Hilton Dalaman Sarıgerme Resort & Spa: sun, sea and bike

The Hilton Dalaman Sarıgerme Resort & Spa on Turkey’s Aegean Coast is more than a bike-friendly hotel, it’s a cyclist’s paradise

Have you ever stayed in a hotel with a bike path on its grounds? Or one with an on-site repair shop staffed by licensed bike mechanics?

These are just two of the bike-friendly services on offer at the Hilton Dalaman Sarıgerme Resort & Spa, an all-inclusive resort on the Aegean Sea in southwestern Turkey.

Cyclist used the Hilton Dalaman as a base for our Turkey Big Ride in this issue (see page 58) and discovered the hotel’s excellent facilities, from the service station dedicated to Shimano bikes to the specially constructed bike path around the hotel.

While we were there, we took the opportunity to chat with Tunç Batum, the resort’s general manager, who said the hotel is committed to providing a cleaner environment for its guests and considers transportation cycling as a key part of this philosophy.

As a property, it embraced the benefits of cycling long before a statement from Turkey’s Ministry of Tourism set out criteria for certifying bike-friendly hotels as part of a wider effort to promote cycle tourism.

“Once the Ministry of Tourism criteria were announced, we realized that we already met many of them, and that made us very excited,” says Batum.

“Cycling has always been an important part of our hotel lives and we actively use bicycles in our daily operations.”

As if to punctuate the remarks, a cyclist from the beach passes us while pedaling, one hand on the handlebars and the other holding a chainring.

At a distance between the main hotel building and the beach, we passed three bicycle parking areas, and four more at various points around the grounds.

Then there’s the Central Bike Station, which is fully stocked with tools and spare parts for bike repairs and manned by trained maintenance staff.

Bikes for rent

The hotel has a fleet of 40 bikes available for hire on a daily basis, covering a full range of sizes and including both pedal and e-bikes.

There are also plans to build a bike practice track on the hotel grounds and provide basic balance bike training for young children staying at the hotel with their families.

According to Batum, the hotel aims to provide the same level of experience for serious cyclists and cycling-loving families, saying it’s not unusual to see whole families riding the bike paths around the hotel together and rent bikes every day of their stay.

“We are very lucky that the terrain where our hotel is located is so suitable for cycling,” he says. “We have worked with a local partner to create various cycle routes both within the hotel grounds and in the surrounding area.”

Dedicated routes

This includes a 5.5km route around the hotel grounds and a shorter 1.5km route around the main hotel building, both exclusively for hotel guests.

The routes are well marked, with water fountains at regular intervals, and can be done at your own pace or in group sessions twice a week led by guides.

For those looking for a longer challenge or to avoid running multiple loops of the same route, there are five longer routes departing from the hotel that vary in level of difficulty and have been designed to take advantage of attractions of regional value.

“We have a wonderful sulfur hot spring very close to the hotel, or if you go further north there are beautiful canyons. You may encounter a very beautiful village or a waterfall depending on the season.

“There are dirt and asphalt roads, so several routes are suitable for mountain biking or gravel biking.”

Hilton Dalaman’s commitment to cyclists spans all areas of its operations, from hotel security to chefs in the kitchen.

Bike parking is guarded 24 hours a day, and the hotel offers bespoke menus for cyclists and cooked meals, with energy drinks, bars and gels available for purchase. Cycling clothing and spare parts are also stored on site.

“Our priority is to provide our customers with experiences rather than just activities,” says Batum. “The goal is for our bike-loving customers to feel special in every way, accompanied by sea, sand, fun, delicious yet healthy meals and of course good cycling.”

To learn more about the Hilton Dalaman Sarıgerme Resort & Spa, visit hilton.com.

Wiley C. Thompson