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BLOG Turkey's Celebrity Hotspots - Where to be Seen and Where to Dine

14 September 2015 / Lifestyle


Want to know where to be seen in Turkey?

Bodrum

Bodrum is a destination for the style conscious and the rich and famous. This celebrity hot spot has reinvented itself as the place for discerning travellers. A sure sign of its new status is that British Airways has launched its first direct flights to Bodrum from Gatwick this summer.

Famous faces

From royalty to Hollywood actors and sports stars, the list of those who love Bodrum goes on and on. Kate Moss is a regular and both the Duchess of Cornwall and Princess Margaret have been spotted. Roman Abramovich is often seen on his luxury yacht and Jade Jagger owns Secret Garden, a restaurant that is part of the refurbished luxury club Halikarnas. Cristiano Ronaldo is among the sporting glitterati that can be found holidaying in Bodrum on a regular basis and Lindsay Lohan and Naomi Campbell have recently been photographed looking fabulous.

Where to stay

Not much can beat the five-star Kempinski Hotel in Barbaros Bay, which sits on a rocky hillside overlooking the Aegean. Part of the appeal is the award-winning Six Senses Spa, its own private beach and an infinity pool with a partly submerged mosque. An alternative is the Asian super-brand Mandarin Oriental among the hills overlooking Paradise Bay outside Türkbükü. This contemporary glass and stone building knows how to treat the A-listers. It has a very cool seaside setting, ten restaurants and bars to choose from and an army of 500 plus staff.

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Where to eat

The laid-back village Gumusluk is a popular place to stop for lunch with cafes and restaurants serving freshly caught fish. The Mimoza restaurant at the water's edge, allows you to dip your feet in the water while you eat if you grab the best seats. For evening dining, the pretty Kocadon Restaurant, set in a picturesque cobblestone courtyard, is lit up with candles and lanterns. For a bit of celebrity spotting, try the open-air supper club and celebrity haunt Secret Garden.

Where to be seen

A new celebrity hotspot is the Palmarina in Yalikavak just outside Bodrum. This wealthy billionaires’ playground is packed full of designer shops and restaurants. Along from Yalikavak is the Turkbuku, where Prince Charles has been a visitor. Istanbul's affluent resident will visit at weekends, staying in its boutique hotels.

Where to shop

The local markets and bazaars are great for browsing but for serious shoppers, head to Bodrum’s Milta Marina for a range of designer shopping. Here you’ll find stores like Gant, Polo, Mudo, Nautica, Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger and many more.

Where to party

Halikarnas has enjoyed a multi-million pound revamp and this club is now the place to see the rich, famous and beautiful. Just down the road, many famous faces can be found dancing the night away at Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire Club at the Palmarina.

Where to relax

Kate Moss, Kelly Brook, John Galliano and Sadie Frost are just a handful of celebrities who can thank the LifeCo spa for maintaining their good looks. Situated on the north coast of the Bodrum peninsula, this is the spa the supermodels go to when needing a pick me up. Although alcohol, caffeine, sugar, meat and dairy are banned, in their place is a seven-day cleanse, a juice-fast programme and a guarantee that you will look and feel amazing. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Bodrum features hot tubs, open-air cabanas, piles of relaxation chairs and sofas, a tea temple for recharging after your spa session and views over olive groves.

Istanbul

This vibrant city embraces both ancient and modern culture to make it one of the coolest destinations around. Mosques and monuments sit side by side with hip boutiques and trendy restaurants, and discerning travellers are flocking here in their droves.

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Famous faces

Ernest Hemingway, Greta Garbo and the notorious courtesan, exotic dancer and spy Mata Har are just a handful of famous faces that are associated with Istanbul.

Where to stay

Ciragan Palace Kempinski is a former sultan’s palace on the Bosphorus and is often frequented by the world's rich and famous when they visit Istanbul. For design lovers, W Istanbul is a cool and luxurious restored Ottoman mansion and the Pera Palace Hotel has some great history. Why not stay in room 411 where Agatha Christie is said to have written her classic murder story.

Where to eat

La Mouette is located on the terrace of Beyoğlu's Tomtom Suites hotel, a boutique hotel near Taksim Square. It has superb views of the old city and uses fresh locally sourced ingredients. At the top of the 18-storey Marmara Pera Hotel, Meşrutiyet Caddesi is one of the most ambitious and respected restaurants in the city so except to see some famous faces. For a more chilled out vibe, visit the converted waterside villa at Abracadabra.

Where to be seen

Soho House Istanbul lies in the Beyoğlu district and is the newest and largest property to date in the international upmarket chain. This is the place to be seen at and where guests can enjoy "a comfortable home for a community of like-minded creative people wherever they are." This 19th-century Corpi Building has palatial proportions with a variety of public spaces and 87 bedrooms spread throughout four buildings. The good news is that you don’t need to be a member of Soho House to stay there, so keep your eyes peeled for the celebrity clientele that is likely to be around.

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Where to shop

Traditional bazaars now sit side by side with more sophisticated and contemporary boutiques. Bilstore is Istanbul’s first 'lifestyle store' that combines clothes and accessories with books and music. Beymen is a leading Turkish fashion and high-end retail brand with a flagship store in Istanbul’s Zorlu Center. International designers such as Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Miu Miu and Mont Blanc are all to found here also.

Where to party

On top of the Misir Apartment building is 360, an uber-trendy restaurant and bar. The 360-degree views have made this stylish bar/restaurant popular at sunset. For a later spot, try Babylon, a live music venue where things get going around 9pm.

Where to relax

Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami in Tophane reopened in 2013 to offer a refined reinvention of the traditional Turkish bath. With the ambience of a modern day spa, guests can sip pressed pomegranate juice before enjoying an invigorating hamam experience. The Raffles spa, located on the European side of the city in the Beşiktaş district, has a vast bathing zone and all the products are organic.

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Fethiye

Fethiye is quickly becoming known as the Hollywood of Turkey. The blockbuster James Bond film Skyfall, was partly filmed along Fethiye’s very own Calis Beach. Other films to feature this stunning location include Nicholas Cage's Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance and The Water Diviner starring Russell Crowe.

Hot Tip

Tolga Ertukel, Founder of Turkey Homes says: “Don’t leave Fethiye before enjoying a boat trip to Gocek. Explore the Gocek market and famous marinas or have lunch in one of the stylish restaurants. It’s a great place for people watching and you could spot a holidaymaker such as Roman Abramovich, Prince Charles, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore or Rod Stewart.”

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