To say that this property on the banks of the Bosphorus is palatial would be accurate – after all, it is a reimagined, 19th-century Ottoman palace, just upstream from the uber-opulent Dolmabahçe Palace, so even before turning up we knew what to expect in terms of scale, design, location and luxury.
We arrived by car, but for a more romantic option, you can come by river boat. Either way, you’re immediately faced with the hotel’s grandeur, whether it’s the sweeping bifurcated entryway, roadside, or the characterful white-marble terrace, riverside. The opulence continues as you enter the property and its grounds – high ceilings, polished Carrara floors, Versailles-esque fountains and a team with a level of service we’d describe as precise.
Our Palace suite was effortlessly elegant, charming, bright and sophisticated. Double-height windows afforded us views out to the water.
But, while the hotel displays aspects that might pigeonhole it as an old-world grande dame, the designers ensured the hotel doesn’t lose points in the contemporary stakes with furnishings that blend Ottoman-era and modern Turkish interior design. We particularly loved our expansive bathroom.
The rest of the hotel does not disappoint, either. The buffet breakfast (and brunch at weekends) was an experience in itself. We recommend sundowners be taken in the glass pods, right on the river.
There are also two pools at the hotel and, of course, a luxurious hammam.
|Perfect for||Fly into||Right on time|
|The Sophisticate||IST||GMT +3|
|While you’re Out There|
|Grab a car and head northbound up the main road just outside the hotel and in 20 minutes you’ll arrive at the port town Bebek, famous for its exquisite seafood. It heaves at weekends, so make a reservation. Pro-tip, if you can’t find a spot in Bebek, the next village along has also some amazing restaurants. We loved ‘Kiss the Frog’.|
Photography by Paul Thuysbaert, Benoit Linero and Patrick Michael Chin