Earlier this year, Bodrum came across my radar at a fashion event in Los Angeles, where some of the best dressed and most traveled people in L.A. told me that the Turkish beach destination was the perfect place right now. I was immediately intrigued. As soon as I left the event, I heard about Bodrum everywhere. Someone I knew was planning her wedding there this summer. An editor with whom I am looking for the best-known travel recommendations has posted photos there. A press release landed in my inbox stating that Chanel has recently opened a Pop-up Shop in the area. One thing I’ve heard over and over again? Book a room at the Macarize.
A few months after, with a reservation in Macarize, I boarded a plane to Bodrum, carrying a suitmatter full of Sarongs, sandals and swimsuits that I was waiting for. Jet lagged after a transatlantic flight and unsure of what to expect after leaving the tarmac, I was picked up at the airport by a Range Rover Defender by a driver dressed in a white linen shirt and khakis.
After a 45-minute drive through tree-covered hills that wind through white buildings and the view of the sparkling Aegean coast below, I went to Maçakizi on a mild August evening. The property – originally founded by Ayla Emiroğlu in 1977 and now owned by her son Sahir Erozan — permeates casual bohemian richness. The land was lush with olive trees and bougainvillea. The reception was adorned with wooden furniture, bright carpets and dogs and cats nestled in shady corners. The rooms have travertine tiles, red and white bed linen and Acqua di Parma toiletries. The sound of cicadas filled the air.
Even though I sleep for a long time, on the first morning, I was the very first person to come for breakfast at 9:30 am. I quickly learned that the guests’ schedule revolves around a late breakfast (with a selection of Turkish pastries, fresh coffee, local cheese, tomatoes full of flavor and fresh chili and olive oil at the table), afternoons by the water with reserved chairs on the beach terrace and Pilates classes or massages at the Spa, followed by 9:30 dinner in the excellent hotel Restaurant and dancing with live DJs until late in the evening.
Throughout my stay, I heard over and over again that Bodrum was called “the new Saint-Tropez” and “the new Mykonos”.”Even though I didn’t visit either, I immediately understood why the comparisons were made.
The destination also has a wonderful beachfront establishment, designer boutiques (with a few boutiques like Dior open until 1:00 am) and a lively nightlife that attracts a crowd of well-heeled fashionistas-insiders looking to spend a day on padded sun loungers with the Beach Club overlooking the turquoise coast As if I needed further proof, the outfits were a master class in clothing for a richness beach holiday — a mix of pieces such as Missoni sets with a zigzag pattern, Hermès sandals, Pucci Sarongs and Saint Laurent raffia bags.