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We will then be flying to Cappadocia for 3 nights before going onto our next destination. My husband and I are planning to visit Istanbul end of December for a good seven days. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 326-4646 The rooms in this hotel are spacious, and they all reflect some forms of Ottoman designs. In the calm but centrally located neighborhood of Besiktas, however, the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus steals the show. Rooms offer rare touches of class such as old-fashioned lamps and dark wooden furniture, as well as balconies with broad views of the city and Bosphorus Strait. On a corner of a lane teeming with cafés in a pulsating part of the old town, the Mercure is immediately striking – particularly the lobby with brick walls and tiled floors, and the restaurant which is so chic and spacious. Accommodation options in the streets below the Blue Mosque are excellent and cater for all budgets. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 245 1270 All of these neighbourhoods are replete with cafes, eateries and boutique accommodation options, but each also has a unique flavor and specific attractions – Tophane has the cutting-edge İstanbul Modern gallery, Karaköy and Cihangir are home to lively bar and club scenes, Galata is known for its jazz venues and cultural centres, Asmalımescit and Tepebaşı are full of popular meyhanes (traditional Turkish taverns), Tünel hosts an historic lodge where Dervishes whirl and the cobbled streets of Cukurçuma are where you’ll find some of the city’s most alluring antique shops and designer boutiques. Within a short walk of some of Istanbul’s major attractions, such as the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar, the metro passes the front door and the backstreets overflow with cute bistros and bars. The design of the hotel and layout of the shady grounds are very much like a beach resort, and the infinity pool is double-layered, meters from the sea, and with a section for children. Rooms are large and each has a small kitchenette. Celebrated local designers including Gönül Paksoy have boutiques on Atiye Sokak and popular chains such as Yargıcı and Paşabahçe are located on the major thoroughfare of Teşvikiye Caddesi. It’s touristy, of course (almost every visitor to the city kicks off their itinerary here) but other parts of the city are easily accessed via taxi or tramway so it’s easy to escape the sightseers and head to other neighbourhoods to check out the local bar, restaurant and club scenes. Which one would you choose? With substantial lawns and a playground, the hotel is also ideal for families. The bistros, boutiques, and metro stations around the upmarket Taksim area are accessible via the remarkable teleferik (cable car) close by. With numerous shops on lower levels, the lobby is adorned with chandeliers and refined enough for a piano player. Both are glamorous, spacious and have stunning views. All rooms and suites are attractively furnished and most overlook the serene inner courtyard and lush gardens. From there, move on to Sultanahmet Square, home to both Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque. Easily accessed by tram from both Sultanahmet and Beyoğlu, it’s a neighbourhood that is best explored during the day, particularly around lunchtime when the many local eateries and food stands do a brisk business (head to Hocapaşa Sokak on the Eminönü/Sirckeci border to find the best of these). 1. The Sultan's Suite is one of the most expensive in the world. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Istanbul-Moda or the MyKent Hotel are great for exploring this area of the city. This leaves Eminönü at 10.35am every morning and sails the full length of the strait to Anadolu Kavağı. Also can you recommend a hotel to stay in Antalya near the beach and affordable as well? You can’t go wrong with either but since you’re in Istanbul primarily for sightseeing I would lean towards the Four Seasons Sultanahmet. You may be better off staying in Beyoğlu at the Pera Palace or Marmara Pera, or at one of the many excellent boutique hotels there (we particularly like TomTom Suites and Witt Istanbul Suites). At night, most of the streets are graveyard-quiet. Choosing between Cappadocia and Antalya should be relatively easy, as they offer very different experiences. There’s a lot more to İstanbul than monuments, something that is immediately apparent when visiting the areas north of the historical peninsula. Looking mainly for day trips but would be willing to do an overnight trip if there weren’t any good beaches close to the city. Its charms are manifold, but guests especially love this four-star option for its flawless service and welcoming … From there, the Sultanahmet Sights and Grand Bazaar are only a short tram trip away and there are hundreds of bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops within walking distance. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 398 0000 Prioritise Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar, and Aya Sofya and visit in that order. If you're an Agatha Christie fan looking for luxury and 19th-century grandeur, the. I wouldn’t call us foodies but visiting a few good Turkish restaurants would definitely be of interest. Best Hotels in Istanbul In the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, visitors could choose among a sparsely populated category of hotels that included decrepit aging blocks, guesthouses with dubiously reliable … Beautifully furnished with a warm atmosphere. And are there any can’t-miss restaurants near either hotel? The hotel is in a converted palace (yes, a different feel than a converted prison) and is all about luxury amenities, leisure, and comfort. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 522 3200 1. Tolga. The main attraction for many, however, is the pool – substantial, outdoor, and surrounded by whitewashed walls – it’s arguably the best of its kind in the old town. Being on a prominent corner, views of the old town from most rooms and the rooftop bar/restaurant are unobstructed. Only a 30-minute walk from Beyoğlu, the modern neighbourhood of Nişantaşı is also easily reached via metro from Taksim Square (Osmanbey station). • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 512 8676 Then head up the cobbled street next to the Archaeological Museum and into the first court of Topkapı Palace. Don’t miss it. Just want to make a website that is super helpful. Across the three basement levels are some impressive amenities, including an indoor pool with exotic wall decorations, and the main restaurant is just meters from the water. antique furniture) with the new (e.g. Located just off busy, funky, and fun Istiklal Street. We will be in Istanbul and Greece in late April and have heard great things from friends about the Four Seasons Istanbul but now that I look there appears to be 2 Four Seasons hotels and I can’t determine which is more appropriate for our stay. We are planning a trip to Turkey and Greece for the summer. What is the best way to experience the Bosphorus? The strait is lined with ornate timber mansions built by the Ottoman elite (some now converted to five-star hotels complete with private launches), and monuments include the majestic fortress of Rumeli Hisarı, constructed by order of Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452. Go to Antalya to spend time in resorts and on the beach, and also take day trips to ancient sites including Termessos and Olympos. For the most romantic hotel choice in the city, opt for Sumahan on the Water, which is located on the water’s edge in Çengelköy on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. Faces a shady street with middle-class housing far from tourist buses and overpriced restaurants. On the shores of the Bosphorus, located between the quiet neighborhoods of Besiktas and Ortakoy, just a 10-minute taxi from Taksim Square, the property isn't just for the super rich. Visitors can enjoy being pampered in the steamy surrounds of a meticulously restored Ottoman-era hamam, sip a glass of tea in one of the open-air cafes in tulip-laden Gülhane Park or shop for quality souvenirs in the atmospheric Arasta Bazaar. Please advise: 1) Neat and classy hotel close to Blue Mosque Most areas in the city are safe. Two major tram stops, Beyazıt/Grand Bazaar and Çemberlitaş, service the bazaar and the Süleymaniye Mosque is only a short walk away. Several of the rooms have balconies offering Bosphorus views and guests can enjoy in-room yoga sessions and massage. But if you want to be close to art galleries, the city’s smaller museums, boutique shopping and the best restaurants and bars, stay in one of the Beyoğlu neighbourhoods (Galata, Karaköy, Cihangir etc). Here are our questions: 1) What is the best time of year to visit Istanbul and Greece? 3) What is the best way to get from Istanbul to Santorini? Three Questions: Although the outside looks fairly bland, the interior is contrastingly very ornate: e.g. An expert guide to the best boutique hotels Istanbul, including the best for city views, pools, restaurants and stylish bedrooms, in areas such as Karaköy and Beyoğlu. 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