Best Hotels in Tepebaşı, Istanbul

Tepebaşı (“Top of the Hill”) was Istanbul‘s first international hotel district, for it was here, in 1892, that the renowned Pera Palace Hotel opened to receive travelers arriving in Constantinople aboard the Orient Express.

The location (map) made sense: up on a hill overlooking the Golden Horn, it received plenty of sunlight and fresh air, and it was near the palatial embassies of the great powers: American, Austro-Hungarian, British, French, Italian, Russian.

Other luxury hotels followed: the BristolGrand LondresTokatlıyan. Today most of the other great 19th-century hotels are only memories, but 20th and 21st-century hotels have risen to take their place.

Today Tepebaşı‘s advantages as a hotel base are that it is near a lot of reborn Beyoğlu‘s arts and activities. The fine Pera Museum—in the former Bristol Hotel—is here, the best music clubs, many restaurants and cafés are within a few minutes’ walk, as are Tünel Square, Galatasaray Square and Cihangir.

Transport is fairly handy: walk a few minutes to Galatasaray Square, or to Tünel Square to board either the Nostalgic Tram or modern Metro to Taksim Square and beyond, or take the Tünel down to Karaköyto catch a ferryboat or the Bağcılar-Kabataş tram over to SultanahmetTaxis are readily available.

Nostalgic Hotels

Pera Palace Hotel

The grande dame of Istanbul’s Ottoman-era hotels, built to shelter passengers arriving on the Orient Express, has been beautifully but authentically restored (2010) to its 19th-century Orientalist splendor. With superb management by Jumeirah, you can easily feel yourself back in the age of the sultans. More…

Palazzo Donizetti Hotel

This 82-room 5-star luxury hotel is cater-corner to the Pera Palace and shares much of its ambience as well as its location. A historic building completely restored in 2011, it has a rooftop restaurant with fine views of the Golden Horn, a spa, and is an easy walk to the restaurants, cafés and music clubs of renascent BeyoğluMore…

Grand Hotel de Londres

Once a grand hotel, now a bit warn, but still full of nostalgia, and a lot cheaper than the nearby Pera Palace Hotel the 54-room Büyük Londra Oteli is for incurable romantics who want to return to the days of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient ExpressMore…

Modern Hotels

The Marmara Pera Hotel

The only modern high-rise in the neighborhood (thank goodness), right across the street from the Pera Palace Hotelit nevertheless offers comfortable modern rooms, many of which have spectacular views of Old Istanbul, the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and Beyoğlu. If yours doesn’t just take the elevator/lift to the roof restaurantMore…

The Peak Hotel

Formerly the Yenişehir Palas Hotel, renovated and renamed The Peak in 2011, this modern 149-room hotel shares the fine location of the Pera PalacePalazzo Donizetti, and Marmara Pera, though at lower prices because it does not have quite the same views or caché. The Peak has two restaurants, and you can easily enjoy the panoramic city views from the rooftop restaurants of its neighbor hotels. More…

Nearby Hotels

For more hotels in Beyoğlu, see Tünel Square HotelsGalatasaray HotelsCihangir Hotels, Taksim Square Hotels, or Beyoğlu Hotel Districts.

—by Tom Brosnahan


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