Bodrum: The Turkish Riviera and Where to Stay

Hailed by some as “the French Riviera of Turkey”, Bodrum is a captivating port city with a dreamlike feel, where ancient and modern living co-exist in harmony. After all, modern Bodrum was once known as the ancient Greek city of Halicarnassus.

Located south of Izmir on the Aegean coast of Turkey, the city has always been a significant centre for trade, art and entertainment. Today, Bodrum attracts a diverse crowd of vacationers, thanks to its relaxed lifestyle during the day, and a thriving nightlife filled with excitement.

In many ways, the resort feel is reminiscent of St. Tropez, having become the playground and second haven for many of the rich and famous. Take a stroll along the palm-lined coast and be greeted by a picturesque beachfront and dazzling blue bay, dotted with yachts. Across the horizon is a landscape of hills, mesas, craggy coves, boutique hotels and a wide selection of restaurants serving seafood and Aegean specialties. When dusk falls, the all-night partying kicks off with music wafting from the many beach clubs and open-air bars.

To take a break from the beach, one only has to look to Bodrum’s rich past and its many historical sites. This is where one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was found, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Similar to the Taj Mahal, it is a heartbroken spouse’s tribute to a beloved husband – Queen Artemisia vowed to build King Mausolus the most splendid tomb in the world. And she achieved just that, as modern-day mausoleums are now named after Mausolus. Apart from the Carian rulers, the city was also home to Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian who has been referred to as “The Father of History”.

Another famous landmark is 15th-century Bodrum Castle, an impressive example of medieval architecture. In its heyday it was a monumental symbol of a united Christian Europe against the rising Ottoman Empire. One of the more well-preserved historic sites, Bodrum Castle houses an excellent museum of underwater archaeology. Far from a musty collection of relics, artefacts here from the Old Bronze Age, Archaic, Classic, and Hellenistic are presented as a journey through an awesome past – from ancient mariners meeting their destiny on Anatolian shores, to the medieval age of knights.

Where to stay

The azure blue of the Aegean Sea contrasts dramatically with the white lines of this stylish boutique hotel. Located on top of a hill with unhampered views of Türkbükü bay, the EV can clearly be seen from the village, yet is quite secluded from the rest of it, providing plenty of privacy.

Designed by Turkish architect Eren Talu, the EV Türkbükü aims to seamlessly merge hotel and home in a stylish, minimalistic manner. The 48 contemporary rooms of the hotel come with plasma screens (even in the bathroom), a jacuzzi in the bathroom, kitchens equipped with Smeg appliances, and a spacious terrace, whilst a butler service operates 24 hours to cater to guests’ needs, much like a hotel. There are several pools at the hotel, along with sun beds for tanning. Five minutes away is a beach club, where entertainment awaits.

The EV Türkbükü is one of the many hotels that partner with QVI Club, in an international holiday exchange network called XchangeWorld, which offers members greatly-discounted rates for selected clubs and resorts. In total there are almost 3,000 accommodation options worldwide, spanning various types to suit different holiday needs.