Exotic, inexhaustible and dynamic – East meets West head-on in this mesmerising city metropolis, famed for its extraordinarily rich history, superb food and shopping, and mind-blowingly magnificent, over-sized mosques.
Recommended place to stay:
Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel
Istanbul, Marmara Region, Turkey|www.kempinski.com|
Official star rating:
Set on the Bosphorus, this large, five-star luxury retreat is set in an opulent 19th-century marble Ottoman residence, spilling out into several newer buildings.
The main palace building houses seven suites, popular among visiting royalty, heads of state and Hollywood stars.
The Ciragan Palace provides guests with every conceivable mod con – indoor and outdoor pools, a hammam, fitness centre, gardens, and even the occasional classical concert – alongside mesmerising views of the Asian side of town and the Bosphorus Bridge.
There’s a superb breakfast buffet, too – pricey, but could keep you going until the evening.
Lounging in the hotel’s heated infinity pool, watching ships sail down the Bosphorus strait, is a total luxury. After all, you are staying in a real Sultan’s palace.
The hotel is in an exclusive, peaceful setting on the European side of the water, with the sometimes busy Ciragan Caddesi separating it on the other side from Yildiz Park and a small mosque. There are Four Seasons and Radisson hotels on one side, and a university on the other. A ten-minute walk north will take you to the centre of pretty, waterfront Ortakoy.
Food & drink
Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay
Round-ups that include this placetostay
Here’s our round-up of 60 unique and unusual places to stay – from castles to palaces, treehouses to caves and even UFOs – that justify a place on any travel bucket list in their own right.