Hotels in Istanbul
Istanbul's hotels have come a long way in the last decade. Luxury chain outposts have taken hold (think Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Kempinski, and more), centrally located boutique hotels are cropping up, and traditional properties such as the Pera Palace, with its views of the Golden Horn, have been renovated. It's essential to choose a hotel in a neighborhood that best suits your needs. Those in the Old City, Sultanahment, have great access to the major historical sites, but limited restaurant and nightlife options. Plus, salesmen flood the streets here, making your stay more stressful than it need be. You'll find more modern and luxury digs, most offering some type of shuttle service, across the Bosphorus; the views from here are spectacular. One of the best hotels in Istanbul is the opulent Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, set in an Ottoman palace built by Sultan Abdulaziz. The property straddles two neighborhoods, Ortakoy and Besiktas. With three restaurants, an over-the-top hammam, a beautiful pool area, and large, contemporary rooms done in jewel tones, there's plenty to keep you busy.
Manzara means “view,” and that’s just what you’ll get at most of these 50 short-term-rental apartments, which occupy several different buildings scattered around Galata and Cihangir.
No neighborhood in Istanbul exudes more European chic than Nisantisi. The Sofa Hotel is a prime example. Designed by renowned Turkish architect Sinan Kafadar, the 82 guest rooms contain a minimalist mix of light hardwood, marble, chrome, and strategic splashes of pomegranate red.
Local and international trendsetters flock to the bar at the 50-room Bentley Hotel, where on weekends lounge music plays well into the night.
Located just outside the Sultan’s Palace in one of the most ancient neighborhoods in Istanbul, Seven Hills Hotel gives guests easy access to the city’s top tourist attractions like the Hagia Sophia, basilica cistern, and Grand Bazaar.
Turkey’s first 5-star hotel is a 499-room complex surrounded by lush gardens in the heart of the city. Set on the European side of the Bosphorus, the 56-year-old hotel is walking distance to lively Taksim Square and shopping district Nisantasi.
The modern interiors created by Turkish firm Autoban are attracting design aficionados to the new 17-room hotel. Laser-cut floral motifs, reflective subway tiles, and unusual furnishings (like a pumpkin coffee table) add whimsy to the loftlike 600-square-foot rooms.
Dedicated to the ancient Hittite goddess Kybele, this boutique hotel in Sultanahmet presents a lavish, jewel-box like interior design highlighted by antique carpets and furniture, red and gold walls, curios, and more than 2,000 colored-glass candle lamps hanging from the ceilings.
Sandwiched between the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, this hotel complex consists of nine pastel-colored clapboard buildings along a narrow, cobblestoned street closed to traffic.
A stylish hotel with 10 crisp, airy rooms; book those with Golden Horn views.
A counterpoint to Istanbul’s historic, grand dame hotels, this 144-room property by the Istanbul-based hotel brand Divan is done in muted colors and blond wood, and it’s best suited to forward-thinking travelers who prefer ease and convenience rather than over-the-top luxury.
The W doesn’t have staff, it has insiders (that’s really the title on their business cards). Flanked by designer boutiques and minutes away from the Dolmabahçe Palace, the W’s décor—aquamarine lighting, gleaming chrome, slick surfaces—is equal parts neo-Ottoman and neo–Stanley Kubrick.
Contemporary hilltop hotel in a residential quarter behind the Dolmabahçe Palace, with Istanbul's largest spa.
Room to Book: The Corner rooms with a commanding view of the Bosphorus.
The Ajia Hotel, a waterfront property in Kanlica, Istanbul, is housed in an 1870s Ottoman mansion. The intimate hotel’s 16 rooms and suites are elegant but minimalist—with platform beds, hardwood floors, high ceilings, and Bosporus views.
Near Taksim Square, with a new spa that features a glass-walled circular relaxation room overlooking the Bosporus.
Room to book: 1216 is a standard room with top-notch views: you'll see Old City, the Marmara Sea, and Galata Tower from your bed.