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8 best Istanbul hotels
The right hotel can make or break your Istanbul trip. Here's how to be a made man (or woman)
In Istanbul, you're never stuck for something to do, see, eat or drink -- no matter what time of the night or day it is.
But even the most energetic travelers need somewhere to take a breather.
In a city packed with more hotels than you could visit in a lifetime, finding the best isn't easy. But these eight -- ranging from five-star palaces to quirky boutique retreats -- are arguably the best the city has to offer.
Pera Palace Hotel
If you’re an Agatha Christie fan looking for luxury and 19th-century grandeur, the Pera Palace Hotel is home.
Re-opened three years ago following a €23 million renovation, the hotel was originally opened in 1892 to cater to passengers who arrived in Istanbul on the Orient Express.
With 115 rooms (including 16 suites), a spa, Agatha Restaurant, tea lounge, patisserie and views over the Golden Horn, the hotel is a two-minute walk from the city’s main thoroughfare, Istikal Caddesi.
Pera Palace Hotel, 52 Mesrutiyet Caddesi, Tepebasi, Beyoglu; +90 212 377 4000; from €160 (US$210) per night
In a hipster neighborhood, the W Istanbul occupies one of the attractive Akaretler Row Houses, which were built in a distinctly Western style in the 1870s.
Here you'll find 20- and 30-something hipsters taking advantage of free Wi-Fi in the lobby lounge, Sip, and downing cocktails before dinner at one of the many area restaurants.
A short taxi ride (depending on the unpredictable traffic) from Istanbul’s major sites, the W Istanbul is the focal point of a quiet and very European neighborhood.
W Istanbul, 22 Suleyman Seba Caddesi, Akaretler, Besiktas; +90 212 381 2199; from €180per night (US$235)
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Georges Hotel Galata
Forget shabby chic.
This 20-room boutique property with its high ceilings and exposed brick entry located on a cobbled alleyway is just plain chic.
Several of the rooms have balconies offering Bosphorus views and guests can enjoy in-room yoga sessions and massage.
From the terrace of the hotel's French restaurant, Le Fumoir, you get uninterrupted views of the historical sites of Sultanahmet. The hotel is a short walk from the Galata Tower.
Georges Hotel Galata, 24 Serdar-I Ekrem Sokak, Galata, Beyoglu; +90 212 244 2423; from €135 (US$175) per night
The Istanbul Edition
Trekking the streets of Istanbul can be tough on the feet.
With its color palette of light and dark woods, grays and golds, the Istanbul Edition is designed to help you rest and recover from your exertions.
A 15-story tower in the upscale Levent district, near luxury shopping malls, the property has 78 rooms, including a full floor penthouse suite, three-story ESPA spa, Cipriani restaurant, Gold Bar, nightclub and a screening room.
The Istanbul Edition is ideal for the visitor who has seen the sites and simply wants to enjoy the city’s many pleasures, from eating and drinking to shopping and nightlife.
The Istanbul Edition, 136 Buyukdere Caddesi, Levent; +90 212 317 7710; from €195 (US$255) per night
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Ciragan Palace Hotel
A former Ottoman palace built by Sultan Abdulaziz, the five-star Ciragan Palace Hotel has lost none of its regal opulence.
The Sultan’s Suite is one of the most expensive in the world. Guests staying in any of the 11 Palace Suites can arrive by private helicopter to be greeted by their own butler.
On the shores of the Bosphorus, located between the quiet neighborhoods of Besiktas and Ortakoy, just a 10-minute taxi from Taksim Square, the property isn't just for the super rich. There are a number of marginally cheaper but only moderately less luxurious rooms, many with views over the Bosphorus.
Ciragan Palace Hotel, 32 Ciragan Caddesi, Besiktas; +90 212 326 4646; from €570 (US$740) per night
Hotel Ibrahim Pasha
The selling point of the Hotel Ibrahim Pasha is its location in Sultanahmet -- the historic area of the city where most of Istanbul’s tourist sites are located.
On a peaceful side street, the boutique property puts you in the heart of the action while providing a cozy escape from the tourist hubbub nearby.
The four-story hotel, a combination of two turn of the century houses, operates a strict no-smoking policy. The guest-only rooftop terrace bar offers fantastic views of the Blue Mosque. In winter, you can warm yourself in front of one of the lobby fireplaces.
Hotel Ibrahim Pasha, 7 Terzihane Sok, Sultanahmet; +90 212 518 0394; from €120 (US$155) per night
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Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul
Four Seasons operates two properties in Istanbul.
The Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet is ideal if you want to be close to the city’s major tourist sites
In the calm but centrally located neighborhood of Besiktas, however, the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus steals the show.
A converted Ottoman palace just meters from the shore of the Bosphorus, the hotel has everything you'd expect from a luxury property, from a fine dining Mediterranean restaurant to a spa and indoor and outdoor pools. With 24-hour babysitting services, a child-friendly attitude and everything a parent could require from strollers to cribs, it's perfect for a relaxing family holiday.
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus, 28 Ciragan Caddesi, Besiktas; +90 212 381 4000; from €370 (US$480)
The House Hotel Nisantasi
The House Hotel Group is an extension of the popular chain of excellent House Cafes that frequent visitors may have enjoyed across the city. This 44-room boutique property -- one of three House Hotels in Istanbul -- has a faultlessly contemporary design.
The affluent district of Nisantasi is famed as the home of Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, and for providing the setting for many of his best-selling novels.
It's also home to Istanbul’s most expensive shopping street, Abdi Ipekci Caddesi, and most of the city’s designer stores, as well as a vibrant night life.
The House Hotel at Nisantasi, 34 Adbi Ipekci Caddesi, Nisantasi; +90 212 224 5999; from €169 (US$220) per night
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