The Escape | The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul

Istanbul, The Ritz-Carlton, Turkey, City Break, Luxury Travel, #Travel
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
Experience contemporary Ottoman chic on the bank of the Bosphorus

There’s an intoxicating allure to Istanbul that is quite unlike any other. A kaleidoscope sensory overload of music, street markets, delicious smells, and ornate architecture, the secrets of the city fan out onto the pavements and caterwaul from the rooftops looking out across the vastness of the extraordinary metropolis.

It had been a few years since my last trip to Istanbul; a wonderfully balmy summer sipping chilled Ayran and gobbling grilled fish lashed with lemon in between meandering through cobbled streets and bazaars. So, naturally, on the invitation to visit the newly refurbished Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul I simply leapt at the chance to return.

Experience contemporary Ottoman chic on the bank of the Bosphorus.

Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul

Thanks to it's unique and globally central location, Istanbul is the perfect city break if you only have a weekend or a couple of days to spare. One easy-breezy 4-hour flight from Dubai, courtesy of Pegasus Airlines, and a mere 45 minutes from the airport, I arrived at what appeared to be a modernist high-rise. Inside, however, is a marvellously different story. Celebrating its 16th year in Turkey, the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul's recent refurbishment is pure perfection.

With a cavernous marble lobby, the hotel is all Ottoman ostentation. Breathtaking mosque-accented Bosphorus views abound in the public areas and restaurants, while the turquoise waters of the spa’s indoor pool and the quiet, superiorly sleek guestrooms with hillside and water views beckon as a respite from the chaotic city outside. The bedrooms themselves have been recently up-speced with chic modern minimalism intelligently accented with stylish Ottoman touches. Meanwhile, the spacious all-marble bathrooms with traditional Iznik tiles are a rare amenity in Istanbul.

Experience contemporary Ottoman chic on the bank of the Bosphorus.

Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul

No trip to Istanbul would be complete without a hammam experience. The hotel’s elegant spa features a sublime inlaid marble hammam as well as two open-air treatment pavilions overlooking the Bosphorus and its historical surrounds.

Offering both fine-dining at Atelier Real Food and relaxed lounge experiences, the hotel’s restaurant and bars offer the perfect touch of elegance after a day exploring the city’s rich and diverse underbelly. The hotel’s lobby lounge makes for a good spot to share stories over afternoon tea. You’ll find Istanbul’s glitterati, however, gossiping over mezze and hand-crafted refreshments at Bleu Lounge & Grill or under the warm glow of Atelier’s sultry lights.

A short distance from the old quarter and its bazaars, spend a day navigating the ancient alleys of Sultanahmet and discover the wonders of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, and Topkapi Palace. Then, spend the next day cruising along the glorious Bosphorus and exploring the shops of Ortakoy. Savor sensational seasonal fare and traditional flatbreads near the Grand Bazaar along the waterfront, and watch the evening sky turn pink with a sundowner in hand at the aptly named hilltop hot spot Sunset before tumbling into a bed so comfy, you would have sworn you’d spent the night sleeping on the softest of Turkish Delights.

Experience contemporary Ottoman chic on the bank of the Bosphorus.

Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul

Click here to book your stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul.

Pegasus offers one to two flights/day from Dubai to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen airport with prices from 119,99 USD one way. Visit www.flypgs.com/en to find out more.

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Istanbul, The Ritz-Carlton, Turkey, City Break, Luxury Travel, #Travel
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul