D-Resort Gocek and D Maris Bay review: escapism and luxury in Turkey

Enjoy restoration and relaxation at these two hotels on Turkey’s south coast

D Maris Bay pool
D Maris Bay is a two-hour journey from Dalaman Airport

Straddling the border between Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is a melting pot of culture. Famous for its flavoursome food, Ottoman architecture and restorative hammams, visitors can expect escapism and a change of pace.

Istanbul is the country’s most recognisable city thanks to its busy streets and two distinctive halves, but tucked away on the south coast you’ll find the oases of Gocek and Maris Bay.

With the Mediterranean Sea directly on the doorstep, around 3,000 hours of sunshine a year and breathtaking scenery, there’s nowhere better for a luxurious, restorative and relaxing getaway that’s a mere few hours away from the UK.

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D-Resort Gocek beach

D-Resort Gocek is perfect for families with younger children

Why stay here?

D-Resort Gocek, a campus hotel, has a laid-back atmosphere that makes it perfect for families with younger children. The landscapes are sprawling with small rocky islands and ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see. That feeling of openness translates into the hotel’s interior, with its high ceilings, wide corridors and huge open lobby.

The hotel is comprised of seven blocks with 102 rooms in six different categories. The maritime décor is a motif throughout and the bathrooms are spacious and come equipped with Molton Brown toiletries. Options range from standard garden rooms to the premier suite with pool access for an extravagant stay.

D-Resort Gocek bedroom

Bedrooms at D-Resort Gocek are light and spacious

The interior of D Maris Bay is quite different. It’s a maze to find your room, but once you do, you won’t be disappointed. I stayed in a deluxe room with sea views, but the real star of the show was a Jacuzzi-like bath that overlooked the ocean. There are options from classic rooms all the way up to the presidential suite which sits on the top floor.

The service at both hotels is relaxed and friendly, hitting the perfect note of being attentive but not overbearing.

Eating and drinking

Food and drink are where both hotels really excel – but don’t expect traditional Turkish dishes. The breakfast buffet at D Maris Bay was heaven, with counters offering everything from smoked fish to waffles. Guests can sip on Turkish tea or coffee and look out over the panoramic views for a serene start to the day.

There are a few restaurants to choose from at D Maris Bay, including a branch of the Japanese chain Zuma, but La Guerite and Manos were my favourites. Serving traditional Greek food, Manos is the epitome of a good time. With ouzo and wine flowing, fresh fish that crumbles off the bone, salads, meats and more, you’ll leave feeling full of joy – and energised by smashing a plate or two.

La Guerite restaurant

Guests can soak up views of the ocean when dining at La Guerite

La Guerite taps into the ambience of Cannes, with endless views of the ocean as you eat. A DJ plays lo-fi beats while you feast on melt-in-the-mouth sushi, fresh fish and salads. Before slipping off to bed, guests can enjoy a nightcap at the hotel bar which stays open until late.

At D-Resort Gocek, there’s Q Lounge – a Japanese-fusion restaurant that sits atop a hill and overlooks the incredible landscape. The sushi here is exquisite, particularly the nigiri and sashimi, as are the cocktails. D’Breeze is also worth a visit, if only for the Turkish pizza-like lahmacun, which is divine.

Things to do

At D-Resort Gocek, guests can hire the resort-owned speed yacht for an easy-going tour by the captain while sipping on champagne. Bikes can also be borrowed from the hotel for cycling to the privately-owned beach, while there’s also the option to reset at the small but well-equipped gym and wellness centre.

D-Resort Gocek restaurant

A speed yacht can be rented from D-Resort Gocek

At D Maris Bay, guests can take part in water sports or relax on one of the five sandy beaches that wrap around the bay. A ride on the funicular – revealing unbelievable views – is another must-try, as well as the excellent and expansive spa where a Turkish hammam and treatments are available. A full-body massage is a must to banish knots and crunches.

The verdict

A four-and-a-half-hour flight from London Gatwick to Dalaman is the simplest way to reach both hotels. Hop into a cab for a 45-minute transfer to reach D-Resort Gocek, but D Maris Bay is a little further afield. The two-hour journey from one to the other follows a long and winding road – I’d recommend popping a travel sickness pill if you’re a sufferer, but the twists and turns will be worth it once you get there.

The overwhelming success of both these hotels is that they deliver on exactly what they promise: escapism and luxury. Authentic Turkish culture is not a top priority at either, but what you can be sure to experience is stunning food, breathtaking views and beautifully designed rooms that fit the style of each.

If D-Resort Gocek is an adorning gemstone, D Maris Bay is the jewel in the crown, exuding lavishness without the stuffiness that often accompanies it. A far cry from the everyday mundaneness of home, these small corners of Turkey prove there’s no need to head any further afield than Europe for a utopic escape.

Olivia Perl was a guest of D-Resort Gocek and D Maris Bay. Attic rooms at D-Resort Gocek start from €155 (£136) in low season or €360 (£317) in high season, on a B&B basis including tax. Classic rooms at D Maris Bay start from €440 (£387) in low season or €1,450 (£1,276) in high season, on a B&B basis including tax.

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