If you're a person who pays attention to detail then you will surely appreciate the Kempinski Barbaros Bay. From the comfort of the rooms to the design of the public areas nothing has been forgotten. The highlight is undoubtedly its magnificent pool which overlooks the sparkling Aegean Sea, or even its famed five star spa complex. With first class service and facilities this hotel is definitely for those who appreciate the finer things in life.
From its lofty position on a cliff overlooking the turquoise waters of Barbaros Bay, the Kempinski enjoys a privileged position far from the hustle and bustle of other tourist centres in Bodrum. It is just under 10 miles to central Bodrum and about 24 miles to the Milas-Bodrum international airport.
The Kempinski Barbaros Bay is open all year round. It is also suitable for those with disabilities as there are dedicated wheelchair accessible rooms and several elevators throughout the hotel. WIFI connection is free and available everywhere, from the rooms to the public areas of the hotel.
From the moment you step into the immense lobby your baggage is whisked away to your room and you are handed a welcome beverage before you can say "I have a reservation." This efficient yet discreet service is something you'll no doubt see more of during your stay. From the outside the hotel looks like a collection of beautiful villas built into the cliff side. 148 luxurious rooms and 25 palatial suites make their home at the Kempinski, all with sea views. Grande deluxe rooms enjoy 180° panoramic views but even the standard rooms have partial sea views.
The stunning infinity pool is the hotel's chef d'ouevre; its white cupolas and minarets piercing through the surface. Built into a large deck area with sun beds and parasols in abundance, the pool is also the largest in the Aegean region. The pool bar serves up colourful cocktails, although at 30TL (£13) apiece it's a good thing they are delicious too. The views from the pool are spectacular - the blue waters of the Aegean stretch for miles and miles, empty except for a few luxurious yachts moored where Bodrum's arid hills meet the sea.
Should you tire of the pool or even the private beach (see 'Beach'); you may also try your hand at volleyball, basketball, mini football or beach volleyball. For the younger ones there is a supervised kid's club and games room with table tennis, billiards and video games.
The Kempinski boasts a number of excellent restaurants (see 'Food and Drink') but a real highlight of the hotel is its Six Senses Spa, a marvel in itself! In a huge, open space you'll find several treatment rooms including two Turkish baths where you can enjoy a traditional 'hammam journey' amongst other pampering indulgences. Try the indoor aqua therapy pool or ask for the private spa suite, the 'spa within a spa.' We tried the Sultana Hammam Journey which combines a gentle scrub with a local blend of sea salt, olive oil, sage and mandarin, followed by a traditional soap massage, a honey and mandarin hair mask, a refreshing rose petal ice compress before relaxing with a glass of 'ayran,' a cocktail of yoghurt and basil.
The rooms (standard, superior, deluxe and grande deluxe) at the Kempinski are large and thoughtfully decorated in serene blue tones harmonious with the neighbouring Aegean Sea. Your eyes are drawn to the cosy king size bed (with pillow menu), the decorative ceiling fan or even the white wooden shutters that add to the Mediterranean charm. Also in the rooms are a mini bar, electronic safe, LCD satellite TV and sitting area. The spacious bathrooms contain the obligatory bathrobes and slippers and are filled with all the toiletries you could need (in the grande deluxe rooms these are by Molton Brown). Bright and breezy, the rooms open up onto a large terrace fringed with flowers where you'll be able to soak up the views.
There are several restaurants at the Kempinski Barbaros Bay as well as 24 hour room service. While the food is indeed delicious, some prices are hard on the wallet such as the 23TL (£10) for a toasted cheese sandwich or the 30TL (£12.60) mozzarella and tomato salad starter at the pool side bar, open for lunch during the warmer months.
The Saigon Club serves a delicious assortment of Thai, Japanese, Balinese and Vietnamese cuisine albeit small portions! Suspended on the cliff face, the best seats are on the outdoor deck with seemingly endless views across the bay. La Luce, the Italian restaurant also acts as a late night lounge and open air nightclub while the Barbarossa Fish and Grill serves lunch and dinner at the water's edge in the summer months. Head to the Barblue to sample cocktails with a kick as the sun goes down.
Olives, the main restaurant, is used as an à la carte restaurant in the winter but serves breakfast until 12:00pm. From the sunny and roomy outdoor terrace, take in the most breathtaking of views while you start the day with a gourmet breakfast. All tastes are catered to; do you prefer cereal and fresh fruit, breads and pastries, or sausages and eggs? Perhaps you're more tempted by the smoked salmon, smoked trout and the local sparkling wine? Or, tuck into traditional Turkish fare such as 'gozleme' (savoury crepe stuffed with meat, spinach or potatoes) or olive and cheese varieties.
The hotel boasts a long private beach at the bottom of the towering cliffs in Barbaros Bay. Its seclusion is its major positive point, plus it is also very clean and quiet. No karaoke bars next door, while exclusive hotel guest usage means as far as private beaches go, you'd be hard pressed to find better in Bodrum. The hotel's beachfront fish restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, plus there are a number of quiet, relaxing areas in the garden where you can stretch out on a sun lounger or kick back in a deck chair with a cold drink in hand.
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