Bodrum, Turkey: The chic playground for the rich and famous
Bodrum, Turkey: The chic playground for the rich and famous
August 24, 2011 by admin

In the height of summer, superliners fill the bays, helicopters and private charter planes cruise the skies, and fleets of luxury vehicles line the streets. You won’t find many A-listers wandering around the main town; they’re whisked off to hideaway villages dotted around the wider Bodrum Peninsula. Here luxury boutique hotels and guesthouses tumble gracefully down the hillsides, sprawling out to private pontoons and beaches.

With an entire headland to itself, Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay, about 15km southeast of Bodrum, Turkey is one of the most secluded resorts in the region. Rooms look past the football field-sized infinity pool to the private beach and marina below, where guests dock their boats or hop off seaplanes. The hotel is a maze of restaurants, pool and beachside bars, and shaded chill out spaces. Domes and minarets rise from the pool like a sunken city, or so it seems when exploring the labyrinth of treatment rooms in the Six Senses Spa below. The faux towers double as skylights for the spa, a sanctuary of colour therapy, shiatsu and steam treatment rooms. Turkey is the home of the hamam, and at Kempinski’s traditional bathhouse guests are scrubbed and washed squeaky clean in the marble-covered retreat.

Each of the 180 guestrooms has a balcony or terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea. Breakfast is until noon, and who needs an omelette when Elef, an elderly Turkish woman, makes gözleme on order? The folded spinach, cheese and potato crepes are thin and crispy, making the perfect savoury segue into cakes, muffins, eggs, pancakes, cereals and fruits.

Golturkbuku is the name given to two sheltered villages half an hour away on the peninsula’s northern side. The bay at Gölköy is where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie docked their superliner this summer. In the background of half their paparazzi shots, you can see Maça Kizi Hotel, where any lounge cushion is seriously hot property, and where the beach club decks, lined with daybeds, extend straight out onto the water.

Laid back luxury is the mentality here; 81 guestrooms snuggle into the hillside, unassuming on the outside, modest within. Nothing on the grounds is over the top except the luscious gardens, camouflaging buildings and covering paths. Everything gravitates towards the open-air kitchen, an effortlessly chic pavilion where the Maça Kizi day begins. Don’t expect breakfast at 8am and lunch at noon; guests slowly emerge when the music starts at 11am. The lunch bell rings at 2pm for a buffet of fresh, seasonal local produce, and by 6pm the tables are cleared and the music turned up for happy hour. Come 7pm the volume dips and the mood is more serious. Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco and Sydney chef Christine Manfield are fans of Aret Sahakyan’s modern comfort food. His international Turkish cuisine lets flavours speak for themselves and draws crowds from around the area.

A few doors along the promenade, Divan Hotel is also popular for its Mediterranean-influenced fare. The hotel has a beach club, of course, and a few metres away the large pool and jazz bar get busy during the day. Next-door is Maki Otel, whose over-water bar is popular with the boating crowd. The owners tie their cruisers up alongside land-based guests who loll around cushioned alcoves sipping martinis.

Set back from the water is the charming Ada Hotel, where a wrought iron gate fortified with flowers leads to guestrooms filled with high-backed chairs and sandstone fireplaces. This boutique hotel’s hamam has a domed ceiling with starry skylights, and the day beds in the waiting room are reason enough to visit. A stroll around the cove leads to Turkbuku, the southern part of Golturkbuku. Miam Restaurant books out because its seafood mezzes – caviar dip, chunky octopus tentacles, spicy fish stew and succulent homemade dolmades- are the perfect start to an evening. Next-door is Dogal Dondurma, a simple ice-creamery where the scoops are soft and stretchy. In the villages it’s all about food, wine and seclusion, while Bodrum town has the bustling pace of a port city, and the revelry to go with it. Looking down on the eastern bay is Halikarnas Night Club, where up to 5,000 partygoers squeeze in to hear international DJs and dance the night away. The decadence and debauchery hark back to Bodrum’s more ancient past. Settled and named Halicarnassus by the Dorians in 1000BC, the town has been occupied by Lydians, Persians, Alexander the Great, Turks, Ottomans and even briefly by the Knights of Rhodes.

The crumbling ruins of the 350BC Tomb of Mausolus – to whom we owe the word “mausoleum” – are all that’s left of this Seventh Wonder of the Ancient World, but there are plenty of relics in the Castle of St. Peter. Antiquated treasures are guarded behind glass cases and stone walls in this 15th century fortress that now houses the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Bodrum is known for its bespoke artisan wares. Idle hours are spent under canopies of bougainvilleas admiring more modern treasures. Shoemakers have made leather sandals here for centuries. The waiting list at Ali Guven Sandals, where Mick Jagger and Bette Midler have standing orders, is years long – but at hole in the wall peddler Bodrum Sandalet, they’ll adjust footwear to fit on the spot.

On the main street of Cumhurlyet Cad, jewelers ply their trade from in-house workshops. See Fethi Aydogan at Gooz for handmade gilded necklaces, perfect statement pieces wrought from ornate concoctions of silk and semi-precious stone medallions. Tearing yourself away from glittering wares or glistening ocean is difficult. The sign on the road into town says it all. “Don’t think that you will go as you came; the ones before you were the same; To all those who came before you happened the same. They lost their heart in Bodrum and left it.” The Fisherman of Halicarnassus.

THE HAMAM EXPRESS
A Hamam is a Turkish bath distinguished by a focus on water, as opposed to ambient steam. The baths can be found in every city of Turkey, and some cities even have several hamams to select from. There are three rooms that make up a Turkish hamam; the hot room, or caldarium, where bathers can steam-soak and have a massage, the tepidarium, which is a warm room for washing with soap and water, and the cool room to relax or nap in. Lilia Kanna

WHERE TO STAY IN BODRUM:
Pure Entertainment Group, a bespoke concierge company recommends these luxury hotels in Bodrum, Turkey:

– Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay
– Maca Kizi Boutique Hotel Brodrum
– The Marmara Bodrum
– Amanruya from Aman Resorts
– Divan Hotel Bodrum
– Ada Hotel Bodrum
– Rixos Premium Bodrum Hotel

Email concierge@purentonline.com for your personalized travel experience in the Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey or to book any of these luxury hotels with preferred room rates and value added amenities.

Pure Entertainment Group
Picture courtesy of Maca Kizi Hotel Bodrum
Written via Luxury Travel Magazine (Australia)

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Bodrum, Turkey: The chic playground for the rich and famous
August 24, 2011 by admin

In the height of summer, superliners fill the bays, helicopters and private charter planes cruise the skies, and fleets of luxury vehicles line the streets. You won’t find many A-listers wandering around the main town; they’re whisked off to hideaway villages dotted around the wider Bodrum Peninsula. Here luxury boutique hotels and guesthouses tumble gracefully down the hillsides, sprawling out to private pontoons and beaches.

With an entire headland to itself, Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay, about 15km southeast of Bodrum, Turkey is one of the most secluded resorts in the region. Rooms look past the football field-sized infinity pool to the private beach and marina below, where guests dock their boats or hop off seaplanes. The hotel is a maze of restaurants, pool and beachside bars, and shaded chill out spaces. Domes and minarets rise from the pool like a sunken city, or so it seems when exploring the labyrinth of treatment rooms in the Six Senses Spa below. The faux towers double as skylights for the spa, a sanctuary of colour therapy, shiatsu and steam treatment rooms. Turkey is the home of the hamam, and at Kempinski’s traditional bathhouse guests are scrubbed and washed squeaky clean in the marble-covered retreat.

Each of the 180 guestrooms has a balcony or terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea. Breakfast is until noon, and who needs an omelette when Elef, an elderly Turkish woman, makes gözleme on order? The folded spinach, cheese and potato crepes are thin and crispy, making the perfect savoury segue into cakes, muffins, eggs, pancakes, cereals and fruits.

Golturkbuku is the name given to two sheltered villages half an hour away on the peninsula’s northern side. The bay at Gölköy is where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie docked their superliner this summer. In the background of half their paparazzi shots, you can see Maça Kizi Hotel, where any lounge cushion is seriously hot property, and where the beach club decks, lined with daybeds, extend straight out onto the water.

Laid back luxury is the mentality here; 81 guestrooms snuggle into the hillside, unassuming on the outside, modest within. Nothing on the grounds is over the top except the luscious gardens, camouflaging buildings and covering paths. Everything gravitates towards the open-air kitchen, an effortlessly chic pavilion where the Maça Kizi day begins. Don’t expect breakfast at 8am and lunch at noon; guests slowly emerge when the music starts at 11am. The lunch bell rings at 2pm for a buffet of fresh, seasonal local produce, and by 6pm the tables are cleared and the music turned up for happy hour. Come 7pm the volume dips and the mood is more serious. Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco and Sydney chef Christine Manfield are fans of Aret Sahakyan’s modern comfort food. His international Turkish cuisine lets flavours speak for themselves and draws crowds from around the area.

A few doors along the promenade, Divan Hotel is also popular for its Mediterranean-influenced fare. The hotel has a beach club, of course, and a few metres away the large pool and jazz bar get busy during the day. Next-door is Maki Otel, whose over-water bar is popular with the boating crowd. The owners tie their cruisers up alongside land-based guests who loll around cushioned alcoves sipping martinis.

Set back from the water is the charming Ada Hotel, where a wrought iron gate fortified with flowers leads to guestrooms filled with high-backed chairs and sandstone fireplaces. This boutique hotel’s hamam has a domed ceiling with starry skylights, and the day beds in the waiting room are reason enough to visit. A stroll around the cove leads to Turkbuku, the southern part of Golturkbuku. Miam Restaurant books out because its seafood mezzes – caviar dip, chunky octopus tentacles, spicy fish stew and succulent homemade dolmades- are the perfect start to an evening. Next-door is Dogal Dondurma, a simple ice-creamery where the scoops are soft and stretchy. In the villages it’s all about food, wine and seclusion, while Bodrum town has the bustling pace of a port city, and the revelry to go with it. Looking down on the eastern bay is Halikarnas Night Club, where up to 5,000 partygoers squeeze in to hear international DJs and dance the night away. The decadence and debauchery hark back to Bodrum’s more ancient past. Settled and named Halicarnassus by the Dorians in 1000BC, the town has been occupied by Lydians, Persians, Alexander the Great, Turks, Ottomans and even briefly by the Knights of Rhodes.

The crumbling ruins of the 350BC Tomb of Mausolus – to whom we owe the word “mausoleum” – are all that’s left of this Seventh Wonder of the Ancient World, but there are plenty of relics in the Castle of St. Peter. Antiquated treasures are guarded behind glass cases and stone walls in this 15th century fortress that now houses the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Bodrum is known for its bespoke artisan wares. Idle hours are spent under canopies of bougainvilleas admiring more modern treasures. Shoemakers have made leather sandals here for centuries. The waiting list at Ali Guven Sandals, where Mick Jagger and Bette Midler have standing orders, is years long – but at hole in the wall peddler Bodrum Sandalet, they’ll adjust footwear to fit on the spot.

On the main street of Cumhurlyet Cad, jewelers ply their trade from in-house workshops. See Fethi Aydogan at Gooz for handmade gilded necklaces, perfect statement pieces wrought from ornate concoctions of silk and semi-precious stone medallions. Tearing yourself away from glittering wares or glistening ocean is difficult. The sign on the road into town says it all. “Don’t think that you will go as you came; the ones before you were the same; To all those who came before you happened the same. They lost their heart in Bodrum and left it.” The Fisherman of Halicarnassus.

THE HAMAM EXPRESS
A Hamam is a Turkish bath distinguished by a focus on water, as opposed to ambient steam. The baths can be found in every city of Turkey, and some cities even have several hamams to select from. There are three rooms that make up a Turkish hamam; the hot room, or caldarium, where bathers can steam-soak and have a massage, the tepidarium, which is a warm room for washing with soap and water, and the cool room to relax or nap in. Lilia Kanna

WHERE TO STAY IN BODRUM:
Pure Entertainment Group, a bespoke concierge company recommends these luxury hotels in Bodrum, Turkey:

– Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay
– Maca Kizi Boutique Hotel Brodrum
– The Marmara Bodrum
– Amanruya from Aman Resorts
– Divan Hotel Bodrum
– Ada Hotel Bodrum
– Rixos Premium Bodrum Hotel

Email concierge@purentonline.com for your personalized travel experience in the Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey or to book any of these luxury hotels with preferred room rates and value added amenities.

Pure Entertainment Group
Picture courtesy of Maca Kizi Hotel Bodrum
Written via Luxury Travel Magazine (Australia)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Seasrch

Subscribe to the newsletter

Inspiration

VIEW MORE

Archives

A-list celebrities accessories architecture art beach bespoke experiences booking champagne chic cocktails concierge service Contemporary design designer entertainment event expensive fashion fine dining fine spirit food France gift gourmet honeymoon honeymoon destinations hospitality italy leather goods lifestyle luxury luxury concierge luxury hotel luxury interior luxury rooms mode package Pure Entertainment Group reservation restaurant shopping tours travel wine womenswear