Istanbul has pulled off a royal slam-dunk! This vibrant city barely had time to catch its breath after being anointed the 2010 European Capital of Culture before it was chosen as the European Capital of Sport for 2012. In other words, it's the perfect time to plan a visit.
For a totally memorable stay, consider Les Ottomans, an extravagantly restored Ottoman mansion perched on the banks of the Bosphorus. Over the last few years, this over-the-top glam hotel has become the Meryl Streep of the hospitality industry, steadily racking up just about every “Best Hotel Award” available.
When Turkish hotelier, Ahu Aysal, first visited the mansion (then in ruins) she immediately saw the possibilities and spent endless amounts of time and money over the last decade in order to bring this once prestigious Pasha’s palace back to life. In 2006, she unveiled the results: ten decadent suites styled-out with planet-sized crystal chandeliers, sensual swathes of the embroidered silk and rich brocades, inlaid wood floors, priceless antique pieces eclectically mixed with handmade Turkish furniture– all positioned according to the principles of Feng Shui. (Look for the framed plaque in the lobby signed by renown Singaporean Feng Shui Master Yap Cheng Hai).
The spacious suites seamlessly combine 18th century elegance with today's modern conveniences by offering one-touch wall pads that control your plasma tv, music, lights, lower the shades, open the windows, etc. alongside an in-room fax machine, laptop and Wi-Fi.
The staff lives to meet your every need and whim--or example, upon arriving at the airport you can choose between being picked up by the chauffeur-driven Bentley or the private yacht. Each will whisk you “home” where a bottle of chilled champagne and a golden tray of dried fruit and nuts awaits you.
For the perfect antidote to your jet-lag, head downstairs for some world-class pampering in the Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa, which offers a full range of treatments from an exfoliating Crushed Cabernet Scrub to an intoxicating Sauvignon Massage. Or put together your own relaxation program as you roam between an ultra-luxe version of a traditional Turkish hamman, a calming meditation room, sauna, liquid sound pool, aromatherapy shower or the state-of-the-art fitness room.
Forget about waiting for a Prince, or even your Knight in shining armor to whisk you away. For an oriental dream come true,check into Les Ottomans for the full Pasha-like treatment starting at $1,000/night.
Les Ottomans Patio
Les Ottomans Suite
Les Ottomans Bathroom