Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blinded by the Whites; Jo Fernandez Checks out Antalya's Hip Hillside Su Hotel as It Gears Up for This Month's SunSplash Music Festival

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blinded by the Whites; Jo Fernandez Checks out Antalya's Hip Hillside Su Hotel as It Gears Up for This Month's SunSplash Music Festival

Article excerpt

Byline: Jo Fernandez

IDIDN'T expect to like Hillside Su, sat in the centre of what is known as the Turkish Riviera, as much as I did. I arrived late one afternoon with my partner and our five-yearold daughter, and we marvelled at the spectacle of the never-ending lobby with its constant club mixes playing and six giant mirror balls (6ft in diameter) suspended from the ceiling throwing changing-coloured shapes on the white chairs. Like a kind of daytime, low-key club.

The hotel does, in fact, have its own nightclub, not to mention a boutique music festival (maximum 400 people), SunSplash Antalya, running for third time this year, from May 22-29, with top DJs including Gilles Peterson and Norman Jay. Hillside Su isn't the sort of place you'd think would make an ideal weekend break for a couple with a young child, as aside from the clubbing vibe, pretty much everything here is white. Pure, pristine, gleaming, white. But the mainly young staff, despite a smart white uniform, are not "too cool for school" but incredibly welcoming and genuinely put you at ease.

One such staff member took us to our milk-white room, which looked like some futuristic vision from the Sixties. When I say everything was white I mean everything -- the walls, ceilings, blinds, floors, furniture units, television and even the large balcony overlooking the vast swimming pool and the coastline of Antalya. To the left, Benidormesque high-rise blocks fan out along the cliffs towards the centre of Antalya while to the right the smokey-grey silhouette of the snowcapped Taurus mountain range fades down into the sparkling blue Mediterranean.

We trotted down to inspect the 50m Olympic-size pool, the showpiece of the hotel, lending it an air of Miami with its neat rows of white sun loungers perfectly placed on the teak deck. The water was screamingly icy in the October sun (they only heat it "when needed", which means from around autumn onwards).

There is underwater music -- perhaps to take swimmers' minds off the cold. The obligatory dip done, we'd earned our lunch at the poolside restaurant; creamy seafood penne with salmon, prawns and calamari. …

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