Bodrum, Turkey (PressExposure) April 13, 2009 -- The town of Bodrum, with its beautiful nature and beaches reminiscent of Sardinia has long been proudly hailed by natives as the St. Tropez of Turkey. The town boasts stylish boutique hotels, restaurants, a once notorious nightlife, and plenty of luxurious yachts and champagne. But the little fishermen's village of Torba, despite its proximity to the city center, has never been part of all that jazz. Torba have been home to artists and their families for many years. Now this little fishermen's village has a new face with the arrival of Casa Dell'Arte, a hotel dedicated to art encounters and its sister Casa Dell'Arte Village which welcomes families with a passion for art. The first and only art hotel of Turkey, Casa Dell'Arte was established in 2007 by leading art collectors Fatos and Yunus Buyukkusoglu, who fell in love with Torba and established their home there with the dream of one day retiring there altogether.
A Collector Family: Mr. Buyukkusoglu, actually a reputed businessman in the automotive sector in Turkey, had been collecting art enthusiastically for more than 20 years when the idea of sharing the family collection with other art enthusiasts came up in the family. They decided to build another house in Torba, a bigger one that would accommodate all their visitors and do justice to the gorgeous art they owned. They designed it as a fusion party-house where good food, good art and good conversation would take over many enchanting starry nights.
Mrs Buyukkusoglu, with years of experience in construction and restoration, designed and oversaw the construction of the house in four years, a castle-like structure that perfectly fits the Mediterranean minimalism of Bodrum where old stones from central Anatolia, French antiques and modern art harmoniously reside. Their plans to keep it as a guesthouse gradually changed, and with the persistence of their elder daughter Ahu, they decided to make it a hotel and welcome anyone who wished to see their collection into this special house.
Waking Up at a Museum: The old fusion party-house was turned into a museum-like hotel, where you can combine vacation and relaxation in the company of great art pieces. Every stone, every painting, every sculpture at the hotel is an original piece of artwork. It is a spot created for those who understand and appreciate art. The owners' collection is exhibited throughout the hotel, in the lobby, in the rooms and even in the garden. There are 12 individually decorated guest suites at the hotel, each named after a zodiac sign. The two tower suites facing the sea were named Taurus and Leo, Mr and Mrs Buyukkusoglu's signs. Going through the hotel rooms is like going through Turkish art history. While in one room you wake up to a priceless masterpiece by Nuri Iyem, in another a Paris scene by Fikret Moualla faces you. There are over 200 Turkish paintings displayed at the hotel, with 300 resident pieces that are revolving every year. The art gallery of the Hotel annually hosts several prestigious exhibitions and provides the chance to buy contemporary Turkish Art works if the guests would like to continue this unique art experience even after their vacation.
Casa Dell'Arte Village and Casa Dell'Arte Art Management In its first year, Casa Dell'Arte was chosen the best new boutique hotel in Europe by The Guardian, and included in the IT List of the Travel and Leisure US in 2008, as "one of the best 30 destinations in the world," caught worldwide popularity and the interests of names like Roman Abramovich and the former CitiGroup CEO Sandy Weill. This prompted the elder daughter of the family to extend the brand with an art management company Casa Dell'Arte Management with her partner Moiz Zilberman. This became the second step of the art brand.
The company in May 2008, opened an art gallery, which is located on the most popular pedestrian zone of Istanbul, the Istiklal Street, in the famous art nouveau building, Misir Apartmani. The Casa Dell'Arte Art Gallery became the new attraction point of the art enthusiasts and collectors in Istanbul, with its dynamic spirit and innovative approach. The company also organizes luxury VIP tours to the well-known international art fairs of the world under the name Casa Dell'Arte Art Travel, the first of these trips was organized in March 2008 to TEFAF, the world's most reputed fine arts and antiques fair.
An Extraordinary Art Experience, Casa Dell'Arte Art Village: Casa Dell'Arte gave good news this summer for the art enthusiasts who would like to have more than just observing art. In July 2008, another house of art, the Casa Dell'Arte Art Village also started welcoming its guests in Bodrum Torba. The Art Village creates a venue for a more interactive art experience. It offers art workshops where kids and adults can have painting, drawing or sculpture classes under the supervision of the Casa Dell'Arte artists.
The opening of the village was crowned with an important event in the evening of 28th June, and one of the most saluted of Colombian artist Fernando Botero's works, "The Bedroom" was brought to Casa Dell'Arte to be exhibited. A welcoming cocktail was held for the distinguished guests in the new art village's and the significant painting's honor.
Casa Dell'Arte Village has 37 guest suites, again each room at the village was decorated with beautiful paintings, this time, by the young Casa Dell'Arte artists. These artists also come and teach at the village to help the hotel guests to empower themselves through art.