Unlike any other city in the world, Istanbul is literally split between two continents. This magical city where east meets west is packed full of minarets, amazing attractions, and a cultural diversity more exciting and deep than most. The strategic location of the city and its situation at the heart of the Silk Road, has made it a prize for many over the centuries and the city has been influenced by many an ancient civilisation such as the Greeks, the Romans, the Venetians and the Ottomans. Today that influence is still clear to see and the variation of architecture in the city is awe-inspiring. The city offers an equally vibrant and diverse culinary scene too, whether its aromatic Asian dishes, Mediterranean classics or a delicious local Kebab, the city will inspire your taste buds too. Istanbul has become a firm favourite amongst The Luxury Editor team and so we felt it only fair to share some of our favourite luxury hotels in this buzzing, wondrous city.
St. Regis Istanbul
This hotel is located in the Nisantasi district and thus lies in the European side of Istanbul. The bedrooms in this hotel have a warm feeling and are decorated with copper and aluminium Art Decos. All rooms have a butler service. The hotel has a top-level restaurant and bar, but visitors can also choose to visit the many dining areas in the surrounding places. St. Regis Istanbul has seven floors, all of which are creatively designed with natural materials and excellent art. In the basement is an Iridium spa with seven massage rooms and a hammam.
TLE discovered that if you want to get the inside track on the vibrant metropolis of Istanbul then stay in the über-cool Karaköy district. And the best address to call home? Well that’s ‘10 Karaköy’, a Morgans Original Hotel. Found in a landmark, renovated neo-classical building, transformed by award-winning architect Sinan Kafada, this luxury boutique property, with signature Rudolf restaurant by Rudolf van Nunen, is filled with art, and striking design. Expect style, glamour and luxury at this 71-room hotel.
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus
This hotel was transformed from a 19th-century palace to one of the most luxurious places you can stay when vacationing in Istanbul. It is located in Bosphorus, one of the best neighbourhoods in the city. This location allows visitors to watch the romantic sunset from a waterfront position. The hotel has 170 guest rooms, and these include 25 suites. The entire building features ancient Ottoman architecture, and the decorations are also inspired by contemporary designs. Visitors can also enjoy spending time in the large outdoor swimming pool that overlooks the Bosphorus Strait. Alternatively, they can spend time in the well-lit underground swimming pool. This one also features underwater music.
Park Hyatt Istanbul – Macka Palas
This hotel is set in the Nisantasi neighbourhood, and this place has been noted to be one of the best shopping centres in the city. The hotel is housed in a historic building that was constructed in 1922. It has, however, been redesigned to match modern levels of luxury and convenience, especially with regard to the showers and tubs. One of the highlights of this hotel is the wine bar that served 70 varietals. It also has a fitness centre, free Wi-Fi, two meeting rooms and a spa.
This hotel is located in the central part of Istanbul. The Nisantasi shopping centre is just about 15 minutes away from the hotel. The construction and design of this building have generally transformed the surrounding areas since it features classy modern architecture. That being said, some aspects of traditional Islamic architecture have been retained as references to the history of the place. The hotel has many useful amenities, including a spa and free Wi-Fi. It is important to note that Wi-Fi is only free in the public spaces of the hotel.
The Ritz Carlton Istanbul
This hotel is set near the Taksim Square, and that puts visitors within walking distance of many tourist attractions in the city. A notable advantage of this hotel is the east-facing rooms that give you a perfect view of the beautiful Bosphorus. This is the best place to stay in if you enjoy watching the sunset as you enjoy a glass of wine. The rooms in this hotel are spacious, and they all reflect some forms of Ottoman designs.
Raffles is part of the award-winning Zorlu Centre. Unlike many of the surrounding hotels, it is designed with a modern Turkish look. It doesn’t feature any Ottoman references. The public spaces outside the hotel are adorned with Turkish and international art. The hotel has many essential services. These include a kids’ club, bar, restaurant, sauna, steam room, fitness centre, pool, laundry and room service. They also have free Wi-Fi. The rooms are beautifully designed with works of art that are inspired by the Blue Mosque. They also have Nespresso machines and tablet computers for guests. Raffles has two restaurants: Arola and Lavinia. The first one focuses on Spanish cuisine while the second one specialises in contemporary Turkish maze.
This hotel is part of a Hong-Kong group. It is located in Besiktas district on the European banks of the Bosphorus Strait. The hotel has a classic design, with a lot of marble being part of the construction. To complete the look, the hotel employs Turkish and Asian staff. Service in the hotel is personalised and swift. Some available amenities in the hotel include a bar, laundry, pool, room service, hammam, fitness centre, parking and a restaurant. The hotel has 186 rooms, and these have been noted to be some of the most spacious in the entire city.
Ciragan Palace Kempinski
This hotel is located in the convenient Besiktas district on the European side of Bosphorus. It originally served as a palace for Turkish sultans. Many heads of state have stayed in this hotel, and this has only served to continue its tradition of serving royalty. The hotel has three restaurants, one of which is Tugra. This dining area provides classic Turkish cuisine and is well known in Istanbul for its high quality. Visitors to the hotel enjoy 24-hour butler service, a luxury lounge, and a private entrance.
Grand Hyatt Istanbul
This hotel is located in Taksim Square, a central position in the city. This location allows visitors to visit many places in the city using public transport. The hotel has four different types of rooms: standard rooms, deluxe rooms, grand club rooms, and suites. Standard rooms are on the lower floors. Visitors can enjoy using the climate-controlled fitness centre. It is supplied with water, towels, weights, and machines. The rooms have LCD televisions, a desk and work area, a dining table, a minibar, and a Nespresso coffee maker. The minibar is fully stocked with beer, juices, and snacks.