The 63 apartments designed by Khuan Chew ľ whose company did the interior design on everything from Burj al Arab in Dubai to the Mandarin Oriental in Prague -- start at 600 sq ft studios and go up to 1,600 sq ft three-bedroom suites. Ours was a one-bedroom that was bigger than a house. It consisted of a very large bedroom with room for a chaise lounge in front of the bay window; two bathrooms, with the ensuite and its soaker whirlpool tub and body jet shower system (Hans Grohe, donĺt you know) open to the bedroom (if youĺre shy you can close the sandblasted glass sliding doors for privacy); a kitchen with hidden fridge, kitchen island with built-in stovetop, and the necessary Nespresso machine; and, shall we say, a ôliving spaceö large enough to encompass sofa, chairs, bookcase, TV unit, desk, and dining room. It took us the greater part of an hour to figure out how to turn off all of the lights in the place the first night we were there. Last, but not least, each room looked out across the Bosphorus Strait to the Asian side of Istanbul.
Swiss˘tel Living has its own private library and lounge where you can get a breakfast of local fruit, bread and pastries, meats and cheeses, yogurts, and made-to-order hot items. Service here, as it is throughout the property, is outstanding. And once youĺre finished breakfast, get that bikini on because thereĺs a private infinity pool on the rooftop terrace, again with those killer views. There's also plenty of seating, so if you want to prepare a lovely meal in your kitchen, you can bring it up to the terrace and look out over the old city.
Guests of Living also have access to all of The Bosphorus hotelĺs amenities: Their numerous restaurants, bars and lounges, including the Gaja rooftop bar; indoor and outdoor pools; a first-rate spa and health club, tennis courtsůyou get the picture.
Now, just in case youĺre not planning to stay in Istanbul for a month or year or anything in between (which is when Swiss˘tel Living officially considers you an extended stay guest), you are able to stay at the property for as little as one night if thereĺs availability. The best available rate we found in November was 450 EUR ($584) for a park view one-bedroom apartment. Not too bad. A Bosphorus view two-bedroom could be had for $1,100 EUR ($1,427). These rates include breaky in the Living Lounge.
Next up for Swiss˘tel Living? A new property in the Russian Republic of Tartastan opening in 2015 -- Swiss˘tel Riviera Tower -- in Kazan.
Janice stayed as a guest of Swiss˘tel, but the views expressed are most definitely her own.
[Photos: Janice Tober/HotelChatter]