Çırağan Palace (Çırağan being Persian for “giving light”) was named in homage to the extravagant torch-lit banquets and great firework displays held by Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha, whose mansion once occupied the palace’s spectacular grounds. Pleasure-seekers continue to gather in the majestic baroque-style palace, which offers a sublime waterside location. With its elegant suites, heated outdoor infinity pool reaching out to the Bosphorus and luxury spa, which offers a plethora of treatments in private, white-cotton-draped garden cabanas, The Çırağan Palace Kempinski is one of the few exclusive hotels in the world where you really can live like royalty. Families are well catered for with babysitting services, children’s pool and club, and interconnected rooms.


Though secluded within its own grounds, Çırağan Palace is actually connected to Yildiz Park, all that remains of a much larger ancient forest but which has been preserved somewhat inadvertently due to the Ottoman gentry having built hunting-lodges here. It’s set on a steep slope so is for hard-core joggers only.

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