Luxury and an Amazing Location at the new Raffles Istanbul
Outside of sleeping in Istanbul’s iconic Grand Bazaar, the new Raffles is as close as one can get to the city’s great shopping: The lobby connects to the Zorlu Center, a 1-million-square-foot complex with everything from the Italian food hall Eataly to the Turkish boutique Yargici. As for the 132 rooms and 49 suites, each features art inspired by the Byzantine empire and terraces overlooking the city. Also, not to be missed: the spa’s gorgeous hammam. From $770.
This appeared in the November/December 2014 issue.
Raffles Istanbul harnesses Istanbul’s entrepôt heritage to the city’s vibrant, present-day spirit with interiors that celebrate both the past and the present. The vast lobby features abstract sculptures, Turkish ceramic tilework, and artist Çetin Paksoy’s specially commissioned glass-mosaic doors. Generously sized rooms, doused in hazy blues and grays, open out onto private terraces framed by floor-to-ceiling glass. In-room tablets offer touch-of-a-button fixture control and in-room ordering, while the renowned Raffles 24-hour butler service fulfills more personalized needs.
Istanbul’s jet-setters down signature cocktails, including Raffles’ famous Singapore Sling, in the Long Bar, while guests seeking a quiet drink settle into the leather tub chairs at the Writers Bar. The tapas-style plates of Arola Restaurant are putting Raffles Istanbul on the map for trendsetting foodies, while Lounge 6 puts Istanbul’s vibrant live music scene within steps of a guestroom during summer months.
Connected to the high-end retail hub of the Zorlu Center, where Bulgari and Louis Vuitton both have their boutiques, Raffles Istanbul has top dining and shopping on its doorstep. Yet its position, overlooking the Bosporus high on the hill above Beşiktaş, is removed from the hustle of the center.