he small port city of Bodrum, in the southwestern Aegean
Region of Turkey, is a renowned historical destination. The
city boasts the Mausoleum of Mausolus at Halicarnassus,
which along with the Pyramids, is all that’s left of the SevenWonders
of the Ancient World. There is also the Castle of St. Peter, a beautiful
monument still standing after more than 600 years of fascinating
history and giving jaw-dropping views across the crystalline blue sea.
With 5000 years of cultural heritage, Bodrum has appealed to
countless admirers across the centuries, from Herodotus the Greek
historian – and arguably the world’s first travel writer – who was a
native from 484-420 BC, through to many more writers and artists
who came in the 1950s when the city became a hub for intellectuals.
Together with the ancient attractions and notable residents, Bodrum
has also gained a strong reputation in recent years as a luxury getaway,
with unspoiled beaches and pristine waters to be enjoyed in the
beautiful Mediterranean climate. And so it was with pleasure that I
accepted an invitation from Astaş Holding to visit a brand new hotel
and residential development on Cennet Bay that is to be operated by
the Mandarin Oriental Group. With all the arrangements deftly taken
care of by the lovely people at Toh PR in Dubai, I found myself in a
comfortable business class seat looking forward to seeing this
picturesque part of the world.
The gentleman next to me was instantly polite and thoughtful, moving
his pillow from the central armrest just in case it was encroaching on
my seat. It wasn’t, but it indicated his friendly consideration. We
started chatting right away and, in one of those all too rare events, we
didn’t stop talking the entire time. The four-hour flight was over in
what seemed less than half that time. As fate would have it, we were
both heading to the newMandarin Oriental residences and would both
be staying as guests of Astaş Holding in the same villa. So it was a
good job that we hit it off really. This new friend was none other than
Arnie Hira, Founder and Publisher of Simply Abu Dhabi.
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