New ‘White Glove Services’ Wow Guests at Istanbul’s Most Illustrious Hotel

Ciragan Palace Kempinski

Despite the uncertainty of the last several months, many of us have daydreamed about traveling again, but as more countries open their borders, there is no denying that things look a little different. While COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted the way airlines and hotels will operate for the foreseeable future, it’s not all doom and gloom.

As lockdowns lift, more hotels are starting to reopen, and one property leading the charge in this "new normal" of travel is Ciragan Palace Kempinski. The former home of an Ottoman sultan turned five-star hotel is bringing class to new health and safety regulations with its White Glove Services program. Enhanced cleaning protocols, amenities, and contactless privacy options have been nimbly implemented as part of a brand-wide initiative that upholds Kempinski's impeccable standards of luxury service while keeping guests and employees safe. 

Ciragan Palace Kempinski

Reminiscent of old-school high-society household butlers, as the moniker suggests employees will wear white gloves when performing duties and welcoming guests to the hotel, its restaurants, and bars.

A full list of new health and safety protocols can be found on the Ciragan website, but standout measures include a thermal camera screening upon arrival and a luggage cleaning and disinfection service before suitcases are delivered to rooms. The 'Do Not Enter My Room' is a new check-in option, whereby employees do not enter unless requested. Hand sanitizers are readily available, menus have scannable QR codes, and pool sunbeds rearranged according to social distance regulations. A medical office is available for all in-house and outside guests of the hotel, too.

For additional peace of mind, Ciragan Palace Kempinski was recently audited by the world's leading hotel safety and security certification company and awarded a Safehotels CovidClean™ Hotel Certification.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski

Despite the United States still dealing with high coronavirus numbers, Turkey has joined a growing list of countries welcoming back American travelers. In conjunction, flagship carrier Turkish Airlines is increasing service from the U.S. beginning July 15. Good news, then, for those of us intrigued to visit this fascinating country. Whether mountainous areas like Cappadocia or beautiful beaches along the Aegean and Mediterranean seas suit your tastes, a trip there has to begin and possibly end with a few days in Istanbul – one of the world’s most fascinating and diverse cities.

Undoubtedly Istanbul's most famous hotel - some say the Grand Dame - Ciragan Palace wows at every turn. Reached by limousine, yacht, or helicopter countless royalty, heads of state and rock stars have all stayed here – its two-bedroom Sultan Suite consistently ranks among the top suites of the world and starts at $36,000 a night.

As one might expect from a 17th-century palace, the décor is suitably regal: Baroque–style interiors lavishly finished with handmade crystal chandeliers and jewel-toned wool carpets. The manicured grounds and gardens include a scene-stealing heated infinity swimming pool overlooking the Bosphorus – that alongside the White Glove Services, makes it hard to imagine there could be a more picturesque or safer base, from which to explore.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski
Ciragan Palace Kempinski

Travel Safety Notes

According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, all travelers must wear masks onboard flights inbound for Turkey. American travelers will also need to apply for a visa before departure, which can easily be done online in a few minutes via an e-visa application. For more information regarding travel to Turkey from the United States, visit

Ciragan Palace Kempinski

Keri Bridgwater

A native Brit, Keri Bridgwater spent time in house at magazines and publishers in Sweden, New Zealand and Telluride, Colorado before moving to San Diego over a decade ago. She specializes in travel stories, destination guides, hotel news, and profiles for various publications. Bylines in Fodor's, Marie Claire, Yoga Journal, London's Evening Standard, and Virgin Australia's inflight magazine. ...(Read More)

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