A few months ago, I learned about a small coastal Turkish town called Alacati. Located on the Aegean Sea, Alacati was formerly resided by a Greek population and has maintained its Greek architecture and charm over the years. Fast forward to July 2020 — still at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic but determined not to live in fear while maintaining the necessary precautions — I quickly did some research for noteworthy spots in the town and booked my hotel and headed out.
To make the city more manageable to navigate especially in the heat of the summer, I divided my walking around into two parts — the Hacımemiş neighborhood, which is a labyrinth of small, narrow, and charming alleyways that are simply a joy to get lost in, literally. I didn’t use my Google Maps during my 3-day stay and it actually helped me cover more ground. The second part being the beach area, which i did the mistake of walking all the way to in the middle of the day — big mistake, and please take a dolmus bus unless you enjoy sunstrokes!
The Hay Hotel is located parallel to the Hacımemiş neighborhood, which is great to allow you to explore the city comfortably while enjoying a good night sleep away from the rowdiness of the neighborhood that never sleeps. The hotel only has a handful of rooms in true Alacati fashion as most of the hotels in the city have the same setup. Upon check in and having my temperature taken and filling a short health declaration, I walked into the hotel whose lobby, garden, and swimming pool areas are clearly well maintained and beautifully decorated. The lobby area almost gives off a Mexico/Cuba vibe or maybe I was dehydrated and in need of a drink — we may never know.
My pool-facing room was small but did its purpose. I was honestly hoping the rooms would have the same decor as the lobby but it did not and was quite simple. No issues there as I was out for the better part of the day. The breakfast had an assortment of pastries plus a cheese platter and the usual tea/coffee — adequate but nothing to write home about. I saw some other guests getting more dishes on their table but I guess you should ask for that. I wasn’t given an option nor did I ask. The staff are friendly, although not all of them know English, but are always keen to help you get around the see the city.
Would recommend this hotel for its location, which, like I said, allows you to enjoy a good night sleep while being in close proximity to all the action.
Pro Tip: To get some decent coffee near the hotel, there is a place called Schiller, which is a 2 minute walk from the hotel, and serves a mean cup of joe.
To get to Hay Hotel after landing in Izmir Airport, you can take a bus which would drop you off at the Alacati bus station about 15 minutes away from the hotel on foot. It was actually a pleasant walk despite the heat and it served as a wonderful introduction to the city.