Review of 4reasons hotel+bistro by i-escape
A funky, friendly, Mediterranean-Zen chillout near Bodrum, with cool pool, bistro bar and family rooms too.
The 4 they claim – serenity, design, quality, attitude – all apply, but there’s one overriding reason to book here: it’s our favourite hotel on the Bodrum peninsula (and we’ve checked out lots). So overlook the groany name and go for it. You’ll find a cluster of bougainvillea-draped houses spilling down to the lush valley of Yalikavak, with the sea glimmering in the distance behind a sparkling pool. Each house has a handful of slick and stylish rooms, combining natural materials (strips of pebbles, driftwood sculptures) with modern comforts (huge showers equipped with handheld shower heads, air-con) in an airy, all-white space.
Down by the pool, you can kick back on low white sofas to the gentle beat of chilled jazz, play pool or darts in the sociable living room, or order a cocktail from the chirpy lads at the reed-shaded bar. If you fancy staying in, they do a fantastic line in salads, wines and seafood; if not, bustling Bodrum is just a few bays away, with no shortage of boutiques, bars and nightlife. By day, you can hop on a gulet cruise, get a day pass to one of the beach clubs, go horse-riding or watersporting, or explore Bodrum castle.
We loved our airy, all-white sanctuary of a bedroom: it had plenty of space and all the necessary ticks without feeling in the least cluttered. The firm-but-comfy double bed was bordered by a strip of smooth pebbles (a great wake-up for your soles) and overlooked by a sun-bleached branch of driftwood – simple, artistic and very fitting. Stylish bedside lamps and halogen spots gave plenty of light for bedtime reading, but kept the mood cosy. Along one side was a console with desk, minibar (stocked to our tastes, we soon discovered), TV and a carafe of mysterious red liqueur which slipped down nicely, along with the Ferrero Rochers. And the whole room was cleverly shaped, with daring diagonals, to avoid being boring and boxy.
In the white-tiled bathroom was a large quadrant shower with a huge head, a gel dispenser on the wall (lots of eco-points) and a sign reminding you that the tap water is brackish. Towels and robes were thick and fluffy, bathware was slick Vitra design. You can tell a lot of thought has gone into these spaces.
We had booked a Casual room, which suited our mood perfectly (lots of space but no frills); other room types have roughly the same spec but one or two distinguishing features. Passionate rooms come with a fireplace for cosying up (or for winter stays; not all rooms have central heating); Junior Suites get a sitting area with a Persil-white sofa (doubles as extra bed for one child); while Functional rooms are perfect for nuclear families, with one queensize bed and 2 singles in 2 compact bedrooms (sharing a bathroom). Views vary – some face the olive groves, others overlook the pool, both have their merits, and many have a balcony too.
We particularly liked #11 (Junior Suite), whose balcony offers views framed by palm fronds towards the sea; #31 (Passionate) with its spacious bathroom and cool pearly mirror; and #32 (Functional), with its triangular balcony overlooking the pool so parents can keep an eye on kids.
Our days started brightly, with the sun dappling the walls in reflected pool-light, Maria Callas soaring from the speakers and the ever-smiling young Kurtulus bearing down on us with a basket of muffins and croissants. This was followed by a bowl of crunchy cucumber-tomato salad, some crumbly white cheese to set it off, scoops of cold water melon and a rosette of jams and preserved fruit. It’s a wonder we ever left the poolside terrace.
We were back most days for a quick dip and lunch – warm salad of sea bass with pine nuts, raisins and chives, perhaps, or a medley of grilled veg which we never tired of – followed by a siesta on the sofas. The menu was big enough to keep us amused, but small enough to be manageable (and to corroborate the fact that many of their ingredients come from their own organic gardens).
And it’s worth staying in at least once for dinner, by which time the poolside tables have gained candles, and the cocktail bar is lit by flickering torches, to create a romantic bistro atmosphere. We can thoroughly recommend the 4reasons salad (tasty strips of chicken with crunchy lettuce) and the succulent sea bream baked with olives, cherry tomatoes and herbs (which comes wrapped in greaseproof paper like a very superior takeaway); the hunkar beyendi (braised beef in aubergine purée) was also good, washed down with a ballon of excellent house red.
If you want to head out for dinner, staff will recommend the hot spots, from waterfront taverns in Yalikavak harbour to chichi dining in Bodrum.
The great thing about this place is that there’s no shortage of things to do (being so near Bodrum), but also an abundance of tranquil spots to sit and do nothing…
Don’t miss the day cruises by wooden gulet from Yalikavak harbour: you don’t get very far along the coast, but you do stop to swim and snorkel in some vividly turquoise waters, as well as tucking into a fabulous lunchtime feast and reclining on deck-top mattresses with the breeze in your hair
Wander down to one of the beach clubs (15-30 mins walk) for cushioned boardwalks, watersports, sociable sunbathing and mouthwatering grills; Bandana is nearest and often gives 4reasons guests free entry, while Xuma has the best facilities (waterskiing, catamarans, lasers, windsurfers, volley, basket, gym…)
Or continue to the sandy but crowded beach at Yalikavak , and explore the artist’s colony and the waterfront
Drive (or take a dolmus) round to Gümüslük at the tip of the peninsula: a perfectly enclosed harbour with bobbing boats, pyramidal hills and the scant remains of a classical settlement
Perhaps the most idyllic beach is at Akyarlar, a bit further round, where limestone cliffs plunge into azure seas besides enclosed strips of white sand
Hobnob with the jetset at nearby Türkbükü, where all the restaurants are on platforms on the sea (but beware – it’s pricey)
Head into Bodrum (by car or dolmus) to explore its crusader castle complex, its boutique-lined lanes and its endless yacht harbour; you could even catch a ferry from here to the Greek island of Kos for the day
If you have a hire car, drive to Milas (50km), which is the region’s carpet capital: you can watch deft hands weaving or haggle for their bright, geometric prayer rugs.
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