Known as part of the Mediterranean’s Turkish Riviera, Bodrum has experienced one of its busiest seasons in 2022. With its clear turquoise coastline and paradisiacal bays, the coastal city stands out from the usual European hotspots with an added touch of sophistication and style, and has quickly become one of the most exclusive destinations among the world’s elite globetrotters.
Cem Mirap, Founder of Lucca Group and member of the TURYID Board, has been instrumental in the conception and curation of the most glamorous destinations in Istanbul and Bodrum. Transforming the best of arts, culture and delicacies that Turkey has to offer with a heavy dose of sophisticated, international influence, Mirap’s establishments are known for attracting the super-rich and some of the most famous people in art, design and fashion.
After Mirap established Lucca, an iconic destination in Istanbul’s chic Bebek district, in 2004, despite the uncertainties amid the pandemic, Mirap took the bold step of expanding venues under the Lucca Group umbrella in Bodrum. After the launch of Lucca by the Sea in summer 2021, the ultra-chic Lucca Beach opened its doors in 2022. Located on Paradise Bay in Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum, the private beach club offers an unparalleled experience, combining the best of style, nature, music and seaside dining for those long, lazy summer days.
Quickly discovered and loved by trendsetters, Lucca Beach’s style exudes an air of confident relaxation. Think on-trend swimsuits with daring yet tasteful cutouts, light and semi-sheer kaftans in sherbet tones, statement accessories and headscarves, complete with this season’s hottest arm candy – be it a bold piece of jewelery or a mini Kelly in the latest version, impossible color to get.
But you would be wrong to think that this is yet another beach club where the rich vie to see who rakes in the highest launch. The clientele is delicately charming and noble, with an atmosphere to match. Resolutely breezy and carefree with natural touches and materials, fashion designer Rifat Ozbek is the driving force behind the interiors of Lucca Beach, where the work of contemporary Turkish artists such as Esra Gulmen is featured throughout. The undeniably elegant and flawless combination of woven fabrics in various shades of burnt orange and wooden furniture in contrasting natural colors also adds a modern vibe that is sophisticated yet carefree.
Since opening this summer, Lucca Beach has quickly become the destination of choice for style insiders and international gliterratis, hosting events for high-end design maisons like Valentino and Miu Miu, as well as world-renowned DJs like Moodyman and CC:DISCO. With an overlapping audience, American Express was quick on the spot to create a dedicated deck area so its members would have guaranteed access to this vibrant piece of oasis.
Fashion lovers will feel right at home – the Lucca Store, which stocks a range of independent Turkish brands, handmade accessories by local artisans as well as the latest collections from international designers, is conveniently located on the beach for summer. The Mandarin Oriental also offers a range of top boutiques including Chanel, La Perla and Eres.
As night falls, connoisseurs rush to Lucca by the sea to see and be seen. Just a short walk from the newly opened Lucca Beach, the open-air fine dining restaurant overlooking the sea is decorated with romantic drapes and dimly lit canvas lamps. The bustling place is often said to host some of the loveliest and most stylish crowds in town, and one can expect to witness a wide mix of styles from Pucci to Chanel, all fresh off the latest catwalks and expertly put together: Dior pajama-style pant suit? Check. Mach & Mach stilettos? Check. Prada’s crystal-embellished dress that sold out? Check.
The happy scene in Lucca often lasts until the early hours of the morning. When asked what his secret recipe is when it comes to creating the most desirable eatery or attracting the best diners, Mirap doesn’t hesitate to tell me that it’s so much more than just culinary excellence or expensive looks. “This place has history, it has a history. For a travel destination to become this popular, something magical has to happen. I believe the appeal that has driven Lucca’s core audience for years has been our commitment to providing great food, drink and entertainment, as well as having a distinctive style that ties it all together in our own way – we’re constantly updating and refining ourselves as team and sticking to our colorful approach to the spirit of our classic concept.”
Follow Lucca Beach on Instagram @lucca_style.