Gotta love Alacati

The Stay Warehouse: An Old Tuborg Brewery Turned Hipster Hotel

A hidden turkish treasure.

International travelers and even jetsetters may not have heard of this hidden Turkish treasure. Alacati is a charming, traditional Turkish town full of spirit on the western coast of Turkey on the Cesme Peninsula. It has been making noise lately as a gourmet scene complimented with hillsides of tumbling vineyards for wonderful wine tastings, both perfect pastimes between UNESCO Heritage site visits.

traditional colorful cafes in Alacati

Alacati is filled with narrow, cobblestone streets lined with traditional stone houses framed with bougainvillea. It’s a place where visitors can meander endlessly with no plan, and stumble upon colorful cafes, art galleries, and shops with authentic local goods.  Alacati is effortlessly cool and a place to sit for hours over a Turkish coffee or tea by day and cocktails by night at one of the many cafes spilling out onto the streets.

Three favorites to stay at in Alacati

The Stay Warehouse: an old Tuborg brewery turned hipster hotel

The Stay Warehouse

A great choice to stay in Alacati is The Stay Warehouse, a hideaway boutique hotel.  It is an oasis near everything, but worlds apart. The Stay Warehouse is hidden away in a residential neighborhood. In a past life, it was a Tuborg beer brewery. Today, behind the hotel’s tall, gated entrance, is what seems like your own oversized backyard complete with a long lap pool, old olive trees, an Argentinian BBQ area, funky art and two twin mascot dogs. A sexy silver nude sculpture stretched on the floor greets guests.  The big loft-like warehouse space has super high ceilings accentuated with a big silver disco ball and a cool industrial-like staircase. The décor weaves in vintage touches with a modern twist.

Food is out-of-this-world with genuine gourmet Turkish cuisine from breakfast through dinner in a rustic outdoor setting with wooden tables and directors’ chairs. Their version of the famous Turkish breakfast is a fabulous feast and dinners do not disappoint either with dishes that are artfully presented, full of fragrant flavors.

The spacious rooms are a blend of kitschy vintage details like a red mini fridge and a record player with a curated collection of vinyls. And all is done with sustainability in mind at The Stay. They used all recycled materials including wood and bricks from ancient Anatolian houses repurposed into walls and upcycled into bespoke furniture.


Alavya: a hidden homey escape

Alavya's pool

If you know, you know about this secret gem hidden inconspicuously off the main pedestrian-only shopping street in Alacati. Word has been spreading amongst not only the Turkish jetset, but international travelers as well for the past 10 years. Stress seems to ease away walking into Alavya’s garden setting. The place is affectionately called, “The Happiness Factory”. Once upon a time, it was an open-air cinema. It has been lovingly transformed by proud Turkish owners into an intimate boutique hotel. Renowned Turkish designer, Hakan Ezer added his magical touch with a country modern style creating a homey atmosphere.

The pool area is a fantastic surprise with long lap lanes and lined with brilliant turquoise and green colors of the Aegean Sea making it an artistic focal point on the property. It is the perfect place to relax and meet fellow like-minded members of the special Alavya community. There is an open-air yoga studio offering complimentary classes by teacher Alexis Gulliver and the Miboso Spa in the lower sanctums.

Alavya’s MITU Café Bar-Restaurant is overseen by chef Huseyin Pancar offering the best of local flavors and produce. The morning starts with an amazing Turkish breakfast buffet set on a long wooden table inside loaded with everything under the Turkish sun. Lunches and dinners are either alfresco or indoors with a wonderful menu to choose from offering seasonal delicacies.

Alavya also takes protecting the environment seriously since they opened its doors 10 years ago. The “Welavyaalacati” project provides local support to the region for environmental cleanliness. For the past 10 years, all who come to experience this hidden paradise, fall in love with Alavya.


KestelINN: autheniticy at its best in Alacati

KestelINN's room

KestelINN is the realization of a dream that the Turkish Kestelli family had.  The family grand dame, Ms. Isinsu Kestelli spearheaded the creation of KestelINN. It proudly sits on the main pedestrian-only shopping street in a converted traditional old stone house. Today, it houses seven distinct personally designed guest rooms by Turkish talent, Hakan Ezer. It is filled with antiques, artisanal craftsmanship and original artwork. The inner courtyard is a focal point of the property with the rooms surrounding it.  There is a small spa offering custom treatments and therapies. Chef Beste Baglayan is the master of the KestelINN kitchen serving up gourmet meals of carefully cultivated natural and locally sourced produce.

Staying at KestelINN really offers an authentic Alacati experience of a traditional stone house. But behind the façade is a hospitality philosophy that aligns with sustainable environmental policies.  The KestelINN founders and employees are also volunteers of the Orange Association, which promotes gender equality and fights gender-based violence. It is these intangible traits that are perhaps some of the most honorable, making this property truly beautiful on both the inside and outside.

Alacati is a Turkish town that should be put on travelers’ “To Visit” List this year.  Why not expand horizons to the roads less traveled?  You will be glad you did.

Hope Gainer

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