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.
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.
Equally close to Sultanahmet’s major tourist sites as the Four Seasons, this boutique hotel is both quirkily charming and easy on the wallet.
By the late 1970s, this former manor of a prominent Ottoman official was in such a state of decay that it was demolished and rebuilt from scratch.
Nestled in a protected bend of the Bosphorus, Bebek is perhaps the most exclusive neighborhood in the city, with luxurious apartments running up the hills above the shore.