Mandarin Oriental Bodrum is located in the heart of the Turkish Riviera. Add to this two private beaches strewn with extra-soft white sand, four swimming pools, a three-level spa where signature treatments share space with famous local hammam, some of the best restaurants of the region and a team which is totally committed to delight and satisfy its guests. I visited this gem this summer and it will be a pleasure to share each detail of my amazing stay. Enjoy the ride!
Writing about Mandarin Oriental sounds a little bit redundant to be honest. Who needs any reaffirmation that this is one of the best hotel brands on earth? Well, as crazy as it sounds, I still got ultra surprised with what I experienced at Mandarin Oriental Bodrum. What a paradise! This was not my first time in Turkey but believe me – it was for sure the best!
A first glance and I understood, clearly, why the resort has recently been deemed worthy of prizes at International Hotel Awards in 7 different categories: Best Resort Hotel Turkey, Best Spa Hotel Turkey, Best Wedding Hotel Turkey, Best Resort Hotel Europe, Best Spa Hotel Europe, Best International Spa Hotel and Best Large Hotel Turkey 2018. Wow!
The property commands some of the most stunning views towards the Aegean Sea and they know how to make great use of this privileged location: imagine that at arrival guests are offered a drink and refreshing towels sitting in comfy chairs overseeing the sumptuous hotel premises from one of its highest spots. When our butler took us there (after a very comfy transfer in a fancy limo, I might add), I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Each guest has a butler who will take care of you and all your needs even before you arrive in the hotel until whenever you need. I was in contact with my butler before arrival and dear Erdem Gürguç had everything organised on the most detailed level at our arrival – restaurant table and spa treatment bookings as well as any additional information I had asked for.
Sooooo practical and so professional. And no! Don’t think that it comes with any pressure at all as everything happens smoothly and always accompanied by a big and welcoming smile. I never understood how Gürguç would appear in one minute each and every time we needed her help as I never saw her around me. Magic! Hahahaha!
The property is huge and guests can use a buggy to go from one place to the other – I really enjoyed my rides with my butler as she would always explain something new about the resort, Turkey, local habits and so on. Really cool.
Ah! And I cannot forget to thank Gürguç for her patience when she took me around to take photos. Not even my husband or my parents want to join me on that task. And in a place like this hotel my obsession with photos got even worse – I did not know if I wanted to photograph the modern architecture, or the beaches, or the food, or, or, or… Drama! Haha!
The atmosphere is posh and elegant, yet relaxed and friendly. It is luxury at its best, exactly how I like it! I was in love with the architecture, full of style and character, designed to blend in with the area’s indigenous olive trees. The buildings are arranged in tiers down the wooded hillside, covering nearly 150 acres, towards two curved white sandy beaches.
The interior is signed by Italian architect and furniture designer Antonio Citterio, (the name behind Mandarin Oriental Milan as well). It is clean and luxurious, with vast tracts of expensive teak and muted marble, interspersed with modern artwork and lots of glass and natural light.
Really hard to beat! In the heart of the action, the Turkish Riviera, yet secluded, exclusive and peaceful.
The up-market resort of Goltürkbükü is the chic place to be in Bodrum and Mandarin Oriental Bodrum is right there, overlooking Paradise Bay in the Aegean Sea, where sleek yachts sail gently over the clear blue waters. First days I was still getting quite impressed by the size of the yatchs but I got used to them very fast. Haha!
The city of Bodrum is only a 20-minutes drive away and the hotels offers very comfy rides. Nevertheless, believe me, if you are staying for a week, there will be no need to leave the property. Unless you want to explore, of course. We had a plan to discover much more of the area than we actually did but well, we were addicted to MO BOD! 🙂
ROOMS AND SUITES
As stylish as they are spacious, the beautiful rooms and suites offer the perfect blend of luxury and comfort with an idyllic location in Paradise Bay and a seductive blend of style, serenity and five-star comfort.
One of those cases when any room, suite or villa you pick will be gorgeous.
I know I often say this but what can I do if I just share the best hotels with you? Even the “simple” category rooms are spacious and feature high ceilings, a walk-in closet, Bang & Olufsen televisions and sliding teak panels separating bedroom from bathroom, where there’s a freestanding porcelain oval-shaped tub. Most of the rooms also come with a sea view (please make sure you have one).
We stayed in the Oriental Suite (click here too see it) and it was gorgeous: we had a huge living room, a sleeping room, walk-in closet, spacious bathroom, private jacuzzi, sauna and spa facilities (even a hammam with a view) and a stunning 92sqm terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea.
I unfortunately did not see any villa with my own eyes but just passing by in our buggy gave me an idea of how wonderful they are. I would LOVE to stay in one.
Stunning! There are two beaches at Mandarin Oriental Bodrum and both are truly beautiful, featuring pristine water and fine white sand.
My favourite was for sure the one with the Blue Beach Club & Bar. Not only the restaurant and bar were amazing but also the atmosphere was really cool – beautiful people, great music, stunning views, comfy lounges and last but not least, the super cool private cabanas where guests can indulge in pure privacy. I just looooove this beach!
The private cabanas are awesome. Besides the privacy that guests can enjoy, service is complete and even a Chef can be booked to complete the perfect day.
We did not try it but there is a water sports centre offering all sorts of activities for people looking for some adventure, which was not our case. Haha!
There are four! Four swimming pools and I cannot decide which one I like best, sorry. Haha!
Two pools are located in the Spa and I will come back to them a little later in this article. The other two are located “simply” high on the hill, overlooking the sea.
I really like the fact that despite the hotel operating at its full occupancy during summer time, the swimming pools were never crowded and we actually had them only for ourselves a couple of times.
Note: The lounges around all the swimming pools are the perfect place to relax, read a book or have a nap. Enjoy!
THE SPA AT MANDARIN ORIENTAL
Pure bliss and one of the most beautiful and complete spas I have seen in my life.
Spread over three floors and 2,700 square metres, The Spa at Mandarin captures the essence of the beautiful coastal setting with an idyllic atmosphere of healing and calm. Overlooking the Aegean Sea and incorporating several stunning water features, guests can indulge in perfect space and tailor-made treatment journey.
The sublime experience started with a consultation with my therapist, in a water oasis with cooling towels and healthy tea, when I could describe my feelings (relaxed, stressed, tired, anxious, etc), any muscle pains, healthy issues and my expectations. I decided to go for the Signature treatment.
And just when I thought that it could not get better, I was invited to follow my therapist to my outdoor cabana with a full view towards the sea. WOW! The 90 minutes I had in this cabana were everything I nedeed. So regenerating!
My true advice is: GO FOR IT! The second is to make an appointment well ahead of time, so you make sure you pick the time of day which best suits you.
So, when treatment was – unfortunately – over, I was taken to a tea bar up in the hills above the sea and could later enjoy the stunning outside swimming pool (my favourite in the whole property) and the salt water pool.
General spa facilities are out of this world:
- Eight treatment rooms and a Couples’ Suite
- Spa outdoor cabanas with Aegan Sea view
- Luxurious hammams with private scrub rooms
- Extensive heat and water facilities, saunas and steam rooms
- Comprehensive fitness centre featuring state-of-the-art equipment, Kinesis Fitness Wall, Pilates Reformer and Stand-up-paddle Pilates & Yoga
- Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
The indoor pool is great! But I did not dive in it as the days were so bright and sunny that all I wanted was to stay outside.
EAT & DRINK
Restaurants at Mandarin Oriental are all about imaginative cuisine in inspiring settings. The carefully curated selection of restaurants and bars offer a tantalising range of dining experiences and I was very impressed with everything I tried. There are eight restaurants in the property.
A classic Italian in pure Italian style and mediterranean flair. So pretty! So tasty!
Assaggio is placed on an expansive decked platform overlooking the sea and is perfect for alfresco classic Italian dishes such as beef carpaccio with truffle oil or pasta and caviar.
We arrived at sunset (please do it!!!) and enjoyed some champagne while the sun went down and the DJ played some party mood music. A location that is truly breathtaking, guys! The sea was so clear that we could see fishes swimming right next to us, the sky became pink and it was another opportunity to realize how well Mandarin Oriental blends in with the surrounding nature.
We had the Chef’s menu and tried deliciously fresh lobster, tagliatelle caviar and perfect cannoli as a desert, Everything delicious and beautifully presented. Service is very professional, attentive and relaxed. Those perfect nights…
– Bodrum Balıkçısı
I love this restaurant too and I honestly cannot choose between Balıkçısı or Assaggio (try both!).
Balıkçısı serves Turkish seafood with a modern twist in a casual atmosphere and idyllic views over the sparkling Aegean Sea.
With fresh vegetables displayed in wooden crates, fish and seafood laid out on ice, and dried peppers and spices on the wall, the restaurant enjoys a relaxed and typically Turkish market-style ambience.
As it normally happens in Turkey, we started with mezzes + appetisers and went on to try the best fish I had during my whole stay in Bodrum. Fresh, perfectly prepared!
I did not drink wine that night but my husband did and he was very happy with the pairing he was offered – the wine list is extensive and includes the best local and international wines.
One sweet detail: the kitchen is open and I asked the manager if I could shoot a video to post on my Instagram Stories. For my surprise, not only I was allowed to do it, but the whole team in the kitchen was making a sweet little dance to get recorded! This is the vibe at Mandarin Oriental! LOVE!
– Blue Beach Club & Bar
This is where we had lunch every single day during our stay. I normally like to try different places but this was just too cool to be missed. Hahaha!
Cool vibes, happy people, DJ, beach feelings, friendly staff and tasty food. What else should I ask for?
I spoke about lunch but this is the sort of place which we can enjoy all day long. It was always busy with people having a snack and a drink while watching the beautiful white sandy beach of Paradise Beach.
We did not try it but the experience can escalate to another level and be extremely private and exclusive if you book a cabana.
Thumbs up for the ice-cream – the guy truly makes magic while serving his guests and it is a lot, A LOT of fun to watch it. He makes the ice cream disappear, then appear again, then appear behind you… and all those tricks.
Imagine the most amazing breakfast on earth with juices and bread prepared right in front of our eyes from the scratch. THIS IS HERE!
Complete, delicious breakfast with options that will please every taste and the most picky guest, as I am. Hehe!
Despite the uncountable options, presentation is perfect and everything is served with attention to detail. A place where breakfast is transformed into an experience, folks. Specially if you enjoy the Turkish delicacies and the juice bar.
Sofra is also open for dinner and the restaurant specialises in delicious local cuisine with a Mediterranean flair.
– Pool Bar & Restaurant
The place to be when we are looking for some very relaxed dining and poolside favourites. We only tried the cocktails while at the pool but I totally wish I would have had more time to dine there. The setting is so nice!
– Mandarin Bar
It is a meeting point during the whole day and also at night – with live music, great breeze and happy mood.
Sophisticated, stunning views and very central in the hotel. We enjoyed some great rosés at this cool bar.
– The Mandarin Cake Shop
OMG! A must for anyone with a taste for the good life! Haha! Ideal for those times when we are in the mood for a morning pastry and a cup of freshly-brewed coffee, an exquisite cake or macaroons melting in your mouth.
– Kurochan by Loki
Right! Guests can enjoy modern, innovative sushi menu influenced by Peruvian flavours at Mandarin Oriental Bodrum. I sadly did not have the time to try it but I at least have a great excuse to return.
WHEN TO GO
European summer is extremely popular and when the action is at its peek. We visited in August and had such an amazing time because the hotel never ever gives you the impression that it is too crowded.
Nevertheless, “calmer” months are also a great option to enjoy Mandarin Oriental Bodrum. I would definitely go from May until October.
HOW TO GET THERE
Only a 45-minutes drive from Bodrum International Airport in a private shuttle organised by the hotel. The drivers speak English and the car is ultra comfortable.
Helicopter is also available 24/07.
This is it folks! You know me and you know I WILL BE BACK! One word to describe this place and it is EPIC!!! What a journey!
I hope you are traveling with me via @marineira on Instagram. 🙂