Have you ever wondered where to find romance in Turkey?
Here's what I know...
1. Don't let the name of this wonderful country fool you, Turkey is definitely for lovers!
2. The easiest way to get from place to place is flying Turkish Air. Yes, they use little planes, but fear is always a good way of revving up romantic connection.
3. Istanbul, Turkey's capital, rivals cities like Paris and Buenos Aires as a "must see" city- the temperature, the nightlife, and the wonderful food makes for a very romantic vacation. Don't forget to take in an electric club like Reina that goes until 4am. , a restaurant like Ulas 29, which has unbelievably romantic views of the entire city and where the Sommelier is one of the most knowledgeable I have encountered or a restaurant like Zuma that hails from Hong Kong and London and where you will eat the most delicious dumplings you have ever tried.
4. Additionally in Istanbul, choose a hotel right on the Bosporus like the beautiful Ciragan Palace, Kempinski Hotel so that you can gaze out onto the water and whisper sweet nothings. Don't forget to go for a walk along the watersedge so you can see the beautiful manicured gardens and watch the sleek boats go up and down the waterways.
5. If you like seeing indigenous countryside, do not miss Cappadocia. This tiny town is built completely out of caves, but don't worry I didn't see any bats! Romance is at its best at the Anatolian Houses, especially if you are a wine drinker since they have a spicket in the wall that dispenses complimentary Turkish wine all day long. Don't forget to do a his and hers Turkish bath there; this is sensuality at its best!
6. As for beach=side trendiness, Turkebuku on the Bodrum Peninsula makes St Tropez and Ibiza seem like yesterdays news. The Turkbuku weather is 78 and sunny every day, there is happy hour with a famous European DJ (you can get him to make you a CD of his tunes) and then there's the swimming right off the deck of the hip Maca Kizi Hotel, none of which is to be missed. For more secluded accommodations, the Ev Hotel, with its legendary views of the entire town and private swimming pools is the way to go if you are trying to be away from the hustle and excitement of the Turkbuku nightlife and trying to recapture the romance in your relationship.
7. The Shopping in Turkbuku is not to be believed as the stores and the open air market stay open until 5am! Imagine having bottle service in 78 degrees weather at a club like Ships Ahoy , dancing till the wee hours to both Eastern and Western sensual music and then topping off the evening with a purchase of a sexy little dress, or a gorgeous bauble from a store like Gasia, right on the water's edge. You will have your lady eating out the palm of your hand!
Samantha Daniels is a well known Professional Matchmaker, President of Samantha's Table Matchmaking and the author of Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern Day Matchmaker (Simon & Schuster).