Ciragan Palace is the only Ottoman Imperial Palace and hotel on the Bosphorus | Source: Ciragan Palace

A Look Inside Istanbul’s Icon and Luxury Hotel Ciragan Palace

Recognised as an architectural and historical icon in Istanbul, Ciragan Palace is one of the few palaces on the Bosphorous that belongs to the Ottoman Empire. Boasting extravagant marble and stonework, sprawling grounds and more than 150 years of Turkish history, Ciragan Palace is not only a great place to visit but also a great place to stay with 310 luxurious rooms and suites inside the historic building.

With a recent acceleration in business tourism, Istanbul’s luxury hotels have reportedly reached an occupancy rate of 100 per cent over the past month. And while travel restrictions continue to ease, Istanbul continues to attract wealthy tourists to its string of luxury hotels along the Bosphorous.

General manager of Ralph Radtke told Daily Sabah that Ciragan Palace Kempinski is edging closer to their 2019 figures. Of the travellers driving bookings back to pre-pandemic levels, Radtke said Americans and Russians were some of the main tourist groups.

Offering incredible panoramic views of the Bosphorous, a number of restaurants and bars serving authentic Ottoman and Turkish cuisine, a traditional Turkish spa and some of the most opulent suites in Europe, it’s not hard to see why wealthy tourists are booking this luxury historic hotel.

The Sultan Suite

As one of the largest hotel suites in Europe, the Sultan Suite offers extravagance on the grandest of scales. Situated on the second floor of the historical palace, the suite is comprised of a spacious living room, dining area, kitchenette, guest bathroom and two bedrooms. Guests can take in sweeping views of the Bosphorous while being waited on by a 24-hour butler. Guest can also enjoy the old Turkish tradition of a palatial soap service.

Of course, all of this will cost you a pretty penny or two: approximately A$47,000 per night.

150 years of history

Constructed between 1863 and 1871, Ciragan Palace was built by Sultan Abdulaziz and saw the finest marble and mother-of-pearl incorporated into its architectural design. Covering an area of around 80,000 square metres, the palace sits at the edge of the Bosphorous and was supposedly used to host parliament meetings during the Second Constitutional Monarchy in the early 1900s after a string of successions and suspicious deaths within the Ottoman dynasty.

After being severely damaged by a fire in 1910, the palace remained a burnt shell of what it once was before undergoing extensive restoration in the 1980s and once again in the 2000s. Now owned by the luxury hotel group, Kempinski, Ciragan Palace boasts restored carved marble exterior walls as well as an opulent Hammam, a traditional Turkish bath.

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