Welcome to the Turkish Riviera, also knowns as the Turquoise Coast, where the azure waters of the Aegean Sea meet the sun-soaked beaches and the rich cultural heritage of the Mediterranean. It's a place that has captured the hearts of visitors for centuries, including mine, and it's easy to see why. With its luxurious hotels, impeccable hospitality, world-class dining, and stunning natural beauty, the Turkish Riviera is a destination that should be on every traveler's bucket list. Read on to learn about my top hotel picks in the area, each with its unique style and charm, and discover what makes the Turkish Riviera a must-visit destination this summer.
D Maris Bay
D Maris Bay is a breathtaking oasis that will leave you beholden with its natural beauty and unparalleled luxury as soon as you set foot on the property. As the fragrant Mediterranean breeze caresses your skin and the panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the raw beauty of the surrounding pine forests leaves you spellbound, you'll realize that you're in a place like no other. Once inside your spacious and elegantly appointed room or suite, you'll find yourself drawn to your private balcony or terrace, where you can soak up more of the breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. The hotel feels completely private and offers plenty of activities and treatments that will transport you to a dreamlike state of relaxation.
The dining options at D Maris Bay are also exceptional! You will have six restaurants and multiple bars serving delicacies from around the world to pick from But...La Guerite is my favorite for light bites while lounging by the sea and euphoric dance parties at dinner.
In conclusion, D Maris Bay will leave you yearning for more. It's luxurious, exotic, and adventurous—the ultimate escape from the daily grind.
Amanruya is my top recommendation if you want to disconnect and find yourself in an intimate setting. The property is easy to get to, about 35 minutes from Milas-Bodrum Airport and 20 minutes from Bodrum, yet removed from it all. The resort provides complimentary pick-ups and drop-offs to make your arrival and departure effortless.
As you drive down the winding roads through a hillside forest of ancient twisted olive groves and pine trees, you'll eagerly anticipate the first glimpse of the resort, which will etch itself into your mind forever. Amanruya's understated luxury and relaxed atmosphere are felt throughout the resort, and the design harmoniously blends internal and external spaces to create a hybrid style of living, ideal for the balmy Turkish temperatures. The restaurant is in the central core, with a stunning library encased in a tower, with magnificent views of the valley. The pool, with views of the sprawling sea below and smoke-blue mountains in the distance, has large tiles of sea-green slate shot through with veins of black, white, and jade, creating a mesmerizing rippling effect.
There are just 37 pavilions, each with different views: Some offer sea views, some garden, and others up into the surrounding forested hills. The rooms are minimalist and adorned with mahogany and marble, with floor-to-ceiling doors leading out to the private courtyard with a heated pool and cabanas.
The main restaurant serves breakfast and dinner featuring local and classic fare, while the Beach Club, hidden among pine trees, serves fresh local ingredients prepared on request.
While there is not much to do at Amanruya, that is the point; it's one of the purest escapes money can buy. The sound of bird songs and crickets is the only background noise, making it the perfect retreat for winding down with a good book and finding peace.
If one hotel got Bodrum on the jet-set map, the award must go to Maçakizi. The epitome of a design-led coastal hideaway, Maçakizi has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the most exclusive retreats on the Turkish Riviera. The hotel's founder, Ayla Emiroğlu, opened its doors as an artist retreat in the '70s, and it has since evolved into a luxurious haven for the world's elite.
Maçakizi offers an abundance of indoor-outdoor spaces, with a glass-enclosed fitness center, spa, and pool providing ample opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. With a focus on Mediterranean cuisine and a well-stocked wine collection, you can indulge in the region's delicious local produce and specialty ingredients, all while soaking in the stunning views of the Aegean Sea. The hotel is also renowned for having one of the most impressive wine collections in the region, with an introduction to top Turkish wines and bottles from prominent and lesser-known winemakers worldwide.
Maçakizi boasts a collection of white cottages set amid olive trees and pink bougainvillea in verdant gardens that lead to the beach club and the hotel's indoor-outdoor pavilion, serving breakfast and dinner with a view.
One of the most exceptional features of the hotel is the exclusive-use 10-bedroom Villa Maçakizi, which has undergone significant renovations under the partnership of Erozan and interior designer Barbara Pensoy. The villa's bohemian style is a hallmark of the hotel's signature aesthetic, featuring indoor-outdoor areas with sweeping arches, large windows, and hand-painted patterned tiles of Italian artisans. The villa's 10 sea-view suites are paired with expansive living and dining areas that lead to lush gardens and an infinity pool, a spa with Turkish baths, a fitness center, and a wine room. A private waterfront decking with cabanas and two pontoons for mooring yachts is accessible from the gardens.
Unwind on the oceanfront decks, swim in the sea, and take a day or sunset cruises to nearby coastal spots such as Gümüslük. The hotel can also arrange half-day excursions by car into Bodrum city. After a long day of sightseeing, head for a traditional hammam experience and massage. Maçakizi has stood the test of time as a favorite among the jet set, combining vibrancy and character with continual evolution to enhance the overall experience for each returning guest.
The Bodrum EDITION
The Bodrum EDITION is definitely giving the other five-star properties in the area major competition, attracting a sophisticated, sexy, and hip crowd from all walks of life. It's a standout choice if you're single and looking to mingle or are traveling with friends because it will be hard keeping your eyes to yourself. In the words of Gen-Ziers: "Everyone's a snack."
Now, let's dive into the property itself: As you enter the lobby, you'll feel a rush of ecstasy yet calming sensation running through your body. The neutral tones used throughout, the music selection, and the undisturbed sea views from almost every corner will set a laid-back tone for your stay.
There are 108 spacious rooms and suites, with almost all offering sea views. The decor follows EDITION's signature style, with whites and grays dominating, contemporary designs, and ample closet space (for the fashionistas). The only thing to consider is where you want to be; the property is on a steep hill, and if walking is not your thing or you don't want to wait for a buggy, opt for rooms closer to the dining venues and beach club.
Speaking of dining, the restaurants are a major draw for the resort. Under the direction of Diego Munoz of Lima's Astrid & Gaston, the cuisine is some of the most impressive in the area, with locally sourced ingredients and mouthwatering dishes.
The property also features a full gym, a large spa with a Turkish hammam, a buzzy bar and nightclub, and a beach club equipped with cabanas, water sports, beach service, and stunning views. If you want to venture off-property, the Yalikavak marina is just five minutes away and is filled with restaurants and luxury shopping.
Overall, the vibe at The Bodrum EDITION is low-key during the day. But at night, the nightclub becomes the centerpiece until dawn. So, If you're in party mode, The Bodrum EDITION might be right for you!