Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosporus
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosporus
The luxurious lives of Ottoman grandees are unveiled at the Four Seasons Bosporus. In the restored Atik Pasha Palace, Turkish interior designer Sinan Kafadar has created a space that effortlessly blends the decadent artisan features of the palace with contemporary comfort to reflect the building’s historic and modern stories. Rooms retain the essence of regal days gone by, with mahogany daybeds and custom-designed fabrics in muted tones of copper, terracotta, and burgundy. Guests scrub away their jet lag in the sumptuous marble-clad spa and soak up the sun on the pool deck while watching the Bosporus boats bob past. Afterward, the see-and-be-seen crowd gravitates to the shorefront terrace of the Yalı Bar to catch sunset over the waterfront while sampling fine Turkish wines and snacking on mezze dishes. For guests eager to dig deeper into Istanbul’s vast palace and mansion heritage, the Four Seasons' Extraordinary Experiences service offers private tours of Ottoman art expert and historian Serdar Gülgün’s restored waterfront mansion, guided by the owner himself.
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Beşiktaş is Istanbul’s leafiest inner neighborhood, right on the Bosporus shore and a short hop to the hip cafés and restaurants of Beyoğlu. Heading west from the hotel along Çırağan Caddesi is Dolmabahçe Palace, the last seat of the Ottoman emperors. Heading east, the vast green expanse of Yıldız Park offers shady picnic spots, prime strolling trails, and a gorgeous collection of 19th-century pavilion architecture. Just up the hill, heading inland, is the Nişantaşı neighborhood, where locals flock to browse boutiques and laze away weekend mornings with a long brunch.
Need to Know
Rooms: 170 in total. From $425; suites from $1,380. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: At Mediterranean-inspired Aqua Restaurant (open 12–3 p.m. and 7–11 p.m.), feast on roast monkfish seasoned with wild fennel, or milk-fed veal with black truffle. For lighter meals, head to the Pool Grill (open May–October), relax with afternoon tea at the Yalı Lounge (open 8 a.m.–1 a.m.), or munch on mezze outside at Yalı Mezze & Wine Bar (open May–October). Spa and gym details: The Four Seasons Spa (open 9 a.m.–9 p.m.) merges sumptuous Ottoman Turkish bath rituals with state-of-the-art pampering and has an indoor pool. The fitness center (open 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m.) offers personal training as well as one-on-one Pilates, yoga, and powerplate sessions. Between May and October, guests can cool off in the 90-foot outdoor pool (open 7 a.m.–sunset).
Who’s it for: Luxury-seekers who don’t want to stray too far from the inner-city action. Our favorite rooms: Ask for a suite in the Palace Wing with Bosporus views. Indulge yourself: Afternoon tea here features many of Turkey’s most beloved culinary snacks, which are hard to find on restaurant menus. Munch on cheese-stuffed poğaça (pastries), and tuck into muhallebi (milk-pudding).