Bodrum is a magical place – a place of hills carpeted by ancient pine forests, pebble beaches and wooden decking with ladders descending into Aegean waters. Located on the southwest coast of Türkiye and a popular stop on the Turquoise Coast, Bodrum has become one of Europe‘s most sought-after Rivieras in recent years. The town itself is home to a medieval castle and the famous Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, and its coastline is peppered with stunning coves and bustling marinas. Fantastic hotels dot the peninsula, from some of the world’s biggest brands but also impossible stylish boutique offerings. What’s more, there are seasonal direct flights to Bodrum from Dubai, Doha and Riyadh, which are as short as 3 hours 50 minutes, and in Bodrum, the season extends into October. From an ultra-luxury resort hidden by pine trees to an icon of the Seventies, here are the very best hotels in Bodrum for a late summer/early autumn escape.
Best for unrivalled privacy and luxury, connecting with nature,
Tucked away on a hill covered by olive groves, cypress trees, and fragrant pine forest lies the most glamorous, yet discreet, resort in Bodrum – Amanruya. If someone were to paint what they wanted from a Bodrum hotel, it would be this – the Aegean waters lap a private pebble beach. As expected of the ultra-luxury, exclusive hotel brand Aman, the secluded retreat is perfect for those who want to hide away and reset while experiencing the beauty of Bodrum. The resort feels like a Turkish village, and guests stay in private pool pavilions shrouded by vegetation. There’s plenty of natural stone, and interiors blend Turkish and Mediterranean architecture – with pavilions having fireplaces and spacious terraces. The 35-villa property also features the signature Aman Spa, a tennis court, yoga studio, and gym, and there are various hillside terraces, lounges and waterfront eateries for Japanese, Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine.
Open April to October, low season rates from $900 per night, high season from $1,500; aman.com
Best for a taste of bygone Bodrum and the best-looking crowd on the peninsula
Macakizi is Bodrum’s most iconic hotel. Though, on the global stage, it remains relatively unknown to those outside of Türkiye’s well-heeled crowd. This is the pinnacle of Turkish Riviera Seventies chic – founded in 1977 by Ayla Emiroglu, a pioneer of Bodrum tourism, and sitting on a hill overlooking the pretty Türkbükü Bay, hidden by emerald vegetation and pink bougainvillaea. Mick Jagger, King Charles, John Malkovich and Hilary Clinton have all been guests here, along with other elite guests who pop up on their yachts from touring the nearby Greek islands. There are just 53 cottage-style rooms and suites with travertine bathrooms and floorings, Rifat Özbek-designed cushions and work by local artists. An à la carte open-air restaurant, buzzing bar area and breakfast pavilion where modern Turkish cuisine and Mediterranean favourites are available.
Open from April to October; low season doubles from $450 per night, high from $650; macakizi.com
Best for access to Bodrum town and on-site restaurants
The debut hotel brand from homegrown Dubai-based Sunset Hospitality Group, Mett Social Living, is slowly popping up at the world’s most dreamy destinations, and Bodrum was their first. Opened in summer 2021, the modern, sprawling resort lies on a cove just around the corner from Bodrum town, where gulets bob in the water and the Greek island of Kos twinkles in the distance. The property is modern and cutting edge, with a long private beach and soothing neutral rooms – with everything to choose from, from spacious doubles and suites to private pool villas. The f&b offering is where this hotel shines, making it one of the best hotels in Bodrum – and Dubai locals will feel familiar with some of its concepts. There’s St Tropez-inspired beach club Follie with its rosé-fuelled fiestas and canary yellow umbrellas and loungers, Pan-Asian Mood lounge, Turkish Otto, beachside Gulet and Italian Isola Ristorante – in the hill overlooking Bodrum Castle and the Aegean Sea.
Open from April to October; low season doubles from $275 per night, high from $570; mettsocialliving.com
Best for outdoor space and immersive local excursions
Susana Bodrum sits on its own island in a beautiful and protected bay, near the charming village of Torba and is surrounded by fragrant pine and mandarin trees. From afar, it looks a little space age – a collection of white circular buildings dotted around acres of brilliant green lawns. The property started life as Nikki Beach, and there’s a strong sense of the iconic brand left behind – the ultra-modern, minimalist interiors and design, the whites and blues, vast wellness centre, the villas and suites with private pools and the vibrant beach club – now Frankie Beach Club. The resort is framed by decking with loungers and ladders to the sea and hidden beaches for getting away from the party. What’s spectacular is its leading f&b programme, led by the talented resort team and legendary Turkish restauranteur Kaya Demirer. As with Hilton’s LXR brand, there’s a strong focus on local connections, and the hotel runs a programme of priceless immersive excursions, such as visiting local shoemakers, winery visits, and trips to local markets with the chef, the produce used in a sublime private lunch paired with local wines.
Open from April to October; low season doubles from $325 per night, high from $600; hilton.com
Best for stripped-back, design-led minimalist
Part of Leading Hotels of the World, Bodrum Loft is an ultra-chic and modern resort comprising villas and suites, pools, bars and restaurants, tumbling down tiered terraces past olive trees onto a private beach. The hotel overlooks a brilliant blue bay, offering a modern take on a traditional Aegean village with winding alleys linking accommodation, public spaces, and stripped-back suites and villas. The property is elegant and discreet, and there are 36 cubist-style villas with one to four bedrooms. Everything is white and natural, highlighting the bay’s brilliant blues, greens and orange sunsets, and wooden balconies overlooking the Aegean. Turkish breakfasts are delightful, taken outdoors surrounded by ancient olive groves, and lunches and dinners are held at Paper Moon – helmed by Milanese chef Giuseppe Pressani and one of Bodrum’s best Italian restaurants.
Open from April to October; low season doubles from $445 per night, high from $745; bodrumloft.com.tr
Birdcage 33 Hotel
Best for access to Yalıkavak and a youthful, buzzing atmosphere
One of the newest and most vivacious hotels in Bodrum is Birdcage 33, opening in summer 2022 and calling itself one of the ‘grooviest coastal destinations on the Aegean’. It certainly lives up to its hype, set on hills covered with wild olive and oak trees, with views of the town and Yalıkavak, but with creativity and art intertwined and a buzzing, youthful feel. This is the hotel to have both privacy and relaxation, but also nightlife, excitement and top-tier Riviera vibes. The hotel sits just above Yalıkavak – the most chi-chi destination in Bodrum with Zuma, Nusr-Et, Novikov and plenty of nightlife – and is known for its restaurant and cocktail bar that packs out with a good-looking crowd. Rooms are beachy and boho, with lots of rattan and natural stone and many with private gardens, and plenty of high-brow experiences and activities are on offer, like private gulet and yacht cruises, cruises, cooking classes and wine tasting.
Open from April to October; reservations on request; birdcage33.com
flydubai flies direct from Dubai to Bodrum in 4hours, from June to September 2023, with connecting flights available from Istanbul year-round