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Karahayit: your 5 stars spa bargain

November 26, 2017

 

Karahayit  is a cute little village, north of Pamukkale, that has been blessed with rust red hot mineral waters, literally filled with iron and calcium, gobbling fountains, hot water springs and thermal hotels, meaning that you can find family run hotels  that include a thermal bath in your own very room!

                                                               Red Water Wellness Park, Karahayit, Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

But what you should really go for, in Karahayit, are the 5 stars spa hotels, the cheapest royal bargains you will find in your life, and I'll explain why that is, in a moment. Most likely, you will take the cure from Karahayit's filled with wonder ancient waters, and you will feel like a Queen or King with silky skin! It is known that the thermal spas in that area, get you rid of  rheumatism, sciatica, calcification in the bones, renal stone, neural system, dermatological diseases, muscle pains, gynecological problems, varicose vein and infertility. I assure you is not all gimmick and no substance! Go!

                                                                                Karahayit, Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

The tip of a life-time is, of course, as I mentioned earlier, the fact that you can stay at  brilliant 5 stars hotels in Karahayit, at refreshingly low rates, rather unusual to western people!  I assure you there is no scam, as I was there! And according to the Turkish Travel Planner, in the 1990's, when the motels atop the Pamukkale plateau were razed, Karahayıt became the place selected for developing large luxury spa hotels like the Richmond and the Spa Colossae Thermal, with the latter being among the better! I will present both of these hotels in this article. Scroll down!

                                                                                    Hotel Richmond Pamukkale Thermal

 

                                                                                              Spa Colossae Thermal

 

And there is of course, the mightiest version of all 5 stars in Karahayit: Doga Thermal Hotel, that will blow your mind.

 

                                                                                                      Doga Thermal Hotel

 

The triumphal entry gate on the wide access road to Karahayıt is a magnificent monument, built in the hope that Turkish and foreign visitors in search of health and happiness would come to Karahayıt and stay at the luxury spa hotels for a week or two, to take the "cure" from its waters.  In the end, too many hotels were built and too few spa visitors arrived. Now Karahayıt's 5-star hotels host mostly bus tour groups for one-night stays, Turkish families, conference gatherings, and the usual sprinkling of independent tourist drivers on their away to Cappadochia, Ephesus, Antaliya, Bodrum and others.

                                                                                                                 Karahayit, Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

If you check the online environment, you might live under the impression that there is not much to see in Karahayit, besides starring at the mosque, evaluate for free the outdoor Red Water Wellness Park with its hot springs ( which I did by the way!), or listening to the endless gobble of the fountains.

 

 

 

I contradict those that say that: while indeed is not as splendid as nearby Pamukkale (another great natural spa used & known since the second century BC), literally meaning The Cotton Fortress, I must say that there is a peace attached to Karahayit as well. You have to be there in order to feel it.

 

                                                        Cute Turkish girl playing on Karahayit's Streets, Photo (c): Nomaddeea

                                                                                     Room at Spa Collosae Thermal

 

I believe it's a wonderful mix between culture & modernity. I have never encountered it empty of tourists though ( mostly Asians), but is still peaceful, with lovely sunsets to watch in the distance over a meadow of olive trees that belongs to the village. Also, there is a special place on the end of Karahayit, from where you can spot mighty Laodicea on a clear day.  You can even use a swing if you feel like swinging while admiring a pomegranate garden. Due to the fact that they have many olive trees, natural olive based creams are by default in the stores ( try the line from Dalan, you will thank me, better than Chanel crap). People are generally nice and welcoming, and there is a small bazaar with fruits, seeds, linen & flax seed oil, towels and meats. And is incredibly cheap! Basically you can shop here luxury goods for a bargain!

                                                                                 Olive Meadow, Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

                                                                             Fruit Bazaar, Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

 

What I mostly loved, was eating pancakes made in front of me, while savoring an Elma Chai ( apple chai), which alongside the Nar Juice ( Pomegranate Juice), is specific to the area. I think there is something sacred in watching those that dedicate their time to cooking for you. Since I myself don't like to cook unless I'm doing something raw or vegan, I kind of fell in love with it. The pancakes place is a family business, and they are all so cute and welcoming, typically you will see the parents playing around with their children! I enjoyed it so much, I came back twice, the second time being for shopping & dining only.

 

                                                                                                 Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

Since besides olive trees, you also have plenty of pomegranates trees, you can buy pomegranate wine, again from a local vineyard that has a pop-up shop displayed in the village.

 

                                                                                                Photo (c): Nomaddeea

 

Don't worry about walking great distances, since the whole place can be made at a pace in 20 minutes back and forth. Most tourists come here, hungry from Pamukkale. I did not specifically like the restaurants in Pamukkale, that's why i chose the Karahayit experience. I also had a third time opportunity to stroll by, but I bypassed it, since it came with an offer from a crazy Turkish guy to reside in his uncle's hotel and go to the thermal baths together. No, thank you honey! Haha. Sometimes, if Turkish guys sense that you are a foreigner they can be quite pestering, but in general they are very respectful, a lot more respectful than the non-sense we have in the West ( specifically London!). I honestly think Karahayit is great for those interested in out-door activities, without over doing it ( hiking in the area is mild on light tracks)!

 

Now the hotels I mentioned, the 5 stars ones, are great. Here is why!

 

Doga Thermal needs no more introduction, but perhaps a few more pictures would help...

                                                                                                      Doga Thermal Hotel

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                       Doga Thermal Hotel

 

At the Richmond, guests can enjoy rich buffet breakfast and refined flavors of Turkish and international cuisine with a view to the pine tress garden that belongs to the hotel!  There is also Pool Bar, Rich Cafe&Bar and Fireplace Bar, where you can enjoy a la carte menu and a variety of drinks ( keep in mind that in Turky, spritz are paid on a separate rate and can be quite pricey since it's a Muslim country!). What I mostly liked here is the Vital Bar, inside the spa centre, that offers herbal teas and organic drinks. The indoor thermal pool includes fine thermal water with rich minerals. The on-site spa centre houses a hammam, sauna, adventure cave and a gym equipped with cardiovascular systems and weights! Other facilities include areas for basketball, beach volleyball, archery, air hockey, badminton, boccia, table football and mini golf in the garden.

                                                                    Turkish bath @ Richmond Hotel Pamukkale/Karahayit

                                                                                                 @ Richmond Hotel Pamukkale/Karahayit

 

At Colossae Thermal, they feature thermal pools, an outdoor swimming pool and a spa centre, and it is an  eco-friendly hotel that offers comfortable accommodation just 4 km from the ancient city of Hierapolis and 5 km away from Pamukkale.  The air-conditioned rooms are colorfully and tastefully decorated with carpets. They all feature balconies. Some rooms also offer a private sauna and a hot tubes. The food is delicious & drinks are available at the hotel’s bars. Guests can relax with a Turkish bath & there is a range of massages that can also be enjoyed at the spa centre.

                                                                                                                             Colossae Thermal

                                                                                                       Colossae Thermal

 

Now, to give you another tip, due to my theatre courses, on the day of the Volunteer in Turkey, after an exhausting morning doing theatre games with over 100 kids,  I ended up with a large Turkish Group at Tripolis Hotel in Karahayit, with all expenses paid by a benefactor based in Istanbul! This one is "just" a 3 stars ones, but I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the fireplace area, the royal entrance, the huge outside pool, and of course the rich in Denizli specialties dinner, from the restaurant with a travertine view! We were an incredible large group, but they dished so much food, than I remember some took home from it as well! Thanks Tripolis! PS: It also serves international cuisine! And from Tripolis you can walk to Pamukkale in under 10 minutes :)

                                                                                                  Tripolis Hotel/ Karahayit

                                                                                                 Tripolis Hotel/ Karahayit

 

Nonetheless, if you chose just to enjoy the spas in the area, Denizli hotels tend to be less expensive than hotels at Pamukkale or Karahayıt (! imagine that!), and more convenient for the bus terminal and train station, since from the major nearby city which is Denizli, you get to Karakhayit in 25 minutes. For example, the 3-star Laodikya Hotel in Denizli, is a clean, modern mid-range business hotel with simple but pleasant ,and comfortable guest rooms! They also have bedside reading lights! Hehe! Best of all, it's right behind the Denizli Bus Terminal and a 5-minute, across the street walk from the train station. Marvelous!

                                                                                            Laodikya Hotel in Denizli

 

                                                                                    

I really hope you decide for a trip in the area and that you enjoy it to its full potential.

The End.

Is only the Beginning!

X

Deea

 

©2017 by Deea Wolf. All rights reserved.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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  Drama Moments & Nomad Times : served with a lem on   on  a flying zebra, and a pinch of jazz. Tips, life tricks & international coffee sips guaranteed.

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Deea

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