Hillside landscape reveals itself slowly at Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

Scape Design Associates reveals designs for Turkish hotel

As the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum opens for its first full season, Scape Design Associates has revealed its vision for this high-profile project.

The Mandarin Oriental Bodrum is the hotel group’s first resort in Europe and is located on a 60-hectare hill-side on the northern side of a peninsula, with panoramic views of the Aegean Sea.

Working with the topography and existing olive groves, pine forest and natural water courses, Scape Design Associates (SDA) has created the main public landscape areas, from arrival court to stepped swimming pools and spa gardens, and external terraces to the main restaurants. The challenge, it says, ‘was to weave the landscape around the buildings, creating the sense that they both might have been there for years, naturally growing together over time like an ancient settlement’.

A ‘frame of fig trees and bougainvillea heralds one’s arrival at the hotel’, says SDA. Stone paths lead guests through the stepped landscape to the many pockets of amenities and on down to the beaches, while an abundance of natural hillside planting and native grasses grow around and over local stone walls. ‘Importantly, the landscape story cannot be seen in one view but rather is a series of interlocking spaces, some open, some intimate, that unfold along the journey.’

The garden includes a tranquil tea lounge surrounded by water, while groupings of sculptural cypress trees and jasmine creepers fill the air with scent around the entrance to the treatment rooms. Planting was key in blending buildings and landform, says SDA. The retention and additional planting of large pine and olive trees was combined with a ground layer palette offering seasonal colour and fragrance. More than 500 semi-mature trees were bought from Turkey and Italy and thousands of plants, mainly from local nurseries, were introduced, to create gardens ‘full of Mediterranean colour and rich texture’.

‘The beauty of the resort, created through the seamless link between landscape, building architecture and outdoor facilities, appears and feels to be entirely natural,’ says SDA founder Phil Jaffa. ‘In fact, every siting, material and plant has been carefully considered to ensure guests enjoy the greatest sense of luxury and well-being imaginable’.

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