Hong Kong Tatler - - Life -


Nes­tled in the heart of his­toric Beyo­glu, the Pera Palace Ho­tel Jumeirah of­fers one of the best lo­ca­tions from which to ex­plore the city. Galata Tower is a five-minute walk away, and so is Istik­lal Av­enue, Istanbul’s main shop­ping street, while Sul­tanah­met can be reached eas­ily by taxi. Cafes, prime eater­ies and bou­tiques are all within easy walk­ing dis­tance.


Opened in 1892—it’s cel­e­brat­ing its 125th an­niver­sary—the grand neo­clas­si­cal build­ing is as much a land­mark as any of Istanbul’s main at­trac­tions. It was the city’s first lux­ury ho­tel, cater­ing to pas­sen­gers ar­riv­ing on the Ori­ent Ex­press. It also held Istanbul’s first art ex­hi­bi­tion and fash­ion show, and has hosted a string of il­lus­tri­ous guests. Agatha Christie wrote Mur­der on the Ori­ent Ex­press at the Pera Palace, while its rooms were the choice of both Ernest Hem­ing­way and Greta Garbo when­ever they so­journed in the city. The founder of the mod­ern Turk­ish repub­lic, Mustafa Ke­mal Atatürk, was also a reg­u­lar guest and his suite is now a mu­seum open to the pub­lic. Old-world charm shines through­out the prop­erty, from the stun­ning art nou­veau decor to 20th-cen­tury me­men­tos and the his­toric at­mos­phere that im­bues the place.


A ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment in 2010 saw the 115 rooms— in­clud­ing 16 suites named af­ter their most fa­mous visi­tors—beau­ti­fully re­stored and mod­ernised with flat screen TVS, rain­for­est show­ers and Wi-fi, but they still re­tain their art nou­veau de­tails and de­light­ful French bal­conies.


The op­u­lent Kubbeli Lounge serves after­noon tea, an institution much loved by Is­tan­bu­lites and guests alike, in a plush set­ting of high-domed ceil­ings, cor­ner win­dows and par­quet floor­ing. Patis­serie de Pera of­fers in­dul­gent cakes and the per­fect cup of Turk­ish cof­fee. The Ori­ent Ter­race, which serves cock­tails and a va­ri­ety of in­ter­na­tional cui­sine, is the per­fect out­door venue for catch­ing the sunset over the Golden Horn. Or head for a drink in one of the plush, scroll back arm­chairs in the dusky Ori­ent Bar.

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