Four Seasons Istanbul at The Bosphorus is one of the very few metropolitan luxury hotels worlwide which perfectly blend the ”local spirit” with modernism. The hotel has a magic location right on the Bosphorus, with stunning views over the Bosphorus and the Asian side of Istanbul.
Unlike many other hotels, the image of which is over enhanced by photography, the Four Seasons Bosphorus web site reflects only in part the beauty of this palace hotel. In reality, the hotel is exremely warm, cozy and comfortable, with a touch of glamour, especially instilled by the large garden and outside pool area, which will instantly bring up the image of the legandary Cipriani Hotel in Venice. Luxury boats anchor right on the small dock of the hotel which is even more stunning at night with several fire torches and the subtle lighting of the light grey marble which adornes the entire garden.
Designed by famous Turkish architect Sinan Kafadar, the Four Seasons Bosphorus is all about understated elegance with an impecable good taste, which shines throughout the hotel. Hand painted ceilings throughout the entire hote, all in pale turquoise colours, hand crafted lighting in iron and copper, antique metal mirrors and oriental carpets are just some of the very elegant Turkish delights of the hotel.
Skillfully mastered modern design touches include silver furniture, mirrored bed lights, soft halogen in spectacular glass adorned in lighting in some areas of the hotel such as the Acqua restaurant, automatic curtains in all rooms, cutlery and china.
Hospitality experts and specialized media have long placed the Four Seasons George V in Paris at the forefront of flower decorations. They have yet to see the flowers at the Four Seasons Bosphorus, which are breathtaking. Water lillies, tulips, orchids, iris are all but perfectly mixed throuhout the hotel, and one could not help but notice the impact the flower arrangements have on all those entering the hotel. Wearing the most elegant evening gown or wearing jeans and a T shirt, guests cannot refrain from a picture perfect moment, most of the times on their most handy camera which is their phone.
If you have taken a look at the SPA description and photos on the web site, be prepared to be swept off your feet when you simply visit, let alone experience the SPA at the Four Seasons Bosphorus. Hammam, the time-honoured communal Turkish bathing ritual is taken to another level, ideally maintaing all its heritage elements, while adding modern touches. The hammam experience cannot be described in words, it has to be experienced. As for the rest of the SPA, I could not help but compare the beautiful indoor swimming pool with the legendary thermal bath of Gellert in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, also built during the Otoman Empire. If only the Four Seasons Budapest had the space, I have no doubts they would have developed a similar SPA. Unfortunately, the space restrictions of the historical palace have only allowed a small SPA and an indoor infinity pool.
When it comes to cuisine, the Turkish influences can be found in the menus of all outlets throughout the hotel, breakfast, room service, bars and main restaurants. Service is simply perfect !
Last but not least, the Four Seasons Bosphorus is one of those rare hotels which any discerning traveller would find it impossible to discuss its price and therefore value. With so many unique features, the Four Seasons Boshorus cannot be compared with any of the other luxury hotels in Istanbul, but merely with top metropolitan hotels such as the Cipriani in Venice, the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest, the Lungarno Hotel in Florence or the George V Four Seasons Hotel in Paris.
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