With its spectacular location on the Bosphorus and contemporary grace, Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus reflects the splendour of a 19th century Ottoman palace. Originally the historic Atik Pasha Palace, the hotel is located on the European coastline of the legendary Bosphorus and looks toward the hills of the Asian side. Opened in 2008, the hotel resembles a jewellery box with its 170 rooms and suites, with the project merging the original palace building with two additional modern buildings designed in traditional Turkish architecture.
The hotel’s interior design reflects a sophisticated mix between Four Seasons‘ understated contemporary DNA and cue of Ottoman grandeur with decorative Turkish touches and traditional art elements. The complex newly built project also includes one of Istanbul’s largest and most luxurious Spas with a lavish indoor heated swimming pool and no less than 10 treatment rooms and a hammam experience. The wellness offering of the hotel is completed with a state-of-the-art fitness studio and an outdoor swimming pool.
The hotel boasts grand banqueting and meeting facilities, with a huge indoor ballroom and several meeting rooms, but also an impressive outdoor space with a capacity of 1.000 guests. The outdoor setting is unique with incredible Bosphorus and palace views at any time of the year, making it the ideal choice from weddings to corporate events but also large events generated by the event such as Iftar or most recently, the Winter City, the set up of which includes an outdoor skating rink and 10 heated and glass enclosed igloos for those wishing to enjoy the views during the cold season.
These carefully mastered happenings have been a constant draw for local patrons, the hotel being deeply rooted in the lifestyle of the local community – whether it is having a Turkish coffee on the terrace space overlooking the Bosphorus or an elaborate event, locals have been a validation for the very high standards of the hotel, both in terms of customer service and facilities.
Under the guidance of veteran luxury hotelier Tarek Mourad who also manages the other property, the Bosphorus hotel has not only reached these high standards but has constantly been maintaining and improving them. A decade from opening, Mr Mourad is now orchestrating the ample renovations and refurbishments of the two Four Seasons Hotels properties in Istanbul, 2019 being expected to be the year of major transformations at both Four Seasons hotels, while preserving the DNA of Four Seasons and building on the vision of the owners.
Already at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus, the hotel has been showcasing the first renovated rooms which preserve the design mix however they are much brighter and even more cozy and homey. The rooms feature giant smart UHD TVs and the signature Four Seasons bed. The rooms within the modern buildings of the hotels are expected to undergo a more striking refurbishment, with an accent on making the accommodations brighter with improved lighting as well as the colour scheme of the furnishings.
The renovations of the hotel saw the completion of the redesign and revamp of the Yala Lounge, a beating heart of the hotel. This actually also serves as a statement for the long term commitment and vision of the hotel owners, the Astay Holding, to pursue extensive renovations which will also see the addition of a new restaurant later this year. Astay Holding is currently developing the third Four Seasons Hotel in Turkey, a luxury resort in Bodrum, the ‘Turkish Riviera’. Four Seasons Resort Bodrum which is 5 km from Bodrum City Centre and 36km from the Airport,
On my recent stay at the hotel, I was also impressed with the brunch which the hotel is hosting weekly with an impeccable space dedicated to deserts – the entire bar area of the Bar area of the Yala Lounge is graced with a vast array of sweets, impressive both in presentation and taste. The grand selection of foods both hot and cold is incredible, making up for a unique experience for both hotel guests and local patrons.
Oliver Petcu in Istanbul
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