The Ciragan Palace is a truly luxurious, wonderful hotel and made for an awesome vacation in Istanbul!
ROOM: The basic room with a park view was more than adequate. If you want to pay significantly more for the sweeping views of the Bosporus, go ahead, but we didn't feel like we were missing out at all. The room was spacious, with plenty of storage and sitting room for two and a wonderful bed. The bathroom was also large and Westernized, with a modern shower and plenty of sink and counter space for us to spread out our toiletries.
SERVICE: The service is exceptional. Everyone we encountered was friendly, from helping us get taxis to showing us around our room to providing attentive (but not too attentive!) service at the pool.
GROUNDS: The grounds are by far the best on the Bosporus, better than any of the competing hotels--and I know, because we walked down the road to check out the bar and pool at one next door and it was not nearly as elegant or spacious as the Ciragan Palace! The pool deck is gorgeous, and there are lots of areas around the property to explore. We also took advantage of the gym, which is nothing special but perfectly fine for a quick workout before dinner.
FOOD: We enjoyed lunch and cocktails at the pool a couple days, and everything was delicious. We also enjoyed cocktails at the gazebo bar every night before turning in. We ordered room service breakfast every day, and there were many tasty, healthy options--just be wary because you will get way too much food if you order for two!
LOCATION: The location is excellent if you're looking for a more relaxing stay in Istanbul. It's a stunning spot on the Bosporus, where you can watch the boats go by all day. You're a short walk to many luxury hotels and the ferry dock, and a nice, but a little bit longer, walk to some of the trendy parts of town. You definitely have to take a boat or taxi to the Old City and the most famous tourist attractions, but we were very glad that we didn't stay in one of the "touristy" areas. If you like to sleep in, relax, enjoy the pool and spa, etc. you will definitely prefer this location to one near the Bazaar or Blue Mosque.
CONS: The only "downsides" occurred right when we arrived, though I wouldn't say there's anything negative about the hotel overall. After driving through two hours of traffic from the airport, we were actually shocked to find that the majority of the hotel and rooms are not located in the palace. When you look at the hotel online or in advertisements, it seems like you'll be staying in the palace, no? There are only a couple (extremely expensive) suites in the palace; everything else is in a regular hotel. The hotel was wonderful regardless, but it's important to note. We had someone show us to our room and then explain every little detail of the room for about 15 minutes--which was nice, of course, but a little over the top when we just wanted to unpack and unwind.
OVERALL: The Ciragan Palace was one of my most relaxing, luxurious hotel stays in a long time. It's exotic, romantic, but still comfortable. I'd love to go back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Cıragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul offers the ultimate in luxury and glamour of a genuine Ottoman Palace with its 313 rooms including 22 suites in the hotel and 11 suites in the historical Palace. This 5-star luxury Imperial Palace hotel is located on the shores of the magnificent Bosphorus overlooking the ancient city of Istanbul, provides a one-of-a-kind experience with its historical ambiance and excellent Kempinski service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul Hotel Istanbul
- Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel Istanbul
- Istanbul Ciragan Palace Kempinski
- Kempinski Istanbul