One thing you learn for sure when you travel and explore in Turkey – the Ottoman’s really knew something about over the top style and luxury. If you don’t believe me, you simply need to come here and experience it.
As I wrote yesterday, leaving Cappadocia was difficult, especially as we found ourselves in Konya with the weather changing from warm and sunny to cold and rainy. As for Konya – I just can’t recommend it. It’s like recommending Barstow, California which may have a great train museum but really isn’t worth the stop. Of course, that’s just my opinion.
All of that made our arrival in the beautiful Turkish Riviera city of Antalya, that much more wonderful. After a bustrip through snow covered mountains, lush temperate forests, and artfully terraced mountain villages – we arrived to a bright sunny day at one of Antalya’s most luxurious Ottoman hotels.
We were welcomed to the Tuvana Hotel by the general manager Ms. Nermin Sumer, who apologetically explained to us that she had been forced to upgrade us to a deluxe room with jacuzzi bathtub due to bookings – we tried to be gracious in accepting! :)
Have a look at the Tuvana Hotel website and you will have a taste of what we are experiencing here. Fresh fruit and flowers were waiting for us in a delightful Ottoman house which has been lovingly restored. Marble bathroom, jacuzzi bathtub, hard wood paneled ceiling, a view of the old Roman harbor, a perfect location in old town Antalya (Kaleici), and a dedicated staff who helped us with our every need (including having the baby bed set up and ready for a very tired little Sophia – but of course, she liked our big bed better!)
I had the opportunity to meet the owners of Tuvana, Aziz and Ozgar. Once again, our little family found ourselves living like Sultans and I suppose it will just be that much harder explaining that I haven’t won the lottery to my friends and family back in the states – but then again, perhaps I did after all.
Tuvana is actually four historic Ottoman houses with three restaurants, a pool, lovely gardens and enough character and romance to satisfy the most demanding of luxury travelers. This bit of history from the website gives some idea of how we feel…
The King of Bergama, Attalos II. gave the order “go find me the Paradise on Earth” as all his soldiers with such a profound demand hit the road looking to fulfill their King’s wish. And when they came to Antalya and saw the incredible natural beauty, they claimed that they found that “Paradise on Earth”. And since that day, city of “Attalia” will make you feel you are indeed in the Paradise…
After freshening up and having a very enjoyable walk through Kaleici, we returned to Tuvana for a late dinner (9:30) at Seraser Restaurant which just happened to occupy the ground floor of the building we were staying in. Live jazz (hooray for live jazz!) and wonderful service created a perfect atmosphere for browsing their impressive wine list, exploring the menu (world fusion cuisine with a Turkish touch) and laughing together as our day wound down. The staff and service were smiling and gracious, the jazz was light and digestable and the experience – magnificent.
Today, we will explore a bit of Antalya and then enjoy this beautiful room for one more night before heading to Olympos tomorrow…