Hotel Of The Week: W Istanbul, Istanbul
This isn't just a place to stay for the night, it's Istanbul's vision of the future
Sunday 11 May 2008
Visitors to Istanbul come to see East meet West, old meet new. It's a tourism imperative that has been successfully realised at the W Istanbul, which officially opened last week.
The funky luxury brand from American hotel giant Starwood has taken over the Akaretler Row Houses near the Bosphorus, the historic former home of the guards of the Dolmabahce Palace. Inside, Ottoman glamour has been applied to the exotic, even erotic, W signature style: elaborate latticework recalls the screens of a harem, clever paint effects suggest that floors and ceilings are covered in gold.
But it isn't just the look that is of interest. The hotel is the centrepiece of a vast redevelopment of a swathe of the Besiktas district leased by the government to Sidar Bilgili, the Turkish businessman working with Starwood, on the condition that the buildings would be preserved. As well as the hotel, the surrounding streets have been turned into a classy shopping enclave that has already attracted Jimmy Choo and Marc Jacobs. It's a tourism model for the future.
The fusion of styles continues in the 134 rooms, some of which have outdoor space. Cosy beds and showers styled in hammam marble, 32in flat-screen TVs, iPod docks and Wi-Fi are standard.
THE FOOD AND DRINK
Enjoy a drink in Sip, the lobby lounge, or in the main bar, The Living Room, where meals are also served. Dine in Spice Market, by the chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the Manhattan restaurant's first outing as a brand.
Work out in the gym, Sweat, or relax with a treatment in the Estée Lauder day spa. The Whatever Whenever service aims to meet any other needs.
Children and small pets welcome. One room has been modified for guests with disabilities.
From £319 per room per night. British Airways (0844 493 0787; ba.com) offers return flights to Istanbul from £158.
W Istanbul, Suleyman Seba Cad No 22, Akaretler, Istanbul, Turkey (00800 325 25252; www.whotels.com).
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
30,000 to 35,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: We are currently recruiting on...
28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...
18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...
£20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...