Need to know
13, including three suites and one standalone villa.
12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Early arrivals can laze by the pool or freshen up in an unoccupied room. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $204.08 (€173), excluding tax at 8 per cent.
Rates usually include a traditional Turkish breakfast: a spread of breads and pastries, muesli, yoghurt with local honey, fresh fruit and juices, olives, cheeses and eggs any way.
Hands-on hotel owner Ipek Tolbas will happily chat and offer handy nuggets of local knowledge. We’re rather partial to labour-of-love hotels, and Mahal’s is quite a magical story: former graphic designer Ipek fell in love with Kalkan while on holiday in 1982 and despite the remote setting (most materials arrived on boat or by donkey) she had built the villa from scratch by 1987.
Annually from 1 November to 1 May.
At the hotel
Spa, beach club, honesty bar, roof terrace, parking, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: iPod dock, Nespresso Coffee machine, minibar, kettle with a selection of teas, free bottled water, air-conditioning and Molton Brown bath products.
Our favourite rooms
We applaud the sociable beach club scene, but honeymooners and loved-up twosomes can seek some alone time in the resort’s only villa, the Cliff House. Bar infrequent visits from the friendly gardener, it’s utterly secluded, set mere steps from the coast and surrounded by aloe vera plants. A private infinity pool appears to run into Kalkan Bay, and there are sunloungers and cushioned banquettes on your terrace for cosy sunset-gazing.
The view from the resort’s 17-metre infinity pool – lime, olive and fig trees descending into the blue of the bay – will make you want to up sticks and pursue the hotelier path on the Turkish coast (much like Villa Mahal owner, Ipek). A Jacuzzi, sunloungers and honesty bar complete the serene set up. The Cliff House and Pool Room each have private pools and guests can jump into the bay from the Beach Club’s floating platforms – a private deck is reserved for each room or suite.
Mahal Beach Spa takes a cue from the Flintstones, offering its decadent treatments (Balinese massages, clay face masks, foot and hand reflexology and crystal healing) in a low-lit stone cave where the gentle swoosh of waves reverberates off the walls. Claustrophobes can choose to take their treatment in a veiled pavilion by the shore.
It depends on the pace of holiday you’ve planned: Kalkan’s hills call for hiking boots, but Mahal’s pools call for a floaty kaftan and a sizzling summer read.
The resort is laid out over the hillside, so be prepared for plenty of steps.
Over-9s are welcome.
Water is heated by solar panels, and the ingredients used in the restaurant are locally sourced.