Istanbul at the Bosphorus by Four Seasons, Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul at the Bosphorus by Four Seasons
Istanbul, Turkey

To say that the Istanbul at the Bosphorus by Four Seasons 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 riverboat. 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 at the Istanbul at the Bosphorus by Four Seasons 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 Istanbul at the Bosphorus by Four Seasons 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 forFly intoRight on time
The SophisticateISTGMT +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 also has some amazing restaurants. We loved ‘Kiss the Frog’.

Photography by Paul Thuysbaert, Benoit Linero and Patrick Michael Chin

OutThere believes in boundless travel, but we understand that destinations like this one may prove challenging for some visitors. We advise that you understand local laws and customs before booking your trip or work with a travel advisor to ensure a carefree, enjoyable and well-deserved holiday.