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Hotel Highlights

  • Part hotel, part art gallery: heaven for collectors
  • Casa dell’Arte Residence’s crew-equipped gulet
  • Torba Bay: quiet, private and grown-up

Overview

Forget misleading promises of wealth, health and tall, dark strangers, here’s a horoscope worth following: we see art-filled, cultured Casa dell’Arte Residence and its zodiac-inspired rooms on your horizon, along with Bodrum’s sun and sea.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Casa dell'Arte Residence with us:

The hotel's signature cocktail on arrival. For members staying six nights or more, dinner at Mutfak Restaurant for two (excluding drinks)

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Casa dell'Arte Residence

Advance purchase: 15% off

Facilities

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Casa dell' Arte Residence hotel – Bodrum Peninsula – Turkey

Need To Know

Rooms

12 suites.

Check–out

12 noon, but flexible subject to availability and a half-day charge. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $730.04 (€540), excluding tax at 8 per cent.

More details

Rates include buffet breakfast.

Also

Casa dell’Arte Residence’s owner, Mr Büyükkuşoğlu, shot to success in the automotive industry and the hotel has three glittering reminders of this parked up by reception: a banana-yellow ’73 Corvette, a sleek white ’67 Mustang Convertible, and a liquorice-black ’61 Mercedes with bright white tyres. Before Mr/Mrs Smith starts to froth at the mouth, fear not – the fleet is for hire.

At the hotel

Spa, gym, gardens, cinema room, stash of DVDs and CDs, library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, minibar, L’Occitane bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Without hesitation: the two enormous Seaview Suites, Taurus and Leo, which both have large decks overlooking the restaurant. Taurus has works by Nuri İyem and Hamit Görele; Leo is adorned with striking pieces by Fikret Mualla (but these might change, as the collections are shuttled back and forth). We love the vivid colours and unabashed glamour of both. There’s plenty of space to play in, including a roomy bathroom with a princely tub, and two sizeable wardrobes and dressing areas. Libra, a Dome Suite, is our pick of the lower categories. The Dome Suites’ bedrooms have the zodiacal constellations picked out on the ceiling in pinprick lights.

Poolside

The long, slim pool stretches from reception to the main building, flanked by undercover side galleries.

Packing tips

Sketch books and boat shoes. To match the hotel’s decor, bring milk-white linens enlivened with lipstick-red or electric-blue accessories. Driving gloves and/or a vintage headscarf (see below).

Also

Little pets (under 5kg) can come too.

Children

This hotel is designed with adults in mind: valuable artworks + hyper Smith Juniors = headache. Art-appreciating teens are welcome, though.

Food & Drink

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Casa dell' Arte Residence hotel – Bodrum Peninsula – Turkey

Hotel Restaurant

Set back from the seafront, on one side of the lawn, Mutfak Restaurant is a snug little dining den, with space for around 25 people. A low white-sail awning keeps everything cool, and in the evening, subtle lights dotted along the jetty and garden edges give off a soft glow. Food is traditional, but presented with elegance: succulent kofte, plump manti dumplings, piping hot pide and crisp lahmacun (spicy meat-topped flatbreads).

Hotel Bar

Attached to the restaurant, Frida Beach Bar is open for business from 9am and 7pm (don’t worry, the restaurant serves drinks as long as guests are thirsty). Be sure to sample the local wines.

Last orders

Eating times are relaxed here: you can breakfast from 8am until 11am, enjoy ‘lunch’ between 11am and 7pm, and dine between 7pm and midnight.

Room service

Order items from the restaurant menu to your room from 8am until midnight; there’s a limited choice of dishes on offer after that.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Gulet glam: diamonds, deck shoes and Dolce.

Top table

Stake out the table closest to the water, on the corner of the little lawn.

Local Guide

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Casa dell' Arte Residence hotel – Bodrum Peninsula – Turkey
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

As you’d expect, there’s a creative bias: take part in a private art workshop, or go on an art tour around the hotel. There’s a cinema room downstairs with space for up to 12, and a selection of DVDs to rifle through. Ask nicely, and the hotel will organise a range of pulse-quickening activities, including parasailing, jet skis and boat hire. Speaking of which, opt to spend a night or two on the gorgeous gulet – a five-strong crew will look after you.

Local restaurants

Gonca is a reliably good fish restaurant perched right next to the hotel (ask staff to book you a table right on the beach). Here you’ll find the freshest catch of the day, served in a casual but romantic, lantern-lit setting. Save the Smith-approved Maçakizi hotel and its ravishing restaurant for special occasions. Softly lit decks overlooking the bay and top-notch Turkish ingredients make for a magical meal. Kocadon (+90 (0)252 316 3705; www.kocadon.com) at 1 saray Sokak has an owner fresh from stints in five-star hotels. You’ll dine out on the mosaic-tiled courtyard, amid palm trees, banana plants and flickering candles.

Local bars

Divan (+90 (0)252 377 5601; www.divan.com.tr), an upmarket hotel and beach club at Keleşharim Caddesi, Göltürkbükü, is the hottest place to stretch out under the sun. Set up camp on sun loungers by the pool or on the deck (TL100 each) and order cooling cocktails, or come back at night for a pre-dinner caipirinha beneath the stars.

Local cafés

Work your way through meze at Miam (+90 (0)252 377 5612) set at one end of the Göltürkbükü waterfront at Yalı Mevkii. It’s rustic and fuss-free, with bench seating and plastic menus, but the food is hard to beat.

+ Enlarge
Tantalising Torba Bay

Casa dell'Arte Residence

Torba Mahallesi, İnönü Caddesi, Bodrum, Mugla, Bodrum, 48400

Planes

Bodrum airport is 30 minutes away by car.

Automobiles

Bodrum’s city centre is a 10-minute drive from the hotel, and there is plenty of free parking. If you don’t bring your own wheels, you’ve all the more reason to take one of the resident sports cars for a spin…

Other

Arrive by boat, if you have a yacht at your disposal. Havaş (www.havas.net) runs a shuttle service that stops off at the airport, Torba and Bodrum.

Reviews

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Casa dell' Arte Residence hotel – Bodrum Peninsula – Turkey

Anonymous review

by Neale Whitaker , Accidental design guru

Sky, ocean and pool are trying to out-blue each other on a day rich with the promise of nothing. Deliciously idle hours yawn in the September heat, marked only by the occasional turn of a page, iPod click or popping cork. Maybe a lap or two of the pool. I could definitely get used to Bodrum. But where is Mr Smith? And why this sudden obsession with viewing Casa dell’Arte’s latest exhi…
Read more

Casa dell'Arte Residence

Anonymous review by Neale Whitaker, Accidental design guru

Sky, ocean and pool are trying to out-blue each other on a day rich with the promise of nothing. Deliciously idle hours yawn in the September heat, marked only by the occasional turn of a page, iPod click or popping cork. Maybe a lap or two of the pool. I could definitely get used to Bodrum.

But where is Mr Smith? And why this sudden obsession with viewing Casa dell’Arte’s latest exhibit? Since when was Mr Smith interested in Turkish wrestling? How can photographs of well-oiled, muscular, brooding Turks, dressed only in their glistening, black leather ‘kisbets’, possibly compete with these other, gentler, charms?

Kisbets and wrestlers apart, Casa dell’Arte is extraordinary. Not extraordinary in the superlative, glossy brochure sense. It’s simply unlike any other hotel the Mr Smiths have ever visited. Originally conceived as a family home for a wealthy istanbullu to house one of Turkey’s largest private art collections, the plans were diverted to boutique hotel before the building was actually completed. The result is a curious hybrid: part-hotel-part-gallery, sitting loftily by the water’s edge at Torba Bay on Turkey’s Bodrum peninsula. Essentially a modernist box which cleverly incorporates 19th-century masonry from Turkey’s Cappadocia region, Casa dell’Arte’s street entrance is curiously discreet, save for date palms and vintage cars (sleek black Mercedes and 1964 Ford Mustang convertible) that stand sentry and, combined with the exquisite inlaid doors, hint at the exotic within.

Twelve suites, each named for a sign of the zodiac, are arranged around a central open courtyard, above which seven magnificent vintage chandeliers are suspended like a glittering highwire act. ‘What happens when it rains?’ I ask Sarah, Casa dell’Arte’s charming Australian general manager. ‘It gets wet – very wet’ was the response my question deserved, but somehow in a hotel where nothing is quite as it seems, I was expecting a retractable roof at the very least. Some suites have ocean views and some are duplexes, but all share the remarkable collection of contemporary Turkish art that gives the hotel its name. Book-lined, cathedral-like public rooms (lounges to the left, dining room to the right) open up to the hotel’s rear dining terrace, which in turn gives way to a private deck and the cerulean Aegean.

Mr Smith and I are occupying Libra, one of the hotel’s two Dome suites. Dizzying in its scale, our cool, neutral suite boasts a canvas by Turkish artist Nese Erdok, crystal ‘sputnik’ pendants and a crystalline ‘tree’ lamp, which to my design eye, owes a debt to the Brazilian Campana brothers. There are L’Occitane toiletries in an adequate bathroom with a powerful shower. There’s a cowhide rug and a cinemascope flatscreen which panders generously to Mr Smith’s other great obsession: Fashion TV. There’s no view to speak of (because we’re at the side of the building), but there are LED lights in the ceiling above the bed that twinkle like the night skies of our childhoods. There’s a splash of Dubai in this room, a hint of Palm Springs and a touch of Las Vegas. My inner caption-writer screams ‘eccentric luxe’ and the phrase sticks.

After Turkish wrestling, Fashion TV and our ongoing research of fine wine, Mr Smith and I love to eat. At Mimolett Ege, Casa dell’Arte’s alfresco, beachside restaurant (essentially a pop-up by celebrated Turkish chef Murat Bozok), we enjoy just-caught prawns on tagliatelle; local sea bass on tabouleh with feta, and fragrant basil crème brûlée, delicately served in an eggshell. Breakfast is a more robust affair with a traditional spread of breads and pastries, meats and feta, fresh fruits and yoghurt. But at a little restaurant called Gonca Balik, just a few metres away by the water’s edge, Mr Smith and I feast on delicious and inexpensive calamari; kibbeh; stuffed zucchini flowers and a divine pudding of warm semolina and almonds, served with ice-cream.

Casa dell’Arte’s restrained theatricality is perhaps its shtick, as evidenced by the vertigo-inducing glass stairs beneath which a grand piano sits silently on the marble floor and an impressive subterranean (but oddly quiet) gym, spa and cinema. In late September there’s a meditative calm that belies the clamour of the summer months. And art, millions of dollars’ worth of it, is as ubiquitous as the books which speak of it. The works on display demand attention. They cross genres, from street art to landscape. They’re challenging, controversial and intriguing. The aforementioned wrestler photos are an exhibition by Turkish photographer Bennu Gerede, each image incorporating Swarovski crystals to feminise the posturing machismo of the pehlivans (wrestlers).

Perhaps it’s the way an editor’s mind works, but my memory stores images and vignettes, Pinterest-like, for posterity. Casa dell’Arte delivers in spades. The chandeliers suspended trapeze-like above the courtyard; brilliant blue and orange tables and chairs on the Torba waterfront; and artist Robert Montgomery’s haunting billboard installation which illuminates Casa dell’Arte’s garden: ‘The people you love become ghosts inside of you and like this you keep them alive.’ Memories operate in much the same way.
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Casa dell'Arte Residence's Guestbook below.

 

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