If ever a city is a suitable back-drop for mixing European and Asian influences, it’s Istanbul (there’s even a sign when you cross the Ataturk bridge that has “Welcome to Asia!!” on it). Pale grey and blue dominate in the initial room images, with rather moody dark marble in the bathrooms. Little hints in fabrics and design relate to the group’s Asian heritage, with some rooms featuring private terraces overlooking the Bosphorus.
The same mix can be found in the food in the all-day dining restaurant, with a tea lounge and bar in the lobby lounge. A Cantonese destination restaurant will focus on Chinese specialties. Chinese healing therapies are the core of the experience at the CHI spa, which has seven private treatment rooms, but in a nod to the hotel’s location, two hammams. The health club also has an indoor pool and fitness center.
Located in the shopping district of Besiktas, the hotel is in between the famous Dolmabahce Palace and the Maritime museum, putting it close to the city’s financial district and Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre for business travellers, and within easy reach of Sultanahmet and Taksim for tourists.
This stretch of the Bosphorus is no stranger to luxury hotels; both Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus and Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul are nearby. A Superior room at the Four Seasons starts at a not inconsequential €530($713) a night in May, with a Park View room at the Kempinski a tad higher at €570($767). We wouldn't be surprised if rooms at the Shangri-La will be similarly priced.
[Photos: Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts]