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5 Hotels That Lived Former Lives

Nov 2, 2016  |   Contributor: Kimberly Fisher

It’s not that new, from-the-ground-up hotels are any less esteemed, it’s just that properties with a storied past are just more intriguing. Sometimes to really get a sense of place when traveling, the best suites are the ones found in historic properties that have been around for centuries. Long before these luxury destinations were welcoming guests, they were the residences of princes, the estates of Italian musicians and former prison cells. If their stories don’t impress you, their fine furnishings, list of amenities and scenic locations just might do the trick. Here are five historic properties that have been restored and turned into luxury hotels:

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Enigmatic Istanbul in Winter

Jun 6, 2016  |   Contributor: Dan Avila

Sometimes the best travel experiences come from not following the crowds. In fact, in one of the world’s most lauded cities, avoiding the herd can result in a far more enriching experience. Istanbul is a destination that stirs the emotions of historians, culture lovers and travelers alike. If you are prepared to visit this enigmatic city out of peak season, some of its greatest treasures can be enjoyed (almost) all to yourself.

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Viceroy Opens First Hotel in Turkey on Motor Car-Free Island

Apr 29, 2016  |   Contributor: Nicolle Monico

This summer Viceroy’s first Turkish hotel will open along the Marmara Sea on the island of Büyükada. Viceroy Princes' Islands Istanbul will include 77 guestrooms and suites, serviced residences, a traditional Ottoman grand mansion, extensive gardens and a private cove. Restored to its former self, the grand mansion offers 20,731 square feet of space, six suites, a private pool, and venues available for social gatherings.

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5 Extraordinary Buildings Repurposed as Swanky New Hotels

Feb 9, 2016  |   Contributor: Nicolle Monico

Every year, new hotels pop up across the globe; some are built from the ground up while others utilize the architecture that is already residing in a city. When developers and designers choose the latter, some pretty stunning properties can take shape. Restored from centuries-old structures, these hotels often times feature unique spaces, vaulted ceilings, original moldings, frescoes and even secret nooks. Of the many properties that debuted in 2015, here’s a look at our five favorite hotels that were conceived out of historic buildings.

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We Bet Watchtower of Turkey Will Convince You to Visit the Middle Eastern Country

Oct 15, 2015  |   Contributor: Nicolle Monico

It’s hard not be intrigued by Turkey, the Middle Eastern country that has such a rich, spiritual culture, beautiful landscapes, mouth-watering gastronomy and storied history. The destination itself is a blend of many things, a hodge-podge of contradictions from ancient buildings to contemporary architecture and deeply-religious groups mixed with non-believing peoples. It is both Westernized and Oriental, and completely unordinary.

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Ritz-Carltons Across the Globe Turned Out the Lights for Earth Hour 2015

Apr 3, 2015  |   Contributor: JustLuxe Team

Last Saturday, Ritz-Carlton properties around the world went dark at 8:30 p.m. in support of Earth Hour, founded by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF). Each hotel turned off non-essential lighting during the hour, and participated in their own unique way for the annual event.

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Travel by Month: A Year's Guide to Following the Sunshine Around the World

Jan 29, 2015  |   Contributor: Nicolle Monico

We love the start of a new year; and not just because all the “New Year, New You” hype, but more so because it means 365 days of potential travel ahead. For 2015, to assist you with your own travel plans, we thought we’d put together a list of some of our favorite destinations to visit by month. Keeping in mind that sightseeing is typically an outdoor activity, we chose each destination based on its sunniest and/or its most pleasant weather months. 

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The Glittering Raffles Istanbul is Now Open & You're Going to Want to Stay Here

Sep 5, 2014  |   Contributor: Nicolle Monico  |  1 Comment

In 2013, it was all about Cape Town, South Africa and Rio de Janiero, Brazil (fùtbol fever) for best travel destinations in 2014. This year, more and more articles, photos and travel packages are coming across my desk with trips to Istanbul, Turkey. And in April, TripAdvisor ranked the Turkish city as the #1 Most Popular Travel Destination in the World.

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See the World Inside a Romantic Rail Car With These 6 Luxury Train Tours

May 15, 2014  |   Contributor: Nicolle Monico

It’s no secret around here that our Executive Editor has an crush extreme love of travel-by-train excursions. Maybe it’s the slow-paced life inside the richly decorated, wood-paneled rail cars, or the hours of conversations you’re afforded with other passengers as you pass through beautiful countrysides, either way, there really is something very romantic about locomotive travel today. 

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Sumahan on the Water: A 19th Century Alcohol Factory Transformed

Jun 5, 2013  |   Contributor: JustLuxe Team

Transformed from a family heirloom — an alcohol factory owned by the mid-nineteenth century Ottoman family — Sumahan on the Water is a rare hotel on the very edge of the Bosphorus Straits in Istanbul. The Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean surround the family-owned property and offer picturesque landscapes to hotel guests.... Read More

Modernity of French Luxury in Istanbul at Festival Colbert

Jan 22, 2013  |   Contributor: Rana Babac

Today marks the end of the first Festival Colbert in Istanbul during which twenty-six companies of the prestigious Comité Colbert of France presented their own take on modernity to the public.... Read More

The Bentley Hotel Istanbul Gets a Makeover

Dec 13, 2012  |   Contributor: Carly Zinderman

The Bentley Hotel, a product of architects Piero Lissoni and Nicoletta Canesi’s creative inspiration, has undergone a complete refurbishment, revitalizing the cool, sleek design that has established it as a meeting point for local and international trendsetters. The Bentley Hotel is representative of Istanbul’s unique location between Europe and Asia, and the revamp has given the hotel a new ambiance while retaining the cool, minimalist appeal achieved by Lissoni and Canesi’s design. As part of the renovation, each room has been given a fresh look, including a new twin-bed option, perfect for friends visiting for a weekend trip to explore all the city has to offer.... Read More

Travel to Turkey to Live Like a Sultan at The Four Seasons Istanbul

Nov 29, 2012  |   Contributor: Sally Farris

Located in Sultanahmet, The Four Seasons Istanbul was originally an Ottoman Empire prison. Used to detain political prisoners, including famous Turkish poet and communist revolutionary Nazim Hikmet, the neoclassically designed jail was converted into a luxury hotel in 1996. Nestled in the heart of Istanbul’s "Old City," the building is only a stroll away from grand historical attractions like the 17th century Blue Mosque or the 6th century St. Sophia. The former penitentiary now houses 65 opulent guest rooms and suites run by over 200 dedicated multilingual staff.... Read More

Istanbul Tourists Get Five Star Hotel

Nov 13, 2012  |   Contributor: Michael Pearse

The new Hilton in Istanbul, set to open in the summer of 2013, will give travelers to the must-go tourist city the opportunity to relax in style with 829 rooms at the heart of the Sisli district. Dubbed the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center, the impressive building is expected to be a rewarding enterprise.... Read More

New Sky Suites at Gezi Hotel Bosphorus

Nov 1, 2012  |   Contributor: Carly Zinderman

Amongst the newest additions to the trendy Taksim Square area of Istanbul is the Gezi Hotel Bosphorus, Design Hotels™. Next month four new sky suites will open at the hotel, giving guests a view of the Bosphorus from bed to bath. Each suite features Jacuzzi tubs and private balconies for guests to take in the scenery of Istanbul, the bridge to the Orient. The sleekly modern design fits in well with the surrounding neighborhood and offers not only elegant furnishings and appointments but also the hotel restaurant, G’nova, filled with Mediterranean cuisine, modern Turkish dishes and creative cocktails. In the spa, experience signature spa treatments and check out the state of the art fitness center.... Read More

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