Club Marvy in a nutshell
Despite its size (the boho chic resort stretches across 16 hectares of hillside and sandy beach on Turkey’s Aegean coast), Club Marvy retains a sense of intimacy and a commitment to local flavours.
What’s the vibe?
There are plenty of little alcoves to explore: palm trees rock gently in the breeze beside olive trees, sandy coves are home to private beaches (one is adults-only and comes with an Ibiza-esque bar) and neat beds of cacti and exotic plants frame wooden decks and a glistening infinity pool. Inside, it’s airy with soft, muted tones and pops of bright colour from paintings by local artists and vibrant foliage.
Which room should I book?
There are more than 300 rooms dotted around the resort. All continue the stylish, boho theme with muted greys and taupe palettes, Turkish throws on the beds and brushed concrete walls. Compact bathrooms have rainfall showers, handwoven Turkish towels and bespoke bath products made with Değirmen Farm’s olive oil. Sunsets over the Aegean Sea and mountains are sublime, so west-facing rooms in the adults-only part of the resort are worth booking.
Food and drink
As you’d expect from a resort of this size, food and drink options are plentiful. There’s a commitment to local ingredients, with the majority plucked from owner Ece Tonbul’s mother’s organic 200-hectare farm. Expect grassy cold-pressed olive oil, handpicked vine leaves wrapped around sticky rice and exotic fruits (including Malta plums for Marvy cocktails). The latter are shaken with Aegean herb-infused spirits – Aperol spritz is garnished with a vine leaf and dried orange, while G&Ts are laced with sharp little pomegranate seeds.
Eat at the main restaurant for a buffet-style tour of Turkey and beyond. The Turkish station showcases traditional dishes such as deep-fried manti dumplings filled with minced lamb, glistening vegetables and spiced chicken stew. There’s a whole section dedicated to mezze – grilled aubergine, stuffed vine leaves and a huge range of salads. Elsewhere you can watch a whole sea bass grilled to order, slide pieces of lamb from charcoaled skewers, and pile your plate high with baklava and pomegranate ice cream.
The adults-only Değirmen restaurant, named after Club Marvy’s farm, offers a more intimate atmosphere. Perched on top of a cliff, it enjoys sensational sunset views – tuck into an à la carte menu of artichoke salad, lamb shish kebab, and deconstructed pavlova while the sun paints the sky blood orange as it disappears behind the mountains.
The latest culinary addition to the resort is Buono Italiano, an upmarket Italian restaurant run in partnership with Rome’s first Michelin-starred female chef, Cristina Bowerman. Cristina makes the most of the local larder in a menu that includes tagliolini with almond milk and lemon, and beef fillet with black garlic sauce.
The ‘village’ breakfast at the Değirmen restaurant is a must. Gorge on flaky boyos breads, hummus, sticky honey, fresh cheese and sundried tomato dips, alongside made-to-order eggs and Turkish tea and coffee presented on a gold platter.
What else is there for foodies to do?
If you’re flying into Izmir, factor in time to explore the old bazaar area. It buzzes with vendors flogging everything from fried sardine sandwiches to jewel-like Turkish delight and colourful spices. Sit on the red fabric benches of Dönerci Ömer Usta café for Turkish tea in dainty glasses (or strong and syrupy coffee) while eyeing up cherries, melons and dates on the neighbouring vendor’s wooden cart.
Is it family friendly?
Absolutely. Though it’s feasible to go as a couple and not be disturbed by other people’s children, kids are well catered for. Family rooms include extra beds and cots, and there are child-friendly options at most of the restaurants. There’s even a supervised waterpark and a busy list of activities to keep small people occupied while parents enjoy the adults-only Boho Beach Club, Turkish hammam or white-curtained massage cabana (which hovers soothingly above the Aegean Sea).
If you’re travelling without children, visit Club Marvy off-season to make the most of great-value rooms and quieter beaches.
Rates at Club Marvy start from £126 per double, all-inclusive (clubmarvy.com).
Words by Alex Crossley