Crystal clear seas lapping the rocky shores of secret inlets, grey-green mountains softly draped beneath the most ultramarine of skies, Turkey’s Turquoise Coast in the southern Aegean is one of the most spectacular landscapes on earth.
Traditional wooden gulets sail these pristine waters, their tall masts hoisted with billowing sails and their silvered timber decks glistening in the brazen sunshine. These beautiful boats capture all the romance and adventure of the ultimate holiday experience.
Tim Oulton fell in love with this part of Turkey decades ago, the natural beauty and purest serenity broken only by the distant clatter of goat’s bells and their gnarly herders, all living much as they have done for centuries.
In 2020 Tim bought a working gulet, My Lover as she’s known, is a 30m long, 2 mast, all timber Ketch with 5 guest berths. Timothy Oulton Studio were engaged to refurbish her from the water up. In the ethos of all The Oulton hospitality offerings, the brief was to distill the most authentic experience of its location and history with, as Tim called it, ‘humble luxury’.
The arduous process began by stripping the timber decks of their yellowing varnish and exposing the natural texture and grain. The entire renovation took 10 months, working with the craftsmen in the local Turkish boatyard.
The boat is boarded by a polished steel and latticed timber passarella that can be lowered from the rear deck. This arrival area functions as a large outdoor lounge protected by a fabric canopy looped across the sail boom. A timber table surrounded by a curved banquette upholstered with sumptuous white cushions is the perfect nest for sharing meals and breezy sundowners. Large daybeds piled with cushions add to the relaxed mood and further to the front bow, sunbeds and another large daybed with cushions provide a sunny alternative.
A few steps down from the deck a spiral of three Moonstone treads with a leather wrapped handrail leads guests into the main salon. A sumptuous white linen Cloud sofa and re-claimed beam low table are to one side and on the other a bespoke polished stainless steel and illuminated moonstone bar with timber stools and woven leather cushions. Safari Tobacco leather walls and padded edgings, rattan panels and Tuareg ceilings combine with custom made alabaster sconces fitted between the large windows to create an elegant but relaxed indoor lounge.
A further few steps down on either side of the salon the guest cabins open from a central corridor through arched leather clad doors fitted with high quality polished stainless-steel handles and latches. The warm textures of rattan and timber continue into the private cabins which also feature Safari Tobacco upholstered bedheads and white linen banquettes. Each of the private ensuites use large slabs of richly grained Moonstone for the wet areas and basin counters. Two of the smaller berths are lined in bespoke wallpaper festooned with drawings inspired by the history and natural wonders of the area.
Overall, the cabins are havens of the deepest calm and relaxation, the dappled reflections of sea and light endlessly playing on the natural palette of textures and finishes through the chrome framed portholes.
From a new fully equipped stainless steel kitchen, serving the very best of Mediterranean food and hospitality.