WHERE TO STAY
PERA PALACE HOTEL JUMEIRAH
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.
STYLE & CHARACTER
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.
FOOD & DRINK
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.