The Glittering Raffles Istanbul is Now Open & You're Going to Want to Stay Here

The Glittering Raffles Istanbul is Now Open & You're Going to Want to Stay Here

In 2013, it was all about Cape Town, South Africa and Rio de Janiero, Brazil (fùtbol fever) for best travel destinations in 2014. This year, more and more articles, photos and travel packages are coming across my desk with trips to Istanbul, Turkey. And in April, TripAdvisor ranked the Turkish city as the #1 Most Popular Travel Destination in the World.

So why Istanbul? For one, the city is intensely beautiful with its historical buildings such as Aya Sofya, the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque; but it’s also a bustling city with new restaurants, bars and galleries popping up daily. As the “World’s Hippest City,” it’s also a hotspot of culture and style and is considered one of the world’s 21 megacities. The city attracts artists, bohemian adventures and fashion-mavens to its terrain, becoming a notable place to see and be seen.

rafflesPhoto Courtesy of Raffles Istanbul

On the heels of this travel trend, Raffles Hotels & Resorts has opened up a new hotel on September 1 in this rising-star location at the heart of their modern-day bazaar, the Zorlu Center. The five-star hotel is said to merge the old and new aspects of the ancient city with its brilliant architecture, glittering interiors and inspired food.

Overlooking the Prince Islands, the Bosphorus and the historic peninsula, the hotel promises stunning views right from your room. Inside, Turkey’s rich heritage comes alive within its walls, and thanks to designer Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), the light and airy interiors create a contemporary yet distinctly Turkish hotel feel. Around the property are a collection of specially-commissioned works of art by Turkish artists and pieces inspired by the striking city.

rafflesPhoto Courtesy of Raffles Istanbul

“The spirit of Raffles fits perfectly into this extraordinary capital city at such an exciting time,” says Peter French. “Our philosophy is to create an oasis where people can come together and continue on refreshed. It is this tradition of bringing people together that is an essential feature of the story of Raffles Istanbul. For centuries, Istanbul has been the meeting place between East and West, Asia and Europe, where great civilizations and cultures have left their mark and where people have exchanged ideas, told stories and set out again.”

rafflesPhoto Courtesy of Raffles Istanbul

Of its 132 guestrooms and 49 suites, all offer spacious accommodations (700-3,983 square feet), contemporary amenities, private balconies and terraces, floor-to-ceiling windows and marble bathrooms, all suited for the modern traveler. When it comes to dining, the hotel has opened up two restaurants—one of which is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Sergi Arola—two bars and a patisserie. At Chef Arola’s namesake restaurant, the Spanish chef serves up classic Catalan dishes with a modern twist meant for sharing.

rafflesPhoto Courtesy of Raffles Istanbul

Located on the sixth floor sits a pool along with a bar & grill which turns into a livelier atmosphere at night with DJs spinning the beats against the city backdrop. But if you’re in search of a quieter destination, the Writer’s Bar is the perfect stop to relax or inside the Champagne room at the Long Bar.

rafflesPhoto Courtesy of Raffles Istanbul

When it really comes time to unwind, Raffles Spa is there to treat all your health and wellness needs. On their menu are Gazelli Skincare and Organic Pharmacy treatments with the latter including a signature Rose, Honey and Sugar Hammam Experience. In all, there are nine treatment rooms and suites, pools, saunas, steam rooms and hammams on offer.

rafflesPhoto Courtesy of Raffles Istanbul

Overseeing this luxury property is Tarek Mourad, General Manager who has successfully opened a number of five-star hotels and has worked as G.M. of Four Seasons Sultan Ahmed. With a true sense of place mixed with the latest in technology and the legendary Raffles Butler service, the hotel will most likely become a favorite of those traveling to the City of the World’s Desire. Rooms begin at around USD $550; guests may also call ahead to book the helipad for an easy arrival.

Tags