Turkey is experiencing a boom in its hospitality sector with 75 new projects and 12,968 rooms currently in the pipeline, an all-time high for this European country. Having emerged from 2014 as the world’s sixth most visited tourist destination, Turkey has seen a massive growth in hotel construction, according to a recent report by leading market research company, TOPHOTELPROJECTS.
As a result, recreational complexes and hotels with meeting and spa facilities are now particularly prominent in the Turkish market. While notably ubiquitous in Istanbul, which boasts more than 800 properties and 50,000 rooms, the rapid growth in hotel development can be seen also in cities such as Bodrum, Cesme and Izmir.
With this new development comes a range of options for prospective visitors. No longer does the inclusion of a traditional Turkish Hammam or premium spa distinguish one property from another. Such amenities are now de rigueur, forcing competing hotels to differentiate themselves by other means.
Leading developers Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Carlson Rezidor and Roanta, among others, are attempting to do just that. Incorporating everything from five-star restaurants and private yacht excursions to sprawling ballrooms and Titanic-themed resorts, Turkey’s newest tourism infrastructure promises an eclectic spectrum of experiences for visitors.
Some of the most recent hotel developments include:
- Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa’s recent debut marked the entry of Starwood and The Luxury Collection brand into Bodrum. Caresse offers five culinary venues, including an all-day dining restaurant: Glass and Glass Lounge, La Plage beach restaurant and a sushi bar. Luxury leisure facilities at the resort include an extensive 17,000 square foot spa, offering ESPA products and relaxing treatments; a yacht for private excursions; indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, as well as tennis and basketball courts. The resort’s white sand beach and overwater deck are ideal for intimate celebrations as well as sophisticated events for up to 500 guests, while the two meeting and board rooms are perfectly suited for business presentations.
- Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide has also signed an agreement with Cevahir Yapi Sanayi Turizm ve Ticaret A.S. to open a new Sheraton hotel in Istanbul. Set to open in November 2015, Sheraton Istanbul Atasehir is located in the Atasehir district, a business and trading center located connecting the Asian and European sides of Istanbul. Featuring 160 guest rooms with scenic views of either the Marmara Sea or the bustling city, the hotel will occupy the top section of a new multi-purpose building from the 18th to 27th stories. Sheraton Istanbul Atasehir is set to become the gathering place for business travelers, offering extensive modern meeting and event space, including a grand ballroom, a junior ballroom, 12 meeting rooms and a business center. The hotel will feature an all-day dining restaurant, a lobby bar, the signature Sheraton Shine Spa with five treatment rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and retail shops.
- UAE-based Rotana announced the opening of the "Burgu Arjaan by Rotana "and "Tango Arjaan by Rotana" in Istanbul, its first properties in Turkey. Located on Turkey's longest coastal lane, in the heart of Maltepe on the Asian side of Istanbul, the new properties added a combined inventory of 319 keys to Rotana’s existing 13,679 rooms. The new hotel apartments operated by Rotana for Dap-Yapi, one of Turkey's leading business groups, are designed to offer a city life to families and guests looking to enjoy an extended stay in Istanbul. The "Burgu Arjaan by Rotana" comprise two connected towers - Burgu 1 and Burgu 2 - which share a host of business and recreational facilities such as lobby, café, business center, restaurant, health club, indoor and outdoor pool and landscaped areas, as well as four meeting rooms and a ballroom. "Dalga Residences" is scheduled to open by the end of 2015 while "Vazo Residences" is set to open for business in the first quarter of 2016.
- The American spa brand Canyon Ranch is going international with the July 2016 debut of Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort at Kaplankaya on the Turkish Rivera near the city of Bodrum. The sprawling property will have 141 rooms, all with views of the Aegean Sea, a 107,500-square-foot spa featuring 40 treatment rooms, and two restaurants, one in the hotel and another more casual option near the beach that will serve Mediterranean dishes emphasizing local seafood and produce. The Barcelona-based architectural firm OAB is behind the resort’s clean, contemporary aesthetic.
- Carlson Rezidor has announced the Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Ataköy. The property, scheduled to welcome the first guests in early 2016, will become the 9th Radisson Blu in Istanbul. Enjoying a waterfront location in the Atäkoy neighborhood, the hotel feature 133 rooms as well as Radisson Blu signature services such as free high speed internet access, an all-day dining restaurant with private dining, a lobby bar and patisserie, and a vitamin bar as part of the 980sqm spa that will include a traditional Turkish Hammam, treatment rooms and indoor/outdoor pools. The hotel will also comprise of 2 board rooms and 2 meeting rooms for meetings and events.
- Quirky holiday resort Titanic Beach Lara, a glamorous hotel themed on the luxury passenger liner Titanic, recently opened in Antalya. The 551-room resort comes complete with three swimming pools, a florist and its own Turkish baths. Like the ship, Titanic Beach Lara combines luxury and comfort with attractive and catchy architecture, and themed decorative objects. Guests can dine on the decks, surrounded by cruise ship railings, life preservers and even lifeboats. Some of the “cruise style resort rooms” have sea views and all have private balconies. There are four restaurants and seven bars, as well as a bowling alley, pool bar and disco.
- Hilton Garden Inn Izmir Bayrakli will soon join the Hilton Worldwide Portfolio. Expected to open on November 15, the hotel is conveniently located just across the Salhane Metro Station in Izmir’s commercial area, overlooking the Aegean Sea. Guests will enjoy easy access to local restaurants, shopping, markets and entertainment, including Arena Concert Hall and Izmir Fair Complex.
- Morgans Hotel Group has announced the 2017 opening of Delano Cesme Hotel. To be located in Cesme, hailed for its fine sand beaches and crystal clear waters, the hotel will be a dynamic 188-room oceanfront resort offering the best in fine dining and nightlife, a full service beach club, a premium spa, extensive meeting and event facilities, and top of the line guest amenities. The development will also feature residential villas, private pools and hotel gardens, offering the style, sophistication and unmatched standards of Morgans Hotel Group’s luxury brand.