Destination Guide


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For centuries described as an exotic nexus of East meets West, Istanbul has served as the capital of three of the greatest empires in Western history and is on the legendary gateway between Europe and Asia. From its striking Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia to the souks of the Grand Bazaar and the lively Galata quarter in Beyoglu district, this dynamic city is on the thrilling edge of age-old tradition and modernity.


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Lounge at Four Seasons Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey

Four Seasons Bosphorus

Business travelers, honeymooners and families all love Istanbul’s reigning queen of hospitality.

blue and white table and chairs with a temple in teh background

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

The most prestigious address in Istanbul's Old City is without a doubt the 65-room Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet.

Suite at Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey

Shangri-La Bosphorus

It’s hard to imagine the Shangri-La hotel, with its copious chandeliers and teetering three-foot ceramic vases, as the dusty tobacco factory it once was. This waterfront property, which opened in 2014, features 180 rooms spread over six floors. While the public spaces border on ostentatious, the rooms and suites are gorgeous, with a light blue and cream color palette and tasteful furnishings in neutrals and rich woods that feel decadent, plush, and comfortable. Well-appointed marble bathrooms have single vanities in rooms and double vanities in suites.

The property feels very much a part of Istanbul as opposed to a private compound shuttered from the city (as many waterfront hotels can be). A quiet street runs between the hotel and the water; commuting locals gather nearby for the ferries that criss-cross between continents. The Prime Minister's former office next door still retains a security presence. Guests very much feel the buzz of the city–the people-watching at breakfast is excellent–while the serene water views balance the energy. It is important to note that while the property feels rather resort-like, there are no grounds or outdoor spaces. That said, many rooms and suites offer balconies and terraces, which are a must during summertime stays.

When it’s time to unwind, the CHI spa, tucked away in the basement, is one of the most elegant in town and offers Asian treatments alongside a traditional Turkish hammam. Next to the spa is the large indoor swimming pool, a separate children’s pool and a state-of-the-art gym.

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