The Top Hotels in Istanbul

Istanbul is a city where the past collides with the present. The Raffles Istanbul, connected to the high-end retail hub of the Zorlu Center, exemplifies the contrasts. To get a taste of the Ottoman empire, book a room at the Four Seasons Bosporus.

Highlights
Büyükdere Caddesi, 76 B Mecidiyeköy Mecidiyeköy, Fulya Mahallesi, 34394 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
Opened in 2017 as the first Fairmont property in Turkey, this 209-room hotel is inside a 41-story luxury high-rise in the Mecidiyeköy business district, close to high-end shopping and dining. Gaze past the hotel’s landscaped gardens to the city and all the way to the Bosphorus from your private balcony—every room and suite has one, along with a 48-inch smart TV, pillow-top mattress, rain shower, Le Labo Rose products, and your choice of tub or traditional Turkish bath (complete with heated pedestal). More Turkish flair—and flavors—are on offer at Aila restaurant and Demlique café, while Stations serves dishes from around the world and the Marble Bar pairs small bites with an international selection of wine. While these Turkish touches can be found throughout the property—most notably at the expansive Willow Stream Spa, with its selection of herbal products and authentic hammam treatments—the hotel has a decidedly contemporary vibe and style, and feels part of today’s buzzing Istanbul. Case in point: the Ukiyo seasonal outdoor infinity pool, envisioned with Instagrammable whimsy by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.
Sultanahmet, Cankurtaran, Tevkifhane Sk. No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Once Istanbul’s notorious prison, a lavish conversion in 1996 transformed this site, set amid the squiggle of lanes behind the colossal competing domes of the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, into the city’s landmark Four Seasons Sultanahmet. Built in 1918, the hotel’s ornate neoclassical architecture has been finely restored, while the enclosed exercise yard is now a courtyard garden where guests can escape the hustle of the historic quarter. Classically designed rooms are awash with light blue and green hues and subtly scattered Turkish textiles and motifs.

On a hot summer’s day, cool off with cocktails overlooking the old city’s minarets on the rooftop A’Ya Lounge. Eagle-eyed history fans can hunt for the 1938 graffiti left by a former inmate on a pillar near the courtyard. Being neighbors with the Hagia Sophia has extra benefits. The Four Seasons’ Extraordinary Experiences service offers a privileged chance to explore Emperor Justinian’s greatest achievement without the crowds, on an after-dark tour of the Hagia Sophia.
Levent Mahallesi, Büyükdere Cd. No:136, 34330 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
The Hyatt Centric Levent is a slick city pad that eschews Ottoman finery and instead submerges guests in a zen-inspired interior. The huge rooms are splashed with a palette of soft grays and warm rosewood. They feature Frette linens, custom-programmed iPods, daily fresh flowers, and Bang & Olufsen electronics. Free from flounces and frills, the quiet elegance of the rooms offers a thoroughly urban-luxe experience.

Home to two of the city’s most exclusive nightlife spots, the Hyatt is a destination in and of itself. The warm tones and quirky 20-foot-long tropical fish aquarium lining the bar of the Gold Bar provide a relaxing respite for quiet nightcaps. Business travelers can take care of corporate needs using the 24-hour multilingual secretarial service, the intimate screening room for private films and presentations, plus a series of contemporary-styled meeting rooms.
Kocatepe Mah 25, Abdulhak Hamit Cad, Beyoglu, Istanbul
In the heart of the city’s business district of Taksim, Barceló is a modern example of Istanbul’s contemporary face. Designed by Zeynep Fadillioğlu, the interiors balance both classic and contemporary features, offering a warm, modern feel. Spacious rooms amply utilize shades of blues and purples, while oversized (and extra-long) beds will please taller guests. Suite rooms offer a hint of old Ottoman luxury with traditional Turkish bath basins and also allow access to the private top-floor Lounge 11, where complimentary drinks, snacks, and cocktails are served throughout the day.

A favored destination for business guests, the hotel provides state-of-the-art meeting facilities, and a business corner on the mezzanine floor offers 24-hour service. When work is done for the day, guests can relax with a traditional Turkish scrub-and-soak treatment at the Marti Istanbul Spa or sip cappuccinos or cocktails at Mixo Terrace—Taksim’s largest rooftop restaurant. For guests on the go, the hotel’s Gourmet Stop café serves takeaway sandwiches and cakes.
Teşvikiye, Bronz Sk. No:4, 34367 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
The Park Hyatt Istanbul Macka Palas shines at highlighting Istanbul’s local culture. Whether guests want to discover the best of Istanbul’s boutiques with a personal shopper, indulge in some male grooming at a traditional Turkish barber, or visit a local fortune-teller for a fun coffee-cup reading, the hotel can make it happen.

Located in the exclusive Nişantaşı neighborhood, rooms have Art Deco styling with French balconies, lashings of warm wood, and neutral tones. Deep bathtubs, Dornbracht showers, and bath products by French perfumer Blaise Mautin add an indulgent feel, while separate workspaces with ergonomically designed desks are a thoughtful addition for business travelers. The hotel’s unique Spa Rooms bring the Turkish bath experience in-room with oversized bathrooms featuring opulent traditional hammam fixtures and steam rooms.
Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:52, Evliya Çelebi Mahallesi, 34430 Tepebaşı Beyoğlu/Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
One of the world’s most iconic hotels, the Pera Palace first swung open its doors in 1892 and has been a meeting point for travelers in the city for more than 100 years. Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie clicked at their typewriters in the guest rooms, Greta Garbo once wafted through the sumptuous lounge, and Alfred Hitchcock drew inspiration for his films while staying here.

The neo-Baroque interior was created by legendary French-Ottoman architect Alexander Vallaury, and luscious jewel-toned Turkish carpets and grand chandeliers immerse guests in the glamour of a bygone age as soon as they step through the front door. The original antique elevator still trundles guests to their rooms, where Old World furniture, classically inspired burgundy textiles, and decadent roll-top baths provide oodles of 19th-century elegance.

The Pera Palace is a timeless grande dame of the golden age of travel and is as much a part of the fabric of Istanbul’s history as the city’s monuments.
Suzer Plaza, Askerocagi Caddessi, No:6, 34367 Elmadag, Vişnezade Mahallesi, 34367 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul overlooks the bends of the Bosphorus 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 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.

Food lovers can 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.
Gümüşsuyu Mahallesi, Mete Cd. No:34, 34437 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
This sleek, ultra-modern spot takes its inspiration from the linear forms of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. The Gezi Bosphorus offers a chic and thoroughly striking alternative to the city’s usual Ottoman aesthetic. Cozy rooms have a retro feel with smoked oak and glass used to create warm yet light-filled interiors. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the Deluxe Bosphorus rooms have attention-grabbing views of Istanbul’s iconic Bosphorus Strait.

The Gezi Bosphorus’ green credentials set it apart and prove comfort doesn’t have to be sacrificed for sustainability. Proudly practically zero-emission, the hotel reuses water in its garden; recycles all papers, plastics, and metals; and produces hot water from excess air-conditioning system energy, making it one of the city’s few hotels to receive Turkey’s Greening Hotel Certification. Just off Taksim Square, staying here puts guests amid Istanbul’s modern city core, steps from the shopping vortex of İstiklal Caddesi but still only a short hop on public transport to the historic quarter of Sultanahmet.
Vişnezade Mahallesi, Akaretler, Süleyman Seba Cd. No 22, 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
Istanbul’s Ottoman heritage and contemporary urban pulse collide at this city retreat. The hotel sits within Akaretler’s historic row houses where high-ranking officials of Sultan Abdulaziz’s reign once lived. Designed by Mahmut Anlar, the interior is stamped with vibrant jewel-toned hues and bold geometric shapes that create an ultra-modern vibe down through the regal 1875 foundations.

Rooms are doused in hot-pink highlights and open out to private terraces or gardens, with suite rooms offering beach-style cabanas for a slice of inner-city resort living. Munchie boxes, Bose radios, and king-size beds with 350-thread-count linens make rooms extra welcoming.

The W Hotel’s whatever-whenever service philosophy takes a highly customized approach. Staff can arrange tailor-made itineraries that help guests discover hidden sights and the newest restaurants and nightlife. The hotel’s iPhone app allows guests to scope out the city scene from the comfort of their room and order in-room dining at a touch of a button.
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