View from Terrace at Amanruya,Bodrum, Turkey

Amanruya

Located in an old olive grove and surrounded by Mediterranean pines on the northeastern corner of the Bodrum peninsula, Amanruya’s architecture hearkens back to an original Anatolian village. The 36 salmon-hued stone cottages are set into the natural landscape, with hand-laid pebble pathways that wind and weave around cypress trees and hidden corners.

Each cottage is impeccably constructed – the interiors are white marble floors, pane glass windows, four-poster beds with curtains, dark wood accents and a Turkish mangal charcoal fireplace. The bathroom is decadent with a rain shower and a stand-alone tub that looks out onto the garden beyond. Each cottage has its own private, green marble-inlaid pool and a garden that features a pergola with large day beds, a wooden table for an intimate meal, and an outdoor shower with a view of the bay below.

The resort is separated into multiple pavilions for dining and relaxing, and supports the local arts scene with a three-story library tower with books by Turkish authors, and a domed art gallery and carpet gallery that highlight local textiles, jewelry, and artifacts. In its four separate dining pavilions, Amanruya takes advantage of the variety of microclimates in Turkey to deliver a fresh, seasonal menu of Turkish, Indonesian, and Thai cuisines. Although the resort is not set directly on the bay, the property offers a private beach club less than five minutes by golf cart with a fantastic restaurant, kayaks, catamarans, sailboats and a 40-foot speedboat available for daily excursions.

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hotel and vineyard up on a hill

Ariana Sustainable Luxury Lodge

This boutique, sustainability-focused hotel in the heart of Cappadocia combines the original stone cave structure with modern amenities.

View from Lounge - Çiragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

Çiragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

For many years the Çiragan Palace Kempinski was considered the top choice for travelers who wanted the luxury of a five-star hotel with the amenities of a resort. Although the Palace Suites, which are situated in an adjacent sultan’s palace renovated in 2007, are still quite special, many of the Kempinski’s 284 rooms and 31 suites have somewhat of a corporate feel, and those with a view of the water require a fairly serious upgrade. That said, it’s still tough to beat the hotel’s stunning pool, which appears to spill right into the Bosphorus, and Tuğra, which offers a menu of classic Turkish-Ottoman cuisine, is considered among the finest restaurants in the city. Even if you’re not staying here, book a table with a view of the river for a special night out. And for travelers who still prefer an Old World atmosphere to the much slicker and more modern luxury of the Four Seasons, the Kempinski is a good alternative.

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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.

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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.

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Lounge at Kempinski Barbaros Bay, Bodrum, Turkey

Kempinski Barbaros Bay

The Kempinski Barbaros Bay is perfect for families. While adults take advantage of the extensive 5,500-square-foot Six Senses spa, golf course, and outdoor exercise classes, the children can stay busy at the resort’s private beach with kayaks, boats and jet-skis, a marina, six separate indoor and outdoor pools, a kids’ club and a game room. The property also has five restaurants offering a variety of cuisines that can cater to the pickiest eaters.

With 173 rooms and suites, many connecting, Kempinski Barbaros Bay is one of the larger properties in Bodrum. It has a spectacular location with luxurious rooms and service to return to after a day of relaxing by the pool or windsurfing out in the bay. Other outdoor activities include golf, mountain biking, wakeboarding, gulet cruises, sailing classes and a diving school. The property also offers private visits to the nearby Sevilen winery or a family-owned farm to experience Bodrum’s local community. Those who would prefer not to drive 40 minutes to reach GölTürkbüku and the rest of the northern peninsula, or to lounge by a large pool with lots of children should stay elsewhere. The property is only 20 minutes from Bodrum proper, however, which is a quick trip to take advantage of the history, marina, and night market in town.

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Pool Lounge at Macakizi, Bodrum, Turkey

Macakizi

The Macakizi moved between several locations in Bodrum before finding its permanent home on the northern coast of the Peninsula in 2000. Originally a 1970s bohemian enclave for Turkish socialite Ayla Emiroglu’s friends, the hotel is run now by Ayla’s son Sahir Erozan. Nestled amongst the shrub-covered hillside (a problem for those with mobility issues), Macakizi’s 74 rooms and suites peek out from behind rampant bougainvillea to the spectacular views of the bay below. The entire property recently underwent a full renovation, so every room has flat-screen TVs, mirrored walls, heated travertine floors, huge rain showers, and cushions and fabrics custom designed by Turkish artist Suat Akdemir. While not high luxury, the rooms offer a very comfortable retreat after a day on the beach. Book one of the sea view rooms higher up the hillside for a clearer view of the expansive bay and the beach club action below.

Macakizi has become the “it hotel,” a place to see and be seen. Guests aren’t lounging in their room all day at Macakizi, but rather sipping cocktails by the water, meeting new friends on the decks of the beach club, or hobnobbing at the lauded restaurant run by famous Turkish chef Avet Sahakyan. Guests also receive a credit card to use at the restaurant and beach bar, so there is never a need to sign receipts.

The property is sleek, fun, and a sight to behold in the summer months. Come here to get a taste of the glamorous scene in Bodrum – flashy (this is where Saudi wives come for a girl’s weekend on their yachts to let their hair down) but not garish. The music tones down by the evening, and all of the tipsy rabble-rousers head off to the clubs in nearby Türkbüku or Bodrum.

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 building behind a swirling metal black gate at dusk

Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul

Farther removed from Old Town than most luxury hotel options, the Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul ideally balances a buzzy yet serene atmosphere.

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hotel suite terrace with private plunge pool and multiple lounge chairs looking out over hill at dusk

Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum

Overlooking Paradise Bay, east of Türkbüku, the Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum is the Turkish Riviera’s most polished, family-friendly luxury resort.

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View from Dining Area at Tuti, Bodrum, Turkey

Marmara Bodrum

All of the Marmara’s 96 rooms and 7 suites feature a mix of modern décor and traditional pieces as well as separate sitting areas – be sure to request one with a view. The specialty suites, Dolce Vita or Party Animal, are the newest accommodations (others are a bit tired) and offer private terraces with direct views of the town and waterfront below. For active guests, the hotel has a small gym area, two pools, two squash courts, a basketball court, and a spa. The Tuti restaurant serves Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine on the rooftop with spectacular views of the city below, and the property has a private beach just a ten-minute shuttle ride away. For those who want to be located right in Bodrum proper, the property’s biggest asset is without a doubt the location.

Suite at Park Hyatt Macka Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

Park Hyatt Macka Palace

If your goal is to shop and dine well, look no further than Istanbul’s chic Ni?anta?i quarter – similar to New York’s 5th Avenue or Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive. The Park Hyatt Macka Palace, located in the heart of this area, is walking distance from some of the best shops and restaurants in the city. A high-rise built in the 1920s, the Park Hyatt boasts a very sleek, contemporary aesthetic and is unlike any of the other five-star hotels in the city. With only 90 rooms, the hotel feels relatively intimate and rooms are quite spacious, even at the lowest category. Perhaps the best features are the bathrooms, many of which are set up as miniature hammams so guests can enjoy spa treatments in the privacy of their rooms. Each includes a traditional hammam basin, open-air rainfall shower, stand-alone bathtub and steam room.

Even if you’re not staying here, the rooftop lounge makes a great stop for shoppers hunting for treasures in Ni?anta?i. The hotel also has a refined steakhouse, The Prime, as well as a spa, a well-equipped fitness center and a rooftop pool with fantastic city views. Says Indagare member Connie Spahn, who stayed at the Park Hyatt on a recent trip: “The Park Hyatt is a nice alternative to the Four Seasons Bosphorus, which we also liked. The Park Hyatt has a beautiful pool, great views and wonderful service.”

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Pera Palace at Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

Pera Palace Hotel

Istanbul’s most historic property, the Pera Palace Hotel was designed in 1892 to receive passengers from the Orient-Express in grand style.
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Suite Bedroom at Raffles Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

Raffles Istanbul

Perched atop one of Istanbul’s seven hills, the Raffles commands panoramic views over the two continents which divide this city, Europe and Asia. The property is housed within the Zorlu Center, a gleaming new development that contains a mix of retail, performing arts, office and residential space, echoing a long-time trend in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Guests arrive to a soaring lobby where late afternoon tea is served in the shadow of a beautiful mural depicting a montage of Istanbul’s notable buildings by French hyper-photo realist Jean-Francois Rauzier. Works of art are woven into the hotel’s Turkish contemporary design throughout, and subtle murals in the hotel’s 185 rooms and suites bring a sense of place to an otherwise neutral palette.

The guest rooms and suites are among the largest in town, with entry-level rooms carving out 775-square feet plus a balcony. Be sure to request a view to ensure a dazzling vantage of the Bosphorus. The Continental Suites, perfect for families, feel like apartments with two bedrooms, a living area and kitchenette. The hotel was built with today’s family travelers in mind, as many connecting options are available.

Istanbulites have embraced the hotel, and flock to the Zorlu Center as the city’s premier venue for performing arts. The hotel’s two restaurants and two bars established an early following, buzzing nightly with a mix of stylish locals, and the 33,000-square-foot spa is another unique selling point.

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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 is next door, which 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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Lounge at  Soho House Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

Soho House Istanbul

Located in the hip Beyoğlu neighborhood, this members club-cum-hotel has 87 guest rooms, making it the largest Soho House yet. Accommodations range from a tiny 200-square-feet to a very comfortable 600-square-feet before entering the top suite category. All are homey and comfortable, with enviable Anatolian kilim rugs, beautiful wood flooring and a vintage radio dialed to a local station. The bathroom is stocked with full-size organic Cowshed products, as well as travel-sized containers of practically any bath product one may have left at home.

The property’s defining feature is the historical palazzo building that it occupies. The structure dates back to 1873, when it was commissioned by Ignaxio Corpi, a powerful Genoese shipbuilder. He imported marble from Carrara and commissioned famous artists to paint frescoes and Greek mythological scenes on the ceilings. Upon his death, the building was leased to the American ambassador and it continued to be occupied by the U.S. government for nearly 100 years. In 2014, Soho House began restoring the original palazzo detailing to a glory that is in keeping with the spirit of the city. The bones are elegant in an aged, slightly subdued way, but the grand exterior gives way to the lush, youthful interior spaces like the impeccably-designed bar and lounge, rooftop restaurant and plunge pool.

Like at any Soho House property, there is a set of house rules, including restrictions on photography and speaking on cell phones in public spaces. It is important to note that flawless service is not the highest priority here, and one should really think of it as renting an apartment with excellent amenities.

Living Room at Sumahan on the Water, Istanbul, Turkey

Sumahan on the Water

An American couple opened this stylish property in a former distillery that sits on the Asian banks of the Bosphorus Strait. With only twenty-four rooms, drop-dead views and contemporary décor, this intimate hotel is an excellent choice for those who prefer a more relaxing trip than one heavy on touring and shopping. The neighborhood of Çengelköy is upscale and residential - a popular destination for vacation homes - and off the beaten tourist path. To access the city’s attraction, guests can take a taxi across the Bosphorus Bridge or take a boat - either a private launch or a ferry. Rates are reasonable and the restaurant’s outdoor terrace supremely romantic. While staying away from the main sights won’t appeal to most families, those who have visited before and want a quiet location should book one of the three family loft suites, with duplex layouts, two bathrooms and sofa beds.

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Taskonaklar Hotel

Along the ridge of the dramatic Pigeon Valley in Uchisar, Cappadocia, Taskonaklar Hotel’s cave suites are built into the mountainside.
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The Bodrum EDITION

The Bodrum EDITION is a youthful and hip property with a stunning beachfront on the Turkish Riviera that's giving other properties some competition.

Large room with floor-to-ceiling windows and multiple tables and chairs for dining

The Peninsula Istanbul

The Peninsula Istanbul mirrors the city's distinctive energy—reverence to the storied past with commitment to the modern future.

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Lobby of hotel with large planters with red flowers in them. The walls are wood with shelves.

The St. Regis Istanbul

Located in Istanbul’s upscale Nisantasi neighborhood, this property offers a sophisticated, high-design atmosphere and top-notch service.

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