Istanbul gears up for wave of hotel openings

Istanbul's spell as European capital of culture has encouraged a wave of further development in the Turkish city, with a series of high-profile accommodation spots expected to open in the coming years.

Fresh from a well-publicized opening in Waikiki, the Edition brand from Ian Schrager and Bill Marriott is expected to open in the city this year, offering an experience branded the "antithesis of an institutional hotel chain."

Featuring 77 guest rooms and suites designed by Gabellini/Sheppard, the Istanbul property will also be home to a Cipriani Restaurant, a private club "in the sky" and a 20,000 square foot (1,858 square meter) spa.

Last month, Starwood announced that it would open its fourth property in the city with the construction of the landmark Le Meridien Istanbul Etiler.

Described as a "gathering place for creative and curious minds", the 32-story skyscraper will overlook the Bosphorus and provide some architectural innovation to the area - as well as patches of natural greenery on the edge, each block becomes more transparent as the building stretches higher, "so as to allow the guests to fully immerse themselves in the sky".

Also on offer when the hotel opens next autumn will be 260 guest rooms, a rooftop lounge, signature bar and restaurant, a gym, spa and indoor and outdoor pools.

According to hotel market analyst STR Global, some 2,270 rooms are currently planned to be built in the city, including other brands such as Crowne Plaza, Hilton, Radisson Blu and Shangri-La.