Places to stay: Maxx Royal Kemer, Turkey

Food and wine, Hotel, Travel, Turkey / Friday, June 28th, 2024

Next-level misafirperverlik on the Turkish Riviera.

The Turkish are well known for their warmth and hospitality. The tradition of misafirperverlik – where guests are treated with the same reverence as a loved one – is taken very seriously indeed. I found this wherever I went on my Turkey travels but Maxx Royal Kemer raised the bar of misafirperverlik considerably. The staff were incredible, the food sublime and the accommodation first-class.

The resort spans a quiet corner of the coast at Kiriş, a 10-minute drive from Kemer, and an hour’s drive from Antalya. The mountains make for a dramatic backdrop, and the protected national park ensures unspoiled nature on the doorstep.

The rooms

There is something for everyone here, ranging from one-bedroom suites and laguna suites (which have a communal pool), to three-bedroom beach villas, all the way up to the presidential villa. 

As the website says, “Each suite and villa has been carefully crafted to enhance your accommodation experience, ensuring that you’ll sense a profound renewal as your soul is imbued with calming feelings.” 

I stayed in a three-bedroom beach villa, which was tucked away in a quiet corner of the resort. It could easily accommodate a large family, but I liked having it all to myself, and being far removed from the Kids’ Club and family pool action. I had my own private swimming pool overlooking the beach, complete with resident goat herd that would regularly trot past, not one but TWO jacuzzis, and a private beach cabana. It was all so heavenly, if I were to write a fictional short story of a dreamy few days in paradise, it would surely look a lot like this. 

The Maxx Assistant and butler service

No matter which category you stay in, you’ll get your own Maxx Assistant who’s on hand around the clock to help you with anything you need. 

But at the beach villas, you also get your own private butler. Mine was called Anastasia, and she looked after me throughout my stay, suggesting food and wine pairings, bringing meals to my cabana or villa because I couldn’t tear myself away and didn’t want to brave the family restaurants. I dined on succulent prawns pil pil, freshly grilled salmon, plates of cold and warm mezze, soft burrata and grilled vegetables. My go-to wine was the Isabey sauvignon blanc, served chilled on ice. It’s a solid choice. 

Anastasia also set up my breakfast for me each morning in my cabana, and even ran me an almond milk bath filled with rose petals under a full moon, with some chocolate-covered strawberries and Champagne on ice on the side. I told you it was pretty perfect, didn’t I? 

Maxx Royal doesn’t have any buffets anywhere, which is a refreshing change for anyone who’s experienced all-inclusive before. Instead, there are numerous a la carte restaurants to choose from – spanning Mexican, Mediterranean, Turkish, steak, fish – where dishes are cooked to order. There’s also the Twenty4 restaurant that’s open 24/7, a cafe that serves coffee and pastries, and a French chocolaterie that makes Willy Wonka look like a novice. In the evenings, nightly dance and acrobatic shows, live music, beach parties and the Black Diamond nightclub tucked away in the rocks supply a ready source of entertainment. 

Gastro by Alfredo Russo

For me, the culinary highlight was an evening spent at Gastro, the fine dining restaurant by Michelin-starred Chef Alfredo Russo. I enjoyed a beautifully choreographed meal here, while gazing out to sea and watching a blood-red full moonrise. I ordered the gourmet pescetarian tasting menu with wine pairing, which was served by the lovely Joe, and began with an oyster on ice with a glass of Champagne, and ended with homemade tiramisu and 70-hour orange with a glass of vermouth. A very peaceful evening indeed – no stress, no crowds, just straight-up epicurean bliss.  

The spa

Maxx Royal also has a huge 4,500sqm spa that has everything from a hammam, sauna, salt and steam rooms to 30 treatment rooms.  There are massages, ayurvedic treatments, reiki, singing bowl sessions and herbal body scrubs. New for this year are the high-tech non-invasive facial and body treatments such as the Biologique Recherche Remodelling Face Machine, IV therapy, ozone therapy and platelet rich plasma injections. 

Many people come to Turkey for cosmetic treatments and therapies, so this is a great addition to the resort. I opted for a 90-minute aromatherapy massage, which left me so blissed out, I had to take a nap in the relaxation room afterwards. I also spotted a hairdressers on site, so that’s a nice addition if you want to get a full revamp before you go home. 

If you’re in the mood for a hike, the walk up to the viewpoint at the top is well worth it, but remember to take sturdy shoes and plenty of water. If that feels too much, you can just soak up the landscape from the beaches at the resort. 

One thing’s for sure – Maxx Royal’s misafirperverlik is top of its game. ●


Details:  Kiriş Mah. Kiriş Cad. No:88 07980 Kemer/Antalya, +902428136060, BOOK HERE

Fly to Antalya with any of the many airlines that offer direct routes from the UK. I flew Jet2 and EasyJet. Kiwi is my go-to platform for searching low-cost flights and the best deals. 

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