On a secluded, Aegean-spanning stretch of coast north of Bodrum, Six Senses Kaplankaya is a lesson in the art of getting away from it all. As is typical for this hotel group, a far-flung, isolated, at-one-with-nature setting is standard, but this one has the added bonus – on top of the gorgeous olive groves, towering cypress trees and blooming oleander – of two ancient wonders of the world nearby. The spa is spectacular and sure to cure any woe, whether it’s sleeplessness or saggy skin, but it’s the Earth Lab that will really make a difference: guests are encouraged to connect with their surroundings and learn some valuable life hacks while they’re at it.
Get this when you book through us:
Your choice of a 30-minute foot massage for two or a body scrub for two
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £504.74 (€568), including tax at 13 per cent.
Rates include breakfast.
Ancient Greece extended across the Aegean to this coastal sweep of Turkey, and there are the crumbling relics to prove it: Ephesus in Selcuk, Izmir, once home to the Temple of Artemis, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus are both a short distance away.
Annually from the end of October to April or May.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, gym, tennis court, free valet parking, beach. In rooms: free bottled water, flatscreen satellite TV, iPod dock, the Organic Pharmacy bath products, beach bag and flip-flops, yoga mat, tea- and coffee-making facilities, Bluetooth speaker, iPad and air-conditioning.
Our favourite rooms
The Ridge Terrace Rooms (both with pool and without) are a great choice for families – each suite has its garden with an olive tree, outdoor shower, plunge pool or cabana. Most have a terrace, which can be used for alfresco meals, sunbathing or meditation. All rooms are pretty spacious, but it’s worth noting that Deluxe rooms have adjoining balconies, so aren’t as private.
There are plenty of places for submerging yourself in water, including: an indoor therapy pool, a Watsu pool, an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor lounge pool, a kid-friendly pool and an outdoor sports pool. The spa has a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the beach, perfect for post-massage lie-downs should standing be too much effort.
This is a Six Senses stay, so you can expect the spa to be impressive; various wellness programmes (ranging from boot camps to sleep health and holistic anti-ageing) are on offer if you want to get serious. There’s a sauna, steam room, personal trainers, yoga and Pilates, a mud chamber, hammam, salt grotto and some intriguingly named ‘experiential rain’, which sounds a lot more fun than your average downpour.
Based on the hotel’s water-baby appeal, you’ll be spending a lot of time in your bathing suit, so be sure to bring your best selection. Gladiator sandals for ruin rambling, optional.
The hotel has two adapted rooms for wheelchair users.
All ages welcome. There are Ride Terrace Family Rooms and family-friendly villas, which have more space and privacy, as well as a garden and private pool if you’re lucky. Babysitting can be organised with six hours’ notice for €30 an hour.
Babies and up
Any of the villas, which have more space and privacy, as well as a garden and private pool in some.
The Grow with Six Senses programme creates a fun-filled itinerary for children, taking in both indoor and outdoor activities. There’s also a playground, indoor playroom and family-friendly beach.
Cinema under the stars, swimming, tennis, recycling workshops, bowling, basketball, football, yoga, painting, cooking classes, crafts, cookie baking, cupcake decorating, pizza making and nail art.
The hotel has a children’s pool.
Children are welcome in all of the restaurants at all times; highchairs are available and staff will heat up baby food and milk. There are no dedicated children’s menus, but dishes can be modified for younger palates.
Babysitting can be organised with six hours’ notice for €30 an hour.
The hotel runs an Earth Lab, where it showcases its sustainability efforts to support local communities and ecosystems. There’s also an Eat with Six Senses concept, which sources local produce from the resort’s organic garden, the nearby fish market and surrounding villages.
Glimpses of the Aegean are on show at all the restaurants, but the concierge can guide you to the best-positioned perch. Groups can book out the private dining room at Sage & Sea.
Anything goes – except your swimming costume.
There are three: Sage & Sea, Wild Thyme and Mezze by the Sea. Local produce – Aegean and Mediterranean, with a Turkish flourish – is the dish of the day at each of the restaurants, as is the Eat with Six Senses idea, which helps guests to choose healthier options that haven’t travelled further than the local fish market or organic hotel garden. Sage & Sea is where to head for breakfast; it also has a bar, wine cellar and some striking ceiling-height windows. Freshly caught seafood from the Aegean is accompanied by creative, colourful Turkish mezze at the aptly named Mezze by the Sea.
Three: the Alchemy, the Library and the Beach Bar. Predictably, the latter is down on the hotel’s beach. The Library is a more studious affair and the place to catch up on emails during the day if you can’t resist. The Alchemy is located on the wellness floor, but don’t worry: it’s not all smoothies and green juices. Although, raw-cooking classes are held here…
Sage & Sea is open all-day, from 7am until 11pm. Wild Thyme is open from noon until 11pm. Dinner at Mezze by the Sea is served from 6pm until 11pm. The Alchemy is open from 7pm to midnight. The Library’s hours are 9am to midnight.
Meals from each restaurant can be served in-room on request.
The hotel is on Turkey’s Aegean coast, around 80 kilometres north of Bodrum.
The nearest international airport is Milas-Bodrum, which is closer to the hotel than the city itself; the 50-kilometre drive should take less than an hour. Hotel transfers cost €120 (this includes tax) each way.
There’s free valet parking when you arrive.
Grand entrances are available should you want one: yachts or helicopters can deliver you from the airport on request (for an extra charge). Feeling slightly less flashy? There's a shuttle boat that runs from Kaplankaya to Gundogan in around 40 minutes; tickets cost TRY150 a person each way.
Worth getting out of bed for
Don’t miss a trip to some of the ancient wonders of the world, on the hotel’s doorstep. The ancient city of Ephesus, where the Temple of Artemis once stood, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus are some of Turkey’s most popular archaeological sites. You’ll need a car to head into Bodrum, but the castle and markets will make it worth your while. Adventurous guests can sail to a nearby Greek island by yacht, head to Ephesus by helicopter or pick up produce at the local market with the executive chef in tow as part of the hotel’s programme of unique excursions. If your inclinations are more sporty than supine, there's plenty of action on offer, like biking, golf and shipwreck diving, to name just a few.
For marina-side seafood, try the extensive just-caught selection at Sait in Bodrum, a rustic restaurant with an appropriately nautical decor. Also in town, enjoy typical Turkish food on the bougainvillea-draped terrace of Mimoza, set right by the water and lit by lanterns at night.
For everything from a heady Turkish coffee first thing to a stiff raki as soon as it’s permissible to drink alcohol and everything in between, head to Musto, an all-day bistro in Bodrum.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this luxury hotel in Turkey and unpacked their Turkish delight, a full account of their coastal break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Six Senses Kaplankaya near Bodrum…
The Temple of Artemis may be long gone, but it’s still easy to appreciate the awesome antiquity on display here on this Aegean-spanning stretch of Turkish coastline. As well as the buzzy city of Bodrum, these ancient wonders of the world are there for the taking. That’s if you’ve made it out of the hotel – and with a super spa, various wellness programmes, lessons in sustainability and organic, local produce, that might be harder to achieve than you think. Let’s start with the spa: this assortment of pools, a grotto, igloo, showers and studios, not to mention treatment rooms, will have you rebooted in no time. Leading practitioners pass through the hotel regularly, whether you need help with weight loss, sleep problems or ageing issues. The beaches in reach are secluded, sandy and clear-watered. The landscape takes in green hills, olive groves, oleander and cypress trees, and, as is typical for this brand, heavenly, nature-immersed isolation. We bow to you, Six Senses. Namaste.