Dinner - the hotel has a fantastic view of the Acropolis on the top floor and also has great food
Spa time - the hotel has a great set-up with multiple saunas with different themes (Jen liked it a lot but Scott thought it was a tad over the top)
Santorini (specifically Oia):
Pool time - the infinity pool is incredible and the view is really stunning. Our first day there we just napped all day out by the pool (under the umbrella) occasionally waking up to jump in the pool or order a milkshake. In addition to the main pool, our suite had a small pool with jets which totally rocked!
Beach time - we drove a jeep to Perivolas beach for an afternoon to hang out and people-watch. While there, we ate a local fish tavern (I think it was called The Nets) that was recommended by our hotel. We ordered a large platter of fried fish. Yum!
Sail time - we went on a five hour boat trip around the island with Santorini Sailing. It was a fantastic trip and probably our favorite memory from Santorini. The food was excellent and we went swimming/snorkeling at some hot springs and at a beach that is only accessible by sea. Very cool!
Wine - we really enjoyed the local white wines that grow on the island... Assyrtiko and a dessert wine called Vin Santi. They were delicious!!!
Food - we really enjoyed the food in Greece, particularly at the hotel which has two small restaurants. Basilico is an international menu and White Caves is a Greek menu. We also enjoyed the local fish taverns, Sunset in Oia and The Nets in Perivolas as well as a local restaurant called Strogili.
Sight-seeing - we hired a guide to walk us around the city for the day which helped us make the most of our time and gave us a much better understanding of what we were seeing. We visited the main highlights to see which are the Blue Mosque, Haghia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, The Cistern, the Grand Bazaar,and the Spice Market.
Cruise the Bosphorus - we hired a boat through the Four Seasons to take us on a Bosphorus cruise so that we could see the city from a unique position. It was expensive, especially since the ride was only two hours long, but we're both glad we did it. The ride ended with us having lunch at one of the best seafood restaurants in the city, Korfez. Jen continues to think about their special fish of the day which comes to the table baked into a thick layer of salt which they break up with a hammer and de-bone for you. The fish was juicy and tender and sooooo good!
Carpet and tile shopping - a must to do while you're in the city, but it can all be very confusing!
Food - the meal we both recommend is Korfez, the one we went to on the cruise. We also recommend the Seasons restaurant at the hotel. The rest of our meals were ok and most were kebab restaurants that we just happened upon.
Turkish Bath (Hamam) - Jen likens this experience to being at a car wash... we both thought it was a creepy place and needed to be sanitized. We went to the place near the Grande Bizaar - it's the one that's in the book 1000 places to see before you die, a fact they market heavily. In other words, we wouldn't recommend it.
Bodrum (Gol Turkbuku):
Pool and sea time - The pool in our private suite and in the main area were completely inviting and we loved every minute spent there. In addition to that and since the Ada is not on the sea, the hotel would drive us down to the beach at a minute's notice (a less than 5 minute drive). The hotel has two decks/docks in prime locations as there is no beach here. The decks come complete with lounge chairs, umbrellas, a roped swimming area and a full wait staff to bring you whatever you'd like to eat or drink. In fact, the Ada Hotel's suite deck is mentioned and shown in a photograph in the New York Times article that we mentioned earlier. Click here to read it.
Sunset cruise - so romantic! They'd never done an evening cruise before, but the hotel was happy to arrange it for us. We sailed out at dusk with the sun in the perfect position behind the peninsula and Turkbuku. Along the way, we were able to gawk at the many privately-owned luxury boats sitting off out of the way. This proved to us that Turkbuku was where the rich and famous vacation. We set anchor in paradise cove and watched the sky disappear slowly. For dinner they treated us to a wide spread of salads, grilled vegetables and grilled fish. It was truly a perfect evening!
Sight-seeing - we hired a driver for the day to take us to see Ephesus, Magnesia, The Virgin Mary's house, the church and grave of John the Baptist, the ruined city of Priene, the stadium at Milet, Apollo's temple at Didyma, and the castle in Bodrum. Wanting to make the most of our time, we wanted to cram as much in as we possibly could. After 10 or so hours, the Ada hotel began to worry that we hadn't returned yet. When we finally arrived 11 hours and 45 minutes later, we were greeted by the manager and two colleagues with very concerned faces. However, we had an absolute ball and loved every minute of our day. Though, it was very nice to know that the hotel was so attentive to us and were concerned about our whereabouts and well-being. This kindness alone, aside from it being a lovely and quaint hotel, is what will continue to bring us back to the Ada in future visits.
Private Turkish Bath (Hamam) at the Ada Hotel - Now, this, we recommend... highly. Scott and I had the whole facility to ourselves and it was rich and beautiful and ultra nice. The hamam at the Ada Hotel is very well known in Turkey and thought to be one of the best, if not the best, hamam in the country. Guests can use the facilty for free while non-guests can book in for a fee. We both highly recommend taking time to do this if you're ever on the Bodrum peninsula.
Food - The food at the Ada was superb, especially their "special breakfast" of cheeses, fresh breads, honey comb, jams, olives, eggs, and olives. We also really enjoyed the dinner at "Suite" down on the beach and on our sunset cruise, both of which were fish dishes. And, while on our 12 hour drive, we ate at a kebab restaurant in Selcek which our driver took us to that was really good.