Is the 5-star, 313-room Çırağan Palace Kempinski Hotel Istanbul the most luxurious hotel in the city?
Many people think so.
The Çırağan (CHUH-rah-AHN) Kempinski has a reputation for deluxe accommodations and service, but it's the location—right on the Bosphorus shore next to the restored 19th-century Ottoman Çırağan Palace—that gives the hotel its caché.
The hotel itself is a modern building designed in harmony with the restored palace. The 283 guest rooms, 20 suites, and most facilities (restaurants, bars, etc) are in the hotel portion.
The palace has 11 luxury suites, but its primary use is for meetings, conventions and private functions held in its sumptuous public rooms. Hotel guests can usually wander through and admire the public rooms if they are not in use.
The Kempinski has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and those marvelous Bosphorus views—but not from all rooms. Rooms on the west side of the hotel have "park views," meaning that the higher rooms look out across the Bosphorus coast road to the grounds of Yıldız Park, the forests and gardens surrounding Yıldız Palace. But the lower rooms on the west side look only at a high stone wall that sets off the Çiragan Palace grounds from the busy roadway (map).
If you plan to stay at the Kempinski for its Bosphorus views, be sure your room has one!
It's easy to reserve a value-priced private airport transfer to the hotel in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle that costs only slightly more than a taxi, and significantly less than two taxis (which you'll need if you have 4+ people and/or lots of luggage), and far more pleasant, comfortable and trustworthy. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan