Overlooking picturesque Demirbükü Bay on Bodrum peninsula’s north coast, Bodrum Loft is a modern take on a traditional Aegean village of stacked, flat-roofed houses and winding alleys dotted with bougainvillea.
Inspired by the outdoor lifestyle Bodrum locals have enjoyed for centuries, the resort boasts 36 ultra-stylish villas as well as a range of five-star facilities including two à la carte restaurants, and a large outdoor pool, spa and gym that harmoniously blend into the surrounding landscape. The result is a supremely peaceful home-from-home with an emphasis on rest and relaxation.
WHAT TO PACK
The hotel opened quietly in May 2021, predominantly welcoming wealthy Istanbulites looking for a coastal hideaway in easy reach of the city. Happily for the rest of us, it is now accepting bookings from visitors from the rest of Turkey and beyond.
Like many resorts along the Turkish Riviera, Bodrum Loft closes in winter and reopens in early May. Go in July and August for guaranteed sun and a good dose of la dolce vita, or in September or October for a quiet, end-of-season break (the weather remains balmy, and the sea warm, well into autumn.) Be warned though, it fills up early with loyal repeat-bookers, so we recommend planning ahead for 2024 now.
A favourite with in-the-know Istanbulites and seafaring Turks, Bodrum Loft has an extremely exclusive feel about it. In addition to its well-heeled clientele, there is a notable sense of spaciousness throughout: the hotel is set in six hectares of rocky terrain, only a third of which is covered by buildings, which ensures guests enjoy a great deal of peace and privacy.
Though exclusive in vibe, it’s not of the glitz and bling variety. The atmosphere here is laid-back and the aesthetic is more boho-chic than high-octane glamour, making switching off effortless and easy. Underpinning this is the hotel’s outdoor-indoor design, conceived by the Istanbul-based architecture firm Tabanliǧo, which helps guests relax and enjoy the natural surroundings to their fullest.
Indoor areas flow seamlessly into outdoor spaces brimming with bougainvillea and jasmine as well as olive trees, mature pines and forests of sandalwood, laurel, cranberry and citrus. The earthy interiors, accented by woods and local stone and softened with natural-toned textiles, beautifully complement the Aegean landscape outside.
With so much time spent weaving in and out of lush foliage (electric buggies can be summoned on request if speed is of the essence), it won’t take you long to breathe a sigh of relief and enter a deep state of relaxation.
The 36 serviced two-to four-bedroom villas tumble down the terraced hillside, as is typical of traditional Aegean villages in the region. Each offers unobstructed views across the sparkling waters below, an open-plan living area with kitchen, a nanny room, a laundry room and an outdoor dining area, where you can sit back and soak up the hazy, pink sunsets in peace.
Bedrooms are delightfully spacious and have large walk-in wardrobes and generous bathrooms with a double sink, fluffy white robes, and a separate toilet and rainfall shower.
Interiors are simple and sleek without being stark, decorated in whites and soft greys, with natural wood doors and polished concrete pebble-floors. The recessed wooden shelves are generally left empty, so long-term guests can fill them with home comforts. The minimalist aesthetic is softened by carefully chosen pictures, natural textiles and striking floor lamps with hand-blown shades.
Villas are usually taken by one individual for the whole season, and then split up into rooms and sublet online or directly via the hotel when the primary residents are away. Minimum stay for room-only accommodation is one week in high season.
The Food + Drink
There are two à la carte restaurants, each with their own identity and menu. Located on the shaded upper terrace is Loft Elia, the hotel’s main restaurant serving breakfast and dinner. Here, you’ll find classic Turkish dishes conceived by chef Deniz Aşan, all delivered with the perfect balance of professionalism and charm. Order menemen (a popular Turkish scrambled egg and tomato dish) for breakfast and manti (ravioli-style dumplings) for dinner. Pre- and post-dinner cocktails are best enjoyed in the open-air bar next door, featuring a lofty ceiling, low-wattage lighting and countless cosy corners with views of the turquoise water below.
Trot down the hill and you’ll encounter another splendid sea-view terrace, with an open-air bar and dining area that hosts the hotel’s resident DJ at weekends. For the last three years, the space has welcomed the Mediterranean outpost of Paper Moon, Istanbul’s most beloved Italian restaurant helmed by the Milanese chef Giuseppe Pressani. In high season, you’ll find generations eating together under the stars against a backdrop of golden-age jazz and gently swaying pines. Flickering candles and low lighting add to the whimsical aesthetic.
In addition to antipasti, thin-crust pizzas and classic pasta plates, the menu offers a wide range of meat and fresh fish dishes as well as daily changing specials. But be sure to save room for dessert – the panna cotta is as smooth and silky as can be. Paper Moon offers a beachside lunch and snack menu too. Think mini burgers, hearty salads and pizzettas, all washed down with a glass of fizz or rosé. You’ll also find a sushi bar on the upper terrace as well as a swanky patisserie, serving sweet treats and ice cream throughout the day. In-villa private dining experiences can be organised on request.
The Little Extras
On arrival all guests receive a small bottle of olive oil pressed from the hotel’s own olive trees, and the opportunity to sit down with the resort’s concierge, who can organise everything from guided tours and restaurant bookings in the region to day trips on the hotel’s private boat. Though there’s no kids club – water sports, family-friendly activities and babysitting can also be organised on request.
Then there’s the super slick reception team, who are on hand 24/7 via WhatsApp to assist with all hotel-related queries, from massage bookings to housekeeping and logistical requests such as pre–arrival grocery deliveries and private airport transfers.
The To-Do List
Mornings are for indulging in long, lazy Turkish breakfasts, afternoons are for unwinding by the heavenly pool located amongst the pines. Alternatively, nab a sunbed on the pontoon decking built out into the sea, and let the sound of the gently-lapping waves wash your worries away.
If a little extra chillout time is on the agenda, book the 55-minute Relaxing or Zen Shen massage in the hotel’s open-air cabana spa tucked away in the foliage up the hillside – bespoke prenatal massages can be arranged for mums-to-be, too. The calming soundtrack of wind and birds will help you decompress all the more quickly. After your treatment, head to the indoor spa area for a steam and a sauna.
Those who like to exercise on holiday should make tracks for the open-air fitness centre, complete with state-of-the-art gym equipment, floor mats and weights. Private personal training sessions, yoga, and pilates are available on request.
If you’re looking to venture a little further afield, beeline for Bodrum town, which is just under 20km away. Pay a visit to Bodrum Castle, the Amphitheatre and Myndos Gate before tucking into a large platter of fresh seafood in one of the local waterfront restaurants.
Gullet trips can also be booked on request – the Greek islands of Kos, Rhodes and Patmos are all within sailing distance of the hotel.
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