Today (September 23, 2015): Hotel review: Jumeirah Bodrum Palace (Turkey).
- Location: Google maps
- Address: Torba Mh., 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Turkey
- Hotel website: Jumeirah Bodrum Palace
Set along the spectacular Bodrum coast with the Aegean Sea as its outlook, the phenomenal Jumeirah Bodrum Palace, formerly The Golden Savoy, is nestled in the natural beauty of Zeytinlikahve Cove. With accommodation consisting exclusively of opulent suites and extravagant villas, a private beach and an array of the finest wining, dining and entertainment on offer, the resort is the ultimate paradise for connoisseurs of perfection, indulgence and superlative pleasure.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- The brand-new resort is managed by the ultraluxurious, exclusive Jumeirah Hotel Group, which is world-famous because of its iconic Burj Al Arab flagship hotel in Dubai.
- Jumeirah Palace Bodrum enjoys the most spectacular setting in the larger Bodrum area, commanding its own hillside overlooking the Bodrum peninsula and the azure Aegean Sea.
- The resort is conveniently located: its approximately 15 minutes to Bodrum city centre and only 20 minutes to Bodrum International Airport.
- The “palace” moniker of this sprawling resort is far from a misnomer: the sumptuous design is reminiscent of an exotic fusion between an opulent Roman villa and a baroque palace, and the property itself covers a colossal 110,000 square metres (or 1,184,000 square feet).
- There is truly the wow factor when one walks into the extravagant lobby, with its gold clad dome, marble floors, antique furnishing, and bountiful floral displace.
- The resort spills down the hillside from its lobby to the sea, offering phenomenal views of Zeytinlikahve Cove.
- Dancing fountains (enlightened at night), Romanesque statues of voluptuous women, and lions mid-roar adorn the stunning resort grounds and beautiful gardens.
- Because of its open setting, the Jumeirah Palace Bodrum enjoys splendid sunshine from sunrise till sunset (something that is not the case with most other hotels in Bodrum, which often enjoy a more coveted location). The lobby, pools and beach are all oriented towards to the west, guaranteeing beautiful sunsets.
- The accommodations consists of 135 rooms made up of generous suites, villas and a six-bedroom Palace. All rooms offer gorgeous views over the Aegean Sea. I stayed in a Grand Suite, which featured opulent luxury, a separate dressing room, plush bedding, and a private terrace with direct access to the pool area. Very much in keeping with the Jumeirah style, gold adorned nearly every piece of furniture and ornament, from the desk, the lamps and the bathroom tiles to the gilded frames that surround the wall-to-wall mirrors and the freestanding tub.
- The resort’s sizeable main pool overlooks the Aegean sea and is spread across two tiers, complete with a miniature splash park for children and silent pool area for adults. In addition, most guests have access to their own pool: the pools shared between Grand Suites are long enough to do laps in, while the Maldivian suites and villas have their own private infinity pools. In total, the resort has 7 public pools, 58 private pools assigned to suites and villas, and 3 saltwater swimming pools. With so many pools, none is ever full, and you don’t have to worry about finding a lounger, as there is plenty of space for all guests, even at full occupancy.
- The welcome amenities in the room were the best that I ever received at a luxury hotel: a beautifully presented fruit bowl, a platter with traditional Turkish snacks, and a Jumeirah box with dried fruit and chocolates.
- In the bathroom, you will find ultraluxurious Bulgari amenities.
- A 1.2 kilometres (3950 feet) private stretch of idyllic coastline is reserved for the exclusive use of the hotel guests, and the perfect place to relax and recharge. It consists of a private beach with beach bar, as well as a large sundeck built above the sea with lots of bubblegum pink loungers. There’s even a jetty with cabanas (that come with their own flat screen, mini-bar fridge and butler), somewhat reminiscent of a Maldivian resort.
- Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy parasailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, fishing, and sailing at the resort. A scuba diving school caters for guests who are beginners and require support.
- Since the resort is fairly large and hilly, golf buggies serve as a form of internal taxi service running 24 hours a day (complimentary of course). They can be requested from your room or you can just stop one if it’s unoccupied.
- Food is excellent at all of the resort’s 5 main restaurants. j restaurant offers an extensive menu featuring generously portioned traditional Lebanese dishes (including mezzeh, shawarmas, and mixed meat grills). The Italian restaurant Fortunella, with its lovely garden terrace overlooking the Aegean sea, offers delicious Italian classics (including antipasto, salads, pasta dishes, pizzas and classic seafood and meat dishes). Gloriette is the buffet restaurant with live cooking stations including a wide selection of authentic Turkish cuisine. Golden Dragon restaurant serves exquisite Asian dishes. Beautifully situated by the Aegean sea, Sea Grill restaurant offers a selection of prime meat cuts with fresh fish and seafood displayed on crushed ice, all cooked to perfection on the open-air grill.
- Breakfast buffet is an amazing and lavish display of cold and hot items, undoubtedly one of the best that I have ever seen. It is served in Gloriette Restaurant, one floor below the lobby level. Whatever you want, they will make for you. Amazingly, the breakfast buffet is open till noon – yes noon – so you can have a brunch rather than breakfast.
- Located within the resort, you will find the palatial Talise SPA and wellness center, offering an array of hydrotherapy rooms, steam rooms, saunas, Turkish hammam, outdoor and indoor pool. The professional therapists have been sourced from around the world to bring the best techniques, methods and age-old practices. You can choose from an extensive range of Classic, Eastern and Turkish treatments to soothe the mind and body, release stress and indulge the senses.
- High-speed WiFi is complimentary and works very well throughout the resort (even on the overwater jetties).
- Service is impeccable. Nothing is too much trouble and you will be treated like royalty. The whole experience from arrival at the airport to departure is slick and extremely polished.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
This is one of the best and most luxurious resorts in Turkey and the Mediterranean Basin. The hotel provides a unique balance between luxury, comfort and seclusion, and I absolutely love it. It has no real cons, just some things that you may want to know:
- The resort’s design is marked by sumptuous opulence, so you will not like this if you are looking for a more contemporary, minimalistic decor (as can be found at the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum). Having said that, you should not be put off by this, as the facilities are second to none and the best in the Bodrum area.
- The resort’s private stretch of beach enjoys beautiful views, but the beach itself is somewhat disappointing, since it is composed of a mixture of stones, boulders and rough, dark-colored sand. Walking barefoot from the beach into the sea is impossible, because of the stoney underground (the sea can be accessed though from the jetties on both sides of the beach). Some resorts in the Bodrum area have imported white sand from abroad (e.g. Egypt) for their beaches, and this is something that I feel the resort should consider as well, to get their beach on (and way above) the standards of the surrounding resorts.
- I guess I am used to the service of the ultraluxurious beach hotels in the Maldives, but it would have been nice if the beach and pool staff offered iced water upon choosing a sun lounger, as well as some little, complimentary snacks during the day. This would have made the already brilliant experience even more awesome!
- Some of the resort’s restaurants and overwater cabanas are seasonally closed.
- The resort in located a 15 minute drive from Bodrum city, which is a good thing. But unfortunately, taxis in Bodrum are very expensive. It will cost you around 80 Turkish Lira to get from the hotel to Bodrum center. Alternatively, you can catch a mini bus to Bodrum center for 5 Tukish Lira, which stops outside the hotel gates and run every 15 minutes. But why leave this superb hotel at all, given all the facilities and amenities that are on display for the hotel guests?
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 9/10
- Rooms: 9/10
- Food: 9/10
- Service: 10/10
- Overall experience: exceptional: 9,2/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like the Jumeirah Palace Bodrum (and/or receive many free perks).
- Save money: book your room with an additional 10% off making use of a Best Rate Guarantee.
- Elite members of Jumeirah’s loyalty program (Jumeirah Sirius) are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – free WiFi, complementary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out (when available), and savings on dining and spa facilities. Click here to read my review of the Jumeirah Sirius program (with pros & cons).
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best and worst times to go to Bodrum depend less on weather and more on how much you want to party. If you thrive on international crowds, open-air discos, and mind-bending heat, July and August are when the scene truly goes off. It’s when some restaurants charge double the prices of Istanbul, too. Spring and summer are when the festival season picks up: there are bicycle and diving festivals in May, a film festival in June, and various Aegean, Bodrum, and Turkish cultural celebrations in July and August. The best time for a visit is in late summer and autumn (September, October). Temps linger in the high 70s (around 25°C) with crispy clear days, and the beaches and docks are less crowded. The frenetic, sweaty pace of the high season wanes a bit.
HOW TO GET THERE
Milas-Bodrum International airport is located 20 minutes from Jumeirah Bodrum Palace and it is served by all Turkish airlines and – seasonally – by many European charters as well as some full-service carriers (click here for a direct link to their websites). Check the Wikipedia page of Milas-Bodrum Airport to find out which airlines offer direct flights to Bodrum.