With a prime waterfront location on the European side of the Bosphorus, the Shangri-La is set in the lively Besiktas district. A fantastic starting point for exploring other parts of Istanbul as well as a popular destination for authentic local cuisine. The Besiktas ferry terminal is just outside, offering regular commuter boats across the Bosphorus to the Asian districts of Kadikoy and Uskudar. The nightlife and bustle of Taksim and Istiklal Street are just a ten minute taxi ride away.
The simple exterior of the 1929 renovated tobacco warehouse disguises the opulent luxury that lies within. Marble dominates against a calming backdrop of pastel coloured interiors, oriental touches and more dramatic pieces including a two storey high chandelier. Visitors are met by ornate flower displays and a string quartet.
The extremely spacious 186 rooms are more refined than public areas and allow the alluring colours of the Bosphorous outside to take centre stage. Nearly all boast views of the Bosphorus and of 17 suites most have private terraces. Wi-Fi is free and there are extra touches such as a television incorporated into the bathroom mirror.
The hotel has two restaurants with Asian inspired cuisine. In the basement flagship Shang Palace restaurant serves authentic Cantonese. IST TOO serves Turkish/pan Asian fusion cuisine with views across the Bosporus towards Asia. A ‘Kung Fu tea master,’ is responsible for expert pouring of a hundred varieties of Chinese tea.
The Turkish/Oriental amalgam is most poignant in the CHI spa where Asian treatments are offered alongside Turkish hammams. There are also steam rooms, sauna and a well-equipped gym and an indoor pool.