Wedding Anniversary in Turkey. My Holiday Wish List – And What Clothing Worked.

It was our anniversary in June (42 years, where have the years gone?). We don’t usually make a fuss but, this time, we decided to use it as an excuse to book a last-minute holiday. I’ve been working for the last couple of months at my old place of work. So, this casual income all contributes towards the budget.

There is no secret to being together this length of time. We know each other, “warts n all”. We are not typically “gooey”, or romantic, though we love doing lovely things, together, hence booking this holiday. We’ve had our ups, downs, and everything in between…. He has always made me laugh and still does. Humour is so important, don’t you think? Plus, all these years later, we are still the best of friends, with a little love thrown in, too. One other thing I will add is, communication. Talking to each other is so important. We have never been that couple who sit there with no conversation. In fact, the opposite! It’s simply what works for you, and we are all different.

A rare sighting of my husband, Patrick. He’s a musician as you can tell by the photo.  I took this as a promo for a songwriting gig he is doing in Newcastle this month (July 2024).

Holiday Vibe!

The days are gone when there are ridiculously cheap deals on offer. However, if flexible, and avoiding school holiday dates, there are still last-minute discounts. Although, I was surprised to see children of school age on our flight. Maybe, there were exceptional circumstances.

We haven’t visited Turkey before but always wanted to go. We have booked twice over the last few years and both times we have had to either cancel or rearrange due to Covid restrictions. So, this was an itch which needed to be scratched! We had sourced hotels so we revisited these on our searches and checked the prices leading up to the available dates.

Our Bright, Bright Suitcases!

What were we looking for?

  1. A good deal/discount – love a bargain, but willing to push the boat out for something a little more special.

  2.  This time, a four or five-star and Adult Only. Been there and done the family hotels with our children – I also check reviews on Trip Adviser.

  3. Room/hotel to be clean and aesthetically pleasing. The most basic room does for us if it’s pleasantly spacious with cotton sheets and has a queen, king or, better still, a super king-sized bed like the one we have at home (need our stretch), plus air conditioning.

  4. All-inclusive. I wanted to try this here in Turkey as we’d had good experiences in both Mexico and the Maldives. We loved AI in these two places as we enjoyed exploring the underwater world…pure bliss! Unfortunately, even though we stayed on “budget” islands such as Embudu and Fihalhohi in the Maldives, prices have increased so much that I’m not sure if we will ever return. Back to our current search, we had heard from friends about the high standard of choice in cuisine, coffee and beverages in some of the hotels in Turkey, though we’d been warned to choose, carefully. We were looking for a good “a la carte” choice. Wow, I’m sounding a tad demanding but we know what we love/enjoy, I suppose. And, this is our wish list. We know not all boxes will be ticked but a few would be nice. Usually, we go on holiday with an open mind hoping for the best but expecting mediocre – and, hopefully, not the worst!

  5. Near the beach – which we both enjoy. We know there’ll be no coral, here, so swimming is as far as it will go.

  6. Padded sun loungers are so preferable, don’t you think, great for a snooze, all soft and comfortable. And, no sun lounger wars! By this, I mean people getting up in the middle of the night to grab a sunbed by the pool. This would simply put me off the hotel and I wouldn’t book.

As we weren’t fussy to explore and just wanted to relax, we decided to go for the
TUI BLUE Barut Andiz in Side.

TUI BLUE Barut Andiz in Side

The Hotel

This hotel ticked all the boxes on paper but did it in reality?

The Pluses. 

The massive plus of this hotel is the staff. The culture from the management down to the lovely lady who cleaned our room, every day, was friendly and professional. The staff had all worked there a long time which is also a sign that their working life is good, and they enjoy their jobs. This showed in the way they treated the clientele. We instantly noticed this, and the atmosphere made it a lovely place to be – nothing was too much trouble.

The clientele were lovely, too. We spoke to people who have visited this hotel over twenty to thirty times – unbelievable! One couple we talked to in the pool were returning, again, in September. The staff made you feel so welcome. A few of the characters who worked in this hotel made us laugh, a lot! So funny! Great sense of humour.

It’s a smallish hotel, which made it more of an intimate experience.

Exceptionally clean and sparkling.

We were offered “a la carte” for three nights which was the highlight of our holiday. The food and service were of an extremely high standard.

The rooftop bar had entertainment in the evening, which wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. For us, it was somewhere to chill and, “hey” we’re on holiday!!! – so we threw ourselves into it and made a few acquaintances, which was nice – love hearing about other people’s lives and their journeys.

Chill out time!

The Minuses

The main restaurant’s food was a little repetitive. We ate here for breakfast, lunch and the evenings – in between the “a la carte” restaurant options which we were entitled to on three occasions. There was also a lunchtime choice of the Culinarian restaurant where there was a varied menu to pick from – so we would go there most days. The food got a little bit samey after a while, so we were pleased we didn’t book longer.

We found the All Inclusive wasn’t really for us. We love, if possible, going out and eating in different restaurants, trying all the varied cuisines and meeting the characters who run them…. we missed this. Plus, I/we tend to not overindulge on holiday, but the temptation to eat lots, here, was very tempting – beautiful pastries and cocktails without any exercise, apart from the odd length in the pool – was only good for a brief period.

There was a restricted area on the beach but it wasn’t for us. We went down there, twice.

My other half likened our stay to that of the “The Truman Show” film starring Jim Carey (look it up if you are interested in the comparison). He’s very cynical, me not so much.

Wider Observations

The downside to this holiday was the flight and transfers. We currently have an ongoing complaint to the company, TUI, as the transfers were dire. We arrived in Antalya at 1.00 am and didn’t arrive at our hotel until 5.30 am as the sun was coming up! I won’t go into detail, as this is ongoing, but the transfer was a complete farce and we later found out from our fellow hotel patrons this is a common problem. So, most people book private transfers which we sometimes do. But, on this occasion, we decided to go with the flow – wish we hadn’t, but, we live and learn.

Another not-so-good experience was the flights. We booked our seats sitting together on the way there and back. On the return, we both opted for aisle seats, which we sometimes do. When we were seated, the chap in front of me reclined his seat, even when we were taking off and he was told to change his seat to the upright position. Then, as soon as he was able, he reclined, again, and threw his arms over the back of his seat, too! His party of people were all around us and we were both uncomfortable as, let’s say, they were a little twitchy. I put my earbuds in and podcast on, hoping the journey would pass, quickly (four and a half hours). The flight attendant, bless her heart, was serving drinks and must have noticed what was going on – she whispered to me, “there are seats at the front if you want to move”. If I could have jumped up and kissed her at that moment, I would have done so. But, we had to do it low-key as she had given us more expensive seats. The chap in front dared to ask me “why are you moving?”   I quickly rushed off to our new seat! “Thank goodness” is all I can say.

Packing my suitcase, what worked?

Checking temperatures in Turkey before our holiday, we saw it was stupidly hot. I don’t think the temperature dipped below thirty-two degrees. I know, from past experiences, there are certain items I don’t wear in these temperatures – one of them is a bra. I have an average-sized bust, around a 34 to 36 C cup (a reminder to book a bra fitting), as I may not be any of these sizes, anymore). I don’t need a bra with a few of my dresses but, as a backup, I take both my black and white cotton bandeau bralettes. This style of bra isn’t suitable for everyone, especially if you have a bigger bust than me and need more support.

When It’s too hot for a Bra! Here are a few alternatives.

I find them easy to wear and comfortable – the trick is to make sure they are cotton, breathable material. It does the job of giving me a little support while being lightweight when wearing a tee shirt or vest top. I also took nipple covers to pop inside my bralette, but I only wore them once. It would probably work here in the UK, but I found them a tad uncomfortable in that heat. So, they were quickly dispatched.

As usual, I took far too many clothes and shoes. I find that, if I am returning to a familiar destination, I am so much more prepared, clothes-wise. So, in this case, I wasn’t familiar and returned with half of my suitcase, unworn. I need to be more careful and plan better.

I wore this white cotton dress for our wedding anniversary. (River Island – bought last year).  I’ve found a few on eBay.  At home, I’m looking forward to wearing this dress with my Levi’s denim jacket 

On my return home, I have had to up my game exercise-wise for obvious reasons!!

This is what I wore:

I alternated between two (throw-on) linen dresses for breakfast.

During the day, I wore three bikinis: two bandeau (two black and one blue and white striped) and one halter neck style plus an orange and bandeau black swimsuit.

Bought this orange swimsuit from Accessorize UK (January). It was reduced from £45.00 to £12.00…..What a bargain!!

During the day, I wore three bikinis: two bandeau (two black and one blue and white striped) and one halter neck style plus an orange and bandeau black swimsuit.

Cover-ups were a black sarong, a long white cover-up and a bandeau pull-on dress (easy to whip off on the beach and by the pool).

Footwear – one of my thong flip-flops fell apart due to the heat. Luckily, I had brought my trustee Birkenstocks. I also brought my brown slip-on leather sandals and strappy espadrilles – which all worked very well.

I hope you have enjoyed my post. I would love to hear from you. Especially if you have any holiday experiences you would like to share.

I will be back shortly with some style ideas, followed by all the beauty products that were a blessing in the extreme heat of Turkey. Plus, I’ll share some wonderful new dupes I came across by accident. I found two fragrance dupes for famous Dior perfumes and a lip oil dupe for another famous name. As always, thank you for visiting my blog and reading my post, which is not sponsored. All products are my own.

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Until the next time

Alison x



    • Thank you, Kathrine – so pleased you enjoyed my blog post. I love the fabrics and styles we can wear in the summer months. Hopefully
      the warmer weather will stay with us a little more. It’s not always guaranteed in the UK. x

  1. Lindsey Parkin

    Didn’t realise you had a website so glad you do. Happy 42 wedding anniversary, mine was esrlier thjs year but one year more than you we spent ours in Madeira. I don’t think All inclusive is for us either in Europe, we tend to go half board but eat out when we want to at lunch or evening, hotels often let you have a lunch instead of evening meal. You’re so right to identify what you want in a holiday and what you might compromise on. We’ve found Turkey to be very friendly when we ve been. Loved reading this post and insta. I’m a new follower.

    • Thank you Lindsey, I appreciate you popping by and hope you enjoy some of
      the topics discussed here on my blog. We’ve got our eye on Madeira too, it looks
      beautiful. As much as we loved the hotel and people in Turkey the all inclusive wasn’t
      for us. I’ve heard some hotels give the option of swapping dinner for lunch, which
      would certainly work for us, definitely worth some thought.

  2. Happy 42nd anniversary! I always love your hotel and vacation reviews as you go to places I can only dream of! I’m also bad at overpacking. I’m going to Ireland and Scotland with a friend next month. She is a carry on only kinda traveler. That’s going to be difficult, but I’ll make it work.

    • Thank you, Marsha. Wow, that sounds like a lovely trip, I love both of these places. Have a wonderful time and good luck with your packing. Sounds like you will have to forward plan, outfit wise. Enjoy! x

  3. /

    Looks like a great trip, well except for the flight and the transfer. Congratulations on the anniversary. We are mostly the same, 32 years together and being best friends too! We are blessed to have a great relation!

    • We had a lovely time in Turkey. We’ve been home a week or so and it’s already
      a distant memory. We are blessed and have to make the most of it. Enjoy! x

  4. /

    It sounds as if you and I have very similar likes and criteria for holidays! We’ve done all inconclusive a couple of times but like you prefer bed/breakfast so we can go to different restaurants. Congratulations on 42 years! Huge achievement. Thanks for linking xx

    • We really missed the freedom to go out and explore. However, it’s good to try alternatives to see if they
      suit, or not as the case may be. I was going to add a funnyies to my post regarding the length of time
      we have been married/together, but thought best not! Thank you for the link up, Gail I appreciate it. xx

  5. Love your review of your stay! We’ve never been to Turkey but were close by this summer since we were in Georgia and spent a few days in Batumi which is just a few kilometers from the border to Turkey. Flights and airlines… There is one here I won’t use again after a fiasco coming back from France in 2019… American Airlines is one I stay away. My husband flies Delta for work all of the time, and we usually have had really good service and no issues with them. However prices sure are more expensive than they used to be for sure! We flew Quatar Airlines coming back and they were the best I had ever flown on.

  6. /

    Happy Anniversary! 42 years is such an amazing accomplishment! It looks like such a wonderful place to celebrate!

  7. This was a really interesting read, hearing the good and bad side of where you stayed. We had a very similar experience with Jet2, there and back! Missed the first day due to delays and coming back was even worse. We arrived home over 24hrs later than we should have…got a hotel room at 6.15 in the morning. We slept 2hrs because they said they update us at 9am. We received no compensation, I’ve sworn I will never fly with them again! Xx

    • That’s terrible Celine. When we experience anything like this it kinda leaves a nasty taste around booking another holiday. My youngest has been away living in Hong Kong since last October and I’m missing him so much, hence, this will probably be my next trip. Purely to spend time with him and recharge my battery.xx

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