When you step inside The Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, you may well wonder if you’ve stepped back in time. Surely this is Constantinople rather than modern-day Istanbul? After a meticulous four-year restoration, The Pera Palace re-emerged in 2010 in all its neoclassical and art-nouveau splendour, as glorious as the day it first opened its doors in 1895 to welcome passengers off the Orient Express. The Pera Palace has long provided the best in contemporary luxury: it was the first building in the 1890s, outside the Ottoman Palaces, to have electricity, hot water and an electric elevator (which is still in use!). Today, there’s also a compact urban spa and pool.
In Beyoğlu, on the majestic Istiklal Street, you’ll discover shops, eateries and the leading contemporary Turkish art galleries and institutions. As night falls, particularly in the Tunel district, bistros, cocktail bars and burger joints mingle with traditional Turkish meyhanes. Hip crowds of young professional Turks sway to jazz, electronica and Balkan groove while traditional-suited musicians wind their way from table to table, instruments and drums in hand, all blending to create the vibrant cacophonic glory that is Istanbul at night.
Mesrutiyet Cad No: 52, Tepebasi, Istanbul