With my new website up and running and very nearly complete, I am excited to start sharing some of my travels with you over the last few months! You might remember I went to Turkey for the very first time back in September, and I was honestly blown away by the hospitality of the people, the food and the stunning setting. It’s not somewhere that I previously would have thought of as a super luxurious sun getaway but wow, I was sorely mistaken. I feel as though Turkey will become the new Santorini in the coming years with everything you need and more. First up in my trip was the striking Mandarin Oriental resort in Bodrum.
A scenic 40-minute drive south-west of Milas-Bodrum airport takes you to the Aegean coastline where the Mandarin Oriental property lies. It overlooks Paradise Bay and is built rather impressively into a hillside, resulting in an effortless blend with its natural surroundings, bustling with olive and pine trees. It’s private and incredibly peaceful. The property stays true to its oriental heritage with the use of linear architecture and an uncluttered feel that creates balance and harmony, whilst tying in the Turkish influence for that Riveria feel. To put it simply, the property is elegant, sophisticated, pays attention to the finer details, all without a pretentious note in sight.
There is a separate pool and beach area (along with a dedicated kids pool), in addition to all the spa facilities and private sea-side cabanas that you can rent out for the day for a more secluded affair!
The resort has 132 rooms; a mix of rooms, suites, apartments & villas. Think high ceilings, teak sliding doors, ultra-spacious living areas, and walk-in wardrobes. Most of the rooms are sea view but even for the few that look out onto the gardens, each has their own balcony/terrace or sundeck for al fresco morning coffees and sundowners. And if you know your equipment well, it won’t be easy to miss the Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems that are just another example of the high-quality design and thought that has gone into the property. My personal favourite though; the picture-perfect oval ceramic bathtubs that are flooded with natural light from the terraces. I’m a sucker for a bubble bath!
Possibly the most welcomed surprise of my trip to Bodrum was the fresh and Mediterranean-inspired food. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but it certainly was not as authentic and flavorsome as it proved. We tried the ‘Otlu Pide’ on day one, and continued to order it every lunch following. It’s a Turkish flatbread baked in their stone oven and topped with Aegean fresh herbs from the Mandarin Oriental garden …. and it was simply divine! Even the Blue Beach Club & Bar which is meant to be their more casual dining spot (also offers shisha daily), serves dishes that are better in the way of presentation and taste that I’ve had in many a top restaurant! It was honestly commendable and as a huge foodie, you can take my word that you won’t be disappointed with what’s on offer. I’d also highly recommend trying their local wine; not only is the price point reasonable but Turkey sure knows how to produce a beautiful grape! Our lunchtime favorite was the ‘Allure’ pale rose by Kayra and for the evenings, any wine from the Likya winery always delivered.
Normally a few fabulous restaurants at a resort is good enough, but the Mandarin have gone above and beyond to make sure that there isn’t even a hint of repetitiveness throughout their dining offerings. With 8 stylish restaurants and bars (not including room service or ‘destination dining’ as so many do!), you can taste food from all over the world. From their exquisite Italian, Assaggio, that is set out on a deck overlooking the coastline, to Turkish-inspired Bodrum Balıkçısı lit by fairy lights and covered by the olive trees, there is something for everyone. They also have ‘Kurochan by Ioki’ with a menu created by ex-Nobu chef, Scott Hallsworth, along with beach-side lunch spots and all-day-dining enviable buffets. You won’t be going hungry!
The Spa & Gym
Given the Mandarin’s heritage, it’s not overly surprising that the spa is a key feature of the property or that it won the spa category at the ‘World Luxury Spa & Restaurant Awards’ in 2016. It’s a captivating 2,700 sqm spa spread out over three floors and it’s a relaxing haven! The treatment rooms are interspersed between waterfalls and lush greenery and the spa has fully-equipped steam & sauna rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, a salt-water Jacuzzi, as well as centuries-old Turkish water therapies in authentic hammams.
The gym is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, with significantly more variety of machines than I’ve seen at almost any other property. It has its own reformer pilates area too with qualified teachers that can take you for lessons over the course of the stay. I’m not always the most motivated person on sun-filled trips away but it was a gym that I wanted to get into each morning!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my stay and the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum! It really has something for everyone and it’s perfect for early and late summer getaways if you’re not restricted to school term times. The weather stays beautiful and warm right up until late September / Mid October. Our time in September was ideal; sun all day and warm enough in the evenings to wear a dress without having to cover with pashminas to stay warm.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below – would love to hear from you!
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!