Istanbul captivating.terraces.busy.bazaar

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Less is more ... rather than overwhelming you with volumes of travel tips, here is a specific list of exclusive recommendations with Mr & Mrs Crystal's stamp of approval.

hotels

A'jia Hotel

A distinguished boutique Hotel, A'jia is a romantic Ottoman mansion that adorns the Asain banks of the mighty Bosphorous. Boasting breathtaking views and an imposing palatial facade, A'jia has only 16 slick rooms. The hideaway truly has to be seen to be believed.

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 View Map ... Cubukla Cad No 27 Kanlica, Istanbul, Turkey
Ciragan Palace Kempinski

Within the grandeur of a classic Ottoman Palace, this lavish hotel is a baroque masterpiece and overwhelmingly brilliant. The Ciragan Palace Kempinski has been magnificently restored and is perfectly located on the inspiring Bosphorus shores. You will feel totally relaxed amidst luxurious facilities, award-winning cuisine and impeccable service including a personal butler for all Palace guests.

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 View Map ... Ciragan Caddesi No 32, Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus

In an idyllic location on the European banks of the Bosphorus, Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus gives a 19th century palace a fresh spirit. The hotel reflects both the historic past and contemporary vitality of its waterfront setting, with a contemporary elegance that personifies modern Istanbul. Exquisite waterside gardens and terraces, an urban spa with Turkish bath and a pool with soothing underground music make this an ottoman emporium of pure waterside luxury.

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 View Map ... Ciragan Caddesi 28, Istanbul, Turkey
Witt Istanbul Suites

There are rare moments when a hotel aficionado checks in to a hotel and immediately rates it as a design icon. Witt Suites is that rarity. A distinctive identity with modern flair, Witt is designer heaven. With just 15 suites spaciously fitted with apartment-style luxuries, it feels lavish yet still homely. An exclusive members bar and restaurant complete the mix of modernism. It is a true Turkish delight.

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 View Map ... Deftendar Yokusu No. 26, 34433 Cihangir, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey

what we think

No other city in the world can claim to straddle two continents, but spanning Asia and Europe is not the only fascinating thing about this splendid city. Fervent shoppers can indulge at designer boutiques, go on a spree at the crazy but addictive Grand Bazaar or engage their senses at the sensual Spice Market. By day, be spoilt with a traditional hammam steam bath and be captivated by the domes and minarets. At night, enjoy a cocktail at one of the many superb rooftop bars or go clubbing under the stars reflecting over the Bosphorous river. A surprise packet of pleasure and designer glamour on the Bosphorous, Istanbul is quickly becoming the next “must-go” hedonist destination.