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Caresse, Bodrum is a design lovers’ delight

Minimalism meets a rustic-chic aesthetic on the tranquil Turkish Riviera

A blissful Turkish resort filled with bespoke furnishings is proving popular with affluent, design-savvy tourists seeking a pared-down vibe.

Caresse—A Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Bodrum—is a stylish retreat for wealthy guests who eschew glitz in favour of a more minimalist approach.

“Our core clientele are exceptionally discerning – they are refined, well-travelled and seek sophisticated, tasteful surroundings in which to relax,” said General Manager Makis Antonatos.

“While some exclusive hotels are notable only for ostentation, we offer all the trappings of a luxury resort without the clichés. Caresse, Bodrum is decidedly bling-free.”

The property – a part of The Luxury Collection® – is distinguished by its subtle decor, abstract artworks and quirky, custom-made furniture. The colour palette is earthy and in harmony with nature, enlivened by bolder elements such as orange cushions. Recessed lighting casts an amber glow in communal areas, adding warmth to the understated shades of dove grey, slate blue and beige.

Flooded with sunlight, Caresse’s calm atmosphere is conducive to deep relaxation. Wooden floors, slatted shutters and vases of delicate orchids infuse rooms with a rustic-chic aesthetic, while chrome fixtures and crisp white bedlinen add a contemporary edge.

“From the moment guests arrive, they feel their everyday cares drift away,” Antonatos added. “We urge tourists with taste to experience its first-class facilities for themselves.”

A homegrown hideaway

Caresse, Bodrum opened in 2015, four-and-a-half years after work started on the 25,000 square-metre scheme and nine since it was conceptualised. Top Turkish architect Onur Özgül is the creative visionary behind the luxury venue. Born in the south-eastern town of Adana, he studied Interior Architecture and Environmental Design at Ankara’s Bilkent University before joining Istanbul-based Metex Design Group, the development’s principal architects.

Özgül was responsible for the interiors and façade, and worked with Caresse co-owner Volkan Buyukhanli to create the innovative poolside furniture. The sun loungers are made for two people and can be raised at either end, enabling partners and friends to face one another or lie side by side. Set into a curved rattan bases, they feature wide wooden armrests on which to place drinks and books and are named VON, incorporating their designers’ initials.

Fabulous furniture

Most furnishings are by Box Living, a high-end brand beloved of high-end hoteliers from Bali to Belgravia. Its eclectic pieces combine Southeast Asian craftsmanship with a retro twist that appeals to Western sensibilities; chaise longues, foot rests and romantic four-poster beds are among the pieces at Caresse.

Box Living is the brainchild of spouses Maya Basyroel and Marcel Opstal, from Indonesia and the Netherlands respectively. The couple, who trained as architects in Texas, acquired a love of thrift store antiques while living in the Art Deco wonderland of Miami, filling their first home with pieces they refurbished by hand. They then applied their finely tuned spatial awareness to the spheres of home décor and interiors, and the results have earned them international acclaim.