Sunday, October 19, 2014

WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO TURKEY

Erland Stubmo visits two magical hotels in Turkey, one brand new. Interesting for those planning ahead to spring and summer by the Mediterranean, and demanding tip top quality...

AMANRUYA

Enchanting Amanruya is built in the hills among thousands of pine trees and olive trees, with views of the Aegean Sea. The surroundings are really beautiful and the property looks much better in real life than it does in photographs.

The drive from the main road is quite long. We arrived late at night and it felt like we were taken deep into the forest.  Well, Amanruya IS a hideaway, a very aesthetic one. With all the stone and brick buildings and all the pathways and stairs lit by lanterns everywhere, it gave us a perfect first impression.

Entering our cottage also gave us the "wow"-feeling I had hoped for...

Our cottage


Cottages


All 36 Pool Terrace Cottages are almost identical. The only feature that separates them is the view. The layout of the pools can also be different from one cottage to the other.

In addition to the pool all cottages have large terraces with a "sala" with day-beds, wooden lounge chairs, sun umbrellas and outside private dining furniture.

All cottages give guests a great deal of privacy, even when outside in the garden and pool area.
The cottage itself is 75 sqm. and features couches, dining table, four poster king-size bed and writing desk. There is even a fireplace for colder days. There is also a separate vanity area, a walk-in closet and a huge bathroom with both rain shower and a free-standing bath tub.

Amenities include complimentary Nespresso coffee and non-alcoholic drinks from the mini-bar.

As all the cottages are free-standing there are no interconnecting options for families. However, there are a few cottages that connect through the garden and can work well for families with older children.

Our garden and pool

Interior of our cottage
There is free Wifi in the cottages and throughout the resort.

Dining



Breakfast: Served in one of the dining pavilions just above the main pool, with a choice of tables inside or outside at the terrace. We had all the breakfasts outside as the temperature was very pleasant and the view wonderful. No buffet at all. Everything was served a la carte and the quality was excellent.

Dinner: There are three different dining pavilions, but with the same food (only one kitchen).
The menu is a mix of Turkish specialities and international dishes. We chose to have dinner outside on the terrace. The quality of food was very good, although we were not completely "blown away". If I had stayed a few days more I might have wished that the menu was more extensive.

With such charming accommodations, many guests choose to have their meals served in their cottage.

Tea Time: Complimentary afternoon tea served every day between 16:00 and 17:00.


Spa

They have created two treatment rooms in one of the cottages or guests can have most of the treatments in their own cottage. A nice gym lies close to the main pool area. Free Yoga classes are given at the Yoga pavilion twice a week.


Beach club

Amanruya is built up in the hills, and even down by the water there is no real sandy beach. However , a very nice beach club has been created, with elegant lounge chairs/sofas and sunbeds on a wooden pier from where it's pleasant to swim. The water is crystal clear.



Beach club

Cool lounge beds at the beach club

The beach club has a bar and some light dishes are also served. Complimentary water activities are on offer here. It's a bit far to walk for most people (around 15-20 minutes) but there is a shuttle.

Up at the resort there is also a tennis court.

How to get to Amanruya

It is 30 mins by car from Bodrum Milas Airport (BJV).

In a nutshell

This is a place for total relaxation, a sanctuary of peace, quiet and privacy. Suitable for couples (or singles or friends) who want to get away from it all and just charge their batteries in excellent surroundings. A very friendly and personalized service makes the stay really enjoyable.

Main pool 


After 3 nights at AMANRUYA we moved to a totally different property ....


MANDARIN ORIENTAL BODRUM

This is a brand new property and a real resort with extensive facilities. Mandarin Oriental is a lively destination, where you see the other guests round and about. And it is very contemporary and stylish. Only 109 rooms and suites, but with a lot of outdoor space it seems like a large property. 

Relaxation area outside the lobby
The beautiful man-made Blue Beach

Accommodation

A lot of categories to choose from, but all rooms, suites and villas have the same modern style and features. Only the size and layout are different. The leading category is Garden View Room and Sea View Room, both with an impressive size of 72 sqm. (One extra bed possible.)

Many of these rooms have interconnecting doors which makes it perfect for families.

Junior Suite


Seaview Suite

How to get to Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

About 40 minutes from Bodrum Airport and about 25 minutes to Bodrum town. Built in a private cove (Paradise Bay) that tends to be a popular stop for private yachts during high season.


In a nutshell

A stylish property and a real resort where you can see and be seen, Top quality rooms and service. Perfect for families.

TURKISH AIRLINES 

We were upgraded to Business both ways. Comfortable seats (although no flat beds) and tasty food, with a choice of three main dishes. Even between Istanbul and Bodrum we were served a decent hot meal ( a flight of only 55 minutes).

Service ok, but could have been better. For example, the aperitif came together with the main dish.
Acceptable entertainment system, but my seat was "without sound", so I just had to forget about the film.
One of our suitcases was left behind at Oslo airport, but was delivered at our hotel two days later.
The flight to Bodrum leaves from the Domestic terminal, but that's just a short walk from the International terminal.

Make sure to avoid a very short connection. The lines at Istanbul airport can be quite long  both for passport control and security.

Note: Blogger Erland Stubmo is a senior travel consultant at Select Collection Oslo

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