Today (July 13, 2016): Review of Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa (Turkey)
- Location: Google Maps
- Address: Asarlık Mevkii, 89, 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Turkey
- Hotel website: Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, opened its doors in summer 2015 and enjoys a beachfront location in the heart of Bodrum, close to the historic windmills and castle. Beautifully appointed, the hotel’s 67 rooms, 9 suites, and the Caresse King Villa, offer excellent amenities, modern technology, signature Luxury Collection beds, private balcony or terrace, and captivating views of the Aegean Sea. Luxury extends to a stylish blend of chic furnishings and tasteful bathrooms that epitomize the concept of lavish comfort. One of Caresse’s highlights is the superb spa, a sanctuary of tranquillity nestled within the resort.
In this review (more info 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
- Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, in Bodrum is the new kid in town. It opened in summer 2015 (after the complete overhaul of an older hotel on the same site), so obviously everything is brand new and clean.
- The hotel enjoys a convenient location on the outskirts of Bodrum. The property borders the city on one side, and a peninsula without developments on the other side, so it offers the best of both worlds: if you like to venture outside (for sightseeing, shopping or eating), then it’s only 5 minutes by taxi to the heart of Bodrum, but if you prefer to bounce your time between the pool and the beach, then you will enjoy the resort’s somewhat remote and tranquil location.
- The hotel enjoys a dramatic setting since it’s tucked away on a hill. The hotel wings are built on several layered terraces, spilling down the hillside, hereby affording captivating views of the Aegean Sea from all communal areas and most of the rooms. The buildings located on top of the headland house permanent residences, while the hotel itself is located at the bottom of the hill, overlooking the private beach.
- The hotel has a small reception on top of the hill, just behind the entrance gate. From there, the extremely courteous hotel staff takes arriving guests by gulf cart to the main lobby down the hill. Check-in itself is an efficient and speedy process (which is not always the case in Turkey) and guests are offered a drink and cold towel, a welcome respite from the soaring heat in summer.
- The hotel features a contemporary and chic décor, with subtle retro touches and traditional elements. Caresse’s modern, bright design is a tasteful alternative for its classic Turkish environments and the more traditional style found in most other hotels in the area.
- Caresse has 67 beautifully appointed rooms, in addition to 9 suites and the Caresse King Villa. During my visit, I stayed in Premier King Room, which I loved. Although the room was not very large, I loved its modern design and compact layout. It offered excellent amenities, modern technology, a supremely good king-sized bed (one of the best hotel beds I ever slept in), and a private balcony with stunning views of the Aegean maritime landscape. I loved the beautiful presentation of welcome snacks in the room upon arrival.
- The resort’s pool deck is located a few floors above the ground level and offers great views of the blue sea. The cabanas around the pool are perfect to spend the day lounging, reading and recharging. The infinity pool itself is very large and has the perfect temperature for a refreshing dip.
- Caresse is located along a private, albeit small, crescent-shaped sandy beach, which enjoys sunshine from morning till one hour before sunset (the sun sets behind the hill). The beach is connected to a large, floating deck which is equipped with great loungers. The deck was my preferred spot to spend the lazy days, since it’s well shaded, but those who prefer to bake in the sun will appreciate that the loungers’ position can be adjusted according to the sun’s position (so no need here to move the loungers around).
- The resort has a superb and very impressive two-story ESPA spa that totals 1,600 square meters (17200 square feet). The spa’s exquisite décor creates a calming atmosphere. During my visit, all spa therapists were visiting from Asia and highly skilled. The spa also features a hamam as well as an indoor and outdoor pool.
- The super-fast WiFi is complimentary for all guests, as long as you have made the booking through the official hotel website or via an official Starwood channel.
- The hotel has two excellent restaurants on site. La Plage restaurant is located in a pavilion behind the beach, and offers Mediterranean cuisine. Glass Restaurant is located below the lobby, features a sunken terrace reminiscent of a classy boat, and offers Western and Asian fare. Breakfast is also served at Glass Restaurant, and it’s either a la carte or buffet style, depending on the hotel’s occupancy rate.
- Guests can rent the resort’s luxury yacht, which features a fashionable blend of contemporary, maritime-inspired interiors and large terraces.
- The resort is managed by The Luxury Collection, one of the luxury brands of the Starwood Hotel Group. The Luxury Collection’s portfolio includes some of the world’s most unique and exclusive, often privately owned hotels.
- Since this hotel is not well-known (yet), it is still undiscovered and consequently, the room rates are very reasonable for the luxury you get. In addition, it never feels very crowded (although this might be explained by the fact that tourism in Turkey is struggling right now because of the terror threat). You should put Caresse on your bucket list before it gains a more solid reputation with higher room rates.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, is hands down one of the best luxury hotels on the Bodrum peninsula when you consider it’s remarkable reasonable price tag. Although it feels less exclusive and more compact as compared to the ultraluxurious Mandarin Oriental Bodrum, Jumeirah Bodrum, Kempinski Barbaros Bay, and Amanruya properties, it offers more value for money. The hotel has no real cons but you need to know the following:
- Bathrooms only feature a shower and lack a bath tub, which I feel is a design fault. IMHO, luxury hotels should always offer the combination of a shower and a bath tube in all of their bathrooms.
- Elite members of Starwood’s loyalty program are well treated, but room upgrades are hard to get (since the property has only 9 suites). Even when you get a higher room category, you will hardly notice it since rooms don’t differ that much.
- I loved to chill out on the floating deck near the beach, but was disappointed that guests are not allowed to have a snack on the deck (lunch is served in the restaurant).
- Location: 8/10
- Design: 9/10
- Rooms: 8/10
- Food: 8/10
- Service: 9/10
- Overall experience: very good: 8,4/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: Read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa. Book a room at the cheapest price and/or receive many free perks!
- Save money: book your room with an additional 20% off making use of a Best Rate Guarantee.
- Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) with Gold or Platinum status are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – free high-speed WiFi, complementary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out (when available), and free breakfast (SPG platinum). Click here to read our review of the SPG program (with pros & cons).
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time. Passport and visa requirements differ from country to country. Please check with your local authority before booking.
- Book a room on the hotel website or the official SPG website to enjoy complimentary WiFi.
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
Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa is located 40 minutes from Milas-Bodrum Airport, which 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.