8 Best Luxury Hotels in Istanbul

If you would like to experience Istanbul at the height of luxury, you can find plenty of accommodation options to choose. Some of the old palaces and historic mansions along the Bosphorus, which were once home to the Ottoman elite and royalty, are now serving as 5 star hotels to travelers from across the world. Here is te list of 8 of the best luxury hotels in Istanbul which will make your stay unforgettable.

Çırağan Palace Kempinski

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Situated in the European shores of the captivating Bosphorus, Çırağan Palace Kempinski İstanbul offers the glamor and luxury of an Ottoman palace.

Çırağan Palace Kempinski İstanbul has a total of 310 rooms, including 279 rooms and 20 suites in the main hotel section and 11 suites in the imperial palace section.

You can taste unique tastes of world cuisines prepared by award-winning chefs on the Bosphorus view balconies of The Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul.

Çırağan Palace is a city symbol and hosts the most prestigious events, meetings and weddings in the city. With its very romantic and spacious wedding terrace and the Çırağan Ballroom overlooking the Bosphorus, it offers the best wedding venue and the most romantic honeymoon options to its guests from all over the world.

Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul is the only hotel in Istanbul accessible by car, yacht and helicopter.

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul At The Bosphorus

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus is another hotel which converted from an old Ottoman palace. The hotel is standing on the shores of the scenic Bosphorus, in Beşiktaş district of Istanbul which is very close to many of the historic sites, museums and shopping areas.

Four Seasons Bosphorus is one of the most popular event venues in Istanbul which hosts weddings and meetings with a banquet capacity of 700.

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The hotel amenities include heated outdoor pool, indoor pool with underwater speakers, fitness centre, Turkish Bath (Hammam) and more.

Shangri-La Bosphorus

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Located on the European side of Istanbul, Shangri-La Bosphorus is located between Istanbul Dolmabahce Palace and the Naval Museum. The hotel caters to both tourists and business travelers thanks to its central location at the heart of Istanbul.

IST TOO, the all-day dining restaurant, presents the most beloved tastes of Turkish and international cuisine to your liking, as A la Carte with original presentations.

The hotel offers lots of different amenities for guests to relax such as the Turkish bath, indoor swimming pool, special therapy suites, sauna and spa.

Turkish Bath of the 5 Star Hotel Shangri-La Bosphorus İstanbul

The grand ballroom of Shangri-La Bosphorus Istanbul, which has a height of 6 meters, serves up to a thousand people in prestigious events such as meetings, weddings and celebrations.

The Ritz-Carlton İstanbul

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The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul is a 5 star hotel designed for both business and leisure travel. Just like the city itself; The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul is the meeting point of the impressive balance between Istanbul’s unique Eastern traditions and stylish European culture.

The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul features redesigned accommodation, an outdoor spa, nearly 26,000 sq ft of event space and three restaurants and bars, all with Bosphorus views.

Thanks to its central location in Şişli district of Istanbul, The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul offers easy access to Istanbul’s must-see destinations such as the Istiklal Avenue, Taksim Square, Dolmabahçe Palace and more.

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

The Four Seasons Istanbul Hotel, with its traces of 20th century neoclassical Ottoman architecture, was used as a prison in this period, and then opened to service and transformed into a luxury hotel with a large courtyard with 65 rooms.

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The hotel is within walking distance of Sultanahmet, Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, Mosaic museum and Grand Bazaar. It has a 24-hour business center and offers a sauna, a gym, a restaurant, a bar and a full-service spa.

All guestrooms at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul Sultanahmet are non-smoking. Rooms with separate bathtub and shower, private bathroom, bathroom television and specially designed toiletries are available at the hotel. 24-hour room service and dry cleaning are also available. In addition to the Express check-in service, the multilingual staff at the hotel makes their guests feel unique with the privileged service they offer.

Raffles Istanbul

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The Raffles experience is now in Istanbul. Raffles Istanbul, the new lighthouse of the Bosphorus, is a timeless combination of contemporary architecture, charming luxury, creative gastronomy and real elegance: a completely different world, overlooking a bird’s eye view of the most colorful, exciting city in the world.

Raffles Istanbul is located at one of the best intersection points of the Bosphorus. With its perfect location in Zorlu Center where fashion, show and art come together, Raffles Istanbul offers everything to experience this city beyond time. Raffles Istanbul is only 43 km away from the Istanbul International Airport and 30 km away from the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.

The St. Regis Istanbul

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Located in Istanbul’s most vibrant neighborhood, Nisantasi district, The St. Regis features exceptional services and world-class facilities. The modernist Art Deco-influenced hotel forms a focal point for cosmopolitan Turkish and international society. The St. Regis Istanbul offers award winning guest rooms and signature suites uniting discreet luxury with timeless elegance.

You can enjoy distinguished dining experiences at Spago by master chef Wolfgang Puck or at St. Regis Brasserie, serving a contemporary World and Turkish inspired cuisine. Rejuvenate at Iridium Spa with exclusive treatments or explore the most exciting luxury fashion brands, the best art galleries, restaurants and Istanbul attractions, all mere minutes from the hotel.

Swissotel The Bosphorus

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Swissotel The Bosphorus, a member of the world’s leading hotel chain, is among the most exclusive hotels in Istanbul. Swissotel The Bosphorus is located in the center of the city on the European side and offers a living space close to the business and commercial centers.

Swissotel The Bosphorus, offers 497 spacious rooms, suites and loft suites with a high level of service and a private living space to meet the needs of its guests. Residence is part of the hotel, Swissotel Living, offers long or short-term accommodation with 63 luxury suites ranging from studios to three-bedroom suites.

The sauna, hydromassage bath and massage treatments in the Spa and wellness center give the guests a chance to get rid of the tiredness of the city and business life. There is a fully equipped fitness center for those who want to do sports and stay fit.

The Swissotel The Bosphorus restaurant serves an array of tastes from Turkish to international cuisines.

Istanbul is absolutely an amazing destination for a city honeymoon. Besides, it is the main hub of the Turkish Airlines which connects the city to the whole world as the flag carier airline of Turkey. If  you need suggestions about things to do or places to visit in Turkey on honeymoon; you may visit the “asiahoneymoonguide.com” website. They have a very informative blog post about things to in Turkey on honeymoon.

Why Istanbul is the Best Muslim Friendly Tourist Destination in the World?

Travelling around the world and seeing it’s wonders is a dream for everyone. People are travelling to foreign countries more than ever and global tourism industy is booming. However, for the muslim community making a travel plan might be a lot harder than you think sometimes. Not all the destinations in the world are offering services for the different expectations and needs of the muslim travellers such as halal food and prayer locations. Also, there is the ugly truth of increasing xenophobia and Islamaophia in some countries which obviously gives goosebumps to muslim community.

Istanbul on the other hand is one of the best options for the muslim travellers and families who would like experience an unforgettable holiday. With it’s unique culture, history, climate, cuisine, nature and archtitecture; Istanbul attracts millions of Muslims and non-Muslims every year. In this article we made a list of reasons about Why Istanbul is the Best Muslim Friendly Tourist Destination in the World?

By the way, if you are planning to visit Turkey for your honeymoon and you need suggestions about things to do and places to visit in Turkey; you may visit the “asiahoneymoonguide.com” website. In one of their article, they shared very useful information about things to in Turkey on honeymoon.

1) Muslim tourists feel safe and free in Istanbul

muslim tourist women in istanbul hagia sophia

Istanbul is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world where the most of the population is muslim. The city is a melting pot of people from different religions, cultures and lifestyles. Turkey is a secular country. Unlike many other muslim countries, people can wear whatever they want in public places and wouldn’t draw attention or feel uncomfortable.

It’s highly unlikely for a muslim tourist to experience an islamophobic bullying in Istanbul. Unfortunately, in many popular destinations in Europe, muslim women are more likely to experience anti-Muslim sentiment, particularly if they are wearing a headscarf, hijab or burka. Likewise, for those muslims who would like to enjoy a little bit more free lifestyle than the ones  in their homecountry, Istanbul is a free zone full of adult entertainment venues and bustling nightlife .

Last but not least, as the most develepod city of the Republic of Turkey, Istanbul has a very good public safety infrastructure and low crime rates which helps tourists feel safer and relaxed during their vacation.

2) Religious services are available across Istanbul

ortaköy mosque in istanbul
Ortaköy Mosque (Büyük Mecidiye Camii)

There are mosques in almost every corner in Istanbul which makes life a lot easier for muslim tourists. Muslim tourists can hear the calming sound of Adhan (Azan / Call to Prayer) five times a day. Almost all of the mosques nearby touristic areas in Istanbul offers a designated wudu and praying area for woman.

3) Istanbul has a deep-rooted history and culture

Jesus Christ Mosaic in Hagia Sophia

There are some cities in the world which stand out with it’s unique culture. Istanbul is definetely one of those cities. Istanbul served as the imperial capital for Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires for almost 16 centuries. Legacies of these empires can be seen in every corner of Istanbul. The city is full or architectural gems. Thanks to it’s geographic location, Istanbul naturally embraces both the East and the West. The city  In 2010, all this beauty was as the European Capital of Culture by the European Union. Today, Istanbul continues it’s reputation as the cultural capital of Turkey with it’s thriving art scene that attracts millions around the world in spite of the rapid social and political changes.

4) Istanbul is Very Affordable

Al-Istanbul: How Turkey’s largest city became a hub for Arab tourists

Compared to other European tourism capitals in Europe, Istanbul has always been an affordable tourist destination for those on a budget. However, due to the rapid decrease of Turkish lira within the last 3 years, the city has become even more affordable than ever before. In August 2018, The Turkish lira has slumped to record low of 7.24 against the US Dollar. Currently it’s been traded around 5.90 USD. This devaluation makes everything extremely cheap for those who earn and spend foreign currencies.

You can find plenty of 3-4 star hotels in Istanbul for 50-100$ per night. Depending on the season and availabilty, you can even find a room in 5 star hotel with a Bosphorus view for 350-400$ per night. Dining out and night life is also very affordable in Istanbul. You can enjoy a dinner table full of mezes, kebabs and drinks which will only cost you around 10-20$ per person. You can expect to pay the same for a Traditional Turkish Breakfast. Cheaper or more expensive alternatives can always be found in the city depending on your budget.

Tickets for transportation, museums, historic sites and entertainment venues are so cheap that it will encourage you to go out and explore.

5) World Famous Cuisine Which is Halal

dinner table full of turkish food and turkish kebabs

You have probably heard a few things about the richness of the Turkish Cuisine by now. It is an undisputable fact that the Turkish Cuisine is one of the best in the world which appeals to everyone’s taste. Baklava, kebab, ice cream, döner and Turkish Delight are the first ones that comes in to mind but these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Delicious foods are available for every budget and taste in Istanbul. You can either snack on the cheap yet delicious street food or you can reserve a table in an upscale restaurant by the breathtaking view of the Bosphorus. Best examples of the unique cuisines of Turkey’s geographic regions are all represented very well in Istanbul’s bustling dining scene. The best part of this situation for the muslim tourists is that 99,9% of the restaurants in Istanbul serve halal food.

6) Istanbul Has Plenty of Shopping Venues

istinye park shopping mall in istanbul
İstinye Park Shopping Mall in Istanbul

From hundred years old bazaars to upscale shopping malls full of high-end fashion brands, Istanbul has limitless alternatives for those who are looking for great deals. Thanks to the decreasing value of Turkish Lira and modern infrastructure of the shopping venues, Istanbul continues to maintain it’s ages old reputation as the shopping hub of the region. Istanbul is home to the worlds oldest shopping center; the Grand Bazaar which is a covered market with more than 4000 shops and was built in the 15th century to make the city a capital of commerce. However, if you want to hit the streets, Istiklal Avenue is the must go place with dozens of shops, restaurants, cafes, street musicians and performers.

On both Asian and European side of Istanbul, there are lot’s of shopping malls with different themes and concepts which. Some shopping malls are positioned to attract high-end fashion customers whereas some of them are positioned to offer endless selection and bargain sales all year round. Almost all of these shopping malls are accessible by public transportation.

7) Reaching to Istanbul and Navigating the City is Easy

turkish airlines connecting flights

Istanbul is a destination that is very easy to reach. From its main base Istanbul, Turkish Airlines has direct flights to more than 300 destinations. Many other airline companies also has direct flights from major cities around the world. Thanks to the recently opened new Istanbul Airport, number of destinations with directs flights is expected to increace within coming years.

Getting around in Istanbul is also very easy. Istanbul has a highly developed public transportation infrastructure even though the city has been divided by the Bosphorus Strait. You can cross the Bosphorus by using the metro, ferry or one of the 3 bridges spanning between Asia and Europe. Public transportation cards are available at more than 2000 authorized dealers throughout Istanbul. In addition, you can purchase 1-Pass and 2-pass cards from nearly 1000 Biletmatik machines (Ticketmatic – Automatic Filling Machines).

8) Climate is Very Pleasant

Although the best time to visit Istanbul is spring or autumn, the city has a nice climate all year round. Istanbul experiences all four seasons but both in winter and summer, climate is acceptable and extreme tempratures are not common. In fact, many tourists from the Middle East and Nort Africa are visiting Istanbul in summer to get away from the extreme heat in their countries.

9) Modern Tourism Infrastructure

Shangri-La Bosphorus Istanbul Hotel Entrance
Shangri-La Bosphorus Istanbul

In 2018 nearly 40 million tourists visited Turkey. As a touristic destination, popularity of Turkey is increasing after a tough a few years and tourism industry is booming again. Thanks to this recovery and growth expectation, investments in tourism industry is also rising. New hotels and entertainment venues are opening every day in an effort satisfy the needs of tourists flocking to Istanbul and other major cities in Turkey. If you are planning a visit to Istanbul, chances are you are going to see lot’s of modern and newly opened facilities whereever you go. These newly opened facilities are offering both comfort and luxury in order to stay competitive in the ever changing tourism market.

10) Health & Aesthetic Clinics in Istanbul are Modern and Affordable

Istanbul is a rising medical tourism center. It attracts thousands of visitors every year from Europe and Middle East who wants to heal while they are on vacation. The reason why Istanbul become a health tourism hub is because it has state of the art clinics which are accredited by international organizations and offers health and aesthetic services. The medical staff in Turkey is highly trained and facilities are very modern. These modern yet affordable facilities provide services in dentistry, orthopedics, oncology, aesthetic medicine and more. Unfortunately, these services are either very expensive or provided in a not so modern facilities both in Europe and Middle East. Turkish Goverment subsidizes the medical tourism sector and encourages private sector to open new clinics.