Bodrum: A Fantastic Place To Redeem Marriott Points?

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

One of the (few) good things about the Marriott Rewards program right now is that we’re able to book reward nights at low rates through March 2019. At that point Marriott will introduce Category 8 hotels, as well as peak and off-peak pricing.

In some cases this means that hotels will go up in price significantly when redeeming points. For example, right now the most you’ll pay is 60,000 points per night, while starting in March 2019 some properties will cost up to 100,000 points per night.

Here’s the thing — I feel like when people are looking at redeeming their points at “aspirational” hotels, they almost always think of the St. Regis Bora Bora, St. Regis Maldives, Al Maha Dubai, etc.

Those are all great hotels, though personally I recently looked into some properties in detail for the first time, and I’m sort of excited at the prospect of visiting them.

Bodrum is in the Turkish riviera. To be honest, I don’t know much about it, other than that there’s an Aman there, that it’s generally considered to be a bit of a liberal enclave in Turkey, and that it’s a really popular vacation destination. I was at Amanzoe last summer, which is in Porto Heli, Greece, on the opposite side of the Aegean, and had an incredible time.

What I didn’t realize until recently is that Marriott has two gorgeous properties in Bodrum.

EDITION is still a fairly small hotel collection, with just 10 hotels… and one of them is in Bodrum.

The resort looks beautiful.

Seriously, does that look lovely, or what?

But that’s not even the only Marriott hotel there. There’s also Caresse, a Luxury Collection property. What’s cool is that it seems to be on the opposite side of Bodrum, so you can potentially get two very different views and areas.

This hotel also looks really beautiful.

These resorts are only open seasonally. For example, the EDITION Bodrum only opens again on May 1, 2019. As you’d expect for a seasonal property, they’re not cheap. If paying cash, high season rates are ~600EUR, give or take.

But you can redeem points at these properties, and they’re actually reasonably priced. As of now:

  • The EDITION Bodrum is a Category 5 hotel, meaning a free night costs just 35,000 Marriott points
  • Caresse is a Category 6 hotel, meaning a free night costs 50,000 Marriott points

35,000 Marriott points (the equivalent of under 12,000 Starpoints in the old currency) for a hotel that looks stunning and costs 640EUR per night is a steal.

I’m still hoping to plan a trip here this summer, since that price is unbeatable. With a fifth night free, the EDITION Bodrum comes out to an average of just 28,000 Marriott points per night.

Furthermore, while Platinum members don’t get complimentary breakfast at EDITION properties in general, it’s my understanding that this hotel offers all guests complimentary breakfast (including those on award stays), or at least did last year. Let’s see if that policy changes in the coming season.

Regardless, this seems like a great option.

I hope to make it here this summer. This is also a good opportunity to check out Istanbul’s new airport — hopefully it’s operational by then.

I’d also love to try Turkish’s new 787-9, though I was hoping to visit in June or July, and they only start longhaul flights with their 787-9 in August, so maybe that won’t be happening on this trip.

Anyway, if anyone has been to Bodrum and has any thoughts to share, I’d love to hear them! Assuming these properties are as beautiful as they look, hopefully this also encourages some of you to check out these properties with very reasonable points prices.

Personally I feel very safe traveling to Turkey, the only potential concern I have is getting “SSSS” on boarding passes after that (though it’s easy enough to appeal that)…

Comments

  1. And there is a short boat ride to the island called KOS in Greece. It is one of the larger Greek Island with a beautiful town called KOS. Actually I find KOS a bit nicer than Bodrum. Just remember. Don’t ask for Turkish coffee in Greece. They smack you. It is Greek coffee there and exactly the same as Turkish coffee.

  2. I’ve been to Caresse, it’s a wonderful resort. Great Platinum recognition. Just avoid the restaurant for lunch/dinner: mediocre and way overpriced. I was in low season, so just paid cash for the stay (made a successful BRG, lowering the price to about 150 EUR per night).
    I’d never go in high season though.
    Here’s my review, if you don’t mind using google translate from Russian.
    https://cariverga.com/review-caresse-luxury-collection-resort-spa-bodrum/

  3. It’s kinda funny and interesting to see the place I have visited many times during childhood.

    Yep, you should definitely go to Bodrum 😉

  4. I have been traveling to Turkey for the last 30 years, I have always enjoyed the food, the people, etc. but I was there 3 years ago and it was a very different feeling for me. The old carefree feeling was nowhere to be found. I decided then that I would no longer return. Perhaps for those who were not there before it is a good experience, I left feeling a bit sad. It is a shame because these new resorts look far superior to those I frequented before.

  5. As your map indicates, the peninsula is not small and getting around takes a while; if not close in to Bodrum town, I’m guessing most people stay at their resorts and only venture to town once or twice. Bodrum town is also a party place (think Mykonos) with thumping discos and drunk Europeans on cheap holiday. I’ve been in May and Sept and it was hot but tolerable; Jul and Aug will be meltingly hot so not conducive to long hikes out in nature (which you’ve said you like so much). When I was going there (20 years ago) it would get quite crowded; now with the Turkish tourist situation it might be less so. To echo Endre, you can easily take day trips to some Greek islands as well as the impressive ruins of Ephesus.

  6. Can’t speak to these two hotels, but we did stay at the JW Marriott Bodrum during their soft opening in 2015 (good thing we caught it when we did, pretty sure it was only a Marriott for about 4 months). There is much history to see in the area including this being the site of one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. it was part of what ended up being our tour of the ancient wonders, we also saw the pyramids, the site of the colossus of Rhodes, the site of the lighthouse at Alexandria and the site of the statue of Zeus in Olympia. Didn’t start out that way, but that is how it ended up.
    I would highly recommend visiting Rhodes and taking the ferry to Bodrum. Rhodes was tied with Meteora for our favorite parts of Greece

  7. Thanks for pointing out these properties. It seems like an incredible place!

    The Edition properties don’t offer breakfast to Platinum members, correct?

  8. I believe the Bodrum Edition used to be a Tier 1 RC when it first opened and could be had for even fewer points (when the rates were almost $1000).

    Certainly a steal.

    The Edition is my favorite hotel chain.

  9. Stayed at the edition three years ago when it was called JW Marriott. 15k points a night redemption with fifth night free, was a killer value. Back then gold status also had free breakfast, and it was amazing. Got a room with a view of the Island just off the coast. Gorgeous hotel and room was super nice. Tip: shuttle bus to town five minute walk up the hill from the hotel, wayyy cheaper then hotel taxi to town which was like 15minutes away. We went to town for some great dinners and the food was very pricey at the hotel as expected.

  10. The ferry service between Rhodes and Bodrum does not start until June. One year we were at Rhodes and tried to make a crossing to Bodrum as our next planned stop was at Izmir, Turkey. Found out the regular ferry service would not start until June. During May there were only sightseeing boats which were not operated on fixed schedules but only operated when there were enough tourists sighed up for the crossing (and back – they did not sell one way). We ended up flew from Rhodes to Athens and then a few days later flew from Athens to Izmir.

    On a subsequent trip we did a 10 days driving trip in Turkey as a stopover on our way back, as part of an award ticket to South Africa. We went from Adana to Cappadochia, then down the Med Coast via Konya – very mountainous highway with almost 2000km non-stop bends, literally. From Antalya we skirted the Med Coast then the Aegean Coast, and ended our drive at Bodrum where we returned our car. Stayed there for 3 days before we flew to IST to connect back to our main award ticket.
    i would only visit Bodrum during the shoulder months when the locals are preparing for the high season months by painting their shops and restaurants and the town is very leisurely. During high season months not only the weather would be very hot, the town is also extremely crowded.
    There is also a HIlton at Bodrum.
    The PP lounge at Bodrum is a seasonal operation that only opens between June and Oct (or may be even just Sept) when we checked on our last trip.
    The resorts on both sides of the place are quite far away from the actual town. Most people would just plant themselves at the resorts. You would find a lot of Russian vacationers in Turkey coastal towns just be warned, as they are the very noisy lots.

  11. correction about the ferry – Rhodes to Marmaris. Then by land to Datca, on the narrow strip of land that stretches to the Aegean sea. There is a ferry service between Datca and Bodrum.

  12. I stayed at Caresse about two years ago when the U.S. dollar had really appreciated against the Turkish lira and there were a lot of political problems in Turkey (including a bombing inside Ataturk airport). Thankfully, most problems were in Ankara (very far away) and Bodrum was a great respite from the hustle and bustle and massive population of Istanbul. The hotel is gorgeous and is a lot closer to town than Edition, but far enough away to ensure peace and quiet. The hotel also has a traditional turkish gület (sailboat yacht) that you can charter for a picnic or a couple of nights on the sea. Too bad the GM at the time, Emre Pasli (a native Turk) is no longer there. He is a class act but wanted to return to Hungary to manage a hotel there. I spent one night in a small hotel room and on the second night was upgraded to a two bedroom, two bath suite for my next two nights there (I was only SPG Gold at the time but it helped that the hotel was at about 25% occupancy). The included breakfast was delicious. I did the ferry trip to Kos, Greece for the day and the GM even reserved a meal for me at a small farm to table restaurant in the hills outside of town that was delicious. The Caresse hotel was one of the best properties (hard product) at which I have stayed.

  13. Bodrum is easy to travel to during the summer. Tons of daily flights to IST and various European cities.

  14. Wow that looks incredible, are both of these going up in points cost? a few years ago i spent some time around turkey. Bodrum was alot of fun and gorgeous city at sun set. If you decide to look for an adventure rent a car and take a ride to antalya there’s a route through the mountains that has amazing views and some great little places to eat home made food. The other runs along the rocky and cliffed coast with little mini beaches to stop, take a dip and have a beer.

  15. How do you recommend one searches Marriott cat 5 properties that includes Breakfast on 7 day certificate stays.

  16. HI Ben,

    Bodrum boring. You are right, all the resorts are very far apart. We went to Caresse, it was an hour and 20 minutes drive from the airport with no traffic.
    If we went to the Hilton or Marriott it would have been over an hour.

    Reminded us of the fakeness of our 1st visit to Disney land CA and World Fla. Just unusual.

    We found it was more of a local resort for Turkish folks and Russians when they are travelling. Does not compare to Greece in flavour or feeling.

    We were very disappointed. Would prefer Greece resorts and hotels as 1st choice.

  17. No. Just no. Even if this might look fine on “paper” due to creative photography: as others have mentioned, this is a “Disneyland” version of Turkey mainly for rich Russians. Do not go there!

    I stayed at the Caresse, and I will not return for sure. Everything about it feels fake.
    And I do not even take into account what is happening in Turkey at the moment.

    Go to Greece instead.

  18. It’s a great property. The hotel is beautiful and brand new, food was excellent and service was perfect. We expected bumps in service because it was a new hotel and were surprised with the ease of our experience there. The breakfast is unbelievable and the spa was wonderfully relaxing. You should absolutely go!

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