The luxury resort has arrived to the market to meet with the travel and media leaders of the local market.
Oxu.az special correspondent met with Mr. Gunter Gebhard, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum to talk about the new season.
Mr. Gebhard, your brand new hotel was opened just 3 years ago. Can you share with us more details on the property?
Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum is located on a 60-hectare waterfront site on the northern side of the Turkish peninsula at Cennet Koyu (Paradise Bay). It offers panoramic views over the Aegean Sea.
The resort built on a hillside is surrounded by millions of plants ensuring the privacy for each guest. An interesting fact is that during the construction works 1 mıllıon of plants have been taken out of the area and planted in a different location. Our owner is very fond of nature that’s why he cared a lot about natural trees and plants. After all the construction works were completed the plants were brought back onto the territory of the resort to create a natural atmosphere.
The resort consists of 129 rooms, suites, apartments and villas with terraces with spacious balconies overlooking the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. The Sea View Rooms and Mediterranean Suites are the largest on the Bodrum Peninsula. The Presidential Villa is ideal for those who especially appreciate comfort while travelling.
The person can choose where to stay - in the resort or at the residence/villa, which can be purchased by the way. The point is that the resort consists of two parts: the hotel and residences, which are managed by our brand. The owners and residents of the residences can enjoy all the hotel services and facilities: restaurants, fitness center and, spa.
The place where our resort is located creates an impression that you have been living there for all your life that this is a territory that you have known for a long time as if you’ve been living here for the whole life – home away from home.
The resort offers a lot of opportunities for both, those who prefer a relaxed beach leisure and for those who cannot imagine their vacation without sports. The guests of the resort can try snorkeling and diving accompanied by an experienced local instructor.
The resort has eight bars and restaurants with a wide selection of dishes, which will impress even the most sophisticated gourmet.
The hotel's spa, which has won the Best Spa category at the World Luxury Spa & Restaurant Awards 2016, deserves special attention. The spa menu includes a variety of wellness, revitalizing and rejuvenating treatments using not only the leading cosmetics and spa brands, but also local natural ingredients such as olive oil and lavender. The spa encompasses a lounge area, spa suites for individual procedures and a Turkish hammam.
What is the recipe of your success?
That’s almost impossible to speak about the success of Mandarin Oriental Bodrum without bringing altogether the long history of the brand, its key ethic pillars, standards and legendary service of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
Apart from these, you should always keep in mind that Mandarin Oriental started in 1963 as the Owner of the properties rather than only Management Company. And this is very important. This ‘owning’ attitude we use even with those properties which are managed by Mandarin Oriental rather than owned. And this is exactly the case with Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum.
Location is also a very important feature of all Mandarin Oriental hotels. MO Hotel is to be a full time player in the infrastructure of the area where it is based. MO Bars and Restaurants are always full of buzz. The same approach we used with Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum.
And the last but not the least: we do not work on all-inclusive basis since we like to provide a tailor made product to our guests.
All those ingredients create the recipe of our success.
How many tourists visited Mandarin Oriental Bodrum last year?
Through the high season the maximum occupancy amounted to 65%, 30 % of which were represented the local market while the rest 70% were split between different countries. Nevertheless I’m happy to say that Azerbaijan was in Top 5 countries.
Why have you decided to come to this market?
Well, first of all because we see a high potential and interest. Besides, we’ve got good relations between our two countries what is a good basis for the long-term and fruitful cooperation.
Does the group plan to open a hotel in Azerbaijan in the future?
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is always considering business opportunities around the world. Nevertheless there’s no confirmed commitments in the area at the moment. That’s very important for us to find the partner who would keep MO DNA, if I may say so.
What have you prepared for your guests in the new season?
The resort is new, so there’s no sense to change anything in its interiors. As you probably know it was created by a world famous interior designer Antonio Citterio. That’s a unique project which gives you a harmony feeling when you make a step into the resort. So most of new concepts related to the additional services like Spa, for example.
Two interesting options are about to be introduced into our Spa Menu:
Collaboration with the world-famous expert in manicure and pedicure Bastien Gonzalez, who developed a unique technique that includes podiatry (a section of medicine dealing with the treatment of foot and second thigh diseases), pedicure, manicure and massage. He is Spanish. He works in several of our hotels and resorts. He has his own studios around the world. Speaking of pedicure, we talk not only about how to treat nails and color them, but its unique range of services for the care of hands, feet and nails combines cosmetic and wellness procedures.
He also trains his specialists. When his specialists make the procedures, they explain, for example, why the feet are dry, give useful recommendations, and this works very well. So we are happy to speak about the collaboration with him in Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum.
The second one is the cooperation with an elite conditioning coach, Ruben Tabares and his team, will help guests achieve their fitness goals through his results-driven training programme during the summer season.
Ruben's programs have already been tested in London's Mandarin Oriental at Hyde Park, where the morning of the majority of guests now begins with a healthy breakfast from Ruben, and here is the strict food control: sweet rolls and toasts are not allowed. Later on they have a 60-minute training under a special comprehensive program and a personal consultation with Ruben for a healthy diet.
From 1 April, a new Stay and Dine offer is available for booking, including accommodation in a hotel room or suite, breakfast and lunch at the restaurants of the resort. The offer envisages special conditions for living with children, making Stay and Dine ideal for families. In April, a new children's club begins its work in cooperation with Worldwide Kids, and new wellness programs will be presented at the fitness center. Another nice and important innovation is butler services now available for hotel guests of all categories.
Managed jointly with Worldwide Kids, the resort’s children’s recreational groups includes the Kids Club for 4 to 11 year olds, which features a fun and educational range of arts and crafts, nature and sports activities that are sure to introduce little ones to new discoveries and friendships.
The Crèche Club for children aged from 4 months to 3 years is run by fully qualified, trained and experienced staff providing age appropriate activities for babies and toddlers to encourage learning through play. Children aged 12 to 17 years are given an opportunity to develop their independence and enjoy inspirational artistic pursuits at the Teens Club.