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Honeymoon & Travel

Turkey

10 Reasons To Fall in Love With Bodrum, Turkey, for A Destination Wedding or Honeymoon

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by Angela Desveaux,  founder and editor-in-chief, WedLuxe

 

I recently had the opportunity to visit Bodrum, located on Turkey’s “Turquoise Coast.” My visit opened my eyes to the beauty of this region and underscored why this Aegean gem is buzzing as the new “it-list” Riviera! In addition to its ancient history, today’s Bodrum offers an impressive mix of new five-star hotels, established world-class resorts, and boutique properties nestled into lush green hills and secluded turquoise coves, each offering endless sea views from EVERY direction. Plus, Bodrum’s sumptuous Mediterranean meets Arabic cuisine draws on millennia of gastronomic tradition, and trust me… everything tastes THAT much better against the backdrop of olive groves and the scent of the sea.

After having the chance to explore and experience this beautiful part of the world in person, here are ten reasons why you should put Bodrum, Turkey, on your luxury destination wedding and honeymoon radar.


1.  Ultra-Luxe Exclusivity at Amanruya

The discreet paradise Amanruya is set on the serene north coast of the Bodrum Peninsula in an ancient pine forest. Within seconds of entering this ultra-exclusive oasis, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time to the tranquil realm of a Roman or Pre-Ottoman Emperor. Clean lines, cream-hued neutral tones, hand-pebbled pathways, and zen spaces are on offer here, and with only 34 private villas (each with its own spacious garden and private pool), you’ll feel like you have Bodrum to yourselves. 

At nightfall, this property is enchanting… the combination of hundreds of lanterns, near silence, and a sky full of stars was intoxicating. A wedding at Amanruya requires a full buy-out, and exclusivity-seekers will appreciate that the hotel is < justifiably! > selective about how many weddings take place here annually.  

 


2. Designer Collabs x Jet-Setters Paradise 

The Mandarin Oriental Bodrum is a (worthy!) reminder of how the jet-set crowd has appointed Bodrum Queen of The Turkish Riviera. Suites, villas, and public spaces feature sumptuous, wood-panel interiors, evoking the Asian origins of the brand. Still, the gleaming white marbled exteriors of the individual retail villas (housing Dior, Chanel, Valentino, and Louis Vuitton, to name just a few) were what caught my eye. As you descend the scenic mountainside on your golf buggy to the beautiful beach club, you pass each shop, which makes this property feel like a village for A-list travelers. Speaking of the beach club and luxury brands, this summer, The Mandarin Oriental Bodrum joined the “designer branded beach club” bandwagon, and its recent summer collaboration with Louis Vuitton was perfection.

The resort caters to intimate and grand events for a destination wedding, providing an array of options from private (pristine) beachfront event space to an opulent ballroom. The spa facilities here are also OUTSTANDING!

 


3 –  Sexy & Stylish Bodrum 

Susona Bodrum

Susona Bodrum is part of Hilton’s luxury collection LXR Hotels & Resorts. It checks stylish and sexy boxes with an airy retrofuturism vibe, and DIVINE ultra-modern villas guarantee epic sea views and pastel sunsets. Large weddings can be comfortably accommodated here with venues that include the L, X, and R jetties, the Talay Lounge, Malva Restaurant, and the Frankie Beach Club.

 

The Bodrum EDITION

The Bodrum EDITION is the ultimate chill-luxe experience — think boho glam meets beachside sophistication. It’s a spot where you can lounge by the infinity pool with a cocktail, feeling like you’re part of the ocean. The rooms are an Instagram-worthy sanctuary with plush beds and dreamy views.


4 –  All-Inclusive Options 

Lujo Hotel – Bodrum

Lujo Hotel – Bodrum is an all-inclusive mega-hotel with something for everyone, including a massive concert stage at the ocean’s edge where celebrity performers often make summer appearances.


5 –  Hospitality & Turkish Breakfasts!

METT Hotel & Beach Resort

METT Hotel & Beach Resort kindly hosted our group’s stay in Bodrum. Waking up to the panoramic views of the Aegean Sea set the tone for tranquility. I enjoyed my room’s contemporary decor and the sound of waves gently breaking on the shore below. We started every day at the hotel’s beautiful open-air restaurant. I had never been to Turkey before, so this trip introduced me to the Turkish Breakfast experience. If you know, you know. ;) 


6 – Happy Hour at Daze Türkbükü 

Bodrum offers a hopping nightlife when the sun descends over the Aegean. Our group had the chance to spend Happy Hour at the most BEAUTIFUL seaside bar I’ve ever experienced, Daze Türkbükü. DAZE is a beach lounge, restaurant, and club with panoramic views of the beautiful Türkbükü Bay, and with loungers that are less than a foot from the apparent ocean edge, you can sip (and swim!) as the sun sets.

No: 81 Hotel

Daze is part of No:81 Hotel, a charming family-run boutique hotel on the northern tip of Bodrum at Göltürkbükü Bay, owned and managed by the incredibly kind and hospitable Karayaka family.

Degirmen 81

The family also operates Değirmen 81, an exceptional event venue in one of Bodrum’s most beautiful and unspoiled villages. They built the property in an olive grove in 2011 around a rustic windmill (now turned living space perfect for a bride or groom’s getting-ready area). The grounds include a swimming pool, a lagoon, an orchard, and an impressive organic vegetable and herb garden.


7 – Live The Yacht Life

Bodrum and the sea are one, so yachts and boats are everywhere here. Nowhere in Bodrum is the luxe life more on display than at Yalıkavak Marina, where the glitterati step off their yachts into the region’s best restaurants and luxury boutiques to see, be seen and indulge in retail therapy. (The world’s top brands have also staked their retail claim here.)

 


8 – Boutique & Bougie (Legendary!) Bodrum

The legendary boutique Maçakızı Hotel and The Villa Maçakızı. represent Bodrum’s early adopters of style and serenity. Both properties are intimately tied to the Erozan family, dating back to 1977 when Ayla Emiroğlu moved to Bodrum and established what was then a modest bed-and-breakfast, setting the stage for what would become her world-renowned timeless beacon of luxury and bohemian spirit on the Aegean coast. Her son, Sahir Erozan, after spending a significant portion of his life in the United States, where he pursued his ventures in restaurants and clubs, was drawn back to his roots in Bodrum during the 1990s. This return rekindled his love for the peninsula, inspiring him to join forces with his mother in the hospitality business. 

Mackizi Bodrum

The Maçakızı Bodrum offers fifty-one rooms and a private beach, maintaining a vision that reflects its surroundings’ natural beauty and serenity, appealing to celebs, writers, artists, and intellectuals, much like its original incarnation. 

Inheriting the rustic and authentic vibe from his mother’s original concept, Sahir Erozan has infused the property with his own experiences, updating the hotel’s offerings without compromising its intrinsic character. He emphasizes a no-TV policy in the rooms, favoring the richness of direct experience with nature, the gardens, and the sea instead. This philosophy has transformed Maçakızı into a sought-after destination for Turkish and international visitors, with the beach club’s design notably emphasizing environmental respect and the natural beauty of the Bodrum coastline. Foodies will also love this property as the hotel’s restaurant recently received a Michelin star. 

The Villa Mackizi

Taking private luxury to the next level, the epitome of sophisticated chic is The Villa Maçakızı. Accessible by boat (ten minutes from the main hotel), the villa offers an exceptional private paradise for an intimate wedding ceremony or reception against deep blue waters and pine-covered hills. Ten spacious, luxurious rooms and suites with seaside views are designed to make your stay here remarkable. Since the properties are related, you and your guests can enjoy the privacy of this villa or take a 10-minute boat ride to explore the amenities the hotel offers. 


9 – Bodrum’s Ancient History 

Bodrum is more than just a seaside beauty for our time. It boasts an extraordinary history dating back to ancient civilization! Bodrum Castle, also known as the Castle of St. Peter, is a historical fortress in the port of Bodrum built by the Knights Hospitaller starting in 1402 as a stronghold against the Ottoman Empire. Overlooking the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea, the castle stands on the site of the ancient city of Halicarnassus, famously home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Over centuries, the castle has served various roles, from a military base to a prison, and now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. The history of Bodrum, with its roots stretching back to ancient times, reflects a tapestry of influences from the Persians, the Macedonians, the Romans, and the Ottomans.


10 –  Easily Accessible from North America and Europe 

Traveling to Bodrum, Turkey, from the USA using Turkish Airlines is easy, especially if you’re flying business class (which I enjoyed!).  This was the first airline I’ve experienced with a Chef in the sky! Turkish Airlines offers several direct flights to Instabul through numerous US airports. (Miami, Dallas, NYC, Washington, and LA, to name a few!). It’s important to note that there are no nonstop flights from the USA to Bodrum, though it will be a quick and easy layover at Istanbul’s beautiful airport and only another 1.5 hours onward to Bodrum.

Turkish Airlines operates direct flights to Bodrum from Istanbul and Ankara for Europeans with numerous flight options from major European cities like Paris and London, with an average of 10 to 15 and 20 different flight alternatives per day, respectively. These flights are connecting flights via Istanbul. A typical non-stop flight from Istanbul to Bodrum takes an hour and a half.


 

Thanks to the Turkish Tourism Board, GoTürkiye, for hosting me on this extraordinary discovery of Turkey and putting together such an excellent itinerary. Would also like to thank Turkish Airlines for the red carpet treatment and our on-the-ground host, Göksenin, for taking great care of our group along the way. Transparency is essential to me, so I’d also like to note that this post is not sponsored or paid for. This review is driven entirely by my opinion and entirely my own.

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