luxe - Ciragan Palace, Istanbul
Written by Florian Schubert
In a city as modern and vibrant as Istanbul it is sometimes easy to forget its Ottoman past. When staying at Çırağan Palace, though, you are guaranteed a taste of the grandeur and luxury that former Sultans enjoyed, while unwinding in a different era.
The name of the palace, ‘Çırağan’ (‘light-spreading’ in Persian),
is derived from the flambeau entertainments that took place
in this area between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy and around the palace during so-called ‘Çırağan Festivals’.
Sometimes also called ‘the pearl of Istanbul’, this residence of the last of the Ottoman Sultans is situated beside the Bosphorus strait, which divides Europe and Asia. Destroyed in 1910 by a fire and reconstructed in 1990, Çırağan Palace now claims to be the city’s most luxurious hotel. An oasis of calm, it features lush parks, some of Turkey’s best restaurants, and probably the only infinity pool in the world that overlooks two continents.
Çırağan Palace is famous not only amongst celebrities and politicians but also modern Istanbulus for its multitude of cultural events which are hosted in the grounds of the hotel. Art exhibitions and discussions, readings, and classical music concerts enrich Istanbul’s cultural landscape. The hotel’s caring staff and much attention to detail ensure that guests will get a glimpse of a former Sultan’s life. The spacious rooms provide magnificent views over the Bosphorus: giant ocean liners passing right in front of your window on their way to the Black Sea are quite a sight.
For the ultimate experience, the Çırağan Palace’s 376m2 Sultan Suite is the second largest in Europe, and can be booked at a rack rate
of US$38,500 per night, not including VAT.
Top four pastimes recommended by
Selim Özcan, Public Relations Co-ordinator
at Çırağan Palace:
Take a private boat cruise along the Bosphorus and discover the old Ottoman villas and fishing villages until you reach the Black Sea.
Taste some of the best seafood in the world. A vast choice of eateries abounds, but if you must pick only one, try Lacivert, underneath the second Bosphorus bridge on the Asian side.
Climb the ancient Galata Tower in Beyoğlu. This 660-year-old structure offers magnificent sunset views of the Golden Horn and the Asian side.
Atatürk Arboretum is more than a botanical garden. Described as a ‘living tree museum’, it is only 20 km from Istanbul. On display are not only local flora but a large range of trees and plants from all over the world. Although open daily, entry on weekends is restricted
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul