I had first discovered Six Senses Kaplankaya in Turkey in an article by Condé Nast Traveller, who are excellent at writing in such a way that entices me drop everything and book whatever it is they are talking about immediately.
Fast forward a year or so and the name popped up again, this time with a deal attached to it from one of my favourite luxury boutique hotel booking websites, Mr & Mrs Smith.
No further encouragement needed, a couple of hours later and we were all booked to visit Six Senses in Turkey!
One of my favourite parts of planning my holidays is the hotel selection! Witt Istanbul Suites ticked all of my boxes; a luxury boutique hotel in Beyoğlu, the newer part of Istanbul city.
The Istanbul local that opened this Beyoğlu hotel in 2008 commissioned an award winning Turkish design and architecture firm, Autoban, to create the interiors. The result is a very well thought out understated, monochrome and modern-retro vibe that is undeniably stylish.
I’m definitely not the only one that thinks so, as well as numerous awards, Witt Istanbul Suites is also a member of Design Hotels a brand that I have used a few times and I have yet to experience an anything but excellent stay in one of their hotels.
With just eighteen suites and three penthouses, there is a very intimate feel to the Witt, which is one of the things I love in a hotel.
One of the things I love about my family is that we always make the effort to come together to celebrate special occasions. It’s usually big birthdays, however my aunt and uncle organised a spectacular weekend in London 5 years ago for their 25th wedding anniversary. It inadvertently had a bit of a British royal theme; we stayed at The Goring Hotel, had afternoon tea at The Ritz and spent a day exploring Buckingham Palace. The unexpected highlight for all of us though, somewhat unexpectedly, was watching their wedding video during a private dinner at the hotel on our last night. It was strange to see everyone so young and see how wedding trends have changed, as well as have a bit of a giggle at all the 80s hair!
The drive from Leicester to Burgh Island in Devon was epically long and not at all fuel efficient; with an outside temperature above 30°C, the air conditioning was working hard. I spent the entire 5 hours in the back seat working on my laptop, so thankfully missed getting frustrated at the ridiculous amount of traffic winding its way south on the M5. I didn’t actually look up until Danny told me to call the hotel and request they dispatch our collection vehicle, we needed a special form of transportation for the final mile!
The view out the front windscreen looked like a postcard from the Mediterranean, all I could see were white sand beaches and azure blue seas. A sign assures me we are close to Burgh Island and definitely in Devon, but I can’t say I have ever been to a British beach in this kind of weather. We park and a wall of heat hits me as soon as we get out the car, who says the UK weather is rubbish?!
Shockingly, on descending through the clouds into Edinburgh airport, it’s raining. Danny looks close to furious at having taken annual leave with no sunshine in site and as this is a route I regularly fly with work, my brain is not convinced we are here on holiday.
Morale does not improve as our hire car collection takes longer than our flight and our “VW Golf or equivalent” is a Citroën C3 Aircross with all of the engine power of a motorised scooter. Luckily, the wind is behind us which helps push us up the motorway at a just reasonable 64mph.
Half an hour later we blow off the M9 into the tiny town of Auchterarder nestled at the foot of the Ochil Hills in South Perthshire. Auchterarder is a lovely little town, but is most famous as the location of our destination for the next few days; the renowned hotel, Gleneagles in Scotland.