Amanruya, the ultimate relaxation resort on the Turkish Riviera

Opened less than a year ago, Amanruya is located 10 minutes drive from Bodrum, in the Southern Turkish region of Anatolia, known for its unique cultural heritage and beautiful landscapes, with stunning views of the Mediterranean sea and the surrounding mountains. Amanruya sits in a pristine bay of natural beauty, on a hill, yet within minutes walk from the beach. Of the 36 luxurious cottages, 27 have Sea views (9 have Garden views).

Among the Aman Resorts, Amanruya is probably the best illustration of Aman’s philosophy to reflect the local cultural heritage. The architecture of the entire resort pays tribute to the Southwest Anatolian indigenous buildings, constructed using local materials such as stone, earth and wood. One of the distinct features of the indigenous buildings, beautifully illustrated at Amanruya, is the use of fragments of antique stone blocks used as quoins. It is said that for indigenous people, the building activity was a matter of faith and symbolism, no indigenous building being merely functional. To balance the indigenous architecture and lifestyle with modernity, Amanruya features an array of contemporary elements such as the use of steel and marble, even enhancing the sense of solidity of each building.

I was amazed to learn from the staff that the architects ensure that even the indigenous building rituals and techniques were maintained - for instance, indigenous people would not build according to a drawing or a plan, it would be a process driven by inspiration and symbolism. This was exactly the construction process of Amanruya, where, unlike other properties, floor plans and construction were done gradually. The passion of the owners and architects to preserve this ancient traditions is also evident in how the entire complex is building, cottages being connected by alleys and pathways, much like a true village.

Amanruya, Bodrum, Turkey

The indigenous Anatolian culture is reflected in many other beautiful details at Amanruya, such as: the beautifully manicured gardens with cobbled pathways of round stones, the traditional Turkish manggal charcoal chimney in every cottage, the circle windows and natural daylight holes in the bathrooms, large ceramic vases throughout the gardens, a wide selection of Otoman traditional music on the iPod in each cottage etc.

Activities provided by the hotel include: Shish Kebab barbecue in the privacy of one’s cottage, fishing in the bay, water sports (most of them complimentary – pedalo, small sailing boats, kayaks, canoes and snorkelling), rustic farm breakfast, visit of a traditional pottery house and golf (two 18 hole golf courses are located within less than 30 minutes drive from Amanruya), horseriding in a village less than 10 minutes away from the resort.

For those spending just a weekend at Amanruya, like myself, I truly enjoyed my time lounging by the pool (swimming and sunbathing) at my villa,  the in-room massage with pure organic oils accompanied by Otoman sounds and a long bath with aromatic oils and bath salts. I had a cottage with a heated pool, so I could enjoy swimming at any time of the day, even on the more chilly evenings.

Although situated on a hill top, Amanruya has its own private beach, which is less than 10 minutes walk of a 3 minute drive in a club car. The rustic Beach Club features lunch (great seafood), a jetty with sunbeds and an array of water sports facilities, including motorized ones. Amanruya’s speed boat is ideal for a short cruise around the bay, to explore the surroundings. For the next year, the hotel will be adding a new jetty and a larger surface will be allocated for the Beach Club, which is one of the favourite retreats of most guests at Amanruya.

All cottages are large, measuring 75 sqm, each featuring a four poster king size bed, a generous living area and the comfort of a private swimming pool (most of them heated), with sunbeds, an outdoor shower and a pergola with a cushioned daybed. Cottages are flooded with daylight, through large window doors, some even with cozy wooden balconies with sea views. The modern day comfort is implemented at Amanruya, with LCD screen (furniture enclosed, with automatic control), iPod dock, high speed wireless internet (complimentary).

Amanruya also features a spectacular library, housed in a tower with a roof top lounge offering panoramic views, a wine cellar with a wide selection of international and Turkish wines, an art gallery (currently exhibiting glass works by a famed Turkish young artist), a yoga open air lounge, a carpet gallery (with vintage and new carpets on sale) and a floodlit tennis court.

From breakfast (ideally by the pool at sunrise), lunch (my favourite - the Beach Club on the bay shores), and dinner in one of the three restaurants with the most romantic settings, Amanruya provides exquisit quality food, with a menu including Turkish, Thai and international dishes, with organic produce from local farmers.

Like any other resort of the standards of Aman which aims for perfection, especially a newly opened one like Amanruya, I was pleased to learn the hotel is planning to enlarge the existing SPA (to add more treatment rooms and possibly a traditional hamman – especially for the colder months of the year) and to improve the air-conditioning system in the cottages. The language (English) proficiency of the staff is being improved with a full time English teacher, in-house.

After a two night stay, I promissed myself I would return! There are so many other things to explore at Amanruya, including the heritage hot spots: Bodrum Castle (less than 20 mins from the hotel), the ancient city of Ephesus and many more…

Oliver Petcu in Bodrum

Comprehensive picture gallery of Amanruya is available on our Facebook page.