The views the hotel once enjoyed over the Beyoğlu (then called Pera) neighbourhood for which it was named have been diminished as the area around it has become more and more built up, but it’s still centrally located and has sweeping views over the Golden Horn.
With their antique dark-wood furniture and tastefully subtle use of Ottoman patterns – in the earth-toned curtains, bedspreads, and upholstery – the remodelled bedrooms are an elegant combination of Eastern and Western styles. The beds are so luxurious and comfortable guests may find it hard to do anything other than lounge around during their stay.
If staying at the Pera Palace isn’t enough of a splurge on its own, the hotel’s special suites named after its iconic guests are the size of a small apartment, with individual French balconies and the original paintings and furniture. Airport transfers in classic cars are also available.
The grand entry floor, with its high, decorative ceilings and airy rooms, offers a variety of places, including a bar and a tea lounge, to soak in the atmosphere.
Eating and drinking
The Agatha Restaurant serves French, Italian, and Turkish food to represent the three major stops on the old Orient Express, while a classic French patisserie offers decadent treats. I found the Orient Bar disappointingly flat, though, especially compared to the sleek bars at most of Istanbul’s high-end hotels.
The white-marble spa offers a traditional Turkish bath experience as well as other types of massage and treatments. The spa area also includes a steam bath, Jacuzzi, sauna, gym, and indoor pool.
The service is extremely formal, almost to the point of stiffness to my tastes, but should be suited to the high-end clientele once they can work out the post-re-opening kinks.
Who stays there
Luxury-minded travellers from around the world. The hotel also caters to weddings and corporate events with its banquet halls and catering service.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Culture vultures
- Seasoned travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- People watching
- Special occasions
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Luxurious rooms
- Gorgeously restored historical building
- High-end spa
- Bar not very lively
- Service still finding its rhythm