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5 Hotels With The Best Bosphorus Views in Istanbul

Where: Istanbul, Turkey
August 14, 2014 at 10:30 AM | by | ()

Kempinski Ciragan Palace

Istanbul Week continues! Your must-stay hotels in your major areas are all well and good, of course, but what if you don’t care about the tourist sites or the nightlife or your bizness connectionswhat if you just want to wake up to the Bosphorus outside your door?

The downside of staying on the Bosphorus – other than the premium prices – is that it’s slightly out of the way, so makes it longer to get to the sites/your meeting/that hot new restaurant everyone is talking about. The upside of staying on the Bosphorus is that it’s so bloody beautiful, you’re unlikely to stray from your hotel. The solution? Work out how many nights you want in the other locations, and then add at least one (ideally two) on the water. You won’t regret it.

Here are some of the best waterfront properties:

SUMAHAN ON THE WATER: We’ll go into detail about Sumahan sometime soon. In the meantime, know this: it’s phenomenal. An old raki factory, converted into a 24-room hotel by its architect owners (you’ll know their touch from the clean-lined interiors, all steel beams and ingenious use of space and big windows overlooking the water below), it’s on the Asian side, beyond the Bosphorus Bridge, but the hotel has a shuttle boat to Tophane several times a day, and from there there’s a tram going straight to Sultanahmet. From €125 ($167).

HOUSE HOTEL BOSPHORUS: We’ve already waxed lyrical about House Hotels, Istanbul’s fabulous mini chain of four entirely different properties. This one is in an Ottoman mansion sitting plum on the shimmering water, next to the newly reopened Ortakoy mosque and in the shadow of the Bosphorus Bridge (on the European side, in Besiktas). HC stalwart Jetsetcd, who’s stayed, likes the mix of modern bed and bathroom with historic interiors – tiling, ceiling medallions, original stairways and Juliet balconies(!) have been preserved.
From €157 ($210).

KEMPINSKI CIRAGAN PALACE: On a Bosphorus ferry heading north from Beyoglu, you’ll notice a sprawling, creamy palace sitting on the water on the European side, halfway between Tophane and Ortakoy. That’d be the Kempinski, possibly the most awe-inspiring hotel building in Istanbul. Most rooms have Bosphorus-facing balconies, but the real draw is the pool right on the waterfront.
From €272, Bosphorus views from €340.

FOUR SEASONS ON THE BOSPHORUS: Another Ottoman palace, this one near the House Hotel in Ortakoy. Rooms look slightly more modern than those in FS Sultanahmet, and obviously you’ll want a Bosphorus-facing one. To really do it in style, take advantage of their private watertaxi to the airport (from €380).
From €340 ($454), Bosphorus views from €530 ($709). If that’s way out of budget, the Radisson Blu next door starts from €200 ($267).

BOSPHORUS PALACE HOTEL : If you like your hotels slightly weird and ever so Turkish, this is the one for you – a delectable jewel box of a property under the Bosphorus Bridge on the Asian side. It’s stayed true to its neo-Ottoman mansion roots, with colored walls, antique furniture and slightly bizarre categories (superior rooms don’t have Bosphorus views, and one of the best rooms is the standard room in the attic, with a water-facing balcony).
From €115 ($153).

[Photos: Sumahan/House Hotel Ortakoy/Kempinski from the water: Julia Buckley for HotelChatter. All others: Hotel Facebook pages]

Archived Comments:

Bosphorus Views

Another nice option on the Bosphorus the Shangri-La Hotel. The Bosphorus-facing rooms are just a few meters from the water's edge, and the ferry station is across from the hotel. Picture: <a href="http://bit.ly/1pReL4G">http://bit.ly/1pReL4G</a> (my own)

Also, I find the images and description of the Kempinski Ciragan Palace Hotel a bit misleading, as the old palace is only part of the resort, mainly used for events (there are NO rooms in palace). The rooms are in a new building, set back from the Bosphorus: <a href="http://bit.ly/1t2slEM,">http://bit.ly/1t2slEM,</a> and only a few of them have Bosphorus-facing balconies (most have partial views only).