Once a resident of Ottoman sultans, the grandiose late 19th century Çırağan Palace (pronounced chi-rahn) is one of Istanbul’s most luxurious hotels. In a spectacular setting right on the Bosphorous, the local area is as charming as it is scenic. The Çırağan is also within walking distance of the fascinating harbour side district of Ortakoy, full of seafood restaurants, specialty antique, ceramic and jewellery shops.
Palm trees and gazebos decorate the hotel's outdoor space, with a beautifully maintained infinity pool taking centre stage. Vaulted ceilings, elegant antiques and textiles evoke the opulence of the Ottoman era inside. Rooms are a mix of the East and the West with plenty of Ottoman inspired touches. Most have balconies overlooking the Bosphorus and large bathrooms feature marble tubs. Almost all lodgings are in the new wing, though there are 11 suites in the palace itself.
Feast on Turkish and Ottoman specialities in imperial splendour at the Tuğra Restaurant. Live classical music and the candlit backdrop of the Bosporus make this one of the most romantic destinations in town. Check out the Gazebo lounge with its large outdoor terrace, a hotspot in Istanbul for the best afternoon tea with stunning views. The chic, Le Fumoir bar is a relaxing post for after dinner, set in the midst of the lush green gardens a variety of flavoured tobaccos are served in handmade humidors as well as traditional hookahs.
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Spa also features luxury spa services, packages and wellness programmes including signature treatments and facial and body therapies to relax the weariest of sightseers.