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Trip report: Amanruya (Bodrum, Turkey)

Trip report: Amanruya (Bodrum, Turkey)

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Old Nov 19, 14, 3:02 pm
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Trip report: Amanruya (Bodrum, Turkey)

I recently stayed for 3 days at Amanruya in Bodrum, Turkey. The hotel was high on my bucket list, but somehow, I did not meet the very high expectations that I had (partly because of the rave reviews here on Flyertalk).

-I uploaded a lot of photos here: http://theluxurytravelexpert.com/2014/10/22/amanruya/
-I also made a Youtube clip with impressions of the resort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6jJhAtEJ2M

PROS & THINGS I LIKED:
* Amanruya is set on a peaceful hillside, offering nice (but far from excellent) views of the Aegean sea.
* The architecture and design of the resort is phenomenal. Inspired by the region’s traditional architecture and building methods, the resort ascends through a series of levels, offering a variety of courtyards and terraces. This creates the intimate ambience of an Ottoman village while still providing a sense of space and luxury.
* A winding pathway (15 minute by foot or 5 minute by buggy) leads to Amanyura’s private Beach Club. Protected by a headland and curled around a number of well-established trees, this informal Beach Club consists of a series of terraces on which sun loungers overlook a small (almost non-existing) pebble beach and a wooden jetty. Refreshments and a range of water sports equipment are available.
* The accommodations – 36 villas in total – are fabulous. Each exquisite stone villa, first-rate in every sense, comes with a huge bedrooms, a four-poster bed, a glorious bathroom (with rain shower and a large bath tub), a private grey-green marble infinity pool, an outdoor table and bed. All villas offers a large degree of privacy, since they are very secluded and out of view from the other villas.
* Food at Amanruya is excellent, and served at several dining pavilions overlooking the main swimming pool. Breakfast is a la carte and served in the room (untill 11 am). In addition, there is an excellent restaurant at the Beach Club where light meals and refreshments can be enjoyed throughout the day.
* As you can expect from the world’s most exclusive hotel brand, service is exceptional. You show up in an empty dining pavilion or in one of the common lounges, and like magic the hotel staff appears to take your order for meals, a snack or a drink. The General Manager Nick and his wife Chris are very welcoming.
* Lined with green marble from Antalya in southern Turkey, Amanruya’s 50-metre infinity swimming pool has a spectacular look and is surrounded by a number of sun loungers, dining and relaxation pavilions.
* In the shoulder season (April, October), the resort has some very good promotions, saving you hundreds of euros (reduced room rate, all-inclusive rate, airport transfers).
* Complimentary Turkish tea is offered every afternoon between 4-5 pm at an open air pavilion – not much other than some pastries, tea and juice, but it’s still nice to refresh with something prior to dinner, and it’s included in the room price, so might as well take advantage if you can.
* There is good WiFi throughout the resort, including the beach club.
* Food and beverages are very affordable compared to the restaurants outside the resort of the same caliber.

CONS & THINGS THAT I DID NOT LIKE:
Amanruya is a stunningly beautiful and über-chic resort. Yet, it was not perfect, despite being designed and managed by Aman Resorts. I felt there were a few shortcomings, or things that I wished I had known ahead of my stay (to lower expectations), so I may as well share them with you:
* The resort is oriented towards the east. Not the fault of the resort of course, but this means that it is in the shade about one hour before sunset, when the sun disappears behind the hills. The Beach Club is in the shade about 2 hours before sunset; in fact, only the sun loungers on the jetty will enjoy the sun in the afternoon, as the sun loungers on the shore are in the shade by then (which might be a good thing in the summer). Sunsets cannot be seen from the resort.
* Wasps were incredibly annoying during our stay, especially at the Beach Club where people were literally fighting against these insects. Having breakfast and lunch with all those wasps attacking the food was a challenge from time to time. I am not sure whether Amanyara has any natural wasp control in place, but if not, they should increase their efforts. I heard that wasps are less of a problem during the summer months.
* The resort is located hillside, offering good but not really excellents views of the water. There are pine trees and foliage sprouting up everywhere, often blocking the view of the water and making you feel being disconnected from the maritime environment. It is a mystery to me why the resort was not built closer to the sea.
* The resort has no adult-only corner, which can be problematic when a family with young (and loud) children is staying at Amanruya (which was the case during our stay), especially at the small and intimate Beach Club and pool. Since Aman Resorts in general cater to high-end clientele looking for some well-earned tranquility and peace of mind, this was a major shortcoming. I feel that Amanruya should not accept families with very young children or, alternatively, install an adult-only corner fo those in need of that.
* Unfortunately, the only dining menu is rather limited and does not change, which can be disappointing and gastronomically boring when you consider a stay longer than just a few days. Perhaps a couple of additional specials each day would solve this problem.
* On some nights, the incessant night-club beat from the resort across the bay could be heard from 10 pm to 2 am. But Amanruya’s air conditioners create white noise that mostly covers up that beat.
* The water temperature of the main and private pools is very cold. This is not an issue in the heat of the summer, but it is in the colder months of April-May and September-October. A hot tub would have been a nice addition to an otherwise spectacular resort.
* The waiting time for a buggy exceeded twice 30 minutes during our stay, which was unacceptable for a resort of this caliber.
* The noise of the busy main road (that runs around the Bodrum peninsula) can be heard very well inside the resort, especially around the pool with the dining pavilions, prohibiting a truly relaxing and calming atmosphere that Aman Resorts identifies itself with.
* The hotel is 20-25 minutes from Bodrum and there is an approximately 40-50 euro charge (plus tax and service) for a hotel car and driver any time you want to leave the property.
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Old Nov 19, 14, 6:49 pm
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Great report and love the detail here and on your other site. Very interesting though - this property has been high on my list as well, but I may need to rethink that after reading this report. The beach club/jetty with loungers looks quite meager and makeshift. Sorry you had to deal with all the negatives that you mention. Were you able to send these to the GM for future improvements? I am sure they would appreciate it and hopefully they do build upon what they have as a hard product.
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Old Nov 20, 14, 3:56 am
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The wasps were bad when we were there as well. Did you try the burning coffee grounds?
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Old Nov 20, 14, 6:50 am
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Interesting to note that Gallivanters Guide gave Amanruya quite a poor review. She said it was the first Amanresort in which she did not feel truly welcome.
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Old Nov 20, 14, 7:09 am
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I always try to get a handle on the view of the water from the pool prior to going. Otherwise, I might be disapointed.
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Old Nov 20, 14, 7:29 am
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What a pity. It was a wonderful place when we were there, but this is not the first bad things I have heard about it lately.

We were there in the middle of the summer and did not get too little sun, it was more that we were happy to find shade, so that is obviously a seasonal thing. Same goes for the insects which we have talked about here before as well. I remember someone (cannot remember who) being there before us who found other insects than wasps disturbing. When we were there, there were wasps, but only during sunset. Before and after it was no problem, so we made sure to avoid eating at that specific time.
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Old Nov 20, 14, 8:50 am
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We were there in May and while there were some wasps, there were also some other kind of flying insect which was out in swarms. They didn't bite, but they were everywhere. It made it hard to enjoy the outdoors.

My understanding was these are only an issue in the spring (unlike the wasps).

We also had a very nice time when we were there and it would be a shame if the resort has gone downhill.
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Old Nov 20, 14, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Londonjetsetter View Post
Interesting to note that Gallivanters Guide gave Amanruya quite a poor review. She said it was the first Amanresort in which she did not feel truly welcome.
Having been there just a month ago, I'd say I find this pretty shocking. When was the review written? We had a few service hiccups but the staff were always wonderful.
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Old Nov 20, 14, 3:39 pm
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Curious to know, how does does Ruya's beach club compare to Zoe's? Is it significantly smaller?

Zoe this summer was swarmed with small (and quite often obnoxious) children, and even though one section of the beach club is meant for adults only, that rule was broken every day. Consistently.
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Old Nov 20, 14, 4:07 pm
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Im sorry the wasps would be an absolute deal breaker!! Trying to simply enjoy a drink on the beach means having to worry about getting stung. Not my idea of a vacation. I might if changed resorts. Very nice review with good detail OP
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Old Nov 20, 14, 5:18 pm
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We were there in August, no wasps then but I can see how that could be a problem.
As for the rest of the "cons" part of the review, I did not experience the noise from the roads, the delayed buggy's, in any event on a vacation caring about whether something is 10 mins or 30 mins late is low on my priorities.
The debate about children is one that is perpetual, my boys 10 and 14 wish to point out they think they are "high end clients" too..
Also at a place like this worrying about 50 euros for a car/driver when one has spent 1500 euros / night for rooms maybe misplaced..
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Old Nov 20, 14, 6:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Zephyrous View Post
Curious to know, how does does Ruya's beach club compare to Zoe's? Is it significantly smaller?

Zoe this summer was swarmed with small (and quite often obnoxious) children, and even though one section of the beach club is meant for adults only, that rule was broken every day. Consistently.
Ruya's beach club is much more rustic than Zoe's -- loungers are tucked into the pine trees as well as on a jetty.

But yes, my experience with Aman is that they do not effectively serve adults-seeking-quiet during peak seasons. At Sveti Stefan this summer, they did nothing when a very noisy family invaded the indoor spa pool. This is aggravating, as we'd specifically contacted the hotel in advance of our stay to ensure that there would be an adults-only pool area, and they stated firmly that they would not allow children into the indoor spa pool. Even when we expressed our concerns to the spa manager about the screaming, diving, running around the pool children, she simply shrugged. I understand if a hotel decides not to have adults-only quiet areas, but when they do designate such areas and communicate such to their guests, they should enforce.

Four Seasons, in my experience, is much more consistent in designating adults-only pools and areas, so I tend to prefer Four Seasons to Aman these days.
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Old Nov 21, 14, 4:43 am
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I heard that Nick and Chris Juett are leaving, or have already gone. Kevin Brooke (Aman Sveti Stefan) is taking over at Amanruya. All part of the pogrom, I gather.
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Old Nov 21, 14, 8:43 am
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"The resort has no adult-only corner, which can be problematic when a family with young (and loud) children is staying at Amanruya (which was the case during our stay), especially at the small and intimate Beach Club and pool. Since Aman Resorts in general cater to high-end clientele looking for some well-earned tranquility and peace of mind, this was a major shortcoming. I feel that Amanruya should not accept families with very young children or, alternatively, install an adult-only corner fo those in need of that."

I get annoyed reading this stuff as someone who travels with a young son--he's a guest.

And what is "high-end"? And I'm serious, because what if you make X and the families with children make 4x and they don't consider you high end?
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Old Nov 21, 14, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by declinespecificinformation View Post
I get annoyed reading this stuff as someone who travels with a young son--he's a guest.

And what is "high-end"? And I'm serious, because what if you make X and the families with children make 4x and they don't consider you high end?
First and foremost I would say that 'high-end' has nothing to do with how much you make. There is a big part of education and behaviour. I have no problem with young children. Except when we speak about a whole family with several screaming and running children splashing water everywhere and parents ignoring the fact that they are bothering all other guests. If it happens once ok, I can understand, but if your entire stay is ruined by noisy people then it is a major problem (actually it doesn't have to be children, this education issue applies to many grown adults).
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