Lujo, Bodrum: the hotel with ‘tantra’ sofas, which will host ABTA’s Travel Convention

By Linsey McNeill
01/02/2023
Home » Lujo, Bodrum: the hotel with ‘tantra’ sofas, which will host ABTA’s Travel Convention

It’s got swim-up rooms, rooms with poles, rooms with outdoor tubs, rooms for clubbers, and rooms with ‘tantra sofas’ so you can ‘try new sensual positions’; there are love seats by the pools and on the beach and over-water cabanas, villas hidden in a forest, plus there’s a ‘secret’ restaurant in a wood. It’s safe to say, this is not your average conference hotel, but it’s where ABTA has chosen to host its Travel Convention in October.

Coincidentally, the five-star all-inclusive Lujo hotel, near Bodrum, also recently hosted Hays Travel’s retail managers conference, when Travel Gossip’s Co-editor Linsey McNeill got a taste of what will be on offer to ABTA delegates next year.

Location:

The hotel is less than a 30-minute drive from Bodrum airport. It’s situated on a hillside above a beautiful bay with gorgeous views, but aside from the large Titanic hotel right next door, and another about 10-minutes walk away, there isn’t much else within walking distance. You’d need a car to reach downtown Bodrum, which is about 20-minutes’ drive away. The hotel does offer parking.

The Rooms:

Lujo offers a variety of rooms, located in blocks and villas built into the steep hillside. I had one of the Superior rooms, which, at 42sqms, was bigger than some London flats. Best of all, they have equally spacious balconies, which have two cosy, fleece-covered chairs, and mine had lovely views of the Aegean. The décor is really nice, organic, with lots of natural stone and wood. The huge bathrooms, with hanging space for clothes, have vast walk-in showers with both overhead and hand-held nozzles, double sinks and, crucially for getting the make-up right, good lighting.

Rooms have all the usual mod-cons, including (most importantly) fast, reliable wi-fi plus TVs, plenty of power sockets and USB ports next to the bed, plus Nespresso machines (but no kettle), hairdryers, and an iron and ironing board. My room came with a large chaise longue, but no ‘tantra sofa’ – and no pole for in-room shenanigans.

The even larger Deluxe Terrace rooms have decks with daybeds and baths or hot tubs on the balconies, but take note, I could see into the baths below from my balcony, so they’re not as private as you might wish.

The hotel also has some ‘Laguna’ rooms with patios and heated swim-up pools, so you can roll out of bed and go straight for a swim. Sounds idyllic, but each of the long, narrow pools is shared by five other rooms so you’ll find yourself swimming very close to your neighbours’ bedrooms – and your neighbours could be swimming right passed your bedroom window.

There are also larger family rooms and, my favourite, Forest rooms amongst the pine trees at the bottom of the resort, overlooking the beach, which are huge and come with vast balconies with hot tubs. For those who want to party, there are also Indigo Clubber rooms, where you’ll find the built-in poles ‘for your private dance parties’ and also the tantra sofas. Some have swim-up decks. They’re next to the hotel’s night club, but a sound-proofing system promises you won’t be disturbed by the noise.

Talking of which, there was a terrible noise that could be heard from my room, which was in block 14, just up the hill from the hotel reception and conference room. I think it was coming from a power generator nearby. It was noisy 24/7 but periodically throughout the night it seemed to crank up a notch, waking me at least a couple of times.

Finally, Lujo has a selection of swish-looking three and four-bedroom swish-looking villas, all with private pools, and a five-bedroom Presidential villa – I wonder who’ll stay there during the ABTA Convention?!

The Food:

There are eight restaurants, all of which offer both inside and outdoor dining. Some were closed during my visit, so I didn’t get to try Shibori, the Asian restaurant, El Gaucho steakhouse, Gaia, Opa! or Secret, which charges a supplement.

The food in the hotel’s international restaurant, Koza, which offers all-day dining was, to be honest, pretty average. The service is good, waiters bring drinks to your table, but the buffet selection was uninspired.

There wasn’t a wide choice of breakfast dishes, although you could get freshly cooked eggs, and there wasn’t a particularly good selection of cold dishes either, aside from olives and cheese and bread with different jams.

For lunch, there was a good sushi selection, which I think was probably the best option; the pasta dishes were dry and tasteless, but the salad bar was okay.

The Turkish al a carte restaurant, Azma, is also open for breakfast as well as for lunch and dinner. I tried the smoked eggplant starter and the rack of lamb with white beans main dish at dinner, both of which were delicious. In Sorriso, the Italian restaurant, we had a set dinner menu, which was less good – the mozzarella starter was far too chilled, my chicken main was quite tasty but nothing special although the chocolate pudding was triumph, but the service was slow and haphazard.

There are also four bars, including one in the lobby, a beach bar, a sports bar and a juice bar. If all the dining choices are open during the ABTA Convention, there should be plenty of choice.

The Pools:

Lujo has a complex of five pools carved into the terraces, each of which has a lounging area, plus there are small nooks and crannies with more intimate seating dotted around. It didn’t’ seem to have nearly enough space if the hotel is at full capacity, but I’m reliably informed that the pool area doesn’t feel overcrowded, even in the summer months.

There’s also a large indoor pool in the fabulous spa, plus two waterslides, tucked away in a separate area at the side of the hotel.

The Beach:

The large sandy, horseshoe-shaped beach is a real selling point. It has lots of sunloungers plus daybeds for couples and love seats, and a wooden jetty with fabulous over-water cabanas, each of which has an air-conditioned seating area plus two sunloungers on a spacious deck. It’s a long, steep walk from the rooms closest to the hotel reception at the top of the resort, but there’s a network of escalators to glide up and down, or you can hail a lift in a golf buggy – although the drivers think they’re Lewis Hamilton, so you’d better hang on!

There’s a beach bar, but it was closed during my visit.

The Spa & Fitness:

There’ll be no excuse not to stay fit during the ABTA Convention, as the hotel has a huge, well-equipped two-storey gym. If you’re looking to relax instead, there’s a glorious Sensum Spa with plenty of treatment rooms, a sauna and even an ice cave. Massages start from around £100.

Top Tip:

Bring flat shoes because there’s lots of walking, unless you hail a buggy everywhere you go.

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