ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Opening on September 1, 2014, Raffles Istanbul is the city’s most exciting new hotel; the perfect embodiment of the new young face of an ancient city and a beacon above the Bosphorus, an oasis of calm and cool.
At the heart of the cutting-edge Zorlu Center, a modern-day bazaar where fashion, fine food and the arts converge on the European shore in Beşiktaş, Raffles Istanbul is an exhilarating fusion of virtuoso architecture, dazzling interiors, inspired food and luxury. The hotel overlooks the Bosphorus, the Prince Islands and the historic peninsula – a stunning vantage point above the city.
“Turkey is a rising star in the global economy and, in this youngest member of the Raffles family, we have created the perfect expression of the ‘new’ Istanbul: vibrant, full of energy and innovation, but utterly in touch with the city in which it stands and its rich heritage,” says Peter French, President of Raffles Hotels & Resorts.
This rich heritage is reflected in the light and airy interiors designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA). Contemporary, full of texture and distinctly Turkish, the hotel is embellished with a gorgeous collection of specially-commissioned artworks. Many of these are by Turkish artists, others by artists inspired by this magnificent city: tactile sculptures, objets trouvés and contemporary interpretations of classic patterns, pieces inspired by fabulous Byzantine jewels – all bringing the ancient and modern together.
“The spirit of Raffles fits perfectly into this extraordinary capital city at such an exciting time,” says Peter French. “Our philosophy is to create an oasis where people can come together and continue on refreshed. It is this tradition of bringing people together that is an essential feature of the story of Raffles Istanbul. For centuries, Istanbul has been the meeting place between East and West, Asia and Europe, where great civilizations and cultures have left their mark and where people have exchanged ideas, told stories and set out again.”
Raffles Istanbul offers its guests 132 guestrooms and 49 suites – all spacious and filled with light, blending Turkish and contemporary design and offering everything the modern traveler demands. Floor-to-ceiling windows lead to furnished private terraces and balconies, for lofty views over the Bosphorus and the city.
Istanbul is a melting pot of gastronomic delights - and so too is Raffles Istanbul. Two restaurants, two bars and lounges and a patisserie offer a culinary theatre of possibility, day and night:
- Arola – Michelin-starred Spanish chef Sergi Arola gives classic Catalan dishes a modern spin. This is social food from a sharing culture; the menu offers picas, or small dishes, as well as mains and delicious desserts.
- Rocca – Turkish and Mediterranean food is the order of the day, all day.
- In the striking Lobby, Lavinia is the place to be seen. The lounge is named after Martin Dawe’s dramatic monumental bronze ‘Lavinia’, a focal point for the lobby, and pays homage to the poem by the famous Turkish poet, Ozdemir Asaf.
- The artisan Patisserie offers a range of tempting Turkish cakes and other delights.
- The Pool Bar & Grill on the sixth floor is a stylish spot for soaking up the rays by day or chilling out to the sounds of the DJ by night; all with jaw-dropping views of the city.
- The Writer’s Bar is the perfect stop for a quick ‘time out’ - and the Long Bar travels from Singapore with a glamorous twist - and its own champagne room.
With nine treatment rooms and suites and a choice of pools, saunas, steam rooms and hammams, Raffles Spa is set to be one of the most comprehensive in Istanbul. Gazelli Skincare and Organic Pharmacy offer an indulgent menu of treatments, with a signature Rose, Honey and Sugar Hammam Experience from the latter.
Raffles Istanbul also offers an inspirational choice of calm, contemporary spaces for private and business events - from the launch of a new car or a society wedding in The Ballroom, a birthday dinner in one of the seven private rooms, to a high-level meeting in The Boardroom. All this backed up by the latest technology, experienced service and support, leaves guests free to focus on their own agendas. Guests may also call ahead to book the Raffles helipad, for an easy arrival and a fast getaway.
Tarek Mourad, General Manager of Raffles Istanbul, brings with him a wealth of experience in opening successful, five-star luxury hotels. Originally from Egypt, Tarek is thrilled to be back in Istanbul, where he was previously General Manager at Four Seasons Sultan Ahmed. He returns from Azerbaijan, where he oversaw the opening of Four Seasons Baku.
Throughout the hotel, the authentic Raffles touch is never far away, personified by the legendary Raffles Butler service that is part of the anatomy of every Raffles; from Singapore, to all ten of the company’s hotels around the world.
Rooms from $800 per night. For opening offers valid through October 31, 2014, please visit www.raffles.com/istanbul/offers