Review: Caresse Bodrum, Luxury Collection Hotel

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott
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The EDITION wasn’t the only Marriott property we stayed at in Bodrum, as we also checked out Caresse, the Marriott Luxury Collection property. The hotels have similar pricing (especially when redeeming points), so how do they compare? Let’s take a look…

Booking Caresse Luxury Collection Bodrum

I booked Caresse using Marriott Bonvoy points. The hotel is a Category 7 Marriott property, and for our dates a stay cost 60,000 Bonvoy points per night. Marriott offers a fifth night free when redeeming points, meaning that in increments of five nights we were paying an average of 48,000 points per night.

For context, I value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, so to me, that’s like paying ~$336 per night, which is an excellent deal.

As a point of comparison, for our dates a paid stay would have cost 749EUR (~883USD) per night.

As is the case at the EDITION, paid rates fluctuate significantly, and towards the end of the season rates are a fraction as much.

A fun upgrade opportunity at Caresse

Here’s something interesting about Caresse. As a Bonvoy Titanium member I can select suite night awards as my Choice Benefit, and I can use those to confirm suite upgrades up to five days before arrival.

When I looked at the rooms available for upgrade at Caresse I was shocked. At Caresse, a suite night award can be used to confirm a handful of premium rooms, including a two bedroom suite. I applied suite night awards for this, and sure enough, they cleared five days before arrival.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

In addition to earning Bonvoy points through actual stays, there are lots of ways to earn Marriott points with co-branded US credit cards:

See here for a detailed comparison of the two cards.

Marriott often also sells Bonvoy points at a discount, which could be a good opportunity as well.

Caresse Bodrum location

Caresse has a great location. It’s in the south center of the Bodrum peninsula, and it’s only about a 10-minute drive from the town of Bodrum, and about a 45-minute drive from the airport.

I think I liked the location of Caresse the most of any hotel we stayed at, though the truth is that there are so many great restaurants all over the peninsula that I don’t have that strong of a preference. The taxi situation in Bodrum is great as well, in terms of affordability, honesty of drivers, etc., so getting around is hardly inconvenient.

Caresse Bodrum check-in

As we pulled up to Caresse there was someone there in a nurse uniform who took our temperatures. The bellmen helped with our bags, and offered to disinfect them before delivering them to our room.

Caresse Bodrum exterior

Our check-in experience was rather strange. When we arrived at reception we handed over our passports and credit card — after about 10 minutes without the front desk agent saying anything to us, he eventually escorted us to our room. While he gave us a room tour, he didn’t explain anything else about the hotel, which I found odd.

The lobby itself was indoors and had plenty of seating, though it was always empty, since there’s not really any reason to hang out here.


Caresse Bodrum reception


Caresse Bodrum lobby

At the end of the lobby is a staircase that can take you down several levels, all the way to the beach (alternatively there are elevators). What a view!


Caresse Bodrum lobby

Caresse Bodrum two bedroom suite

Caresse has just 77 rooms, which means that it has fewer rooms than the EDITION (which surprised me, since it felt more crowded).

Our two bedroom suite was room 333, just a short walk from reception. There was an outdoor path with some pretty trees and flowers leading to our room.

Caresse Bodrum exterior hallway


Caresse Bodrum room exterior

The two bedroom suite was a great size, as you’d expect. Just inside the entrance were the kitchen and living area. The kitchen featured an island with four dining chairs, and then the living area featured a couch and a chair, with a TV in the far corner of the room.


Caresse Bodrum two bedroom suite living room


Caresse Bodrum two bedroom suite living room


Caresse Bodrum two bedroom suite living room

In addition to there being a fridge in the kitchen, there was also an illy coffee machine and a kettle.

Caresse Bodrum in-room coffee

Waiting in the kitchen was a lovely welcome amenity consisting of rose and some snacks.

Caresse Bodrum welcome amenity

Just around the corner from the living room was the master bedroom, with a comfortable king size bed.

Caresse Bodrum suite bedroom


Caresse Bodrum suite bedroom

On the nightstand were some face masks and disinfecting towels.


Caresse Bodrum face masks & disinfecting towels

The bathroom was just off the bedroom, and had a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower.


Caresse Bodrum suite bathroom


Caresse Bodrum suite toilet


Caresse Bodrum suite shower

In-room toiletries were from BVLGARI, which I always like.


Caresse Bodrum BVLGARI toiletries

The second bedroom was just down the hall from the first bedroom, and it featured two twin beds.


Caresse Bodrum suite second bedroom


Caresse Bodrum suite second bedroom

The second bathroom was in two separate rooms, with one room having a toilet and a sink (this was also accessible from the living room), and one room having a sink and the shower.


Caresse Bodrum suite second bathroom


Caresse Bodrum suite second bathroom

The highlight of the room was the beautiful outdoor space. There was a dining table with four chairs, as well as two loungers. The entire space had a great view over the pool, and the sea in the distance. Just to be clear, since this confused me at first, only the patio area was a private space, while the grass area was accessible from other rooms as well.


Caresse Bodrum suite outdoor space


Caresse Bodrum suite outdoor space


Caresse Bodrum suite outdoor space


Caresse Bodrum suite view

Okay, so the room was huge, and it’s ridiculously generous that they let you use suite night awards for a two bedroom suite. However, I kind of didn’t love the room, and just found a lot of aspects of the design to be confusing:

  • While the resort as such was beautiful, I thought the room design was bland and lacked a sense of place
  • Our non-suite at the EDITION had double sinks in the bathroom, while oddly both bedrooms here just had fairly small bathrooms, which you wouldn’t expect in a suite
  • The height of the dining table was off in relation to the chairs

If I returned to Caresse, I don’t think I’d try to upgrade again. Is it just me, or do the pictures of standard rooms on Caresse’s website look nicer than the suites?

Caresse Bodrum standard room

Caresse Bodrum amenities

Now that we’ve taken a look at the room at Caresse, let’s talk about the amenities, ranging from the pool, to the beach, to the spa and gym.

Caresse Bodrum pool

Caresse has a gorgeous pool, located one level above the beach area. There wasn’t all that much seating around the pool, but then again, the area also never got full, as the beach area was much more popular.

Caresse Bodrum pool


Caresse Bodrum pool


Caresse Bodrum pool


Caresse Bodrum pool

Caresse Bodrum beach

Caresse has its own beach. You can access it either by taking stairs down to ground level, or by taking the elevator. I love how lush the grounds of the hotel are.

Caresse Bodrum pathway to beach

The beach itself is quite small, and there are only about two dozen sets of lounge chairs, and they tend to go pretty quickly.

Caresse Bodrum beach


Caresse Bodrum beach

Fortunately there’s plenty of overflow seating, as there are docks on both side of the beach with more chairs.


Caresse Bodrum dock


Caresse Bodrum dock

Then there’s plenty more seating in the grass near the beach.


Caresse Bodrum outdoor seating

One thing I really loved about Caresse was the setting, as the actual part of the sea it was on was probably the nicest of any of the hotels we stayed at. The beach as such wasn’t great, but the water was pretty and calm.


Caresse Bodrum sea

Caresse Bodrum sea view

Caresse Bodrum spa & gym

Caresse’s spa is located just off the pool, and this is also where the gym is.

Caresse Bodrum spa


Caresse Bodrum spa

Due to coronavirus the hotel is requiring appointments for the gym, and when you make an appointment you get the gym to yourself, which is great. They then disinfect the space between each use. The gym was on the basic side compared to the one at the EDITION, though it’s nice that they make it private for guests.


Caresse Bodrum gym


Caresse Bodrum gym


Caresse Bodrum gym

We didn’t get any spa treatments while here, but here’s the spa menu (interestingly spa prices were significantly higher than at the EDITION):

I wasn’t able to snap any pictures of the spa (as it was quite busy), but it was excellent, with steam rooms, saunas, an indoor pool area, and more.

Caresse Bodrum “living room”

There were some things about Caresse that confused me, and one of those things was the “living room.” This was also near the pool, and it was just a big, secluded indoor room. The space almost felt like how some apartment buildings have a community room you can rent for parties. There was no bar, or anything here, and it was totally empty when I visited.

Now that I look at the hotel’s website, here’s how the space is described:

“The Living Room offers a sophisticated and well-equipped setting for corporate retreats, incentives, brainstorming sessions, or simply for private solitude.”

Caresse Bodrum living room


Caresse Bodrum living room


Caresse Bodrum living room

Dining at Caresse Bodrum

Caresse Bodrum has the following dining options:

  • The Glass Restaurant is open daily from 7:30AM until 11PM, and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • The Glass Lounge is open daily from 10AM until 1AM, and serves drinks and snacks all day
  • Buddha Bar is open daily from 11AM until 2AM, and serves lunch, dinner, and drinks all day at the pool
  • There’s room service 24/7

Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail.

Breakfast at Glass Restaurant

Glass Restaurant is where breakfast is served daily. As a Bonvoy Titanium member breakfast was included, though it’s not otherwise a standard inclusion on all rates.

The restaurant’s decor felt so generic and bland.

Glass Restaurant Caresse Bodrum

Fortunately there was plenty of outdoor seating, and there’s nothing boring about the view from there.


Glass Restaurant Caresse Bodrum


Glass Restaurant Caresse Bodrum

At breakfast there was no menu, but rather they brought out a Turkish selection to start, including fresh fruit, cheese, veggies, and all kinds of bread.

Caresse Bodrum breakfast

Since there wasn’t a menu it wasn’t entirely clear what they did and didn’t have. I ordered an iced latte and was told it would be extra, but never was charged for it.


Caresse Bodrum breakfast

They told us we could order eggs made to order, but they didn’t make it clear what exactly that included. The first morning I ordered an omelet, which was good.


Caresse Bodrum breakfast

But then we realized they had menemen and fried sucuk, which is much better.


Caresse Bodrum breakfast


Caresse Bodrum breakfast

Breakfast was objectively quite good, though not nearly to the level of what we had at the EDITION. Furthermore, service at breakfast was chaotic. It was tough to get a second coffee, often we were just ignored for 15 minutes after sitting down, etc.

Glass Bar

Next to Glass Restaurant is Glass Bar, where you can enjoy drinks all day. While the indoor area wasn’t much to get excited about, the outdoor area was beautiful, especially the couches along the exterior.

Glass Bar Caresse Bodrum


Glass Bar Caresse Bodrum


Glass Bar Caresse Bodrum


Glass Bar Caresse Bodrum

Walkway from Glass Bar to pool

Lunch & dinner at Buddha Bar

Buddha Bar is by far the best dining option at the hotel. Not only are lunch and dinner available here, but this is also where drinks ordered by the pool come from. The restaurant setup is beautiful.

Buddha Bar Bodrum


Buddha Bar Bodrum


Buddha Bar Bodrum


Buddha Bar Bodrum bar

We had dinner at the restaurant on our first night. The dinner menu read as follows (prices are in Turkish Lira, and 1USD is around 7.4TL):

I had a Turkish Mule to drink, which was tasty.

Dinner at Buddha Bar Bodrum

The food as such was fairly good, though not particularly memorable. I kind of think of the Buddha Bar brand as being similar to celebrity chefs who open airport restaurants where they sell wrapped sandwiches and mediocre pizzas.

Buddha Bar has locations at lots of tourist hotspots, and it’s acceptable Asian cuisine, but it’s not Zuma or Nobu in terms of quality (even if it’s sometimes priced similar).


Dinner at Buddha Bar Bodrum

The lunch menu at Buddha Bar was a bit more varied, as it also had more local cuisine:

We had a Greek salad and the minced meat pide, both of which were great.

Lunch at Buddha Bar Bodrum


Lunch at Buddha Bar Bodrum

Room service

One day we ordered room service lunch, and had a chicken breast and meatballs, both of which were good.

Caresse Bodrum room service

Service at Caresse Bodrum

Here’s what’s tough. If I had just stayed at Caresse I would have said service was pretty good. But we also stayed at EDITION, where service was amazing.

I’d say service at Caresse was generally well intentioned, but not in the same league as at the EDITION. To expand on that:

  • Service at breakfast was extremely inconsistent and it sometimes took 15 minutes until you could even flag someone down, which was quite a contrast to service at breakfast at the EDITION
  • At the beach it was definitely a chore to get someone’s attention in order to order a drink
  • Service at Buddha Bar in general was quite good, and in particular there were a couple of servers that took good care of us throughout our stay

I should also mention that mask compliance at Caresse wasn’t nearly as good as at the EDITION. Everyone working at the EDITION wore their mask correctly, while at Caresse a good number of employees wore their masks as chinstraps, and that seemed to be acceptable. Aside from that, I think the hotel did a good job with overall cleaning protocols, as I saw employees constantly cleaning all public spaces.

I also had one more odd experience at check-out that I should share. When I was presented with the folio, there were two huge meal charges on there that weren’t mine. One was for a ~250USD lunch that included nine kebabs, and another was for a similarly priced dinner on a night where we didn’t eat at the hotel.

I said the charges weren’t mine, so it took them about 30 minutes to investigate, during which time we just had to sit there and wait:

  • They couldn’t find the receipt for the dinner charge
  • For the lunch charge they presented me with a receipt that did have my signature, which was bizarre, but it looked like the itemized bill and the signature were initially on separate documents, but were photocopied onto one

I’ll assume the whole thing was an honest mistake and that something got mixed up, but I’ve never had two incorrect charges for very expensive meals show up on my hotel bill…

Caresse Bodrum beautiful sunset seating

Bottom line

We enjoyed our time at Caresse — this is a solid European Luxury Collection property.

However, I have a strong preference for the EDITION over Caresse, especially given that both hotels require the same number of points. The EDITION felt more luxurious to me, had significantly better service, and also had much better mask compliance among employees.

If I were to return to Bodrum for a long time I might still spend at least some time at Caresse, as I enjoyed the change of scenery, and the hotel had the best sea view of any of the properties we stayed at. However, beyond that there’s not much that stood out to me about this property.

If you’ve stayed at Caresse, what was your experience like?

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Comments
  1. That lunch and dinner “mix-up” was definitely NOT a mistake. They were hoping that you wouldn’t notice because you were “rich white dudes”. That’s what makes most sense in this situation.

  2. @ Lukas — I can’t rule that out, but what do you think happened in the background? No one actually ate that meal and they just charged me for it to try to get more revenue? Or they comped the meal for someone and tried to get me to pay for it? Or…?

  3. @ Ben, in my life I go by what makes most sense and in 95% of the cases, in the end that proves to be the actual truth. What makes most sense to me is that no one actually ate the meal and they tried to get more revenue. During the 30 minutes that you waited, they were clumsily fudging that lunch receipt in the back. This and the other service shortcomings you mentioned will make me stay away. Hoping to stay at EDITION one day!

  4. “They comped the meal for someone and tried to get me to pay for it”

    thats usually what waiters do, especially when they arent planning on working somewhere much longer, invite their friends and pass the bill off to another guest…

    Great review and report! This is the best content that the regulars want to see!!

  5. I think I would have used the upgrade for the 1 bedroom suite, I never upgrade to a 2 bedroom unless that is what I need for a particular stay.

  6. That lunch receipt thing is very shady. Obviously, I will stay away from this hotel. It probably caters to rich Arabs and Russians.

  7. I sincerely doubt that the hotel was trying to get you to pay for two meals that weren’t yours. What’s more likely is that someone overheard your name/room # and billed charges to it. I’ve had this happen several times at Westin’s in the US.

  8. I am confused about the shower picture, it looks like there’s a door that goes outside?

    And yeah, the lunch/dinner thing sounds like attempted fraud. Forging a document with your signature takes it to a whole other level. If it was in the US, at that point I would get police involved. I would lead the review with that so no one goes there.

  9. See my review on FlyerTalk when we stayed there in late July: we had the same issue at check-out, they tried to charge us for stuff we did not spend and I had to wait a long time at check-out until they removed the charge. I thought it was sheer incompetence in light of every other screw up from our stay, but now I think it might not have been incompetence. What are the odds that the same issue happens to two of the (few) guests publishing online reviews in a matter of weeks, by pure honest mistake? Ahem. And now I also think of the personal item that housekeeping “removed” from our room under a different light as well. I was beating myself up for trying Caresse this year rather than returning to EDITION which was fantastic for us in 2018, sounds like it’s still excellent. Ben, I see overall you had a better stay than us at Caresse, but I can see the same issues, like bad service at breakfast for example, and staff being careless about covid.

  10. Wow. Sheer fraud I think Ben. That’s just not on with them adding the “ extras “ I’m afraid Stay away next time.

  11. Yep. Same thing at Caresse where they tried to charge us for someone else’s breakfast. They also wanted to charge us for dry cleaning even though it was listed that it was complimentary for the room rate we booked.

  12. Do you think the two bedroom suite was bland with average design because it is most likely aimed at families with children? Do the one bedroom suites have the same design?

  13. Great honest review. Yes this hotel may be in a better location, but I still would still return to the Bodrum Edition the next time we are in Bodrum. Is it me, or did the suite and hotel public places just look a little warn out?

  14. The suites have full kitchens with ovens and stoves and looks less fancy bc they’re actually long term stays for Turkish locals. The turks love having the possibility to cook at home while on holiday as much as going out to eat.

  15. What’s a “nurse uniform”? In the summer, I tend to opt for gabardines or khakis and a starched Oxford cloth button down with penny loafers underneath my lab coat. Winter finds me in flannel trousers or cords …

  16. Hi Ben

    Great Review! I just checked out of the Caresse today and I could totally agree with your review.
    Service was really bad at the Glass Restaurant / Pool and Buddah Bar.

    At checkout they tried to charge me a bill for about 80 USD at the Buddah Bar.
    Time was 2 hours later than i ate diner at the Restaurant. They found the bill with my Room Number on it but without my Name and Signature.
    The front-desk throwed it quickly away and didn’t even say sorry or explained the situation.

    In my opinion I think that is a normal action at this resort. This can’t be any mistake…
    If I havn’t read your review I would not even noted the 80 USD extra on my bill.
    Well would say thank you to you!

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