Shangri-La in Istanbul, on the Bosphorus, now open

Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts‘ second hotel in Europe (after Paris), the Shangri-La Bosphorus opens in Istanbul on May 11, 2013. Set on the European side of the Bosphorus Strait between the Dolmabahce Palace and Naval Museum, Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul is located on the site of a former tobacco warehouse from the 1930s. The warehouse’s restored, six-storey Neo-Classical façade and two carefully preserved 150- and 350-year-old Sycamore trees in the courtyard reflect on the rich past of the site.

Bathroom Premier Room, Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul (Turkish marble and Bvlgari amenities)

The 186 rooms and suites Shangri-La Bosphorus in Istanbul provides a unique sense of place with interior design elements inspired by the glamorous Dolmabahce Palace with swathes of marble, glittering chandeliers and a mix of European, Asian and Turkish design. A grand staircase wends down the hotel’s three-storey atrium, transporting guests from the lobby to the elegant ballrooms and other venues below.

Premier View Room, Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul

Also decorating the atrium is  The Garden of Peach Blossoms, a stunning 18-metres-tall silk painting, part of the hotel’s collection of over 1,000 pieces of European and Asian art. The Lobby Lounge proposes house-made pastries and more than 100 types of Chinese teas poured by the hotel’s tea master.  The adjacent Le Bar is a jewel box set off by a stone wall and serves traditional cocktails and spirits, plus tapas and mezzes.

The hotel’s guestrooms are the most spacious in Istanbul (ranging from 42 to 60 square metres), and the majority offer dazzling Bosphorus views. Most of the hotel’s 17 suites have private terraces offering beautiful Bosphorus. IST TOO is the main restaurant of the hotel, featuring an all-day dining menu of world cuisine, including Japanese, Southeast Asian, Mediterranean and Turkish. Shang Palace is the fine dining restaurant of the hotel, with Chinese Chefs preparing authentic Chinese dishes including the Peking Duck, while the Kung Fu tea master pours tea.

The hotel also features CHI, a spa with eight of the most indulgent private spa suites in Istanbul offering Asian and Turkish treatments. The hotel’s hammam facilities are extensive, catering to both private groups and individuals. Both the spa and hammam feature Turkish tiles, water features and abundant marble. A health club with sauna, Jacuzzi and steam rooms, and a heated indoor pool are also available to hotel guests.