Our first experience with the Six Senses brand was in the Douro Valley in Portugal. We only spent one night, but loved it and wished we had stayed longer. Fast forward a few years later, and we were determined not to make the same mistake. So I booked 3 nights at the Six Senses Kaplankaya which is a 1 hour and 45 minute drive from Bodrum.
Check in – Upon arrival at the resort, you will encounter a security checkpoint. From here, it was very difficult to find the reception center. The signage was very poor and we spent quite a while circling the property. When we finally found the reception center, check in was quick and painless. The main center houses rooms, the spa, the gym, one of the many restaurants, a shop and various other amenities. If you book a villa, in this case we booked a Ridge Terrace with Pool Sea View – they will drive you to the room using a gold cart. The property is huge.
My benchmark for this type of hotel/resort would be Aman. Regarding check in, one disappointing thing was that we were not given a property tour, but rather, driven directly to our room. Most resorts of this caliber will give you a tour on check in so that you can orientate yourself with the property and plan your time.
We were also assigned a “butler” who was available via whatsapp. She did give us a property tour the next day, after I had requested it. I will review the butler service, later down below.
Room – The room itself was clean and almost as expected. There were a couple details missing that matter at this level/price point:
- there is a rooftop terrace but has no furniture; in contract, Amangiri in Utah also had a rooftop terrace with a day bed and telescope that you can use for star gazing
- our view of the sea was obstructed a bit by the fence around the yard; I would of preferred if this was made of clear material
Here is a room and grounds tour:
I liked the fact that there was a large walk in shower, separate walk in closet, and of course, having our own pool (and outdoor shower). There are also a lot of places and furniture to lounge in the yard. The tech was pretty good and the AC was strong.
The resort is far from any town so you will be eating on premise for your stay. However, I did not find the cost outrageous like other resorts where you are “captive” like Bora Bora. There are basically 3 on site restaurants that are related to the hotel, and one that is run by an outside party. It was a bit confusing from trying to decipher the choices on the website, and even on arrival, it was not clear what was available and where. Partly due to lack of an orientation as previously mentioned. Anyway, here’s a summary of where we ate.
Breakfast – Breakfast was included and served in the main building daily. The selection of local food was great and delicious. The simit, traditional Turkish circular bread, was the best I had on the trip. I looked forward to it everyday. The views with breakfast are incredible too. Another thing you should definitely eat, and was so delicious at this resort is menemen. Its like a scrabble with eggs, green peppers and tomato.
Room Service – We ordered room service the day we arrived and it was prompt and good. The burger was cooked well.
Anhinga by OD – This restaurant is located away from the main resort. Its about a 20 minute drive to another part of the resort. You will have to take a scheduled shuttle. This was another area the Six Senses falls short of other resorts. Most other resorts provide you with transport on demand or bikes/golf carts to get around. Having to constantly check and worry about a shuttle was not idea.
Also, this was the part of the resort was a bit confusing, at first but I think I have it figured out now. The property consists of the resort and residences. Anhinga is in a part of the resort that has separate facilities for residents like a beach, stores etc. Anyway, this was my least favorite restaurant. It is labelled as fine dining, and the presentation is nice, but the flavors are very lacking.
When we arrived, we were the only ones there dining:
I would not recommend this place.
Meze – This is THE place you should eat! We went back two nights in a row. The only things is its outdoor, but has a really cool Mediterranean vibe.
The meal with start with a selection of various Meze presented by your server you can choose from. They were all delicious.
For mains, there is an ice box with the daily fresh catches of the day. The lobster pasta was especially good. Here is a look at what we had. All of it was delicious. The main event is at the end. I watched the chef prepare out lobster fresh for the pasta. It was amazing.
Here’s the chef preparing the lobster.
Ortakoy Beach Bar – The cool thing about this place is the amazing sunset. However, the bar doesn’t open until AFTER sunset. So you won’t be able to have a drink while watching the sunset. This was a bit weird, and is a missed opportunity to sell drinks to people!
Beaches – The resort has 3 beaches: Main, Family and Anhinga. We did not visit the family one.
Main – The main beach is within walking distance of the main building. There is some opportunity for snorkeling. However, this is another area this resort falls short of other comparable resorts. They charge you for ALL watersports. A lot of places will only charge for motorized watercraft. At this place, I rented snorkels and was really disappointed by the quality. The seal was extremely poor on the googles and there was something sharp annoying my mouth. They only had two pairs and both were the same.
Another thing lacking is sun block. The resort had none, and the store was out of it. A lot of high end resorts will have it readily available throughout so this is another area that needs improvement here.
Anhinga – This beach is located 20 minutes away by shuttle.
TIP: On the Anhinga side of the resort, there is a full supermarket. You can stock up on food and sun block here.
Gym – The gym is amazing. Its massive and has tons of equipment. There are also basketballs courts and other facilities.
Spa – We tried the hammam which was even less authentic than the one I wrote about in Istanbul, but I still had a relaxing time. We made use of the salt room as well which was nice.
Overall we had a nice time at this resort. There are little details that they need to improve on but the overall setting and facilities are nice. I found that when stuff was requested on the ipad in the room, it was done ASAP. Like faster than I have ever experienced anywhere else. On the other hand, the butler service needs work. Many times, our butler would confuse dates and times of reservations she made for us. She even asked when we are departing though we had already departed hours ago. At most other places, the staff will see you off and make arrangements and you will have an opportunity to give a gratuity. Unfortunately, this was not the case here. I would say that this resort would not be worth a special trip. There are better ones you can go to.
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