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Turkey’s Palace of Greatness

Turkey’s Palace of Greatness

When Mardan Palace opened 18 months ago, it ushered in a new dawn for luxury hospitality not just in the Mediterranean but across the world.

Europe’s most expensive resort, it cost $1.65 billion to create and would hail a return to the opulent, golden age of the Ottoman Empire – an era when hospitality was without compromise and decadence abound.

Mardan is the vision of Telman Ismailov, chairman of Russia’s biggest property developer AST, who fell in love with the Antalya region, which is situated on the sun-kissed Turkish Riviera, and surrounded by the dramatic Taurus Mountain range. He named the resort after his father, Mardan.

(Maradan Palace captures the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire)

The official opening party in May 2009 would set the standard and the spirit with which the resort would mark its entry into the luxury hospitality market. Mariah Carey, Seal and Tom Jones performed live, whilst guests included Sharon Stone, Richard Gere, Paris Hilton and Monica Bellucci.

(The fabulous Royal Suite - voted “World’s Leading Royal Suite” World Travel Awards in 2010)

And just five months later, Mardan’s dramatic impact as Turkey’s first luxury resort destination was acknowledged at the World Travel Awards 2010 Europe Ceremony, where it was voted “Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort”. It then progressed to the World Travel Awards 2010 Grand Final in London where it won “World’s Leading Luxury Resort” and “World’s Leading Palace Resort”.

This year, it went one better by picking up an incredible three World Travel Awards – “World’s Leading Hotel Spa”, “World’s Leading Luxury Hotel” and “World’s Leading Royal Suite”.

(The Mardan Palace top team, including General Manager Cumhur Ozen, scoop top honours at World Travel Awards 2010 Grand Final in London. Pictured with Graham Cooke, President & Founder, World Travel Awards)

A Return to Greatness

The resort captures the opulence and wonders of the Ottoman Empire, and serves as an homage to its enchanting past. Gondolas sail guests around the Mediterranean’s largest swimming pool, five giant aquariums reflect the Earth’s oceans in the restaurants and spa, a swimming reef provides an aquatic haven to explore, a dramatic amphitheatre seating 900 will host world-class entertainment and spectacular light shows are set to adorn the night skies.

(World Travel Award winner - the VIP Spa)

The 546 rooms are exquisite and include two Royal Suites (voted “World’s Leading Royal Suite” by the World Travel Awards) complete with private pools. With Turkish heritage in mind, the architecture reflects the distinctive landmarks of Istanbul – the main hotel resembles ‘The Dolmabahce Palace’ and bridges across the pool are based on original designs of the ‘Da Vinci Bridge’.

The ultimate hospitality experience

No expense whatsoever has been spared in creating the ultimate guest experience. Over half a million crystals sparkle from the ceilings, chandeliers and lifts. And over 10,000 sq metres of gold leaf, and 23,000 sq metres of Italian marble, have been used throughout the hotel.

(The Maiden Tower by night)

Some 7,500 fish swim around the resort and have been brought in from the Mediterranean, Pacific, Red Sea and Caribbean, and are looked after by 18 divers and a renowned marine expert.

The 7,500m2 spa and health centre providing all the necessities for serious relaxation. Designed to stimulate all the senses and accommodate every guest’s need, both holistic and medi treatments are on offer. Features include a vitamin and champagne bar, oriental steam bath, snow caves and a Thalasso pool. Internationally-inspired treatments include hot stone, thai, balinese, shiatsu and hydrotherapy.

(Mardan Palace is the vision of Russian property developer Telman Ismailov)

Also on hand is an exhilarating selection of watersports, tennis courts, bowling alleys, basketball, volleyball and squash. A Jack Nicklaus 18-hole golf course will complete the extensive facilities, opening in 2010.

Internationally-acclaimed chefs have created over ten restaurants including French, Japanese, Russian, Thai and traditional Turkish. Guests will dine a la carte under a replica of Istanbul’s famed Maiden’s Tower and sip the delights of an exquisite wine cellar. Evenings can be spent relaxing in the plethora of bars, certain to impress even the most critical connoisseur.

Maradan lies in the heart of Antalaya, which has been the great success story of Turkish tourism over the past decade.
Whilst the global downturn hit all destinations hard, the region is flourishing. The sleepy village of Antalya has been transformed into the country’s main holiday resort, complete with palm-lined boulevards, glitzy marina and summer home to affluent Germans and British. provides detailed information about accommodation, attractions, dining, city guides, and transport information tailored for users on the go.