A Palace on the Aegean Sea

Along the coastline of the Bodrum region of Turkey lies a sea as pristine as the sky, with a secluded resort that will transport you to what feels like the edge of the world. The Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay offers a balance of perfect tranquility and old-world wonder that can only be found in Turkey.

Lush landscapes and palm trees surround the Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay, a resort in the heart of the Bodrum region of Turkey where guests from all over the world enjoy unobstructed  views of the Aegean sea. With a total of 173 rooms, 36 Barbaros residences, and 42 exclusive reserve residences, the resort was constructed so every room, every guest, and every resident, can enjoy watching the sunset along the glassy bay. Architecturally, the Kempinski is built to complement the cliffside on which it was constructed with residences  having a linear wooden facade that melds with the lush tropical greenery and naturally filters sunlight. Each residence comes with its own private infinity pool and enjoys all of the services and amenities of the Kempinski resort. All 16 units are built so as to not interfere with each other which allows for those pristine views. Amenities include water sports, yacht rentals, an extensive list of spa and wellness activities, and a beach with separate sides for adults and for families. But there is so much more.

The number of amenities, restaurants, and activities hosted and arranged by the resort is extensive. Staying at the resort is an experience that can best be described as akin to exploring a secret city where anything you want is at your disposal. If you are looking for outdoor activity, the concierge can arrange a luxurious yacht day, adventurous water sports, horseback riding, golfing, sailing, or arrange a day trip to downtown Bodrum. Guests can also jump into a Jeep or ATV and go on an exciting safari, partake in one of the daily gulet tours, or arrange a trip to the Greek island of Cos. 

For guests who prefer leisurely activity, days can begin with a long breakfast, either served to their room or at one of the many on-site restaurants. Later the Kempinski can arrange a visit to the Carpet Village in Etrim where local master weavers show and explain the history, techniques, and patterns seen in local tapestry. Turkey is also known for its wine and coffee, with a number of wineries in the region where guests can spend the day tasting the locally produced spirits while enjoying the views of the landscape.

Travelers with a penchant for culture and local history can arrange transport and an itinerary to visit architectural sites that are considered part of the Seven Wonders of the World, along with a number of ruins and remnants of ancient cities. Notable spots in the region are the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and Ephesus. Both are Wonders of the World and on any amateur historian’s bucket list as sites that are truly a once in a lifetime visit. The Amphitheater is perhaps the most restored, and is the closest site to the resort. Completed in about 4 A.D., the theater has a robust schedule of live events throughout the year. Visitors who look close enough can still see inscriptions of ancient sponsors on the seats. Another stunning ancient Greek site is the Temple of Apollo in Didyma most notable for its crisp white stone and fluted columns. There are plenty of architectural wonders to be discovered here such as the smaller buildings that existed within the temple which even included an amphitheater of its own. The Iconic Stoa in Miletus is one of the more serene and visually stunning ruins in the region with pools of accumulated water and intact pathways that make this site look like it doubles as a portal to another world. It would be a mistake to not arrange a visit to the Pamukkale whose name translates to “cotton castle.”Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, the terraced springs are a natural structure of pools rich in calcite that keeps the walls of the pools a crisp cotton white. 

After guests have immersed themselves in Turkish culture, they can end their day at the spa located in-house at the resort. Featuring a stunning indoor pool with floor-to-ceiling windows, massage therapies, and wet rooms such as a sauna, steam room, and Hammam (Turkish Bath), this is the perfect place to escape the sun and enjoy hydrotherapy. The spa offers classic massages for a single person, couples, and parent/child combos. Treatments include Ayurvedic treatments consisting of retinol and toners for tightening and smoothing skin on the face or the body), selvert treatments for deep cleansing and hydrating, and upgrades that include face and body peels for ultimate skincare treatment.

The dining options at the resort are both diverse and abundant. For guests looking to indulge in pool and beach days, the daytime options include Barbarossa Beach Restaurant offering local Aegean dishes, and Pool Restaurant & Bar which offers both local dishes and more international options. For happy hours, sunset drinks, and dinners, Bar Blue offers remarkable cocktails, Turkish and international wines, and a generous variety of champagnes that can all be enjoyed with the view of the sun setting over Barbaros Bay. Saigon offers family-style pan-Asian dishes that are perfect for sharing with a group to discover new flavors and dishes from the chef’s custom menu. Finally, Villa Rossa offers fresh, locally-sourced, seasonal dishes, served from the Kempinski Residences in a serene environment. There are also a variety of nightlife and clubbing options both on-site and in the nearby downtown that are perfect for groups looking for a night of dancing. For travelers looking to enjoy high-luxury amenities, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unparalleled views of the Aegean Sea, the Kempinski has everything they’re looking for and beyond.