Sea spa: Turkish treatments at the Caresse Spa, Bodrum
Where is it?
Cut into a hillside outside the west Turkey town, Caresse Resort and Spa opened in 2015 and has 67 rooms, nine suites, a villa and seven private residences. Meeting Marriott Bonvoy and Luxury Collection standards, this is a place to relax that is far removed from the hustle and bustle of Bodrum town.
Why the hype?
As of summer 2019, Caresse is the first hotel in Turkey – and only the fourth in the world – to offer the Buddha Bar Beach experience, with inventive dishes of Japanese-Peruvian nikkei fusion food, innovative cocktails and infamous beats. This chilled yet sophisticated vibe attracts a low-key but high net worth clientele; Roman Abramovich has been known to anchor just off the resort. The onsite 1,600 square metre Spa Caresse was crowned Luxury Designation Spa in the 2017 World Luxury Spa Awards.
What to have?
If you’re in need of rejuvenation, the hour-long Sultan’s rose hammam is sure to leave you feeling like a new person. Relax on a heated circular stone cut from the same impervious white Marmara marble that Turks have been using since Ottoman times. Your therapist will use a kese, the traditional mitt, to exfoliate your face and body. After you’ve been bathed in water infused with hydrating and anti-ageing rose, you’ll be washed in towering clouds of rose-soap bubbles. A massage and hair shampoo and condition, followed by a cold compress and full-body rose mask to close the pores, complete the treatment, and will leave you squeaky clean, with baby-soft skin.
Where to chill?
Before your hammam, join in an early morning yoga class, releasing into downward-facing dog on a teak deck floating on the Aegean. After your super-cleansing treatment, wrap yourself in a peshtemal towel and rest in the spa’s shaded copper-toned spa pool, or catch some sun by the outdoor infinity pool or on the white marble sand beach. All have views over the gin-clear sea to Black Island beyond.
Where to refuel?
As well as Buddha Bar, there’s also the Glass House Restaurant, where you can enjoy a lazy Turkish breakfast – an hours-long tradition on Sundays – and graze on a healthy and fresh selection of local fruits, cheeses, homemade jams, menemen (eggs baked with tomatoes, peppers and chilli), and, of course, Turkish tea and coffee.
What to charter?
Caresse has three yachts for charter. The elegant 30m steel hulled Miss B has four double en-suite cabins and sleeps eight. Her lines provided inspiration for interior design of some of the suites in the hotel.
Best by boat?
D-Marin in Turgutreis accepts boat up to 75m. Caresse can send a Maserati for you for the 30-minute trip. Or drop anchor round the corner in the turquoise waters of Aquarium Bay and tender to the hotel’s own dock.
Red Savannah (+44 (0)1242 787 800 / www.redsavannah.com offers a seven-night stay at Caresse Resort and Spa from £1,540 per person. Prices include return economy class flights between London and Bodrum with easyJet, seven nights at Caresse Resort and Spa in a deluxe room on a bed and breakfast basis and return private transfers to and from Bodrum Airport.