Opening on 1 September 2014, Raffles is Istanbul's most exciting new hotel, the perfect embodiment of the new young face of an ancient city - a beacon above the Bosphorus and an oasis of calm and cool.
At the heart of the cutting-edge Zorlu Center, a modern-day bazaar where fashion, fine food and the arts converge on the European shore in Beşiktaş, Raffles is an exhilarating fusion of virtuoso architecture, dazzling interiors, inspired food and deep luxury. The hotel overlooks the Bosphorus, the Prince Islands and the historic peninsula - a stunning vantage point above the city.
Peter French President of Raffles Hotels & Resorts explains:
"The spirit of Raffles fits perfectly into this extraordinary capital city at such an exciting time. Our philosophy is to create oases where people come together, then continue on, refreshed. And it is this tradition of bringing people together that is an essential feature of the story of Raffles in Istanbul. For centuries Istanbul has been the meeting place between East and West, Asia and Europe, where great civilizations and cultures have left their mark and where people have exchanged ideas, told stories and set out again.
Turkey is a rising star in the global economy and, in this youngest member of the Raffles family, we have created the perfect expression of the 'new' Istanbul: vibrant, full of energy and innovation, but utterly in touch with the city in which it stands and its rich heritage."
This rich heritage is reflected in the light and airy interiors designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA). Utterly contemporary, full of texture and distinctly Turkish, the hotel is embellished with a gorgeous collection of specially-commissioned artworks. Many of these are by Turkish artists, others by artists inspired by this magnificent city: tactile sculptures, objets trouvés and contemporary interpretations of classic patterns, pieces inspired by fabulous Byzantine jewels - all bringing the ancient and modern together.
Raffles Istanbul offers its guests 132 guestrooms and 49 suites - all spacious and filled with light, blending Turkish and contemporary design and offering everything the modern traveller demands. Floor to ceiling windows lead to furnished private terraces and balconies, for lofty views over the Bosphorus and the city.
Istanbul is a melting pot of gastronomic delights - and so too is Raffles. Two restaurants, two bars and lounges and a patisserie offer a culinary theatre of possibility, day and night:
- First up is Arola, where the Michelin-starred Spanish chef Sergi Arola gives classic Catalan dishes a modern spin. This is social food from a sharing culture, the menu offers picas, or small dishes, as well as mains and delicious desserts.
- At Rocca, Turkish and Mediterranean food is the order of the day, all day.
- In the striking Lobby, Lavinia is the place to be seen. The lounge is named after Martin Dawe's dramatic monumental bronze 'Lavinia', a focal point for the lobby, and a homage to the poem by the famous Turkish poet, Ozdemir Asaf.
- The artisan Patisserie offers a range of tempting Turkish cakes and other delights.
- The Pool Bar & Grill on the 6th floor is a stylish spot for soaking up the rays by day or chilling out to the DJ by night, all with eye-popping views over the city.
- The Writer's Bar is the place for some time out - and the Long Bar travels from Singapore with a glamorous twist - and its own champagne room. Stamboul Sling, anyone?
With nine treatment rooms and suites and a choice of pools, saunas, steam rooms and hammams, Raffles Spa is set to be one of the most comprehensive in Istanbul. Gazelli Skincare and Organic Pharmacy offer an indulgent menu of treatments, with a signature Rose, Honey and Sugar Hammam Experience from the latter.
Raffles Istanbul also offers an inspirational choice of calm, contemporary spaces for private and business events - from the launch of a new car or a society wedding in The Ballroom, a birthday dinner in one of the seven private rooms, to a high-level meeting in The Boardroom. All this backed up by the latest technology, experienced service and support, leaving guests free to focus on their own agendas. Call ahead to book the Raffles helipad, for an easy arrival and a fast getaway.
The General Manager of Raffles Istanbul is Tarek Mourad, who brings with him a wealth of experience in opening successful 5* luxury hotels. Originally from Egypt, Tarek is thrilled to be back in Istanbul, where he was previously General Manager at Four Seasons Sultan Ahmed in Istanbul. He returns from Azerbaijan, where he oversaw the opening of Four Seasons Baku. Mr. Mourad comments:
"I am so happy to be part such an exciting opening. We have an amazing team of people here, whose motto is "Passion to Exceed"- they are the ones who will provide individual, tailor-made experiences to our guests - in the Raffles way: thoughtfully, with charm and grace - and always welcoming. It is a real pleasure and an honour to be their General Manager."
Throughout the hotel, the authentic Raffles touch is never far away, personified by the legendary Raffles Butler service that is part of the anatomy of every Raffles; from Singapore, to all ten of the company's hotels around the world.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, luxury international hotel company with a history dating back to 1887 with the opening of Raffles Hotel, Singapore. The portfolio currently comprises ten luxurious properties, from secluded resorts to city hotels in key locations around the world: in Singapore, Cambodia, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, the Philippines and Paris, each one is an oasis of calm and charm. The company is embarking on a new phase of expansion, with openings in key destinations scheduled over the next two years.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts is owned by FRHI Holdings Ltd, a leading global hotel company with more than 105 hotels and resorts worldwide under the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded residences, Estates and luxury private residence club properties.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.