JANE SLADE enjoys a stay at a villa owned by the Hideaways Club in the fashionable Turkish resort of Kalkan and talks to some Brits who have built their own properties there
It’s hard to measure the excitement of approaching your overseas villa bathed in sunshine, with the sea sparkling in the distance and a warm welcome waiting inside.
But that is what you can expect from the Hideaways Club, which owns a portfolio of luxury properties all over the world and offers an ideal alternative to buying a second home abroad.
One of the prize properties in its Classic Collection of 43 chalets and villas is Kalkan Heights in the fashionable Turkish holiday resort of Kalkan.
And it is everything you might expect from an exclusive shared-ownership club that only buys exquisite luxury homes in choice locations, ranging from 12th century Tuscan farmhouses deep in the olive groves, beachfront villas on paradise islands, to Broadway penthouses overlooking Times Square; and for a starting investment price of £88,000.
Our four-storey villa (pictured above and below) had a rooftop terrace with breath-taking views of the Mediterranean, a private pool, a vast sitting and dining area and lots of little spaces where one could escape with a good book or glass of wine.
There was room to do whatever you wanted. Soon after we arrived one friend settled down to watch cricket on the satellite TV channel, another lazed on a comfy sun lounger while I ventured onto the roof terrace to admire the view. Everyone was happy. All of the time. What’s more each of the four bedrooms had ensuite bathrooms so privacy was guaranteed.
A welcome basket of groceries greeted us with all the essentials to ensure a great start to our holiday and soon after we had unpacked Wendy the concierge arrived to offer us tips on getting around, good places to eat, and the low-down on the local attractions which included a 16km-long beach, and a bo-ho village called Kas a short drive along a scenic stretch of coast.
Kalkan is a charming web of hilly narrow streets, with a jumble of restaurants, some perched on top of each other and cluster of quirky shops. It is also a treasure trove of imitation designer handbags, watches and shoes and far better quality that you will find in the local market.
The resort, which is 1 ½ hours from Dalaman airport, has proved a great lure for British property hunters many of whom have built their own holiday villas. [pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”right” variation=”purple”]Hideaways Club members are attracted by the lower capital investment required … compared with buying a second home.[/pullquote1]
Claire and Uluc Bilgutay, who run the property company Korsan Kalkan have been refurbishing old properties and building sparkling new ones in Kalkan for over 20 years; selling apartments as well as luxury villas to well-heeled Brits. They also run one of the most popular and oldest restaurants in the town and have a service maintenance company which manages the Hideaways Clubs two properties in the resort.
“The property business has really taken off in last 14 to 15 years,” says British-born Claire who met her Turkish husband when she came to Kalkan on holiday. “We have a lot of British customers. We work with different owners, some know exactly what they want which is lovely and other don’t so we help them create a vision.
“We can source everything for them and take care of their property when they aren’t here. We organize cleaning, pool and garden maintenance and also offer a barbecue service where one of our chefs can come and cook for you.” Korsan Properties is currently building four five-bedroom villas, two semi-detached three-bedroom villas and four two-bedroom apartments priced from £249,000 rising to £844,000 on a scheme overlooking Kalamar Bay.
Fiona and Nico Fontaine from Wandsworth, South London employed Korsan Kalkan to build their five-bedroom property Villa Bono so they could enjoy family holidays with their three teenage daughters and friends. They moved in 18 months ago.
“People want something completely different here,” says Fiona, a yoga teacher who first came to Kalkan with some girlfriends two years ago. “The people here are lovely, it’s very safe and we love being isolated yet close to the town.
Their multi-storey villa cost just £550,000 and occupies a prime spot overlooking Kalamar Bay and all the bedrooms have uninterrupted sea views.
Cool, modern and spacious, the villa also has a huge outdoor terrace with an infinity pool.
“There’s always a lovely breeze even when it’s very hot,” says Fiona who offers the villa for rent for £3,600 a week high season.
The Hideaways Club has two properties in Kalkan but members can choose from a variety of properties in a huge number of city and rural destinations all over the world and enjoy holidays year round. They also don’t have the hassle of maintaining their properties.
Poonam Dhawan-Leech, CEO of The Hideaways Club says, “Rising confidence in the foreign property market is stimulating interest in The Hideaways Club membership.
“New members are attracted by the lower capital investment required for membership compared with buying a second home, the flexibility we offer and the wide choice of luxury homes to stay in. They also like the fact that that they are investing in properties spread across different countries and are therefore less exposed to the vagaries of any particular country’s property market.”
Di and Will Bailey who run an event-organizing company in London built their six-bedroom Villa Beylihan (pictured above and below) which includes a separate apartment in Kalkan 10 years ago and offer it for rent when they are not using it up to eight weeks a year. Will, 60, maintains property in Kalkan represents great value for money.
“We’ve witnessed a complete transformation in Kalkan since we arrived 10 years ago,” Will says. “There were hardly any villas when we arrived. Building has slowed but you get fantastic value for money. Our villa would have cost £2-3million to build in France rather than a few hundred thousand. The people are lovely – they understand the service industry and you get a better type of Brit coming here – those who respect staff and locals more.”
Will’s tips for designing the perfect villa
1. Keep bedrooms small. Big bedrooms take longer to cool in summer and air conditioning is costly. You don’t spend much time in a bedroom so why do you want a big one? Install reflective glass which cuts down the heat.
2. The best view. Having looked at various views you don’t want to look to far down. The right perspective is to be slightly raised so you can see further but not so high you feel like you are on an aeroplane when you look down. Most of all make sure you have a protected view.
3. Outside space. Communication between areas at pool level has to be right, so you can eat, swim and sunbathe within the same vicinity but also have spaces to escape to.
4. A separate apartment under your villa can be great for teenagers or friends who want their own private space. It is also useful if you want to rent it out separately.
5. Location. You want your villa to be in a peaceful location but within striking distance of the town.
6. To extend the season consider putting a heat pump in the pool so you can still swim during the cooler months and offer a longer rental period.
For those who don’t want to build their own villa the Hideaways Club offers two funds:
The Classic Collection offers a choice of 43 stunning villas and chalets in such locations as France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Mauritius, South Africa and South East Asia. Members also have access to a further portfolio of 200 luxury villas through reciprocal agreements with other destination clubs, bringing the total number of villas available for members’ use to 243. The properties typically accommodate 8-10 guests. Entry Level price for the Classic Collection start with a Lifestyle Associate membership at £88,000.
The City Collection offers 13 beautiful city centre apartments in such iconic cities as New York, Prague, Barcelona, Berlin, Istanbul, Bangkok and Dubai, with a further choice of seven homes available through reciprocal agreements, giving a total of 20 city apartments which typically accommodate 4-6 guests. Entry level price for an Associate membership starts at £69,500.
The Hideaways Club: www.thehideawaysclub.com
Korsan Properties: www.korsankalkan.com
Villa Beylihan: www.beylihankalkan.com
Villa Bono: www.korsankalkan.com/Villa-Bono.html