Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ALAÇATI 2017- Where I Stayed: The S Alaçatı & Evliyagil Hotel by Katre

Dear readers,

After a whirlwind 8 nights and 9 days in Alaçatı, a district in Çeşme along the Aegean coast and 45 minutes drive from the "Pearl of the Aegean" Izmir, I returned to Istanbul exactly a week ago today!

Since I have the habit of burning the candle on both ends during a vacation, I'm just getting my legs back and finding time to write about my wonderful vacation! Of course, it has taken me days to organize all my photographs and I'm not done yet. But, since I will divide my posts into 3 parts (where I stayed, where I ate and beach clubs)... at least I can start!

Up until 2014, I used to go to Alaçatı every summer since 1999! But I gave a break in 2015 and went to Lisbon instead and last summer I didn't go on vacation because I had started a diet which I was serious about (and lost 17 kg), so a summer vacation was a no-no.

Alaçatı has changed in the past 3 years: mainly, new hotels have opened - big and small; some restaurants & bars have closed while others have taken their place (maybe just for the season) and new beach clubs said hello to Alaçatı.

During this trip, for the first time I stayed at two totally different hotels. This was totally by choice because I wanted to "experience" Alaçatı at a "deluxe" property and then a "typical" boutique hotel.

Arriving in Alaçatı on August 1st... my first hotel was the "spanking new" The S Alaçatı overlooking the pristine Aegean Sea, Windsurfers Schools and about 1 km from the Port Alaçatı Marina.
The S Alaçatı Hotel - Alaçatı/Çeşme
A member of the Ascend Hotel Collection and Choice Hotels, The S Alaçatı opened in June 2017 and it's still a "work in progress". Upon completion, there will be a total of 132 rooms (128 standard rooms of which 112 with sea views, 3 suites and 1 room for the physically disabled). While I was there 70 rooms were complete and my room was on the 3rd floor.
The S Alaçatı - Alaçatı/Çeşme
All the minimalist decorated standard rooms are approximately 20 square meters with a super comfortable queen sized bed; satellite TV; shower stall; coffee/tea set-up; minibar with soft drinks only (currently complimentary); name brand toiletries; digital safety deposit box; and free WI-FI (throughout entire hotel). What I really also loved was the floor to ceiling sound-proof windows that can be electronically opened half-way down. 

The lobby area is also very elegant and includes the reception desk and right next to it is a bar and indoor & outdoor seating areas for breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc.
The S Alaçatı - Alaçatı/Çeşme

The S Alaçatı - Alaçatı/Çeşme

The S Alaçatı - Alaçatı/Çeşme
On the subject of breakfast... I was famished the next morning although I had a wonderful seafood dinner the night before (info will be included in "Where I Ate" blog post)...

Breakfast is available daily between 8:00am and 1:00pm and includes a very wide selection of hot and cold breakfast treats... Since "breakfast" is my personal favorite meal of the day, I did go to town a bit more than when I'm home.  

The following is just a sample of the open buffet selections and doesn't include the cheeses, deli meats, etc. because I couldn't get a "good" picture.
The S Alaçatı - Alaçatı, Çeşme
Besides what's on display, you can also order all sorts of eggs cooked to order; and fresh fruit juices,coffee & tea are all included in the BB price of your room. 
The S Alaçatı - Alaçatı, Çeşme
After a wonderful breakfast, I decided to hang out at the hotel because I was invited to a friend's house for wine & cheese at 5:00pm and it didn't make sense to go a beach club. 

So, I changed and headed to the hotel's swimming pool to get some "rays" for the first time this season! My sister, brother-in-law and nephew came over afterwards too and we had a wonderful few hours overlooking the Aegean Sea in the tranquility of the hotel's pool area which is accessed from the 3rd floor.
The S Alaçatı Swimming Pool

View from The S Alaçatı swimming pool area
While sunning, we also decided to try a few snacks and obviously my 16 year-old nephew ordered a grilled tenderloin of beef sandwich with a side of fries while my brother-in-law opted for the hotel's version of a Greek Salad... both were very delicious and reasonably priced for a hotel.
poolside snack @ The S Alaçatı - Alaçatı/Çeşme

Poolside snack @ The S Alaçatı - Alaçatı/Çeşme
I stayed at The S Alaçatı Hotel for 5 nights and totally enjoyed my stay. Like I said, it is a brand new hotel and from time to time there were some hiccups, but nothing major and easily solved. Since the hotel is still a "babe in the woods", by next year the sprawling landscape around the hotel will be totally verdant;all the guest rooms will be completed; a fine dining restaurant overlooking the Aegean Sea on the upper level terrace will open; and the posh spa will be totally operational. 

Some additional general info: Besides the pool on the 3rd floor, there is also an 115 square meter "Infinity" pool; the Lobby Bar & Lounge is open 24 hours; Room Service is available 24/7; at the spa & wellness center there is a sauna, Turkish Bath and indoor swimming pool; there is a fitness center and Yoga & Pilates Studio; and 3 meeting rooms.  

I must add that I was "comped" for my stay because the hotel is owned and managed by my brother-in-law's childhood friend. I had the opportunity to meet Nuri and his lovely wife Özlem a few years ago and we became good friends. I would like to thank Nuri for his hospitality and wish him lots of success as The S Alaçatı adds a new prospective to the Alaçatı hotels in the area... it is upscale, contemporary with a minimalist airy and fresh decor, excellent friendly & knowledgeable staff and caters only to guests over the age of 15! Can't wait to visit again next year!



The S Alaçatı Hotel
Yeni Liman Mevkii, Alaçatı Mahallesi
18000 Sokak No. 13 Alaçatı, Çeşme - Izmir
Tel: +90 232 750 52 00

On Sunday, I moved from The S Alaçatı to my second and final hotel: Evliyagil Hotel by Katre which is located in the outer rim of Alaçatı where numerous boutique hotels are lined up side by side and in walking distance to the Hacımemiş area which is chock full of trendy & chic restaurants, bars, etc. The hotel is also steps from Alaçatı's Open-Air Market set up on Saturdays with vendors selling all sorts of vegetables, fruits, foodstuffs and casual apparel.  

Why did I select this hotel? Many years ago I had stayed at the Katre Hotel, which was then located across the street from the Port Alaçatı Marina and had become friends with the hotel's owner Figen Mertol and we've always casually kept in touch via social media (thank you Instagram!) 

After closing Katre Hotel, Figen took over the management of the Evliyagil Hotel this year and thus the hotel's new name.
Evliyagil Hotel by Katre - Alaçatı/Çeşme
This 2-story hotel is a typical Alaçatı B&B boutique hotel with it's architecture and decor and has a total of 10 guest rooms.

My room was on the 1st floor and overlooked the pool and dining area. My room was about 20 square meters with high ceilings, a small TV, minibar, A/C, name brand toiletries, safety deposit box and free WIFI. 
Evliyagil Hotel by Katre - Alaçatı/Çeşme
and this is the opposite view of my room from the dining area...
Evliyagil Hotel by Katre  - Alaçatı/Çeşme
After a lovely welcome by Figen, my sis and I settled in the chaise lounges in front of my room to just relax on a lazy Sunday and catch up with Figen! I knew I was going to enjoy my time here too because personally I do prefer boutique hotels from time to time because they are cozy and feel more like a "home". For example, on the afternoon I arrived, I just wanted a light snack and asked Figen if they could make me a white cheese and tomato grilled sandwich and voila! She added fresh basil and olive oil which was a nice extra touch!
Grilled cheese sandwich @ Evliyagil Hotel by Katre - Alaçatı/Çeşme
Also, this hotel allows pets so I can come another time with my Luka, just like I did the first time I stayed at Katre Hotel years ago.

Katre Hotel has always been known for its excellent breakfast spread and I couldn't wait for the morning to sample the delectable delights I had missed! Their breakfast spread is so popular that non-guests often come just to sample the breakfast!

Up bright and early... I sat down and waited for my breakfast to be served!
Breakfast @ Evliyagil Hotel by Katre - Alaçatı/Çeşme
First and foremost, everything is fresh and homemade. Just to give you an idea, the breakfast includes 3 cheeses, green and black olives, homemade jams (no sugar added), 2 types of tomato dishes, cucumbers, peppers, honey, clotted cream, fresh herbs salad with olive oil and crushed chestnuts, lor cheese with black currant sauce, butter, simit (Turkish style bagels with sesame seeds), breads and my favorite pişi! All are served with unlimited Turkish brewed tea. 
"pişi" @ Evliyagil Hotel by Katre - Alaçatı/Çeşme
I've eaten pişi at other places in Alaçatı but the ones that Figen prepares are worth every decadent calorie! Simply, this delectable delight is deep-fried dough! That's it... but it tastes so so good! 

If you feel that this is not enough food for you, they also offer a la carte selections such as omelets, pancakes, gluten-free granola, and much more. Also, all sorts of fresh fruit juices, detox juices, coffees are also served.  

Furthermore, all day dining is available at Katre and the menu includes salads, burgers, mantı (Turkish style ravioli with meat and yogurt dressing), köfte (Turkish style meatballs), etc. plus around dinner time, you can also expect to find some typical Turkish home-style dishes prepared by the kitchen according to fresh vegetables purchased. The bar menu includes cocktails, beers, scotch, etc. 

I stayed at Evliyagil Hotel by Katre for 3 nights and enjoyed every moment. Figen has a small staff of wonderful women working for her and her husband is her 2nd hand and is in charge of the front desk, music and pretty much anywhere else he is needed! Since we go back a few years, Figen did give me a discount off her normal prices, which I thank her very much for!

Evliyagil Hotel by Katre
Alaçatı Mahallesi, Inönü Caddesi No. 77 
Alaçatı, Çeşme
Tel: +90 232 716 76 72

So... my Alaçatı summer vacation 2017 included stays at two totally different hotels in different parts of town! I'm glad I did something like this because each one was a different experience and attitude! Since I'm a Leo and celebrated my birthday in Alaçatı, it suited my personality to a tee!  

Stay well,

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