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ZASH COUNTRY BOUTIQUE HOTEL SICILY, ITALY

VILLA MAHAL KALKAN, TURKEY

A one-time winery, now turned garden retreat with all the rustic charms of eastern Sicily, Zash is breathtaking. Located close to nature reserves and sandy beaches, and with views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea, the hotel delivers a slice of historic Sicily within a contemporary setting.

One of the most sophisticated boutique hotels we’ve ever visited, Villa Mahal is an unadulterated treat. Nestling on a hillside in Kalkan Bay, every inch of the resort offers a perfect slice of the Turkish Mediterranean and the Lycian Coast. The approach along a dusty track makes Villa Mahal all the more enchanting, with its 13 unique all-white rooms, each offering stunning picturesque sea views. A true hideaway, handpicked by owner Ipek over 25 years ago when she first moved to Kalkan, Villa Mahal was once labelled Conde Nast’s most romantic boutique hotel in Europe. No shock there.

Belonging to the Maugeri family since the 1930s, Zash was recently modernised by Antonio Iraci of Antonio Iraci Architects, partner to interior designer and owner Carla Maugeri. Refined in its design and rural in its context, Antonio and Carla took cues from the surrounding Sicilian countryside to deliver a hotel that showcases its environment from the magic of a magnificent 1930s manor house. The transparency of Zash is evident from the start: there are wide rebuilt windows in each room, as well as colossal glass walls. Looking inward, Antonio restored many of its original elements, including volcanic stone cladding and oak floorboards. It’s hardly a surprise that Antonio was awarded the ‘Ischia International Architecture Award for Excellence in Architecture’ for his work on the hotel.

The blue ribbon is undoubtedly The Villa, a private house with a contemporary and minimalist style, creating what is Kalkan’s most elegant and luxurious abode. With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, your own infinity pool and 24-hour butler, the villa is perfect for those who want the absolute best.

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As a beach club open to the public, an in-house spa, and award-winning restaurant, Villa Mahal is the place to go when in Kalkan. Tucked on the edge of paradise, it will restore, refresh and invigorate you inside-out.