11 of the best hotels in Turkey, from Istanbul to Cappadocia
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By following guidelines, Americans have been able to visit the country throughout most of the pandemic. And now that Turkey is coming off the U.K.’s red “do not travel” list (on Sept. 22), the popular destination that straddles Europe and Asia is once again within reach for British travelers, too — as are its stunning hotels.
Choosing a hotel, whether you’re drawn to the Four Seasons Istanbul or the boutique Museum Hotel in Cappadocia, might be a challenge, if only because there’s no shortage of incredible places to stay.
And if Turkey wasn’t on your bucket list, you may want to add it now, if only to stay at a few of these hotels.
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Known as the jewel of the Turkish Riviera, Bodrum has several luxury hotels — and Marriott’s Bodrum Edition is a TPG favorite. Set on a hill, the hotel offers epic views of the glittering sea. But what really captivated us was the Turkish breakfast, which is more of a brunch and offered until 4 p.m. each day. Your biggest struggle will be to decide whether to hit the chic beach club or the gorgeous infinity pool post-brunch.
Room rates start at $410 or 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus
Travellers looking for a luxurious stay should consider spending the night in a renovated 19th-century Ottoman palace: the Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus (one of two Four Seasons properties in the city).
Perched on the edge of the famed waterway that connects two continents, this hotel features elegant rooms and suites with views of the strait (some with outdoor terraces), an outdoor pool, a contemporary art collection and, of course, a Turkish hammam.
Room rates start at $466 per night.
Museum Hotel, Cappadocia
Cappadocia‘s cave hotels are straight out of a fairy tale. The Museum Hotel, a Relais & Châteaux property, is one of the dreamiest thanks to its collection of historical artifacts that offer guests a taste of Cappadocian culture and history.
The hotel’s 30 rooms and suites are built directly into the rock, making for a cozy cave-sleeping experience. But the real allure of this boutique hotel is the terrace, from which you can admire the hot air balloons gliding over the valley and see the early-morning light illuminating the volcanic peaks at sunrise.
Room rates start at $447 per night.
Six Senses Kaplankaya
If you need a serious wellness escape, the Six Senses Kaplankaya is your spot. The spa features a marble Turkish hammam, Watsu pool, pilates reformers, a meditation cave and offers detox and wellness retreat options, too. The Ridge Terrace suites are the ones to book, complete with private pools and terraces.
The hotel can help arrange transport from Bodrum to the secluded Kaplankaya cove — car for most, but yacht or helicopter for those really looking to arrive in style.
Hagia Sofia Mansions, Istanbul
In the middle of all the action in Istanbul, Hilton’s Hagia Sofia Mansions, a Curio Collection property, is within easy reach of the Blue Mosque, the Arasta Bazaar, the Basilica Cistern and the Hagia Sofia.
Made up of 17 individual mansions, the property’s guestrooms all feature soaking tubs and Turkish hammams. The indoor pool is unlike any other Hilton swimming pool, sitting beneath arched stone ceiling blocks in a cavelike setting.
Room rates start at $160 or about 32,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
Ariana Sustainable Lodge, Cappadocia
This eco-friendly lodge is part of the Small Luxury Hotels Program, which means you can use your World of Hyatt points here. It sits on the edge of a Cappadocian cliff. With its own vineyard and sun terrace, Ariana Lodge is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint (26% of the lodge’s energy runs on solar power).
Each suite is unique, with some featuring fireplaces or impressive mosaic-tiled bathrooms with freestanding soaking tubs and Turkish hammams.
Room rates start at $471 per night. You may be eligible for a special offer like a free hot air balloon ride with stays of two nights or longer.
Çırağan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul
If lodging in a former Ottoman palace seems like the perfect vacation, do so in one of the 310 guestrooms and suites at the Çırağan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul.
The massive, regal building is located on the banks of the Bosphorus, with rooms reflecting the former glory of the palace. Enjoy views of the strait from the terrace, the infinity pool or while practicing yoga in the palace gardens.
Room rates start at $425 per night.
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
The TPG team always has a tough time choosing between a St. Regis and a Ritz-Carlton property, but the $8.5 million dollar renovation of The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul made this particular comparison a bit easier.
The Ritz-Carlton’s redesigned guestrooms feature a modern take on Turkey’s Ottoman culture and history, with sleek furnishings and softer design touches, such as velvet and silk fabrics; gold, copper and blue hues; and even Anatolian ceramic wall panels. If you’re still not convinced, the open-air spa with views of the Bosphorus is a treat for both the mind and the body.
Room rates start at $270 or from 30,000 points per night.
Villa Mahal, Antalya
Explore Turkey’s Antalya coast and stay at the Villa Mahal, a boutique property overlooking the Turkish Meditteranean.
The hotel’s whitewashed walls and reddish roofs may trick you into thinking you’re in Spain or Greece, but you’ll know you’re in Turkey when you sample a flavourful Turkish breakfast on the hotel’s rooftop terrace. And if you need a little more action than just relaxing in the property’s olive groves or the pool, the Mahal Beach Club’s wooden and stone platforms are one-of-a-kind.
Room rates start at $283 per night.
Mandarin Oriental Bodrum, Paradise Bay
For the ultimate splurge, the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum may be this Turkish peninsula’s most stunning property. Even the most basic rooms come with outdoor space, and many of the suites have private plunge pools and sea views.
The hotel has not one but two private beaches, and a 29,000-square-foot spa spanning two floors, complete with outdoor massage cabanas and both indoor and outdoor pools.
Room rates start at $1,175 per night.
Caresse, A Luxury Collection Resort and Spa
For a more boutique feel in Bodrum, stay at the Caresse, where you can use your points but still get the charm of a more intimate stay. Each of the guestrooms and suites has a terrace with awe-inspiring views of the Aegean Sea.
Take your pick and sun yourself either at the infinity pool or the Buddha Beach Bar, or enjoy a moment of solitary bliss at one of the spa’s pools or relaxation spaces.
Room rates start at $402 or from 50,000 points per night.
Featured image by Shaoyang Zhou/EyeEm/Getty Images.
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