Raffles Istanbul: Blending Tradition and Luxury in Trans-Continental Istanbul
Set in one of the most desirable areas in the trans-continental city of Istanbul, Raffles Istanbul offers a new perspective on the timeless city. Opened in 2014, Raffles Istanbul occupies one of four towers of the Zorlu Center, a modern-day bazaar where fashion, fine food, and the arts converge on the European shore in Beşiktaş. An exhilarating fusion of virtuoso architecture, dazzling interiors embellished with specially commissioned Turkish artwork and inspired food and luxury, the hotel overlooks the Bosphorus, Princes Islands and the historic peninsula, within easy reach of the city’s main attractions.
Designed by London-based Hirsh Bedner Associates, the property’s light and airy spaces create the feeling of a calm urban oasis, while expansive public areas define luxury with lavish use of hand-blown chandeliers, immense sculptures, meticulously chosen objects trouvés and bold floral arrangements.
Recently awarded a five-star rating by Forbes Travel Guide, the property features 136 guestrooms and 49 suites. All rooms include private balconies and terraces, framed by floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic city views, and extremely spacious and light-filled. Blending Turkish and contemporary design, they offer everything the modern traveler demands while the hotel’s design concept, “Dream of Istanbul,” is reflected via special touches such as custom murals depicting a dreamy, blurred image of chandeliers from iconic landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, a reflection of the city’s glorious past. Visitors will enjoy the world-renowned Raffles Butler service that is part of every one of the brand’s 14 hotels around the world. Raffles Istanbul is the only property in Istanbul that provides butler service for all rooms, including packing and unpacking luggage, drawing baths, polishing shoes and arranging activities for kids.
Matching the high-end top-tier luxury amenities in its private suites is the rich gastronomy found in Raffles Istanbul. The on-property restaurants, bars and lounges provide an experience of world-class gastronomy from Pan-Asian and Turkish contemporary cuisine to international tastes, always served with true Turkish hospitality. Rocca Brasserie’s cuisine is inspired by the sunny weather, blue waters and the Mediterranean climate. The menu includes seafood, dry-aged meats and home-made fresh pasta, as well as many vegetarian choices, accompanied by an extensive wine list and exquisite Raffles cocktails. The famous Sunday Brunches, which run from September through May, are highly regarded as the city’s best Brunch, offering Champagne and signature Raffles cocktails.
The award-winning Isokyo restaurant brings the lavish flavors of the East to life with western cooking techniques, carrying guests on an extraordinary culinary adventure from Istanbul to Tokyo at this Pan-Asian infusion restaurant, helmed by Executive Chef Clinton Cooper from New Zealand and Chef de Cuisine Minwoo Yun from Korea. Isokyo is also home to an extravagant Champagne room and a “Chef’s table” with private dining for parties of up to 12 guests.
Also residing at the property is a vibrant and impressive Lavinia Lounge, the ideal place to take afternoon tea, with High Tea served daily. Guests can enjoy an extensive buffet featuring sandwiches, cakes and macaroons as well as English scones with condiments.
Raffles Patisserie is a modern-day jewelry box filled with delicious treasures just waiting to be discovered: gem-like cakes, macaroons and pastries, beautiful ice creams and homemade bread, chocolates and local delicacies. The menu features Turkish specialties as well as European creations –bridging the East and West and mirroring the amazing city that has been a meeting place for centuries. The hotel’s signature Long Bar is a tribute to the legendary Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel Singapore – where the famous Singapore Sling was created. Istanbul’s legendary Long Bar features world-famous cocktails and some special creations exclusively made for Raffles Istanbul. Lounge 6 offers a new space to gather over drinks and cocktails while taking in captivating views of the Istanbul skyline and is located poolside on the sixth floor.
Aside from superb dining, Raffles Spa is an oasis of refined luxury, featuring three traditional Turkish hammams, which combine traditional hammam architecture with a unique modern touch for a new take on the classic Turkish cleansing ritual. A new offering is the Bridal Hammam treatment for up to 15 guests, which includes hand and foot massages in addition to a curated selection of Turkish food and drink. The spa also features indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, steam rooms, yoga and Pilates studios, personal training and more, all housed within an elaborately designed setting.
Finally, the private lounge of all private lounges, The Raffles Club was designed to enhance guests’ stays in a stylish, private, yet exclusive way, as a “home away from home” to unwind, hold an impromptu business meeting or catch up with friends. Open from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm daily, the Raffles Club includes food presentations, unlimited service of premium selections of wines, beer and spirits, happy hour cocktails and canapes, as well as personalized check-in and (guaranteed late) check-out, butler assistance with packing/unpacking, complimentary WiFi, printing facilities, restaurant reservation and business-related support, iPads and a hostess/concierge desk.