Ciragan Palace was originally an abode of the Ottoman nobility. Following a destructive fire in 1910, it was abandoned until Kempinski Hotels acquired and redeveloped it as Ciragan Palace Kempinski. It is part of Leading Hotels of the World, a consortium of more than 375 luxury hotels and resorts in over 75 countries.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The property is divided into two wings — the heritage wing housing 11 palatial suites and its concept restaurant Tuğra, and a modern six-storey hotel wing with contemporary rooms and suites. There is a sweeping view of the Bosphorus from almost every corner of the property. The highlight of the Ciragan Palace Kempinski, besides the views, are its manicured gardens along the waterfront. The hotel’s indoor and outdoor spaces have been designed to give you a sense of palace life, with an understated elegance that reigns through the spaces.
WHERE IS IT?
By the banks of the Bosphorus, in the upscale neighbourhood of Besiktas. Dolmabahce Palace is a short walk away.
The modern hotel wing houses about 300 rooms and suites. The room categories are Park Side (32 sqm), Superior Bosphorus (34 sqm), Deluxe Bosphorus View (66 sqm) and Grand Deluxe Bosphorus View (50 sqm). There are five categories of Exclusive suites in this wing and 11 suites in the palace wing. At the top end of Ciragan’s offering is the Sultan suite that spreads across 458 sqm, which is among the largest suites in Europe. The space is a perfect recreation of royal Ottoman apartments replete with magnificent chandeliers, objets d’art and floor-to-ceiling windows. Its 19th century furniture has been designed in Turkey by local craftsmen. This two-bedroom suite also features a living room, 21-seater dining area, kitchenette and a handmade marble hammam in the bathroom.
FOOD AND DRINK
Ciragan Palace’s signature fine-dining Turkish restaurant, Tugra is designed to look like the formal dining room of Ottoman royalty. The hotel wing houses Laledan (all-day dining) that can be accessed either through the hotel or via a private jetty. Le Fumoir invites guests for single malts and cigars, and has an extensive champagne menu. Gazebo Lounge serves international cuisine. Bosphorus Grill, an outdoor dining restaurant that opens in spring.
The hotel plays host to some of the world’s most prestigious conferences as well as political and diplomatic events. Most of the banquet rooms and conference halls are located in the heritage wing. These areas are accessed through the grand, sweeping staircases. There is also the hotel’s most unique venue — the original, historical marble hammam of the palace, which can now house an intimate cocktail party on special request.
The gym has cardio and strength equipments. There is a heated indoor pool, a whirlpool, a sauna and an outdoor infinity pool. Spa treatments include Ayurvedic and Asian massages, as well as a Turkish hammam. The hotel gives its guests the luxury of hiring a private yacht for a cruise down the Bosphorus.
Conducting your business meeting or attending a conference in a heritage Ottoman palace makes for a surreal experience. The hotel boasts the best views in Istanbul, which is what makes it such a coveted address.
The unparalleled Turkish experience wrapped in luxury.
Hammam at the spa — as close as you will get to an authentic Turkish bath.
Upwards of TRY 1,679/₹28,265.
Ciragan Cadessi 32, Besiktas, Istanbul; +90 212 326 4646; lhw.com
Riaan Jacob George