Nestled in the fashionable Nişantaşı neighborhood, The St. Regis Istanbul is surrounded by chic designer boutiques, art galleries, cafes and restaurants. The predominantly luxury residential hotel sits atop Maçka Park and boasts breathtaking, floor-to-ceiling views of the Bosphorus from each of the 118 guestrooms and suites.
During my stay, I was privileged to stay in the Contemporary Suite of the hotel, an expansive corner suite with a balcony overlooking the neighbourhood as well as the Bosphorus in the long distance. Lounging in the sun, on the terrace watching passers-by and gazing at the park with the Bosphorus in the background provided for me the ultimate luxury experience. The suite collection of the hotel is probably the most impressive among all luxury hotels in Istanbul.
Designed by award-winning Turkish architect Emre Arolat, The St. Regis Istanbul is a modern interpretation of Istanbul’s glamorous Art Deco era with a variety of contemporary art installations. The utmost attention has been paid to all interior design aspects, with a focus on both comfort and aesthetics. No expense has been spared on the interiors, with the utmost in quality of materials and finishes.
The residential feel is instilled not only by the location but also by the interior design and fittings. Rooms feature impeccable soundproof, automatic control blinds and shades as well as a panel to control DND and temperature. The oversized king beds are heavenly comfortable. The Turkish Marmara marble bathrooms are designed to resemble a hammam, with separate glass enclosed shower and bathtub. Each accommodation benefits from the 24 hour service of a designated butler. It is a most personalised service, and whether on a shorter or longer stay, one benefits from the same attention and care.
Butlers are extremely well trained, with an impeccable English language skill, many of them with an extensive knowledge of the city, being in a position to recommend any concierge tips. My butler paid attention to my every detailed preference or desire, whether it was the room temperature, the draw up of the shades of curtains, not to mention my favourite cocktail and fruits.
The St. Regis Istanbul is home to the first international outpost of Wolfgang Puck’s iconic Spago restaurant, which stars as the hotel’s signature culinary experience. Located on the hotel’s rooftop, the restaurant offers contemporary design and stunning views of the vibrant city.
Inspired by the celebrated chef’s global travels, the modern and imaginative seasonal menus include signature dishes, such as blue crab and lobster “Louis” cocktail with spicy tomato-horseradish; “Angry” two-pound live lobster with Szechuan chilies, garlic, scallions and black bean dust; roasted duckling “Peking Style” with blood oranges, port-ginger reduction; and grilled lamb chops, harissa aioli, charred eggplant, falafel “macaroons”, natural jus.
This is paired with a superb artisanal cocktail menu and extensive wine list, including international varietals alongside local Turkish wines. Poised to be the best address for celebrity spotting in Istanbul, the Spago lounge offers a seductive atmosphere above the busy streets of Istanbul all year round. The views of the Bosphorus especially at sunset are astonishing.
There is also the St. Regis Brasserie which offers street-side action: an indoor show kitchen and bustling outdoor terrace, reminiscent of a Parisian café, the Petit “O” Bar follows the St. Regis tradition of creating a signature Bloody Mary cocktail with a local twist. Guests can enjoy the Misty Mary cocktail amidst the “Bosphorus Breeze” mural by Bedri Baykam, the Turkish artist commissioned to create a whimsical mural as the focal point for the bar. The mural is symbolic of the brand’s evolution: a modern iteration of the iconic King Cole Mural at The St. Regis New York, commissioned by St. Regis founder John Jacob Astor IV.
St. Regis’ commitment to art and design is brought to life at The St. Regis Istanbul, which showcases works by both internationally-acclaimed and emerging Turkish artists as part of the Demsa Collection of Art. This is complemented by custom pieces created for the hotel, including the spectacular Lasvit chandelier, which takes center stage in the lobby.
The St. Regis Istanbul features an exquisitely designed Bentley Suite, second in the world only to the Bentley Suite at the brand’s flagship hotel in New York. Providing guests with the luxury, craftsmanship and style associated with both renowned international brands, the suite draws inspiration from the Bentley Continental GT model and features hand-crafted finishes and one-of-a-kind furnishings throughout.
The Iridium Spa offers a transformative spa journey that bestows the rarest luxury of all: time. With seven treatment rooms and two hammams, the spa offers bespoke treatments tailored to guests’ needs in a sleek dark setting. The spa also features a small indoor heated pool and fitness center with the latest Technogym equipment designed by Antonio Citterio. I am confident that during my next visit, the Spa will have implemented my suggestions and comments regarding the ambiance and the training of the therapist.
Overall, the hotel boasts a solid and consistent standard of customer service – I would particularly highlight the Front Office, Concierge and the Brasserie staff. Most of the staff provide a genuine heart-felt service, with attention to details and willingness to assist to the smallest details. I would highly recommend the hotel for both business and leisure stays.
Watch here a video preview of the Cosmopolitan Suite
Oliver Petcu in Istanbul
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