We took a chance. After emailing a couple of places in 2 different towns in southwestern Turkey, Deb and I heard from Beliz at Karia Bel’ Hotel in the village of Bozburun, Turkey. Located southwest of Marmaris, this boutique hotel was affordable, yet looked quite nice.
When we arrived at the appointed place in the harbor area to meet “the boat”, we were awed. We were whisked away on a small motorboat with our luggage. Skirting along the rugged, mountainous coastline, I looked at Deb and she looked at me. I saw the same look of astonishment on her face that was mirrored on mine. We had made a very good choice.
As the boat pulled up to the hotel’s wooden dock that was lined with sun loungers and umbrellas, Beliz, the owner of the hotel and our hostess for the next two nights, greeted us with a big, warm smile. Yes, we had made the right decision. Our suitcases were taken up the stone steps to our room which was large, simply decorated and featured a lovely balcony overlooking the Aegean Sea. We changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the main deck to relax in those inviting sun loungers.
Dinner and breakfast are included in the price of the room. The delicious dinners usually consists of a few Turkish meze (hot and cold appetizers), a salad, a main dish (the fresh fish is the best) and dessert. The menu is set, but Beliz will work with guests who are on a special diet. Bottled water, soda, beer, wine and other alcohol are extra. Breakfast is a scrumptious buffet of fresh fruit, yogurt, olives, tomatoes, cheese, bread, cereals, Turkish tea and coffee. A lunch menu is available and will cost extra. But, it’s affordable.
There are only two ways to get to Karia Bel’ – the boat from the village of Bozburun or a small, dirt footpath. Obviously, with luggage the former is the choice. But, if you are adventurous and want to walk to the little town of Bozburun, take the footpath to the road and then simply follow the road as it skirts along the harbor. It’s a lovely walk and a way to see what the locals are up to.
Beliz has been upgrading the hotel over the past few years and has earned a reputation for having an amazing boutique hotel with excellent service. She herself is a warm, welcoming woman with a big smile that will make you instantly feel at home. In fact, Karia Bel’ was a home – a holiday home – that belonged to her father. She dreamed of turning it into a hotel where she could open not only the house, but her heart, to travelers. Beliz wanted to share the gorgeous, natural setting of the house, which sits right on the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, with others, so they too could relax and de-stress.
Having been to Karia Bel’ a few times, I would say that Beliz is successful. She has returning guests each year who all rave about Karia Bel’ Hotel and Bozburun. While it might be a bit “off the beaten path”, it is so worth the extra bus ride or taxi ride from Mamaris to get to Bozburun. And the boat ride, well, that’s just plain fun!
So, if Turkey is on your radar for a vacation, be sure to take the time to stay with Beliz at Karia Bel’ Hotel. Believe me, it will be a stay to remember.