There appear to be two kinds of people on this world. Those who go on holiday and are happy to spend its entirety at the hotel pool or beach, interrupted only by meal times, preferably as part of an all-inclusive deal. And then there are those who go to a place and want to see and do everything. Explore the city, go snorkeling, try 3 different restaurants a day and just soak in sun and culture alike. By default us travelettes typically are the second type, at least I thought that was me until 3 weeks ago.

They say everything changes when you have a baby and when it comes to holiday preferences I think that just might be true. We headed to Antalaya with a Condor Airline flight, probably the number 1 airline for vacationers, complete with flight attendants so charming and entertaining, they appear to be casted from the streets of Las Vegas. Instant holiday vibes, even at 5.30am, when our flight towards Turkey took off. When I set foot on our new home for the  next 4 days I was full of my usual enthusiasm that I would go see and do lot of stuff. I already knew Turkey had a lot to offer so I wanted to use our 4 days to really get to know Antalya. Bring a 3-month-old baby, more than a few sleepless nights and the leftovers of a cold into the mix and you’ll get this:

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That’s right, I did my very first “hotel holiday”. The kind where you wake up, have breakfast from the buffet, head to the beach or pool, order a salad for lunch and end the day with dinner from room service. And you know what? I loved every minute of it. Each day I woke up thinking it might be nice to grab a taxi to the centre, wander around downtown or hit the beach promenade just north of where we stayed. But then my mind started wandering off to the ocean that was just a few feet away. I imagined how warm the water would feel and how pleasant the weather was with the sun and the mild wind. And then it hit me: all day relaxation is not boring at all when you come from actual stress! Raising a baby definitely counts as stress, so this was just what the doctor ordered. I needed this!

We stayed at the Marmara Hotel which just so happens to be the only hotel in the world that revolves around its own axis, providing guests with a 360°view each and every day. Impressive? Yes! We stayed in a beautifully designed all white room with some lovely wooden features, adding lots of flair and character, not even mentioning the panoramic views through an entire wall of windows!

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Sounds amazing? That’s not even the highlight of the place just yet. The part that made my jaw drop lay behind a small unseeming concrete building. Inside were 2 elevators, nothing else. As they transport you 6 stories down, you’re suddenly faced with a long, dark tunnel that was literally carved into the cliff taking you to….

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..the beach!!! I could go on all day swooning over this little private rock beach. I was in awe over the water. IT’S SO WARM! I can’t say I’ve enjoyed swimming in the sea this much since my last trip to the Maldives. The experience was perfected by a large rock in the water, super close to the beach which had a sundeck installed, as well as a springboard. It was fun channeling my inner 15-year old boy by jumping off that board again and again while baby Atlas was napping in the shadow of the sun umbrellas.

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From a mom perspective these 4 days were easily the best in Atlas’s short life. He’s never slept better, pretty much smiled all day and we both just had an easy and laid-back time. He’s a true little traveler, that one.

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After 3 blissful days of beaching  curiosity finally kicked in and so I did finally step into the cab and rode it to the old town. And thank goodness for that! It was so beautiful to wander little cobbled alleyways, take photos of views and locals and marvel at pretty buildings, old cars, adorable shops and this guy wearing a tray with a bunch of bread on his head.

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With all that said, the actual highlight of my little trip into town was yet another beach. What can I say, Turkey really does them well. Behind the doors of the Mermerli Restaurant overlooking the ocean lies a private beach that looks like one of those tumblr images that get thousands of shares. I’m talking crystal clear turquoise waters and a footbridge lined with lounge chairs for a full 360 ocean experience. Heaven and a good reason to spend the €5 grating you all day access.

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I only spent a couple of hours in the old town but I was infinitely glad I did. It reminded me of who I really am and who I’ve always been. And it made me realise that there is no either or. I can be all rolled into one. Hotel holiday maker and city explorer, mother and businesswoman, backpacker and high heel wearer. The only person allowed to judge me is me, and frankly, I sometimes tend to be a little too hard on myself. My guess is that most of us are. Not having to choose is the beauty of the time and culture I live in and I am thankful for that.

A massive thank you to the Marmara Antalya for inviting us, we hope to come back one day.