A few weeks ago I was invited to stay at the Shangri-La hotel in Istanbul and I jumped at the chance. I have never been to any of the Shangri-La hotels but have heard good things, and let me tell you – it did not disappoint!
The Shangri-La Hotel, Bosphorus is located in an area of Istanbul called Besiktas. It’s a 45 minute drive from Istanbul Ataturk International Airport and a short taxi ride away from the hustle and bustle of Taksim Square and the famous Istiklal street. Right next to the hotel you’ll find the Besiktas ferry terminal where you can catch regular ferries over to Kadikoy and Uskudar. We caught the Uskudar ferry and walked along the seafront to watch the sunset over the Kız Kulesi. (Maiden’s Tower)
Our room was perfect. So perfect infact that I wanted to stick a welcome mat infront of the door and move in permanently. As we walked in I didn’t know what to look at first – the stunning view of the Bosphorus which was so close I could almost touch it, or the delicious plate of colorful cakes just calling my name!
The room was clean and spacious. With a desk area, television, comfortable sofa and a lovely big bed. There was a separate, generously sized wardrobe area complete with bathrobes and slippers, a Nespresso machine and a small fridge with drinks in it aswell as complimentary glass bottles of water. And the view. Oh that view…
I spent far too long gazing dreamily out onto the Bosphorus, watching the ferries sail up and down the strait and the daily commuters as they rushed to catch their boats.
The bathroom was gorgeous with black marble and a big, deep bath tub. There were separate areas inside with a toilet and a rain shower. I don’t have a bath at home so I made good use of it and had the most relaxing soak with the bath salts provided – all whilst enjoying my favourite show as there was a television inside the mirror! Yes you read that right – inside the mirror! This was literally “bathroom goals” as the kids say these days.
The bathroom was equipped with a hairdryer, an amenity kit with a hairband, shower cap, shaver and cotton pads and lovely L’occitane products were scattered around.
The hotel has 2 restaurants; Their signature Shang Palace restaurant which serves some of the best Chinese food in Istanbul and Ist Too with it’s modern decor serves Asian and Mediterranean cuisine and boasts great views out to the Bosphorus. We had the pleasure of eating at the Shang Palace on Friday night. I’m a big fan of Chinese food and after reading some reviews I was really exited to try this restaurant. I had the crispy wontons for starter followed by peking duck with pancakes and both were delicious.
The breakfast is served in the Ist Too restaurant from 6.30-10.30am. It was one of the best breakfasts I have ever had! The choice was fantastic. My only wish was that I had a never ending appetite so I could have tried everything! Although I have to say I gave it a good shot as you can see from the photos!
The hotel has a fully equipped gym and a beautiful heated indoor swimming pool (complete with a stunning ceiling painted like the sky) They have a hamam (Turkish bath) and at their spa called CHI there are different massages and treatments available that will leave you feeling rested and restored after a day of exploring Istanbul.
Although my stay was short and sweet I came away feeling relaxed and refreshed. The hotel is the perfect mix between luxury and comfort and the staff, the food, my room, the fine attention to every detail and the facilities were all top notch. I wouldn’t hesitate to return. Shangri-La has many hotels over the world and I can’t wait to experience them too, one day!
Special thanks to Shangri-La Bosphorus for a lovely stay.
Shangri-La Bosphorus, Sinanpasa Mah, Hayrettin Iskelesi Sok, No1, Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey (00 90 212 275 8888; shangri-la.com/istanbul)