Halal Travel is a term we will all be hearing more and more of in the coming years. It is estimated by 2020, it will account for approximately 15% of the global tourism market which is around £140 billion pounds. A large proportion of this will be for the more religious tourists who enjoy global travelling but still wants to follow the halal way of life; however, there is a growing number of non-religious people who are joining this form of travelling when they are seeking a detox holiday. In the coming years, halal travelling will be taking up an increasing portion of the wellness market.
I went along to the Turkish Riviera recently with HalalBooking.com to discover the importance of this growing phenomenon. For those unfamiliar with the Turkish Riviera, regions like Antalya and Alanya have some of the highest density of hotels per square metre in the world thanks to the advantageous climate, stunning mountain scenery, and fine sandy beaches. On previous visits, I did observe some of the hotels in the region can be quite hedonistic and boisterous, so it was of considerable interest, that I was about to check out hotels where alcohol isn't a focal point of the vacation and guests can genuinely enjoy a relaxing stay.
One of the most impressive halal-friendly hotels in the region is the Wome Deluxe with a stunning architectural design that resembles a fidget spinner. This brand-new hotel is built on the grounds of a massive, tranquil forest space. They have a total of 6 swimming pools to ensure a crowded swimming pool is a rarity at the hotel. There are hammocks available in the pine tree forest where you can just unwind and admire the sounds of the local birds.
The rooms are all extremely spacious and include balcony views to either the forest or the sea of ncekum. I particularly admired the curved ceiling of my hotel room. There is free WiFi in all the rooms and public spaces whilst the satellite TV offered a variety of channels to keep the most demanding entertained.
Most of the hotels in the region are all-inclusive, but at Wome Deluxe the buffet choices are endless and show that halal dining can be imaginative and healthy at the same time. I did not for one moment, missed the fact that pork wasn't available but instead I was busy discovering the fascinating cuisine on offer, most of which were extremely vegetarian-friendly.
The second hotel that I would recommend from my visit is Adenya Hotel & Resort, which was smaller than Wome Deluxe but no less impressive. The eye-catching reception area highlights the growing influence of modern Islamic architecture and design. Geometric shapes are used to great effect in the design of this space.
I would also recommend a trip to the famed Turkish hammams at either hotel. No wellness retreat is complete without an elegant hammam space. The benefits of visiting a hammam have been well publicised for centuries including boosting your immune system, reducing muscle fatigue and physical and emotional detox.
Finally, make sure you plan for a day trip to Alanya as the region is renowned for its many historical sites such as Seljuk Fortress, the historical Roman dockyard and Damlatas cave which started the whole wellness trend in the region in the first place with the reputed health benefits of curing asthma from breathing the air inside the cave.
One final word of advice, as halal-friendly hotels operate on a slightly different calendar, consider booking for a hotel stays pre-Ramadan to get some of the best deals around.
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