day full of activities or in my case, a day of laying around a sunbed and reading a book. I had lunch once at the hotel — a burger that could be improved upon but again the setting of the place helped me overlook that.
View this post on Instagram
Woke up in paradise 💫✨ first COVID-19 flight went smoothly from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport which seems to be cleaner than a hospital at the moment. Passengers seemed obviously concerned but exercising social distancing. This “new normal” will take some getting used to but anything to travel again 🥳
The staff were super nice and helpful and were always around for any questions. All in all, it was a fantastic experience and a perfect introduction to the wonders of southern Turkey — an area that exceeded my expectations in every way.
To view Instagram highlights of my trip to Fethiye and Oludeniz and coverage of the Nautical Hotel, click here.