Well-heeled visitors are spoilt for choice

A view of the traditional Yesil houses in Bursa

‘IF the world were a single state, Istanbul would have been its capital.’ These immortal words of the great French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, sum up the beauty of Turkey’s largest city, an enchanting blend of Eastern and Western culture.

With Turkey attaining near-cult status as a major tourist hub, there has been a steady flow of tourists from across the globe mostly from Europe and the Middle East, thus creating a big demand for decent accommodation.

Sultanahmet boasts of a number of characterful boutique hotels, many of which are restored Ottoman wooden mansions. These are ideal for those who really want to savour the authentic atmosphere of the Old Town.

For the affluent, there are several five-star hotels such as Celal Aga Konagi Hotel and Elite World Istanbul. Then there is the Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul, a beautiful hotel situated on a hilltop in the city centre offering fantastic views of the Bosporus and the historic part of Istanbul. The Crowne Plaza Istanbul located in the heart of Istanbul’s historic area which offers five-star facilities, gourmet dining, and luxury accommodation with free wireless internet.

Hotel Ceylan InterContinental Istanbul and The Marmara Taksim hotels are both located in the heart of Istanbul next to the city’s famous Taksim Square, while Legacy Ottoman Hotel, housed in one of the city’s emblematic buildings, offers luxury accommodation in the Eminönü district of central Istanbul.

For those keen to experience the opulent lifestyle of a Sultan, there is the stylish W Hotel, a modern establishment surrounded by Istanbul’s historical architecture.

WOW Istanbul, which is conveniently located beside Ataturk Airport, offers five-star comfort and convenience. All guest rooms come fitted with an en-suite bathroom with high-end complimentary amenities. 

For those planning to stay near the famous Grand Bazaar and Suleymaniye mosque, there is Carlton Hotel, a reputed name among the historical heritages of Istanbul. The Carlton boasts of 75 standard rooms including three suites with wireless internet access. The rooms are tastefully furnished and equipped to the highest standards with a private bedroom, air conditioning, direct telephone, satellite TV, minibar, pub, restaurant, 24 hour room service, parking service, concierge service and secretarial services.

For skiing enthusiasts, top-class accommodations in Uludag include the snow-clad Agaoglu My Resort Bursa or  the Kervansaray Hotel Uludag Bursa.

The Hotel Çelik Palas Thermal Spa is also popular one with tourists while Mice guests can choose to stay at the Hilton Bursa Convention Centre and Spa which offer state-of-the-art convention facilities.

By Sushil Nair