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.
The Grand Hyatt Hotel near Taksim Square in Istanbul has a lot going for it. With 360 luxury rooms, suites, and apartments, two restaurants, a Gaia Spa & Fitness Centre, a tennis court, Turkish bath, and arguably the best pool in the city.
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.