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The Maine Comes to Turkey’s Favorite New Getaway Spot: Maxx Royal Bodrum

With this weekend’s opening of The Maine — the buzzy third outpost from restaurateur Joey Ghazal — the holiday season starts off strong at the new Maxx Royal Bodrum.

Only 15 minutes by helicopter, 22 minutes by boat, or an hour’s drive from Milas-Bodrum Airport, a new culinary dream destination is seducing jet setters. Perched on a hilltop with unobstructed, 360-degree views of the Aegean Coast, The MAINE Bodrum — which overlooks the entire Maxx Royal Resort in which it is located — is worth a trip all on its own. The long-awaited locale and its menu pay homage to founder Joey Ghazal’s memories of his trips to New England from Dubai, where he grew up. After already delighting some of the most discerning international clientele with projects in the UK and Spain, the Lebanese-Canadian restauranteur’s latest venture in Turkey is set to impress.

“The interiors take their stylistic cues from our other seasonal summer destination, The MAINE Ibiza, with its dark brutalist monastic simplicity and candle-lit ambience,” says Ghazal, describing the restaurant’s third outpost as being “for all who visit Bodrum looking for a memorable night out, which our resident Cuban band from Mayfair and our DJs are guaranteed to deliver.”

Accommodating 100 guests indoors with an additional 50 seats on the terrace, the venue also has exceptional cliffside private dining for 20 people. “The view from The MAINE was all the inspiration we needed, which is why the restaurant feels like an observation deck with widows on all sides,” says Ghazal, who goes on to explain how a muted color scheme, amber lighting, and the subtle crescendo of music over the course of the night merge to create an alluring evening environment.

In any conversation about the next travel hot spot, The MAINE is already on everyone’s lips as part of the much talked-about launch of the Maxx Royal Bodrum Resort. The 11.4-hectare beachside property opened its doors on May 17. With its pure lines designed by Turkish architect Mahmut Anlar — with sister companies GEO_ID and GEOMIM tasked with the interiors and architecture, respectively — the resort was sustainably built into the hillside and complies with LEED Gold Standard guidelines for construction. These considerations exist in harmony with elevated decor, inviting guests to enjoy the enchanting panorama of the sea. “The design concept focuses on blending with the natural environment,” says Banu Akan, executive brand director of Maxx Royal Resorts.

Banu Akan

Photo: Courtesy Maxx Royal

The MAINE is not the only enticing gastronomic offering either. There are American, Asian, and Italian-influenced dishes at the highly acclaimed SPAGO by Wolfgang Puck and French flavors that meet Russian tradition at Parisian institution Caviar Kaspia.

Caviar Kaspia

While experimental beats and art find a home in the renowned creative beach concept Scorpios, first conceived in Mykonos, the fun doesn’t stop there: “Begüm Khan’s store at Maxx Royal Bodrum is nestled in a lush, green environment, perfectly reflecting both the brand’s and the Turkish designer’s distinctive style,” adds Akan. “The boutique offers a range of artistic jewelry pieces, each created to be both elegant and expressive.”

Begüm Khan at Maxx Royal Bodrum

For visitors spending the night, suites and other spectacular spaces feature private balconies and terraces surrounded by indigenous plants and flowers. The most spectacular among them, the Presidential Villa, spreads over 1,063 square meters. With five bedrooms, a heated seawater pool, a steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, and fitness center, families and friend groups can expect to feel entirely at ease. The icing on the cake: A complimentary trip on the Maxx Royal yacht is available for villa guests staying more than seven days.

Photo: Courtesy Maxx Royal

Photo: Courtesy Maxx Royal

To complement the resort interior’s soothing color palette, pops of vibrant greens, tangerine, and turquoise echo its coastal setting. Meanwhile, natural materials including wood, stone, and marble combined with locally-crafted, hand-glazed tiles make for an authentic feel. Contemporary artworks curated by Zeynep Utku, founder of Arts Connected, adorn the space, while two vertical arc sculptures by the renowned Bernar Venet appear at the entrance. Amping up the wow factor is a digital piece displayed in the lobby conceived by the Turkey-born, Los Angeles-based new media creative Refik Anadol who worked with data collected from the ocean. Galleries out of Turkey and the UAE have also joined forces to devise a dynamic exhibition program which will kick off with the artist-in-residence Chloe Wise.

Last but not least, the sprawling 4,500-square-meter Maxx Wellbeing center boasts an extensive selection of holistic and science-based treatments from prestigious international spa brands such as Biologique Recherche, Phytomer, and Swiss Perfection. Topping the list when it comes to authentic Turkish bath treatments are the locally sourced products including roses and rosewater. It’s no surprise that Akan doesn’t hesitate to admit that Maxx Royal Bodrum is the most special and distinctive of the brand’s establishments, delivering “an unmatched fusion of serene luxury and natural splendor on the breathtaking Bodrum peninsula.”

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