Stressed? Feeling spendy? You could do a lot worse than heading to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bodrum, Turkey, and losing yourself in the sprawling private spa. Yep, you have to stay at the five-star hotel to take advantage of the spa facilities. Whilst you're staying there, be sure to fill up at the Assaggio restaurant on Taglioni al Tartufo—the pasta is stirred in a wheel of pecorino cheese and topped off with truffle shavings. Divine. Well, lounging at a spa is hungry work…
The private spa is affectionately known by regulars as "Mo Bod." The hotel overlooks the beautiful sparkling blue Aegean Sea. Needless to say the spa is five-star, too; in fact, it's amongst the best spa hotels I've visited. It's spread over 2,700 square metres, so much like the sprawling hotel, you're unlikely to come across too many other people. This feels like a true escape.
Well, they had to fill the almost 3000 square metres, and boy, did they. The spa has a state-of-the-art wellness centre with everything you could expect from a high-end gym, including Pilates reformers, free weights, studio classes, and even a private garden for outdoor yoga sessions.
But you're here to discover the spa, and you won’t be disappointed. There are eight spacious treatment rooms, a couples' suite and outdoor cabanas with a view of the sea, hammams with private scrub rooms, and a plethora of saunas and steam rooms. There's also an indoor/outdoor swimming pool.
For me, it was the relaxation space that took my breath away. After my treatment, instead of being led to the usual dimly lit room complete with beds and herbal teas, I was led outside to a sheltered space where I found the aforementioned herbal tea station and comfy sofas overlooking the peaceful gardens and with a breathtaking sea view.
The treatment menu is fairly concise and draws inspiration from Turkish hammams. You can choose from results-driven oxygen facials, traditional hammam scrubs and indulgent full-body massages. I opted for the Oriental Essence, their version of a deep-tissue massage. The therapist used a blend of essential oils to massage my whole body, focusing on the areas of tension (my neck, shoulders and back). I left the treatment room feeling like I was walking on a cloud, with all my knots having been satisfyingly erased.
The Insider Tip
Make your visit extra special by booking your treatment in one of the sea-view cabanas. There's nothing better than a treatment sound tracked by lapping waves. Oh, and the spa doesn't offer mani/pedis so make sure you have these before you arrive.
The Finer Details
Directions: The nearest airport to Bodrum's Mandarin Oriental is Bodrum Milas; it's a 45-minute journey. It's best to use the hotel airport transfer service, or you can travel by regular taxi or a hired car.
Cost: Rates for Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum start from €325 per room per night, exclusive of taxes (approx. £277). Massages start at €185 (approx. £164) for an hour and 20 minutes. Facials start at €165.
Spa Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Time to book a trip, no?