Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum has raised the bar for five-star luxury on the Turkish Riviera. Occupying an enviable position on a secluded stretch of coastline, the resort, a first for Mandarin Oriental in Europe is set amongst pine forests with two private beaches. The outstanding location and cutting edge design of this new resort ensures it’s a must-visit for the discerning traveller. With something for everyone, naturally there’s the beach, water sports, eight restaurants, jogging trails, kids club and a most impressive spa. The rooms are spacious and most have sea views. In fact space is the defining word of the property. There is room to move.
High ceilings and a sense of light and openness define the sea facing monolith building. Sea views are captured at every turn, but that doesn’t detract from the exclusive feel and warmth of the hotel. Designed with signature dark wood panels, typical of many MO properties, marble is a key feature which is softened with splash of warm colour, yellow in particular help to add a comforting note to the colour palette.
The food is divine, drawing massively on the Turkish heritage, and breakfast is an event in itself. Don’t miss it. But my lasting impression will be the staff. Friendly, engaging and ever so helpful, there’s someone on hand at almost every turn, but they manage to do this without being overbearing.
I visited in low season, at a time when I was the only guest. Wow, now that’s an experience I will always remember. To have the run of the hotel, it’s a memory that will last a lifetime.
BEST HOTEL SPA IN BODRUM:
The new spa is a triumph of design. It’s situated at one end of the hotel, on the crest of a hill, looking out to the sea and the pine forests. It is beautifully appointed, warm, inviting, and despite its long corridors and modern feel retains a cosy feel. The design team has maximised the use of natural daylight. Dark woods and marble dominate the colour palette with the occasional statue or piece of wall art to accent the guest journey. Separate male and female change rooms lead onto single sex vitality pool, sauna, spa and hammam. These are united with a mixed relaxation lounge which leads onto the spa garden. This is the highlight – a living, breathing spa sanctuary. Most of the herbs that are used in the treatments are grown and hand harvested daily by the staff. Outdoor hydro pool and sauna make this more than just a place to chill post-treatment, it’s an extension of the spa and a wonderful one too.
Set over three floors, including the VIP suite, this is a vast space, but doesn’t t feel overwhelming. The spa staff are attentive and passionate about the guest experience. I may sound like I am raving a little but it is hard to critique this spa that’s so brilliantly executed.
The occasional miscommunication due to language was overcome easily and a couple of times I lost my way to find the loos.
Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum has embraced the local culture and traditions of the Turkish hamman in the treatment menu. Opting for a traditional Turkish hammam was a natural choice and my hammam master was an expert. Wrapped in a peshtemal, I was bathed and cleansed with warm water, expertly scrubbed and washed using the foaming soap ritual with billowing suds and air filled pillow massage. It’s a contrasting sensory experience which is thoroughly cleansing and rejuvenating. I liken it to being washed like a baby and I heartily recommend it. It does include a massage using the foam and then, you are washed down with fresh water to remove the suds. Post treatment you are covered in revive oil, wrapped in three towels and led to the relaxation room to sleep or simply gaze out into the spa garden surrounded by pines. Seriously, it was a moment to savour.
My second spa experience at Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum was a treat in the VIP suite. Bigger than many one bed apartments in London, it features hydrotherapy pool, steam, sauna, fireplace, experience shower, private hammam and wrap around terrace. Following a thorough consultation I enjoyed to a two hour signature treatment which started with a foot scrub and cleanse. I was invited to choose an oil by smell, I chose Flourish. Then a complex ritual massage followed. Fine acupressure, some gentle stretching and fine detailed massage movements, contrasted long flowing strokes. It was fascination to follow and then I drifted off into heavenly bliss.
THE SPA MAN’S BEST BITS:
The traditional hammam treatment
Relaxing in the VIP suite
Swimming in the sea
A one-to-one Pilates session in the gym
Relaxing post treatment looking across the spa garden
ROOM TO IMPROVE:
This is tough. Rubber slippers were too small and a little hard to fit onto my foot (I’m size 8).
In the steam rooms the back lit panel lighting could be seen and cast a glare which was too bright.
Oriental Hammam Ritual
Rates at Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum start from £276 per night on a B&B basis. For further information and bookings please call +90 252 311 18 88 or visit