Four Seasons Hotel, The Bosphorus, Istanbul - Europe - Travel - The Independent

Four Seasons Hotel, The Bosphorus, Istanbul

East meets west in dazzling splendour

It's perhaps surprising that this year's European Capital of Culture should sit astride two continents. But stand on the terrace of this 19th-century Ottoman palace, once known as Atik Pasha, and you can gaze from Istanbul's European heart across the Bosphorus strait to the city's Asian shores, barely a kilometre away.

Home to the Four Seasons since June 2008, the palace is one of a number of opulent waterside residences known as yalis that are sprinkled along both banks of the Bosphorus. Some are so close to the water, the waves lick up against their walls.

The dusky pink three-storey Atik Pasha is not quite as over-the-top as the neighbouring Dolmabahçe Palace (the largest palace in Turkey, built in 1856 as the main summer residence of the famously profligate Ottoman Sultan Abdulmedjid). But it still impresses with its scale and situation.

On arrival at the hotel, in spite of the opulent entrance hall's chandeliers and highly polished marble floors, your gaze is immediately drawn to the other side of the building, towards the shimmering Bosphorus strait. The hotel has 190m of private waterfront. Outside, a vast marble terrace – features a fountain and gardens, as well as a bar, the waterside Mediterranean Aqua restaurant and a swimming pool with umbrellas and sun-loungers.

At night, the terrace is dramatically lit with flaming torches, while the illuminated Bosphorus Bridge, linking east and west, twinkles in the background.

Location

The hotel teeters on the edge of the Bosphorus in the district of Besiktas. There are plenty of sightseeing and dining opportunities close to the hotel along the water's edge and in the hills behind. The area is full of fine Ottoman relics and Byzantine churches, while Bebek, one of the city's wealthiest neighbourhoods, is a walk away along the waterside.

The Old City, where many of Istanbul's principle historic sites, including the Bazaar Quarter, Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace, are about a 20-minute drive away (although this depends on the traffic, which is frequently at a standstill).

A far better idea is to take to the water on either the private shuttle that links the Four Seasons with its sister property, the Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet, in a converted neo-classical prison in the heart of the Old City; or on one of the public ferries from the nearby Besiktas pier.

Comfort

There are 141 guest rooms and 25 suites. The historic main building is flanked by two contemporary wings, which seem a little out of step with the surroundings. Rooms in the palace are the most sought-after, with head-on views of the water, where you can watch myriad boats and ships silently sliding past your windows at all times of the day and night.

Although hard to fault the luxury quotient – particularly the dreamy beds – décor-wise, don't expect an Iznik-tiled Turkish delight. Instead, it's all tastefully restrained with a contemporary twist. There are varying shades of coffee and aqua blue, billowing silk curtains, mahogany furniture and Turkish accents in the form of embroidered cushions, mirrors, subtle ceiling decorations and framed antique prints. Bathrooms, which all have a separate bath and shower, are wall-to-wall marble with kilim-scattered floors.

There is also an extensive spa replete with no fewer than three Turkish hammams that are a far more luxurious prospect than the usual paradigm you'll find elsewhere in the city.

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus, Ciragan Caddesi 28, Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey (00 90 212381 4000; fourseasons.com/bosphorus )

Rooms 5 stars
Value 3 stars
Service 4 stars

Doubles start at €324, room only.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week