Once a sleepy fishing village, the seaside town of Bodrum on Turkey’s glittering Aegean coastline has, in recent years, become something of a playground for the glamorous jet set seeking respite from city life. The unique medley of pristine beaches, beautiful whitewashed houses, ritzy restaurants and clubs and ancient ruins lends it an alluring elegance and low-key glamour that sees millions of tourists flock to its shores each year.
With its status as a burgeoning tourist hotspot has come a slew of luxury hotels and resorts, all jostling for the patronage of Bodrum’s beautifully bronzed, well-heeled holidaymakers. Establishing itself as one of the area’s most luxurious boltholes is the Mandarin Oriental, a five-star retreat located away from the hustle and bustle of the town on an exclusive sliver of coastline called Paradise Bay. Opened in 2014, the 60-hectare cliffside property promises a blend of style, serenity and comfort.
And it delivers. Its magnificence is made clear from the second I enter the lobby. A sweeping panoramic outlook from the sleek teak-panelled arrival deck across the sea and towards the property’s pristine private beach begs no question as to why this corner of the world has garnered the nickname ‘the Turquoise Coast’. Having departed hours prior from a London shrouded in grey, the dazzling blue vista is a welcome sight, and thankfully, it’s in no short supply. As I’m shuttled to my room in one of the property’s many golf buggies, I zoom around corners past slivers of glittering sea interspersed with bursts of pink oleander. It gets better: the view from the giant glass doors of my bedroom is nothing short of breathtaking. There’s a private sun-drenched terrace from which to take it all in, but I opt to enjoy it from a freestanding porcelain tub conveniently perched by a floor-to-ceiling window looking out onto the blue, where a spattering of sleek superyachts gracefully bob up and down.