What do Ernest Hemingway, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Mata Hari and Queen Elizabeth II have in common? They’re just some of the famous guests who’ve stayed at the Pera Palace. Life moves at a different pace at the Istanbul icon. Whether having tea in the Ottoman-meets-Art-Nouveau Kubbeli Lounge, trying handmade chocolate at the patisserie, being pampered in the Turkish bath or having a drink at the bar or on the terrace, guests are encouraged to indulge and slow down. You can even stay in the room where Agatha Christie reportedly wrote Murder On the Orient Express.

Where is Pera Palace?

Pera Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

The hotel is on a ridge among the winding streets of the Tepebasi neighbourhood, about a 40-minute drive from Istanbul Airport in good traffic. The Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar are about a 45-minute walk away, across the Galata Bridge.

Room types

Pera Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

Earn Qantas Points

Each of the 115 rooms has wooden floors, private bathrooms and soft beds with even softer pillows that are adorned with the Pera Palace’s monogram. Views are best on the side facing the Golden Horn. Agatha Christie frequently stayed in Room 411 – if you do the same, take advantage of the huge soaking tub.

Restaurants and bars

Pera Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

The main restaurant, Agatha, serves French, Italian and Turkish cuisine (it’s also where the breakfast buffet is held), with portraits of celebrity visitors looking on. You can enjoy cakes and chocolates made onsite at Patisserie de Pera. Cocktails are the speciality at the Orient Bar – if you’re lucky, you might catch the monthly literary society meeting. More regular is the 3pm to 6pm afternoon tea, past the lobby in the Kubbeli Lounge, which includes live piano music.

Travel for work

There’s a small business centre and front desk staff can print or copy anything you’d like. Function rooms for up to 220 people can also be booked.

Spa and gym

Make use of the fitness centre, pool and jacuzzi but take note: the Pera Palace is renowned for pampering in the traditional hammam (Turkish bath). Options include massages, a beauty treatment named for Greta Garbo and even one that purports to beat jet lag.

What you need to know

Room 101 (open from 10am to 11am and 3pm to 4pm daily) has been converted into a museum displaying belongings of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, who often stayed at the hotel.  

Best for: Bookworms or luxury-lovers
Number of rooms: 115
Rates: From TRY4555 per night; Room 411 (the Agatha Christie Room) starts at TRY6933.
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Parking: Valet parking onsite for about TRY50 per day
Address: Evliya Çelebi, Meşrutiyet Caddesi, Tepebaşı Cd. No:52, 34430 Beyoğlu, İstanbul
Telephone: +90 212 377 40 00

Pera Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

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