Nestled by the breathtaking Bosphorus, Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul is the best way to experience Ottoman royalty during a stay in the city. By Sushmita Srivastav
In a past life, it was a royal residence for Ottoman sultans. Today, the 19th-century Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul is celebrated as the only Ottoman imperial palace and luxury hotel located by the breathtaking waters of Bosphorus.
What was a land of royal gardens, a summer villa, and a marble palace till mid 19th-century was in 1871 turned into the surreal Çırağan Palace on the orders of Sultan Abdulaziz. It was later taken over by the Kempinski Hotels, the oldest luxury hotel group in Europe, in 1991, for restoration because the palace was destroyed by a raging fire in 1910. Today, the palace hotel has 310 rooms, including 11 suites in the historical palace building and 20 suites in the modern hotel building. While 10 of the palace suites are maisonette-style duplex suites, the Sultan Suite is counted among the largest and most expensive suites in the world— with a regal hall, an ornate living room, a central dining area for 12, two fireplaces, a kitchenette, and two luxe bedrooms with marble Turkish baths.
An infinity pool that seems to float on the Bosphorus, an award-winning spa that offers traditional therapies, a romantic wedding terrace, the spacious Çırağan Ballroom, and 20 state-of-the-art meeting rooms make the hotel the ideal destination for dreamy weddings and business events.
The hotel also features a variety of indoor and outdoor dining spaces. Have an authentic Ottoman dining experience at Tuğra, enjoy delicious buffets and brunches at Laledan Restaurant, gorge on seafood at the outdoor summer restaurant of Bosphorus Grill, sip on sundowners at the entertainment destination of The 47, or cool off under the shade of swaying palms at the Pop-Up Champagne Bar. There’s also the Chocolate Room, where
you can treat yourself with endless chocolates, the Baklava Room, where you can taste a wide variety of the Turkish sweet, the Gazebo Lounge, where you can hold meetings over the best Turkish brews and bakes, and Le Fumoir, where your favourite spirits come with a view. Sultan’s Dinner is tailor-made for those guests who wish to treat their senses with dining reminiscent of the Ottoman era.