Mandarin Oriental Bodrum: Bucket List Hotel
Some dream hotels for couples and best friends I was allowed and could already visit – in this column I would like to present these spots and insider tips, reveal why you should check in there, how such a stay could look like, in short: give you inspiration for the next (short) vacation or the upcoming travel planning.
Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts meet on the beach. No, I’m not joking, nor is it a new TV format – but as I look down on the pools and the sea from the terrace of the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum, I can see the style icons from Steven Soderbergh’s Gangster trilogy in my mind’s eye. The elegant resort about an hour’s flight from Istanbul would be tailor-made if the team wanted to switch off between two coups.
Tasty: the water paradise at the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum.
Mind you: subjunctive, because many people have doubts about the destination after the current developments, prefer other vacation destinations to Turkey. Who once made vacation in Turkey, came gladly again. Now sun, beach and hospitality face the political situation. Can one still travel there? Should one still? I think, in the end, every traveler makes the decision himself. I made mine – and was rewarded together with a good friend.
4 p.m: Check.in at MANDARIN ORIENTAL, BODRUM
The Mandarin Oriental, located on the north coast, can already be marveled at on approach from the plane. About 40 minutes later, after (and here you feel the consequences of the attacks) vehicle inspection including underbody mirror, you pass the entrance, are welcomed by a lush park and then feel when getting out with a view of the elegant terrace (on which, film maturity, the check-in takes place) and the sparkling sea for the first time like the eleven after a successful million coup.
The 129 rooms, apartments, suites and villas of the resort are located on different hills of a hilly landscape, surrounded by olive groves and pine trees.
Mandarin Oriental Bodrum or: Swag meets sun
The rooms are among the largest accommodations in the region (the entry-level category starts at 72 square meters, so plenty of room for the girlfriend complete with shoe collection or Reuben Tishkoff’s shirts). All are equipped with sundecks, terraces or balconies. Some, like our Junior Suite, even have private gardens and infinity pools. Speaking of female companions, they can enjoy the view of the pool and sea from the freestanding bathtub, and there is a mirror in the shower and a separate dressing table in the bathroom. Just one more question: Where is the best place to enjoy a drink? In the Junior Suite, definitely on the terrace, with a Drake or Frank Sinatra soundtrack in the background from the concert-quality Bowers & Wilkins speaker, and trees, sea, and sunset on the horizon in front of us.
8 p.m: DINNER @ BODRUM BALIKCISI
Ten restaurants and bars offer (depending on the season) culinary variety from Turkish cuisine to innovative gourmet cuisine. On the first evening, head to Bodrum Balikcisi (about a five-minute walk from the main building), which specializes in seafood. A lobster tank and the region’s signature display of seafood from local markets show where the journey is headed as soon as you enter. Either inside or under lanterns on the terrace, you can first enjoy typical mezze, then freshly caught fish, with a view of the Aegean Sea.
In our case: herb salad with quail egg, apple-fennel salad with oranges and langoustines with pomegranate couscous. Yes, it tastes as outstanding as it sounds. Of course, this is accompanied by a selected wine list, after which a small raki bar invites you to a date.
10 a.m: Brerakfast @ SOFRA
Sofra serves local and international specialties in the evening, and the impressive Turkish breakfast in the morning. The buffet tempts with fresh pastries, fruit, cereals, and sweets. But my highlight is the additional breakfast menu with a selection of egg dishes such as an outstanding Egg Benedict, plus Eggs Florentine, scrambled eggs, omelettes or Belgian waffles with several fillings (banana-chocolate, whale fruit with cream), plus a glass of Turkish tea and the panoramic view of the sea – a day can not start better. In any case, plan enough time to discover the offer.
11 a.m: RELAX AT THE BEACH
Even without a six-pack and Hollywood status, you can get out of the water here-and dive right back in. The Mandarin Oriental has two private sandy beaches. In high season, the Blue Marlin Ibiza attracts guests with music and international DJs to the left of the main building, while the Blue Beach on the right offers additional cabanas – elegant, private wooden cabins with direct access to the sea.
The way for a short snack or Martini would not be far: A terrace step is the Blue Beach Club & Bar. Nice: So that the entry over the little stones into the sea is relaxed, the (in this case: gray) carpet is specially laid out in two places.
4 p.m: Relax at the SPA
The most important mission during the stay: relax! This works particularly well in the spacious spa. Twelve treatment rooms await guests on 2,700 square meters, including a VIP Spa Suite and a Spa Suite for couples, as well as two outdoor cabanas with large terraces amid the Mediterranean landscape. In addition, significant heat and water therapies are part of the facility, indoor swimming pool and a picturesque outdoor pool including Jacuzzi – so those who have swum through the other three hotel pools will find a new challenge here.
Highlight: the elegant hammams with private washroom. After the traditional one-hour full wash with olive oil peeling, you feel like a new person. In my tested “Mediterranean Journey,” the hammam is followed by another massage. Time becomes a secondary matter. Jackpot!
8 p.m: DINNER @ SOFRA
The culinary is definitely final stage.
We already know the way to dinner at Sofra from breakfast. Local and international specialties are served here. Bring your hunger, because it’s hard to decide here, too. Best tactic: order more and share. By the way, there is no dress code, I was allowed to sit down with a leather jacket and sneakers.
10 p.m DRINK AT THE BAR
The next “Eleven” moment awaits us in the Mandarin Bar. The setting reminds me of Al Pacino’s casino from the third part. In heavy leather lounge chairs under elegant lanterns (or optionally on the terrace), you can enjoy a drink or two. If it’s not on the copper-bound menu, the bar staff will mix it from memory. You can choose the ingredients yourself (whisky for the Whisky Sour, gin or vodka for the Martini). Or let the experts surprise you.
Curious people try the raki drink, which is not on the menu, made from the Turkish national drink infused with rosemary, cucumber, ginger and lime, plus for me, of course, a shisha. There are more than ten varieties to choose from, so excitement is guaranteed for the next few days. Of course, you can’t compare the price at the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum with shisha bars in major German cities, but you’re in a five-star hotel after all.
10 a.m: Breakfast
Tried the waffles yet? If not: make up for it! In addition, there are new, freshly squeezed smoothies in a glass every day – just order them with your coffee or take them from the small stand at the buffet.
11 a.m: RELAX AT THE POOL
I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves. But the Instagram update is in the bag.
4 p.m: Leisure
Leisure activities at the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum are mainly offered by the two private beaches around the endless shore area: from diving and snorkeling to jet skiing, everything is possible; in the “Juju Bar” on a pontoon in the sea, world-class DJs sometimes play. Would you rather go to the spa or just relax on your own terrace? Luxury is when you don’t have to decide. Try it out, discover it, relax, enjoy it. Period.
8 p.m: DINNER @ ASSAGIO
The Italian specialty restaurant focuses on authentic regional cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. In the movies, it’s probably the place where the team would toast the next coup.
WHAT I LOVE:
- The design of the resort. All buildings are harmoniously integrated into the hillside, the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum does not look like a hotel, but more like a small, elegant village. You never feel like you’re in an anonymous resort, despite the large number of rooms and suites.
- The views – no matter where you are
- The idyllic park
- The Club Sandwich. Dark bread with terrific pesto
- The candy paradise in the room upon arrival. The macarons, cookies, cookies and other delicacies enchanting
- The elegant and thoughtful design of the rooms and suites: In the Junior Suite, for example, daylight enters the room through a glazed roof before the shower.
- The Bowers & Wilkins speaker box. The sound: world-class.
- The hotel’s corridors are also regularly illuminated by large windows, behind which a jungle-like area with many plants is enchanting.
- Lights and curtains are controlled Bond-like with buttons on the wall. And all from the comfort of your bed.
- The sensational Homemade Icetea
- You can argue if you need it or not, but: Even on the beach WLAN is available. With three bars. We have tested it.
- The service. The staff is always ready to fulfill any request, no matter how unusual – but they stay discreetly in the background and are never intrusive.
- You notice exactly nothing of the political situation here. At the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum, the only mission is to switch off. And enjoy your stay.
- A shisha on the terrace. You’re in good hands with the staff.
The “Stay and Dine” offer can be booked from around 400 euros per night in a double room. The overnight stay for children between eight and twelve years, who share the room with their parents, costs 80 euros. Further info. to the hotel under www.mandarinoriental.com/bodrum
Turkish Airlines flies up to several times a day from 14 German airports via Istanbul to Bodrum. For example, from 125 euros, for the return flight, more info at www.turkishairlines.com