The Ritz Carlton Istanbul (REVIEW)

One of Istanbul’s first international luxury brand hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul has firmly established itself as one of the leading hotels of the Turkish metropolis. Although your taxi pulls up to a modern high-rise, inside the cavernous marble lobby the hotel is all Ottoman ostentation. Perfect mosque-accented Bosphorus views abound in the public areas and restaurants, but the turquoise waters of the spa’s indoor pool and the quiet, light-filled guestrooms with hillside and water views beckon as a respite from the chaotic city outside.

The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul has built a solid reputation on a high standard of service compensating, in a way, for the architectural structure of the hotel, an office tower building with a late 90′s design. Set against breath-taking Bosphorus views, the rooms here reflect an early modern Ottoman style, with brightly patterned carpets and upholstery and heavy, classic wooden furniture that is equal parts elegance and functionality. The spacious all-marble bathrooms with traditional Iznik tiles are rare amenity in Istanbul, as are the Asprey products they’re stocked with.

The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul offers an authentic Turkish Hammam, an extensive range of facial, body and massage treatments and an indoor pool bordered by Byzantine columns with a ceiling painting of Istanbul sky. The sun terrace features a pool, 3 hot tubs and two open-air spa rooms.

For an old-school meet-up, the hotel’s clubby lobby lounge grand piano included makes for a good spot to chew the fat over afternoon tea, but for something a little trendier, Istanbul’s glitterati gossip over mezze and hand-crafted cocktails at the hotel’s Bleu Lounge & Grill offers up a view of the Bosphorus, paired with a Mediterranean-inspired menu and detailed cocktail list. Here guests can enjoy a live DJ set five nights a week. Guests may also enjoy a meal at the hotel’s newly designed restaurant, Atelier Real Food, where only the best seasonal and local ingredients are used.