If you want to dip your feet into Turkish culture without sacrificing luxury, then check into the glamorous Raffles Istanbul. The chic hotel has a distinct local flavor with all the comforts of a sultan’s palace meshed with the convenience of a modern stay.
Here are but some of the experiences and features we love at this supremely stylish spot:
Best Location In Town
In addition to a spectacular view of the Bosphorus, Raffles Istanbul has a sublime setting within the Zorlu Center, an entertainment complex with an elegant shopping mall, a performing arts theater and a beautiful public square.
With more than 40 dining venues to choose from — as well as an outpost of Italian marketplace Eataly — you’d be remiss not to enjoy at least one meal (and some fantastic people watching) at this bustling gathering place.
Apart from allowing you to relax, eat, shop and take in the view, the luxury hotel also provides a great home base for commuters. With easy access to the Zorlu Center’s bus and subway stops, the property makes it simple for even the most novice traveler to get around Istanbul. The building even boasts a heated helipad for those who prefer to arrive in style.
Afternoon Tea Like No Other
Step into the spacious Lavinia Lounge, sink into one of the comfortable armchairs surrounded by clouds of pink and white orchids and wait for the magic to unfold in front of you. The afternoon tea at Raffles is perhaps the best in Istanbul and among the finest in the world.
A tiered cake plate resembling a birdcage on a stand is placed next to the chair of each guest. In addition to the sandwiches, canapés and scones found on this ornate serving platter, there is also an extensive pastry buffet with fancy French tarts, fresh juice, delicious Turkish savories and local sweet desserts made by the hotel’s pastry chef, Şule Gündoğan.
Everything about this service feels elegant and effortless. It’s an enormous spread, so you may want to cancel your dinner plans.
The Very Turkish Spa
The people of Istanbul have a long history of being spa lovers — luxuriating in Turkish hammams and receiving wellness treatments is a part of the culture. Raffles Istanbul has taken this custom to the next level by offering not one but three hammams. And that’s in addition to the facility’s steam rooms, ice fountains and Jacuzzis.
The spa is richly decorated with Turkish lamps and glass bottles, while all rooms are furnished in calming, neutral tones.
Try a body scrub after the detoxifying heat of the hammam, or take a dip in one of the gorgeous pools for an ultra-luxe way to dive into the local culture.
An Art Lover’s Playground
The art collection displayed throughout the hotel is magnificent. From the bronze sculpture of Lavinia in the lounge to the custom glass installation found in the Long Bar, the property is dripping in modern Turkish creativity.
Grand murals depict the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Blue Mosque, and opulent Turkish rugs cover the floors. The illuminated pictures on the walls and stunning views of the blue Bosphorus appeal to the senses, giving the hotel an authentic and uniquely modern Turkish character.