Until recently, the Datça Peninsula had terrible roads. In fact, in the 20 years that Sibel Romano lived in nearby Marmaris, she only went twice. But once the new road was in place, Romano jumped at the chance to run Mehmet Ali Ağa Mansion, where she is manager.

Dating back to 1809, the galleried Ottoman-style mansion was built for a governor who would sit drinking raki in his namazga (praying area) as the call to prayer drifted over from the village mosque. But after his sons and daughters died leaving no heirs, the building fell into disrepair and lay empty until it was bought in 2002 by a Turkish businessman called Mehmet Pir.

Authentically restored by a team led by Süreyya Saruhan (the same architect who renovated Nars Ilica), it is now a beautiful building set in spectacular grounds which include a rose garden, citrus grove, swimming pool and wood-fired hammam.

Source: cntraveller.com