I don’t often write on big hotel resorts. But after a trip to Turkey last week, I thought I’d tell you a bit about The Hilton Dalaman. I stayed here with a group of journalists for four nights who were slightly crazy but heaps of fun (ha – joking, if you lot from my trip are reading this). And I’d forgotten how beautiful Turkey’s south coast is. (I mean, the last time I was in Turkey was over 15 years ago) So here’s the lowdown on where we stayed.
Hilton Dalaman: The Location
The Hilton Dalaman is located in a small town called Sarigerme, on the southwest coast of Turkey. You’ll find a number of other large resorts and a few local businesses in Sarigerme. But it felt quite secluded and not over-developed when we visited. The resort itself is also really spread out and surrounded by loads of green space which was nice.
One of the other plus points is it’s only a 20 minute drive from Dalaman airport. It’s found in the Muğla province and faces the Aegean Sea. Just a short drive from here the roads are fringed by fields of pomegranate trees and mountain peaks. In short, the setting is lovely.
You access the hotel down a long drive way which also turns off to another hotel resort. The Hilton is a huge sprawling property that covers a whopping 176,000 sqm area and some of the first things you’ll see when you arrive are the tennis courts, golf course and a large convention centre.
We arrived late so it was lovely to be greeted with complimentary sparkling wine as our bags and room keys were taken care of.
Once in our rooms, we were greeted with plates of delicious chocolates, fruit and Turkish sweet treats which were topped up daily. We also had a bottle of Turkish wine in our room. What a treat.
The reception deserves its own section because it’s so vast. It expands across various levels and mezzanine floors. And with its innovative lighting (look to the top of the pic below – they resemble birds), glass lifts and heaps of glass to let the light flood in, it makes a great first impression.
With a capacity for over 1,000 guests and popular with business events, you can see why they decided to provide so much space. With plenty of comfy seats, it’s quite a pleasant area to just sit and relax and drink a cup of Turkish tea – which became a favourite pastime in our group! There are a few souvenir and clothes/accessories shops on the lower level too and glass doors take you out to the pool areas and beach.
The Rooms & Interiors
The guestrooms at The Hilton Dalaman come in nine different categories ranging from Hilton Guest Rooms to various family connecting rooms, duplex suites and a Presidential Suite. We were really lucky to stay in a spa suite (or honeymoon duplex suite) and I was stunned at how large it was.
All spa suites come with nice comfy double beds with a ‘pillow menu’, stylish armchairs and a blend of neutral and turquoise interiors. There’s air con/heating, an 81cm TV, bathrobe and slippers and a really spacious wardrobe. You also have all the essential refreshments (kettle etc, although only powdered milk) and there’s a mini-bar with two bottles of beer, water and soft drinks, although it may be worth mentioning, there were no diet drinks if like me, you have a penchant for Diet Coke now and again. There’s also a menu of light snacks and meals that you can have delivered to your room.
Isn’t this the biggest shower head you’ve ever seen?
Now onto the exciting bit….
The spa suite has two floors (yes two floors!) On the upper level you have a toilet and separate shower (a huge rainfall shower with separate shower attachment.
Then, you walk down the spiral staircase onto the lower level where you’ll find another toilet and shower, plus your own sauna, Jacuzzi and massage bed (I know, amazing, right?). Both levels have lovely balconies too (the lower one has sunbeds).
If you happen to stay here, I’d recommend filling up the jacuzzi well in advance (it takes a while!) and ask the staff to set up the sauna for you.
The Hilton Dalaman: Restaurants
The food and drink was one of the most impressive things about the Hilton Dalaman. The hotel has so many restaurants I didn’t actually get to experience them all. But in high season you could choose from five à la carte restaurants (which come at an extra cost to the all-inclusive rate) and various pool bars as well as the main buffet restaurant.
While I didn’t really rate the food at one of the poolside bars we tried, I was really impressed with the Sarigerme Main restaurant. It had a huge variety of food on offer for breakfast and evening meals which you can serve yourself, buffet style. I also liked that they had a separate adult’s dining area for those without families.
The main meal I had at Tao (East Asian) was a bit lacking in flavour (although the ‘hot sushi’ was great). However I was really impressed with their Turkish restaurant A la Turca and Finesse, their à la carte Italian. Think tasty risottos, pillowy soft olive breads and delicious bruschetta, as well as fish dishes with an Italian twist.
Bars at Hilton Dalaman
For evening entertainment, ‘Bars Street’ – a selection of five bars – offers live entertainment and a DJ. Some of the bars were a bit quiet when we visited but it all became a bit livelier later on in the evening when a local band performed.
The hotel also has Rouge Roof – a bar that has lovely views over the resort and lights that turn all sorts of colours that have you wondering whether your cocktail is red or blue. There’s also Pianoforte which has a more relaxed and sophisticated setting.
Hilton Dalaman: Activities
I haven’t seen quite so many activities on offer in a resort before. The Hilton Dalaman really have put their efforts into keeping their guests entertained. There are four outdoor pools, one indoor pool, the Elysian Spa and a long beach which guests have exlusive use of.
During my stay I also spotted segways (the safer, three-wheeled ones) and an activities programme of yoga, Zumba and cycling. We took the cycling tour which takes you outside of the resort and to a local beach. For children, there’s a waterpark and there’s also a disco for teenagers amongst their changing entertainment schedule. On the way to the pool area you’ll also find a few beach hut style shops which were quite cute.
Things to do outside of the hotel
I would probably hire a car if I stayed here again as Dalyan, Fetiye, Gocek and other coastal towns are all less than an hour’s drive away. The Muğla coastal region is known for island boat tours, mud baths, turtle spotting, ancient ruins and its very pretty beaches. So it’s definitely worth exploring further afield.
The Hilton Dalaman is both a business hotel and holiday destination so they’ve gone all out to provide all the facilities you’ll ever need. Plus, it’s quite excluded so if you’re on a fly and flop style holiday, it’s good to know you have everything from laundry services and babysitting to onsite shops.
The Elysion Spa
The Elysion Spa at the Hilton Dalaman is definitely worth a visit. The sauna and steam room here are excellent and they have a very extensive treatment menu. I thought the service could have been a bit more polished at the spa, but the hot stone massage was pretty good. I had no idea there was also a second Byblis spa until I left the hotel. It just shows you how huge this resort is. There’s a very stylish plunge pool, plenty of places to relax as well as an indoor heated pool and gym.
When I say this hotel caters for just about everyone, I’m not lying. Always in search of luxury, I was intrigued to experience ‘Gazebo Land’ – a section of luxury gazebos away from the pool.
It was more than a bit chilly for me to fully appreciate the gazebos in the middle of April (hence why I was lying in a hammock with my jeans on). But I can see these being hugely popular in the summer.
Imagine the sun beating down on you as you sink into a bubbling hot tub and a butler brings you fresh fruit and a glass of prosecco. The white wood and rattan reminded me of the Caribbean and the hammocks were sturdy and comfy enough to snooze in all day. They’re great for honeymooners, groups and couples looking for a bit of privacy.
Honeymoons & Weddings
On the subject of honeymoons, the Hilton Dalaman would be a great place to visit for a post-wedding sunshine break. Especially with its spa suites and gazebos. During our stay, the hotel was also about to host a destination wedding on the property. The hotel staff have various secluded spots where you can have your ceremony and there are options for wedding groups to hire out one of their restaurants.
Thoughts on The Hilton Dalaman
Although I thought the service could have been a bit more polished, I thought this hotel offered a really pleasant stay with many luxurious touches and heaps of things to do. While I may not usually choose such a vast hotel for my own trip, it’s a great set-up if you want a hassle-free holiday. It also seems like a fantastic place for families and I could see myself maybe coming here in the future when I have my own children. My favourite bits? The spa facilities, the way they consider both families and those without children and the fabulous Turkish food. The region is also beautiful. More on that soon…