Despite its local popularity, Bodrum—on the Aegean Sea in Turkey—often gets overlooked for locations like Ibiza, Mykonos, Mallorca, St Tropez and Sardinia. The Bodrum EDITION, which opened last summer in the town of Yalıkavak, is changing that. Known for their high standards on design and even higher lifestyle offerings, the EDITION has found an ideal stretch of Bodrum on the Tilkicik Bay to create a destination that’s unique for the area: a stylish hotel that establishes an incredible standard for contemporary design in the region. The hotel, designed by Christophe Pillet and the Ian Schrager Company for Marriott International, also evokes the potential of its prime Aegean location with local authenticity matched to modern cultured elegance and good taste in tradition of the Ertegüns.
The Bodrum EDITION is a well-sized 108 rooms, suites and villas—many with sea views and some with private pools, balconies and gardens. The hotel’s architecture is embedded into the Aegean topography of natural rock and indigenous flora of olive trees and low maki bushes. In and amongst the manicured landscape of maki, bungalows are connected by foot and cart paths and guests are whisked around the grounds in electric carts.
Guest rooms are up the hill while the main facilities and activities of the hotel are placed down the slope, toward the sea, on a series of wide terraces that include restaurants, a bar, nightclub, infinity pool, garden lounge, incredible state-of-the-art spa (with a hamam), fitness center and a private beach club with a pier housing private cabanas.
From the main road the hotel is only visible as an entrance pavilion, increasing the privacy and exclusivity of the experience. Stepping into the airy double-height lobby, you are introduced to the first of many stunning vistas you will encounter during your stay: a never-ending series of dramatic views of the bay that is a constant presence. The architects have carefully organized views and perspectives throughout the hotel with the most vivid being the daily sunset over the bay, toward the Greek Dodecanese Island of Leros in the distance.
The drama of the surroundings is maximized in each room as Pilet and Schrager’s design chooses understatement rather then competition with the location—a palette of white and grey tones complement the gleaming blue sea outside. The power of the setting is so vivid that the designers have purposefully chosen to keep the interior and exterior subdued and calm using only natural textures and fixtures. Cotton, linen, marble and wood create the feel of the rooms but the designers know the real visual drama comes from the sea and the setting.
At the Bodrum EDITION, life exists outside, day and night, under the sun and stars. Breakfast starts on the terrace, where we recommend trying the “Turkish Breakfast”: a spread of cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, jams, fruit preserves, honey, butter, feta cheese and clotted cream with Turkish pastries including simit, sesame-coated bread rings with a hint of tahini. Served in waves of seemingly endless ceramic plates, it’s a visual and savory show. The culinary offerings throughout are orchestrated by the Peruvian executive chef Diego Munoz (previously of Astrid and Gaston) whose focus on innovation, sustainability and tradition has been fine-tuned at the Brava seaside restaurant.
Drinks at the bar share a local focus as well, thanks to an equally masterful bartending crew. There’s the Turkish raki (a grape and aniseed liquor that is the cousin of Greek ouzo and Lebanese arak) that’s mixed with local citrons. Late-night drinks and a lively vibe can be found here, or at Discetto with its pillow-covered lounge seating allowing guests to slip comfortably into the depths of the Aegean summer night.
The hotel has upped its health and wellness program this season to include more yoga and meditation in partnership with Istanbul’s Cihangir Yoga. Daily sunrise and sunset yoga on the terraces can be followed by sessions of juice and relaxation at the spa. The hamam is a sleek and serene escape in white marble that’s a contemporary remix of the traditional Turkish bath.
Despite the sophisticated and decadent offerings on site, the EDITION hotels make it a point to encourage guests to explore their surroundings. In Bodrum, visitors can explore the rocky coastline on a traditional wood sail boat (known locally as a gulet) or take trips to hilltop villages such as Etrim off of the Gökova Bay, where the local yörük nomads still hand-weave flat tapestry carpets. In the evenings, nearby local bars and restaurants (like the The Root nightclub in Yalıkavak) celebrate summer with performances from DJs and bands. Further afield, the village of Gümüşlük (20 minutes down the coastal road) is home to classic fish restaurant Mimoza or the hilltop Limon with its reservation-only sunset drinks overlooking the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Myndos.
The Bodrum EDITION is also offering various seasonal events like pop-up exhibitions by Istanbul’s Istanbul74, completing the fusion of sense and sensation of the Turkish Aegean coast. When your friends are all heading to more common destinations, consider exploring somewhere new.
Images courtesy of The EDITION Bodrum