Istanbul has no shortage of spectacular hotels, from former sultans’ palaces to intimate boutique properties. The crème de la crème is the Çırağan Palace Kempinski, the oldest remaining part of which was built as Sultan Abdülaziz’s palace in 1871.
Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “If the earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.” Spend a week there and you’ll begin to understand why. This massive metropolis of 15 million people quite literally bridges Europe and Asia. It has witnessed the rise and fall of empires, from the Roman Empire to the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Empire, each of which has left its trace on the city. For this reason, Istanbul is a playground for design lovers, who can gaze upon incredible palaces and mosques, shop for ceramics and textiles in the Grand Bazaar, drink and dine in stylish restaurants and bars, and sleep in some of the world’s most luxurious hotels.