4 reasons hotel+bistro

near Bodrum, Aegean Coast, Turkey Book from Eur130

A funky, friendly, Mediterranean-Zen chillout near Bodrum, with cool pool, bistro bar and family rooms too
The 4 they claim - serenity, design, quality, attitude - all apply, but there's one overriding reason to book here: it's our favourite hotel on the Bodrum peninsula (and we've checked out lots). So overlook the groany name and go for it. You'll find a cluster of bougainvillea-draped houses spilling down to the lush valley of Yalikavak, with the sea glimmering in the distance behind a sparkling pool. Each house has a handful of slick and stylish rooms, combining natural materials (strips of pebbles, driftwood sculptures) with modern comforts (huge showers, air-con) in an airy, all-white space.

Down by the pool, you can kick back on low white sofas to the gentle beat of chilled jazz, play pool or darts in the sociable living room, or order a cocktail from the chirpy lads at the reed-shaded bar. If you fancy staying in, they do a fantastic line in salads, wines and seafood; if not, bustling Bodrum is just a few bays away, with no shortage of boutiques, bars and nightlife. By day, you can hop on a gulet cruise, get a day pass to one of the beach clubs, go horse-riding or watersporting, or explore Bodrum castle.

Highs

  • The funky pool with its chillout music and white cushions is a cool place to top up your tan by day
  • After dark, with a ring of flickering torches and candlelit tables, it makes a magical spot for dinner or drinks
  • Young, mostly male staff are always friendly without being smarmy
  • This place welcomes children and pets: not just a love-in for couples
  • Rates are refreshingly reasonable in an area which is pretending to be the Turkish St. Tropez
  • There's lots to do, from birdwatching tours to ceramic lessons; and lots of spots to sit and do nothing
  • Open all year: you could catch some winter sun for a song

Lows

  • The only real fault we could find is with the area: the Bodrum peninsula has come out in a rash of boxy holiday villages, though most are mercifully hidden out of sight from here
  • Occasionally the hotel is booked by a single holiday group but there are still rooms available for other guests
  • Some pool-facing rooms may get wafts of ambient music (though it's turned off in the afternoon)
  • Tap water is not drinkable. You get a large free bottle of water on arrival, but after that a small bottle from your minibar costs 3 YTL

Best time to go

Like all of coastal Turkey, there's a very clear high season from late June to early September. If you can come before (May-mid June) or after (mid September-October), that's perfect. April would be fun for hiking and general exploration, but not for sailing or swimming. In winter (November-March) one block of the hotel remains open (the one with central heating), though the bistro closes; this would be a perfect time to explore Bodrum without the crowds, or go horse-riding and hiking, if you don't mind many of the restaurants and some of the sites being shut. And you can get some bargains on the room rates.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Wedding
  • = Makes the grade
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 20
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Snooker Table
Room:

Rooms

We loved our airy, all-white sanctuary of a bedroom: it had plenty of space and all the necessary ticks without feeling in the least cluttered. The firm-but-comfy double bed was bordered by a strip of smooth pebbles (a great wake-up for your soles) and overlooked by a sun-bleached branch of driftwood – simple, artistic and very fitting. Stylish bedside lamps and halogen spots gave plenty of light for bedtime reading, but kept the mood cosy. Along one side was a console with desk, minibar (stocked to our tastes, we soon discovered), TV and a carafe of mysterious red liqueur which slipped down nicely, along with the Ferrero Rochers. And the whole room was cleverly shaped, with daring diagonals, to avoid being boring and boxy.

In the white-tiled bathroom was a large quadrant shower with a huge head, a gel dispenser on the wall (lots of eco-points) and a sign reminding you that the tap water is brackish. Towels and robes were thick and fluffy, bathware was slick Vitra design. You can tell a lot of thought has gone into these spaces.

We had booked a Casual room, which suited our mood perfectly (lots of space but no frills); other room types have roughly the same spec but one or two distinguishing features. Passionate rooms come with a fireplace for cosying up (or for winter stays; not all rooms have central heating); Junior Suites get a sitting area with a Persil-white sofa (doubles as extra bed for one child); while Functional rooms are perfect for nuclear families, with one queensize bed and 2 singles in 2 compact bedrooms (sharing a bathroom). Views vary – some face the olive groves, others overlook the pool, both have their merits, and many have a balcony too.

We particularly liked #11 (Junior Suite), whose balcony offers views framed by palm fronds towards the sea; #31 (Passionate) with its spacious bathroom and cool pearly mirror; and #32 (Functional), with its triangular balcony overlooking the pool so parents can keep an eye on kids.

Features include:

  • Wifi internet
  • Phone
  • Tv
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Fireplace
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Toiletries
  • Minibar
  • Hairdryer

Eating

Our days started brightly, with the sun dappling the walls in reflected pool-light, Maria Callas soaring from the speakers and the ever-smiling young Kurtulus bearing down on us with a basket of muffins and croissants. This was followed by a bowl of crunchy cucumber-tomato salad, some crumbly white cheese to set it off, scoops of cold water melon and a rosette of jams and preserved fruit. It's a wonder we ever left the poolside terrace. You can order eggs and cold meats if you want, but you won't finish them.

We were back most days for a quick dip and lunch - warm salad of sea bass with pine nuts, raisins and chives, perhaps, or a medley of grilled veg which we never tired of – followed by a siesta on the sofas. The menu was big enough to keep us amused, but small enough to be manageable (and to corroborate the fact that many of their ingredients come from their own organic gardens).

And it's worth staying in at least once for dinner, by which time the poolside tables have gained candles, and the cocktail bar is lit by flickering torches, to create a romantic bistro atmosphere. We can thoroughly recommend the 4reasons salad (tasty strips of chicken with crunchy lettuce) and the succulent sea bream baked with olives, cherry tomatoes and herbs (which comes wrapped in greaseproof paper like a very superior takeaway); the hunkar beyendi (braised beef in aubergine purée) was also good, washed down with a ballon of excellent house red. Only the desserts let them down: the local specialty of pisanliye looks like you've had a fight with a chicken, while the halva-ice cream mix benefits neither party, in my opinion. Prices are very reasonable, at around 20 YTL per dish.

If you want to head out for dinner, staff will recommend the hot spots, from waterfront taverns in Yalikavak harbour to chichi dining in Bodrum. Our top tip for dinner is Mimosa in Gumusluk, whose tables practically sit in the millpond water; or if you're there at lunchtime, try Limon Café up on the main road.

Features include:

  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Cooking Classes
  • Minibar
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

The great thing about this place is that there's no shortage of things to do (being so near Bodrum), but also an abundance of tranquil spots to sit and do nothing…

  • Don't miss the day cruises by wooden gulet from Yalikavak harbour: you don't get very far along the coast, but you do stop to swim and snorkel in some vividly turquoise waters, as well as tucking into a fabulous lunchtime feast and reclining on deck-top mattresses with the breeze in your hair
  • Wander down to one of the beach clubs (15-30 mins walk) for cushioned boardwalks, watersports, sociable sunbathing and mouthwatering grills; Bandana is nearest and often gives 4reasons guests free entry, while Xuma has the best facilities (waterskiing, catamarans, lasers, windsurfers, volley, basket, gym…)
  • Or continue to the sandy but crowded beach at Yalikavak , and explore the artist's colony and the waterfront
  • Drive (or take a dolmus) round to Gümüslük at the tip of the peninsula: a perfectly enclosed harbour with bobbing boats, pyramidal hills and the scant remains of a classical settlement
  • Perhaps the most idyllic beach is at Akyarlar, a bit further round, where limestone cliffs plunge into azure seas besides enclosed strips of white sand
  • Hobnob with the jetset at nearby Türkbükü, where all the restaurants are on platforms on the sea (but beware - it's pricey)
  • Head into Bodrum (by car or dolmus) to explore its crusader castle complex, its boutique-lined lanes and its endless yacht harbour; you could even catch a ferry from here to the Greek island of Kos for the day
  • If you have a hire car, drive to Milas (50km), which is the region's carpet capital: you can watch deft hands weaving or haggle for their bright, geometric prayer rugs
  • The hotel can book a horse-riding safari with a guide in the hills above Bodrum (best from October-May) and arrange hiking tours through the ghost village of Sandima (home to just one family, who make lovely pottery which you can admire or buy)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Kids activities nearby
  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking Classes
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • History religious
  • Horse-riding
  • Nightlife
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Swimming
  • Kite/windsurfing
  • Shopping
  • Ceramic lessons

Kids

Although a tranquil couples hotel, children of all ages are actively welcomed – Ali and Esra have their own – and you can book baby-sitters and cots are complimentary. Of course, don't expect organised creche-type activities or plenty of toys and games; but generally Turkey is a very safe and sociable place to go with young kids.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Functional Suites have 2 bedrooms and can sleep a family of 4 plus a baby, and are considered quieter if on the upper level. Junior Suites work well for a family of 3-4 (as long as the children under 9) as they have sofabeds. Casual Rooms can take a baby cot

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement

Baby equipment:


  • Baby cots
  • High chairs

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Children's meals:

    There's a good selection of pasta dishes on the menu and the chefs are always happy to make meals for children on request

    Kids Activities on site:


    • Pool and environs
    • Painting classes on request in high season
    • Family movie nights on request in high season
    • Pool table
    • Bocce (petanque)

    Kids Activities nearby:


    • Beach and watersports are close at hand
    • Aquapark nearby
    • Pottery classes nearby
    • Gulet boat trips

    Families Should Know:

    Keep an eye on toddlers around the pool which can become slippery for little feet, and stepped pathways

Distances:

  • Airport: 50 minutes
  • Hospital: 10-15 minutes
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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