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Suites & Eats


On the back of this, recent openings include Raffles and St Regis with Soho House most recently giving it the stamp of approval and Mandarin Oriental one of the next up; they will rub shoulders with some of our favourites author: Olivia Greenway


Istanbul N


ot only is the Ciragan Palace the only luxury hotel in Istanbul built in an actual former palace: its pole position


along the Bosphorus with uninterrupted water views and large landscaped gardens make it a compelling choice. The home of former sultans, the hotel is suite-only with butler service, private check-in and high security. Of the 11 VIP suites, the Sultan’s Suite has gold plating and Swarovski crystals, and that’s just in the bathroom. At €30,000pn rack rate, it’s said to be the


most costly in Europe. Attached by corridor is the 302-room main hotel, where it would be a crime not to have a water-facing room with balcony. The


view continues from the Laledan restaurant, where one of the best breakfasts in Istanbul is served, with egg and waffle station and more choice of food than days in the year, including a new gluten-free section. Meanwhile, the evening- only Tugra Restaurant serves traditional Ottoman fare in theatrical style, with individual “flower pot” casseroles (their thin necks plugged with bread dough) smashed open at the table. It’s more genteel in the Gazebo lounge, where the popular English afternoon tea is taken. There are two pools, a Turkish bath, Jacuzzi and sauna and a full range of treatments to enjoy in the spa. Doubles from £331pn, kempinski.com


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Under the radar With luxury hotels popping up unabated, the 136-room Raffles Istanbul punches above its weight. Sited in the modern business district to the northeast, the upside is it’s near the Zorlu shopping mall and not far from a metro stop. With a butler assigned to each room, personal service comes with a capital P. Floor-to-ceiling windows take in the cityscape; sumptuous beds and Blase Mautin toiletries get the thumbs up too. Evening dining is at Arola, with the eponymous Michelin-starred chef at the helm. After the cuisine of Sergi Arola, guests can sip a cocktail in the Writers Bar as they reflect on their clever choice of hotel. Rooms from £620pn, raffles.com


Try the outdoor infinity pool at the Ciragan Palace with views of the Bosphorus? There’s a cabana for a quick change in winter or a cooled towel from the pool butler in the summer.


36  TTGLUXURY.COM  SUMMER 2015  DESTINATIONS 3


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History buffs The 115-room Pera Palace is where Agatha Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express. Stay in her room, ride in the second oldest lift in Europe and visit Room 101, Ataturk’s favourite. From £257pn, jumeirah.com


Sybarite alert Be treated like a sultan (or sultana) in the spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus. Housed in a mansion, guests can wallow in a private marble hammam, cool off in the pool then have a face or body treatment from an enticing list available at the 170-room hotel. From £587pn, fourseasons.com


Eastern promise True to its Asian pedigree, the city’s 186-room Shangri-La has a sushi bar for snacking over a cocktail as well as Cantonese fine dining restaurant Shang Palace, a huge hit with locals. From £347pn, shangri-la.com


Room service Known for its American-style wide corridors, Park Hyatt Istanbul Macka Palas also comes up trumps with large guestrooms and king-size beds as standard. With room specs among the best in the business, this 90-room centrally located hotel is a winner. From £449pn, park.hyatt.com


Don’t leave without: A trip on the Bosphorus is a must – whether just a cheap public ferry across to the Asian side (10 mins) or a water taxi, available via most concierges.


Istanbul is where East literally meets West at The Bosphorus, a city pulling in 12 million visitors a year and where a new three-runway airport is planned for 2017.


Writer’s choice


4 of the best


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