Situated on Turkey’s exquisite Aegean Coast, Amanruya comes from the luxury boutique hotel brand Amanresorts. It features 36 individual cottages, each with a pool and garden, scattered across a wooded hillside and above a secluded beach. Although the project is entirely new-build, it is the brain-child of revered Turkish architect Turgut Cansever who specialised in elegant updates to the local vernacular. It was brought to fruition by the late architect’s daughter and son-in-law, Emine and Mehmet Ögün.
Describe the concept behind Amanruya
It can be summed up as ‘elegant simplicity’. Having a minimal impact on the natural environment was of paramount importance. The resort is barely visible from the sea, and the empathetic placement of the cottages means it feels entirely natural. The structures flow as the land and practical use dictates, ensuring a natural organic growth of spaces. There is a great sense of space and tranquillity.
Who designed Amanruya?
Award-winning architects Emine and Mehmet Ögün. They were also the driving force behind the interior design.
What were the challenges?
The Aegean Coast is steeped in history and enormous natural beauty, and it was vital that these two elements formed a harmonious whole with the resort. Olive trees and plants with scented flowers fill the gardens and courtyards; the walls, made from local stone are pink with red earth mortar and match the soil. High porches invite the outside in, while the infinity pools echo the sea and sky. When asked how the architects incorporated elements of Turkish design, their response was: “If a designer seeks a solution that belongs to the place, then history is the logical place to start.” Amanruya draws influences from 10,000 years of history, ranging from Hittite to Ottoman via Roman and Anatolian.
How was this achieved?
The main building and cottages feature locally-sourced mugla marble floors and bathrooms. Hand-laid cakil pebblework defines pathways and windowsills, while pillars of pre-cast concrete are decorated with signature Cansever ornamentalism. High mahogany ceilings and beams reference pre-Ottoman Selcuk architecture, contrasting with the dark acajau wood that spans the ceilings and soars upwards in fluted concertina doors. ‘Barbakan’ details in white – design features inspired by the traditional stone Kilis houses of southern Turkey – contrast with the dark wood. In contrast to all the verticals, sitting areas offer low, comfortable divans decorated with cushions made in Istanbul.
What artists and craftsmen were commissioned?
Because the lines and colours of Amanruya are so simple, the craftsmanship was of paramount importance, as was using local materials. A team of 240 craftsmen were used to build the walls with a local stone from Bodrum. Everything, from the four-poster beds to the storm lanterns were handmade for the hotel. Emine Ögün even created prints using old wood blocks from Tokat.
What are the most impressive features of the hotel?
The beautiful three-storey Library features a lounge on the top floor with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the ocean on one side and pine forests on the other. The hand-built, beehive-shaped brick cistern next door – traditionally used to conserve rainwater – is now used as a carpet gallery and leads to the Art Gallery. Here white floors and walls create the ideal backdrop for showcasing fine artworks from local and Turkish artists.
Which room should you book?
Take your pick. Amanruya’s 36 stone cottages all offer private granite swimming pools and terrace gardens. The cottages feature simple white marble floors, mahogany ceilings and hammam-style bathrooms. Ottoman influences include the Bursa arches joining bedrooms and bathrooms and the ‘elephant eyes’ in bathrooms. Turkish mangal charcoal fireplaces warm the rooms and terraces in the cooler months and are flanked by Amanruya’s signature short marble pillars.