The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul overlooks the curvaceous bends of the Bosporus from a superb central location just a short stroll from Taksim Square. Classically styled rooms come with feather beds and 300-thread-count linens. Turkey’s famed Iznik tiles add splashes of Ottoman splendor to the marble bathrooms, where guests scrub away a long journey with gorgeously scented Asprey bath products. A key destination for spa fans, the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul Spa includes the city’s first exclusive Turkish bath made especially for couples. With its finger on the pulse of the luxury spa scene, the hotel is also home to Istanbul’s first outdoor spa-terrace, where sightseeing-weary guests can relax in Jacuzzis, indulge in a massage, or simply sunbathe beside the pool while soaking up the city views.
Foodie travelers tuck into sun-drenched Mediterranean flavors at Atelier Real Food and join Istanbul’s in-the-know crowd for a lazy brunch here on Sundays. Close to both Taksim and the chic shopping district of Nişantaşı, yet still an easy 15-minute journey by public transit into the heart of the historic district, the Ritz-Carlton allows guests to experience the best of both old and new Istanbul.
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Opposite Gezi Park, the vibrant modern core of Istanbul that radiates around Taksim Square is right on the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul’s doorstep. Always bustling İstiklal Caddesi is a short stroll away, while the Galata Tower and nightlife of Beyoğlu are also within walking distance. Taksim offers a slice of contemporary Istanbul living, where modern art galleries and bar hopping are a major part of the scene. For history lovers, though, the ancient monuments of Sultanahmet are still easily reached by public transportation, making this a convenient base for guests wanting to experience both the contemporary soul and ancient heart of the city on their trip.
Need to Know
Rooms: 243 in total. From $245 (Bosporus View rooms from $300, Suites from $540). Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Celebrating the slow-food movement, Atelier Real Food (open Monday to Saturday from 6 p.m.; Sunday from noon) dishes up comfort food soaked in Mediterranean flavors with luxuriant twists such as beef pot au feu with bone marrow and roasted lamb loin with eggplant puree and sumac. Sunday Roast brunch here is a treat made for idle weekends. To feast on modern Turkish dishes, or sip cocktails with serious hipster cred, head to Bleu Lounge & Grill (open 8 a.m.–2 p.m.). Spa and gym details: The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul Spa (open 6:30 a.m.–11 p.m.) offers personalized massage packages, restorative facial treatments, and a 55-foot indoor pool to complement the spa’s Turkish bath rituals. The unique spa-terrace offers pampering with a view, three Jacuzzis, and an outdoor pool. Personal training and Pilates and Kinesis sessions are available at the 24-hour fitness center.
Who’s it for: Well-heeled urbanites, spa lovers, and savvy business travelers. Our favorite room: Splurge on a Bosporus View Room to make the most of your stay. Good to know: For extra perks, and access to the hotel’s private Club Lounge, book a Club Level room. Complimentary food and drink is served throughout the day in the Club Lounge, and Club Level guests can book one of the hotel’s Cabriolet cars to scoot about in the city.