What it's like to vacation in Bodrum, Turkey, an under-the-radar luxury travel hotspot that's been compared to Saint Tropez and Mykonos

bodrum turkey

Shutterstock/Luciano Mortula - LGM

Bodrum is a burgeoning luxury travel destination.

  • Bodrum, Turkey, is a an increasingly popular luxury travel destination.
  • It's been compared to European hotspots St. Tropez on the French Riviera and Mykonos in Greece.
  • Both Condé Nast Traveler and Bloomberg named Bodrum one of the best places to travel in 2019.
  • It's seen a recent influx of trendy five-star hotels, including Six Senses Kaplankaya and Ian Schrager's Bodrum Edition.

Forget Bali, Mykonos, and St. Tropez.Advertisement

The hot new under-the-radar luxury travel destination is the seaside city of Bodrum, Turkey.

The port city has been dubbed the "St. Tropez of Turkey" for its luxury hotels, beach clubs, food scene, and the abundance of superyachts drifting in its turquoise waters. While Europeans have been vacationing there for years, it's been long overlooked by American travelers.

Both Condé Nast Traveler and Bloomberg named Bodrum one of the best places to travel in 2019, with Bloomberg suggesting travelers skip "overdeveloped Bali in favor of Bodrum, where a five-star-resort renaissance is under way." The publication pointed out the recent high-profile openings in Bodrum of trendy luxury resorts such as Six Senses and Edition Hotels.
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"With slick infinity edge pools facing the Aegean, celebrity-approved beach clubs, spas with steamy hammams, and sunbathing nooks shrouded by olive groves, the see-and-be-seen destination is a revitalized alternative to St. Tropez and Mykonos," Bloomberg wrote of Bodrum.

Here's what it's like to vacation in Bodrum.
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Bodrum, Turkey, is an increasingly popular luxury travel destination, earning comparisons to European hotspots St. Tropez on the French Riviera and Mykonos in Greece.

Bodrum, Turkey, is an increasingly popular luxury travel destination, earning comparisons to European hotspots St. Tropez on the French Riviera and Mykonos in Greece.

The city is located on the Bodrum Peninsula on Turkey's southwest coast, on the shores of the Aegean Sea.

The city is located on the Bodrum Peninsula on Turkey's southwest coast, on the shores of the Aegean Sea.

Source: Google Maps

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Bloomberg named Bodrum one of the best places to travel in 2019. "With slick infinity edge pools facing the Aegean, celebrity-approved beach clubs, spas with steamy hammams, and sunbathing nooks shrouded by olive groves, the see-and-be-seen destination is a revitalized alternative to St-Tropez and Mykonos," the publication wrote of Bodrum.

Bloomberg named Bodrum one of the best places to travel in 2019. "With slick infinity edge pools facing the Aegean, celebrity-approved beach clubs, spas with steamy hammams, and sunbathing nooks shrouded by olive groves, the see-and-be-seen destination is a revitalized alternative to St-Tropez and Mykonos," the publication wrote of Bodrum.

Source: Bloomberg

Indeed, the port city is dubbed the "St. Tropez of Turkey" for its luxury hotels, beach clubs, food scene, and abundance of superyachts.

Indeed, the port city is dubbed the "St. Tropez of Turkey" for its luxury hotels, beach clubs, food scene, and abundance of superyachts.

Source: Mandarin Oriental

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Jenny Southan, founder of Globetrender, described it as an emerging "hotspot for celebrities, models, upper-class bohemians and the monied elite."

Jenny Southan, founder of Globetrender, described it as an emerging "hotspot for celebrities, models, upper-class bohemians and the monied elite."

Source: Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

In addition to its nightlife and luxurious boutique hotels, Bodrum is known for its early 15th-century castle ...

In addition to its nightlife and luxurious boutique hotels, Bodrum is known for its early 15th-century castle ...

Source: Lonely Planet

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... its charming, white-plastered back streets ...

... its charming, white-plastered back streets ...

Source: Enjoy Bodrum

... its marina filled with sailboats and yachts ...

... its marina filled with sailboats and yachts ...

Source: Enjoy Bodrum

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... and its markets, where vendors sell fresh and dried fruits, herbs, vegetables, local cheeses, olives, olive oil, and more.

... and its markets, where vendors sell fresh and dried fruits, herbs, vegetables, local cheeses, olives, olive oil, and more.

Source: Enjoy Bodrum

Bodrum is a favorite spot for billionaires to hang out on their yachts. Kazakh billionaire Alijan Ibragimov has been spotted there on his yacht, I Dynasty ...

Bodrum is a favorite spot for billionaires to hang out on their yachts. Kazakh billionaire Alijan Ibragimov has been spotted there on his yacht, I Dynasty ...

Source: Getty Images

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... as has Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich on his vessel, Eclipse.

... as has Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich on his vessel, Eclipse.

Source: Getty Images

One of Bodrum's most luxurious hotels is the Mandarin Oriental.

One of Bodrum's most luxurious hotels is the Mandarin Oriental.

Source: Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

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All the suites and villas at the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum have private pools ...

All the suites and villas at the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum have private pools ...

Source: Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

... and the massive spa includes indoor and outdoor pools, hammams with private scrub rooms, saunas and steam rooms ...

... and the massive spa includes indoor and outdoor pools, hammams with private scrub rooms, saunas and steam rooms ...

Source: Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

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... and outdoor spa cabanas where you can get a massage with a view of the Aegean Sea.

... and outdoor spa cabanas where you can get a massage with a view of the Aegean Sea.

Source: Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

The hotel overlooks two private sandy beaches.

The hotel overlooks two private sandy beaches.

Source: Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

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A stay in the resort starts at about $568 per night for two people in a sea view room; suites start at about $1,000.

A stay in the resort starts at about $568 per night for two people in a sea view room; suites start at about $1,000.

Source: Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

The hotel also includes several villas, which range in price from about $1,400 to nearly $23,000 per night.

The hotel also includes several villas, which range in price from about $1,400 to nearly $23,000 per night.

Source: Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

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"There are newer, flashier, trendier resorts in Turkey and all over the Med, but the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum seems poised to become one of the classics," Ann Abel wrote in Forbes in 2018.

"There are newer, flashier, trendier resorts in Turkey and all over the Med, but the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum seems poised to become one of the classics," Ann Abel wrote in Forbes in 2018.

Source: Forbes

Mandarin Oriental may be the classic, but the past few years have seen openings of several trendy new luxury hotels, including Lux Bodrum, Nikki Beach, and Bodrum Edition, a boutique hotel from Studio 54 cofounder Ian Schrager.

Mandarin Oriental may be the classic, but the past few years have seen openings of several trendy new luxury hotels, including Lux Bodrum, Nikki Beach, and Bodrum Edition, a boutique hotel from Studio 54 cofounder Ian Schrager.

Source: The New York Times

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LUX Bodrum sits among landscaped gardens and offers 91 rooms and suites, 19 residences, and a one-of-a-kind villa.

LUX Bodrum sits among landscaped gardens and offers 91 rooms and suites, 19 residences, and a one-of-a-kind villa.

Source: LUX Bodrum

A night's stay ranges from as low as about $260 per night for two people for a Sea Front Room, all the way up to more than $4,200 for the Presidential Villa, which comes with a private garden and swimming pool.

A night's stay ranges from as low as about $260 per night for two people for a Sea Front Room, all the way up to more than $4,200 for the Presidential Villa, which comes with a private garden and swimming pool.

Source: LUX Bodrum

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In June 2018, another of-the-moment luxury hotel brand, Edition, opened a location in Bodrum.

In June 2018, another of-the-moment luxury hotel brand, Edition, opened a location in Bodrum.

Bodrum Edition is only open in the summer months and rooms start at $761 per night.

Bodrum Edition is only open in the summer months and rooms start at $761 per night.

Source: Bodrum Edition

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The pool at Bodrum Edition overlooks the Aegean Sea.

The pool at Bodrum Edition overlooks the Aegean Sea.

Source: Bodrum Edition

But the hotel that Condé Nast Traveller called the "the hottest spot in Turkey right now" is the latest location of Six Senses, a brand known for its elegant wellness retreats.

But the hotel that Condé Nast Traveller called the "the hottest spot in Turkey right now" is the latest location of Six Senses, a brand known for its elegant wellness retreats.

Source: Condé Nast Traveller

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Bodrum's Six Senses Kaplankaya includes 141 guestrooms and suites as well as 150 residential villas. It reopens in April 2019 with rates starting at $410 per night.

Bodrum's Six Senses Kaplankaya includes 141 guestrooms and suites as well as 150 residential villas. It reopens in April 2019 with rates starting at $410 per night.

Source: Six Senses Kaplankaya

It's not difficult to see why Bodrum just might topple the likes of Mykonos and St. Tropez as a go-to luxury destination.

It's not difficult to see why Bodrum just might topple the likes of Mykonos and St. Tropez as a go-to luxury destination.
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