We went to Ece back in June. The weather was lovely the whole time we were there with a pleasant breeze on the island. The surrounding cloud covered mountains added a slightly mystical feel.
Firstly the negatives - Only a few. The beds in the rooms are a bit small, only a double and they are uncomfortable. You do get some noise from the mainland and from passing 'party boats' this is only a real problem at the weekend. Ece has some frogs in a pond so if you are a light sleeper take ear plugs.
Now the rest -
The transfer to the island went really smoothly and the airport at Dalaman was very clean and modern, no hassle. We were met outside the airport by a Exclusive Escapes Representative and taken by mini bus to the boat over to the island.
We had the room called Sahin which is on the top floor with a fair sized balcony, that got the sun most of the day. The balcony had two chairs a table and a padded sun-lounger and was not overlooked by neighbours. The view is breathtaking over to Fethiye bay and surrounding mountains and a wonderful setting for a sun-downer. Sahin is large with a lounge area and separate bedroom with double bed. There is air conditioning but we didn't need to use it, preferring the ocean breeze. The shower had a glass surround and the bathroom was fairly modern although you could not flush the loo paper. The rest of the room I would describe as cottage style. There is a bar fridge, but it was fairly expensive to use, comfortable lounge chairs and a coffee table. No TV. There was a large cupboard and no shortage of storage space and shelves. Tea and coffee making. Towels, soap and shampoo is provided. It is all kept spotlessly clean.
The bar and restaurant area at Ece is open-air but there is some cover in event of rain.
The restaurant at Ece is the only one open on the island, the sunset cafe is now derelict. Breakfast is included and is continental, lunch which my husband and I usually shared comprised of various sandwiches, fries, burgers, egg dishes and pasta. I did think it would have been nicer to have more Turkish options for lunch, possibly more mezze.
Dinner was either a pre-set menu or a-la carte - we preferred ordering from the menu as the dinners were huge. We pre-ordered and paid for two meals prior to our departure and the most expensive were taken from our bill. All the food we had on Ece was fantastic and most tasted far better than it sounded on the menu, this was probably due to my preconceived expectations of Turkish food being spicier than it actually was. The steak was really good but if you like rare possibly ask for 'blue!' as was slightly over done. Once a week they had a BBQ eve. I really can't fault the food.
There is a free shuttle boat over to the mainland at various times during the day. We only ever went over during the daytime, as preferred to be in the peace and quiet of Ece with it's beautiful views for our evening meals rather than the hustle and bustle of Fethiye.
If you need any supplies from the mainland, once you get off the shuttle boat and head right along the quay you will get to a bar covered in oranges, just behind this is a supermarket, it is very well stocked. You are not supposed to take food and drink back to your room from the mainland though. As we ate and drank 90% of the time at Ece I must admit we did take a couple of bottles of wine back to enjoy on the balcony in the evening. The Angora wine, both red and white is very acceptable and reasonably priced.
The bar on Ece, if unmanned worked on an honesty bar system. We got bottled water daily and you wrote your drinks up on a clipboard. It was lovely sitting out and having a beer at lunch or early eve as the views were splendid as where the sunsets. The price of a bottle of wine, beer and food whilst I can't remember the precise amount was comparable to English prices.
One place I would recommended to eat in Fetiye is Nevis Pide for traditional Turkish pizza. We would have gone back, had we stayed longer than a week. Not much appealed to me on the menu but I asked for chilli on my Pide and it was delicious with minced lamb and onion. Eating and drinking is cheap in Turkey if you avoid the tourist traps. We found nice little places in the back streets of the town.
Also we were surprised we had virtually no hassle from locals , trying to get us into shops and restaurants. Everyone we met was lovely. Fethiye had some really good shops, lovely jewellery and glassware.
Gullet Cruise - Would highly recommended this trip. We had one free cruise as part of the holiday package. You spend the day on a gullet, there were just 10 of us. You can buy drinks on board so take a bit of cash and also for the 'tip box'. You arrive to a complimentary glass of bubbly. Lunch was served with wine included and a 3 course meal. We sailed to various bays where you can swim or snorkel from the boat. Ece does provide some snorkelling gear but we took our own. The snorkelling is not spectacular but worthwhile as the water is clear. The most exciting thing to see underwater was a six banded wrasse though, and not much else. Take a cardigan or pashmina for boat trips.
Wildlife -We didn't get bitten by anything, no mosquitoes. We saw wild dolphins in the bay during a crossing to the mainland. The island has lots of resident tortoises and some chickens. The dog at the hotel is really cute and not annoying - I'm a cat person.
We didn't see the turtles.
Swimming & snorkelling - I would take wet shoes if you plan to swim in the sea as it is rocky underfoot and contains sea urchins. We took a kayak round the island on two occasions and this takes about 50 min. The red two man kayak is very temperamental and has a mind of it's own, appearing only to go left! and out to sea. Only use this one if you have a very stable marriage. The individual kayaks were better, they seemed to prefer going in a straight line which led to fewer arguments.
The island was very peaceful and we often felt as though we were the only ones at the hotel. There are a lot of different areas with loungers, umbrellas and cushions and it was never a problem finding a space. The pool was very refreshing! Then there is the jetty leading to the sea you can snorkel from this but not much to see. If you read a lot and don't want to take too many books there is a library. there is also a visiting masseuse.
The Island is quite hilly and there are a lot of steps which may be problematic if you have any walking difficulties, especially the steep dirt track from the boat mooring to the hotel and the steps from the hotel to the jetty. It is very interesting to walk around and see the many Roman ruins dotted about the island and the grand new villas being built.
I was very impressed with Exclusive Escapes they provide beach towels and lip salve and even give you olive oil as a parting gift.
Everything was charged to the bill and paid at the end with no problems, we did keep a tally of everything we ate and drank just in case.
All the staff at Ece are very friendly and helpful, we left tips for the cleaners, the boat man, bar staff and chefs.
All in all a very relaxing week. Free from the masses, I would definitely return someday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ece Boutique Hotel on the island of Sovalye enjoys the most spectacular location on the water's edge, with 12 spacious rooms with wonderful sea views. The 11 spacious rooms (and one two-bedroom suite) are divided between two buildings and each open-plan room has a double or twin bed, a sitting area, fabulous picture windows to maximize the view, and a large balcony or terrace with, of course, more superb views out to sea. The Terrace Restaurant and pool area are the focal point of the hotel. Guests are requested to book at breakfast for the special dinner that is prepared each evening with the freshest of ingredients. Steps lead down from the restaurant past terraced gardens dotted with secret hideaways - to the Private Waterfront. Here guests can relax by the water's edge enjoying the wonderful views. An 'honesty bar' is located and a waiter service is provided on the terraces to ensure guests don't have to climb up the hill too often! The active are well catered for with the complimentary water sports and will enjoy the challenge of paddling around the island, or swimming - which is a little harder! At the tip of the island, a ten-minute walk from Ece, is the simple sand and shingle Sunset Beach - home to the Ada Beach Club & Restaurant. This magical setting provides the perfect vantage point from which to watch the sun dip below the horizon. Having tasted the unique atmosphere of Sovalye, we find that Guests rarely elect to venture from the island. However, on the occasions they do it is a simple hop across the water to the harbour town of Fethiye where its Turkish and cosmopolitan delights await your exploration as does the Lycian coastline beyond. A complimentary water-taxi operates three times throughout the day and evening from the hotel approximately 20-minutes to Fethiye and 7-minutes to Calis Beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ece Boutique Fethiye
- Ece Boutique Hotel Turkey/Fethiye