In August this year, Amanresorts will launch its 24th property, Amanruya, in a quiet valley on the Bodrum Peninsula overlooking the Aegean Sea. There are few places in the world which offer classical history and natural beauty in equal measure, and the Aegean region of Turkey is one such place. This fabled coastline is where Homer’s heroes were born, where the ancient Greeks consulted their oracles and the Romans built magnificent temples to honour their gods. The region tells a story spanning 5,000 years of Greek and Roman history, and everywhere you go are reminders of this glorious past, vying for attention with spectacular scenery. Olive groves and forests give way to sun-kissed beaches, littering the scalloped coastline like so many smiles. Towns with ancient names inhabit the bays and traditional Turkish gulets ply the turquoise waters between the Aegean’s many islands. It is into this setting that Amanruya will open, named for the Sanskrit word for peace, ‘aman’, and the Turkish word for dream.
Surrounded by a pine forest and olive groves, Amanruya is set on a peaceful hillside, offering breathtaking views of the sea and a winding pathway leading to a protected pebble beach. An access road weaves its way through the trees before revealing one’s first glimpse of the resort and its graceful setting. Inspired by the region’s traditional architecture, Amanruya ascends through a series of elevated levels. Courtyards and terraces create the intimate and organic ambience of a village, while still providing a sense of space and luxury, and local materials including stone, acajau wood and Turkish marble form a timeless natural palette.
Amanruya offers a total of 36 nearly identical Pool Terrace Cottages with varying courtyard and swimming pool designs to ensure a unique character prevails. Entry is via a small porch which leads to the interior living room, beyond which is a four-poster bed with a writing desk behind. Adjacent to the bedroom is a dressing room and a light-filled bathroom. Positioned at the end of the bathroom with garden views is a soaking tub. Double glass doors lead from the living room to an exterior terrace that features a swimming pool and a covered dining and lounging pergola. The swimming pools vary in shape from cottage to cottage, yet measure an average 35 square metres, and a number are heated. All cottages are fitted with outdoor showers, underfloor heating and a fireplace.
The resort buildings are free-standing and all offer exceptional sea views. They include an Arrival Pavilion, a three-storey Library, Dining Pavilions, a Terrace and Wine Lounge, a Boutique, an Art Gallery and two Spa Suites. A 50-metre marble swimming pool and a tennis court round out the facilities. Approximately 500 metres west of the main buildings is the informal Beach Club. Protected by a headland, it consists of a series of intimate shelters and terraces curled around a number of well-established trees. A small pebble beach, a jetty and an offshore swimming pontoon complete the picture.
Turkey is blessed with a variety of microclimates that provides an amazing array of produce. This, combined with the freshest of local seafood, allows the kitchen at Amanruya to deliver an ever-changing seasonal menu. Thought to be the originating influence for nearly all Middle Eastern cuisines, Turkish fare will be a highlight of the resort’s menus, but continental and Asian-inspired dishes will also feature. There are four Dining Pavilions open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all offering picturesque views. The Beach Club restaurant is open for lunch and in the afternoon, offering simple snacks and drinks. Amanruya’s home-baked bread and informal Meze platters make for superb in-suite dining or picnic options.
The southern coast of Turkey is famed for its protected bays and inlets. The popular holiday town of Bodrum, called Halicarnassus in ancient times, is the South Aegean’s most attractive seaside village and is situated just south of Amanruya. Offering an international airport just 30 minutes by car from the resort, Bodrum has long been a favoured summer destination for Turkish city dwellers. Cafes, restaurants and bars have flourished along the city’s marina which is also the starting point of day trips to various Greek islands. Sailing around the Bodrum Peninsula on a gulet is an experience not to be missed. Bodrum also offers a number of historic sites including its most prominent landmark – the 15th-century Castle of St. Peter.
Amanruya will provide a number of excursion options to the wealth of classical sites in the region, including the ancient ruined cities of Didyma, Miletus, Priene and Ephesus. Standing beneath the towering columns of Didyma’s Temple of Apollo, in the 5,000-seat theatre at Priene or under the Gate of Hercules in Ephesus – all thousands of years old – is sure to be a holiday highlight. The region also offers natural distractions including winding trails for hiking, mountain biking or horse riding, and beautiful beaches and forest glades ideal for picnics. Boating and other water sports take precedence throughout the summer months, and a golf club offers avid golfers their fix. Finally, like everywhere in Turkey, shopping in and around Bodrum is quite an adventure, with dozens of shops lining the busy narrow streets. Bodrum also offers a varied nightlife scene. Joining in the singing, dancing, eating and drinking at one of the local meyhanes (taverns) is an unforgettable experience.
Source = Amanresorts