“Is anyone else in a kind of meditative trance?”

After every visit to the temple-like space housed on Scorpios’ new Bodrum property, I find myself asking the people around me the same question. I asked it after watching three Sufi Whirling Dervishes continually spin around in front of a blown-up art installation; I asked it again following composer Hélène Vogelsinger creating ambient soundscapes on a modular synth against a backdrop of electronic art by Wolf and Bird; and I asked it after a breathing experience hosted by PSYCHEDELIC BREATH®. 

Scorpios Bodrum features a ritual space.
Scorpios / georg roske, Scorpios / georg roske

The ritual space, as Scorpios call it, is a “contemporary temple for serenity and transcendence,” according to its website. And it had, without question, had an impact on me: I was extremely relaxed.

“I think that [ritual spaces] are the churches of the future. This is where people go to pray in a different way from what they did a hundred years ago,” Thomas Heyne, co-founder of Scorpios together with his business partner Mario Hertel, tells me. He’s leaning back on one of the long, dark wood benches in the main foyer area of Scorpios Bodrum wearing a Casablanca shirt, navy blue shorts, New Balance 9060 sneakers, and a hearty bronzed tan. 

Later in the evening, this same main foyer will swarm with people as Scorpios hosts its biggest party yet: headlined by the DJ Satori, the highlight of its official opening weekend. 

This weekend has been a long time in the making. It was 2015 when Heyne and Hertel opened their beach club in Mykonos, offering a new approach to the big-name-obsessed nightlife scene: “People should come for the music and not for the name [playing the music],” says Heyne, explaining the initial mantra behind Scorpios. “And money should be invested into the experience.”

Since establishing itself in Mykonos, Scorpios has grown so that now there’s the Scorpios Bazaar, a curated shopping experience with an ever-changing lineup of exclusive partnerships, a Scorpios record label specializing in uncovering unknown talents in electronic music, and a wellness program with alternative healing methods to help ease sore heads after one of Scorpios’ big parties in Mykonos (and now, also in Bodrum). 

“We created our own lifestyle,” says Heyne. “I don't like the word ‘lifestyle’ but unfortunately nobody has given me an alternative.” Scorpios Bodrum is the biggest manifestation of the lifestyle the brand has created, complete with guesthouses, two restaurants, a beach house, and the aforementioned ritual space, which Heyne describes as a “complete game changer” for the company. 

“A luxury hotel 20 years ago had marble floors, golden water fountains, and you had to dress up to go for dinner and lunch,” says Heyne. “Now, I can be dressed however I want to be. I feel like I’m in the house of my best friends. This is, for me, the new luxury.”

The Scorpios Bodrum beach house also features a restaurant.
Scorpios / georg roske, Scorpios / georg roske

Scorpios is unquestionably luxurious. Its 12 bungalows are fully detached, glass-walled buildings each equipped with a private saltwater swimming pool, outdoor bathtub, and high-end wooden furnishing — one night can set you back to the tune of €4,000 in peak season. However, it isn’t pompous or unwelcoming in the way grand old luxury hotels are. 

A look inside one of the bungalows at Scorpios Bodrum.
Scorpios / georg roske

The space has details reminiscent of its bohemian chic origins, in Mykonos, but elevated and refined. Plus, the staff members are casually dressed in loose-fitting sets by Caravana, handcrafted from organic fabrics, and available to contact through a WhatsApp group where they reply instantly (even after we left, when I thought I’d forgotten my favorite pair of shorts in the room, someone from the front desk was immediately on hand to help in the group chat). 

A late afternoon walk along the tree-lined paths from the private cottages down to the terracotta-colored ritual space — where tea is served, an outdoor seating area is lined with cushions, and there’s a sauna and a saltwater pool — is a tranquil experience. However, walk a little further up the path, make it to the bustling 340-seat main restaurant, and the vibe shifts: flashing lights illuminate an outdoor terrace where people dance as a DJ performs and the bartenders are busy assembling cocktails. This is the evening entertainment that regulars to Scorpios’ Mykonos location will be familiar with.

“We want to go away from being a 12-hour experience to a 24-hour experience,” says Heyne, a change that begins with Scorpios Bodrum and will be cemented by its ambitious upcoming projects. In Tulum, there are plans for a 56-room hotel, in Dubai a brutalist Dune-inspired space, and in Athens a relaxed retreat in the center of a hectic city. While these new locations are all still in the planning stages, one thing has been decided: they will all include, in some form, a contemporary temple. 

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