Early this morning, before North America woke up, Alex Ovechkin tweeted out a photo of Maria Kirilenko and himself. “The best vacation in the world!!,” the message read with typical ovithusiasm. “#MardanPalace thx u !!!president room))hahaha [sic unbelievable]”
As RMNB’s Senior Vacation Reporter, my mind was filled with questions like where is Mardan Palace? What is the President’s Room like? And is that chair literally made out of gold?
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The Mardan Palace is a 7-star luxury hotel in Lara, Antalya, Turkey, built by Azerbaijani businessman Telman Ismailov. Wikipedia tells me that Mardan is considered Europe’s and the Mediterranean’s most expensive luxury resort. I didn’t even know the scale went up to 7 stars.
The palatial palace cost $1.4 billion to build, which would take Ovi 140 years to earn on his salary. The hotel has 560 rooms, a gigantic gym, and its own beach containing 9,000 tons of sand imported from — yup, you guessed it –
The Moon Egypt. 10,000 meters of gold, 500,000 crystals, 23,000 meters of Italian marble were used in the construction of the hotel. All that for 1 Russian machine.
Then there’s the spa. Gary Edwards of The awful Daily Mail explains his experience:
The spa was so large, I lost [my wife] there one afternoon. She had a VIP card that allowed her access — through a secret path hidden by a wall of water — to a sumptuous inner sanctum, which included a private bar, rooms, beds and Jacuzzis.
Maria’s gotta love that.
The Mardan Palace started taking bookings on May 23, 2009, and the grand opening was attended by celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Sharon Stone, Richard Gere, Monica Bellucci, Paris Hilton, Seal, and Tom freaking Jones.
There are four presidential suite rooms (1 Anatolian style and 3 European style) in the entire hotel and they are the most luxurious and expensive rooms to stay in. Here’s a 360-degree tour of the Anatolian style room.
The Anatolian President’s Suite has two rooms, including a living room with sofa, pool table, bar, pool for 8 people, king size bed, fitness center with a sauna, Turkish bath, toilet, terrace with whirlpool, and a beautiful panoramic view. It’s 238-square meters of living space. The European Presidents are similar, just slightly smaller.
Why Turkey? Fedor Fedin says many Russians travel there for vacation. It is somewhat close to home, but far enough out of the country to keep travel expenses low and privacy high. As a cultural gateway between the east and west, many people there speak Russian, and the climate’s warm (think Florida but with less Creed), and the country is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea.
So yeah, Ovechkin’s living it up. It’s reassuring to know that, should Washington’s most valuable asset tire his legs from climbing the social ladder, there will be 136 masseuses waiting to massage the soreness right out of him.
(Photos via aquatravel.ro)
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