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Turkey’s Only Gay Only Hotel Ada Livadi in Alanya

by Vincent van der Kraan in Travel and weekendtrips , 15 december 2003


Gay News visited The Only Turkish Gay Only Hotel: Ada Livadi in Alanya. Departure from Schiphol Airport 19:15 hrs, arrival at Alanya Airport 22:30 hrs (23:30 Turkish clock). Distance from Airport to Alanya: 123 kilometres.

I slept wonderfully in the airconditioned rooms. Only after you leave your room to join the other guests at the breakfast table, you realize how nice it is that the rooms have airconditioning, because during the day the temperatures can rise to 38 or even 40 degrees.



After I had finished an excellent breakfast at around eight o'clock in the morning, many guests were already assembled at the pool, to swim a few lengths or just to enjoy the sun. At the swimming pool I overheard the following conversation: "Tonight their will be a surprise party; do you know what the surprise will be?" "Yes, the surprise will be a female belly dancer and we're all going to jerk off around her." But that's for later...

Our Dutch-speaking guide, Hamdi, explains that most shops don't have fixed opening hours, but that they're usually open between eight or nine in the morning and ten or eleven at night. Clubs and bars usually close in the early morning hours.
Ada Livadi Otel is situated at approximately five kilometres from Alanya, but busses leave every ten minutes in front of the hotel.
When I asked our guide if there are any gay bars in Alanya, he had to confess he didn't know. But another guest told me there's one gay bar, the Bristol Bar, and one of the employees is Dutch.



After this valuable information, I deceided to try my luck and visit Alanya. And really... it didn't take ten minutes before a bus arrived. And nobody collected my bus fare, so I rode for free.
The centre of Alanya is filled with clothing shop after clothing shop, and they all sell the same garments. For a welcome change some leather stores and jewellers are thrown in. When you've seen a clothing shop, a jeweller and a leather store, you've seen Alanya.

Horseplay at the swimming pool

When I returned to the hotel, I noticed that some twenty queers had already assembled near the swimming pool. This hotel is strictly Gay Only, which is nice, because you're not disturbed by screaming kids (although you can expect some screaming queens). I asked them why they deceided to spend their holiday in Alanya. Wim from Maastricht told me: "I think this should stay. I choose this hotel because it's a challenge.


It's exceptional for Turkey and the owner deserves our respect, because this society is not really very gay friendly.

The advantage of a gay hotel is that's much more quiet than a straight hotel. When I arrive on my own in a straight hotel, I could be there for two weeks without speaking a word to anyone.

Here you've contact immediately. People behave as if we're one big family. Newcomers are accepted within minutes." Fons from Den Bosch adds: "What I really like about a gay hotel it that I can kiss or fondle my boyfriend, play around in the swimming pool, or walk around naked, without anyone taking notice. That's very cool. I don't know of any straight hotel that offers the same possibilities."

During my stay it was a National Holiday, celebrating the 85th anniversary of the New Constitution with lots of fireworks. And, as already announced, a surprise party at the hotel.

Believe it or not, but the surprise really was a belly dancer... A drag queen, that's true, but a belly dancer nonetheless.


The Bristol Bar

The next day I deceided to go in search of the only gay bar in Alanya, the Bristol Bar. Of course, I couldn't find it at first, but some nice, straight Turkish guys told me where to go. "You've to walk two streets further, and then it's at the right. Yes, that bar is a gay one, everybody knows that, we're comfortable with that..."

Behind the bar at the Bristol we find Jack, originally from Amsterdam. He tells us that the Bristol Bar, owned by a man named Aladin, exists for eleven years already and is Alanya's only gay bar. The bar opens at noon, but most queers don't arrive before midnight. He also tells me about the problems with an earlier gay hotel in Alanya, the Murathan.



The owner had deceided to make it a gay hotel and the contracts with a Dutch tour operator were already signed, when his grandfather found out. The old man was vehemently against this change and ordered his grandson to turn it around. This gave rise to some misunderstandings, but Roland, the tour operator, took action immediately and signed contracts with the Ada Livadi Otel as a strictly Gay Only hotel, the first in Turkey. The first weeks the staff members were still a bit uncomfortable with the change, but now they've adapted wonderfully.

Excursions

Of course the hotel offered the inevitable excursions. We deceided to opt for the rafting excursion at Köprülükanyon, some hundred kilometres from Alanya. On the way to our destination the bus picked up some other tourists, all Dutch.
With seven queens and one straight girl in a boat... you can imagine we had a lot of fun. Initially our guide, a handsome Turkish guy, wasn't too happy with his almost all-queer crew, but he changed his mind after he discovered his colleagues envy him because they enjoy our crazy behavior (some even kiss us), and became very proud of his "Gay Team".



A Summing-up

Alanya's Ada Livadi is a wonderful destination for a gay couple that wants to lounge in and around the pool in Adam’s costume and feel free to kiss and embrace without having other guests or personnel raise their eyebrows. Staff members are very gay friendly and go out of their way to accommodate their guests. For singles it’s an ideal holiday destination for contact making has never been this easy before.

For those looking for casual holiday sex another destination might be more advisable. Besides sex with other guests (certainly no chore I admit) there’s not much other action in Alanya. The price/quality ratio is more than fair. Do not expect five star quality, but the hotel is superbly situated, the pool a delight, and you can walk around in the nude around the pool and in the bar. The food is excellent. All rooms come with airco. The water in the shower is irritatingly absent at too many times, unfortunately.

We advise against the Haman and Boat excursions, which are too touristical for words. But we recommend the Rafting excursion, which might turn out to be one of the most pleasurable days of your life when taken in the company of a couple of quick-witted queens.



 







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