On the banks of the Bosphorus Strait, Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul provides the dreamiest setting for an idyllic Istanbul adventure
The Bosphorus Strait connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. It was estimated to have been formed in 5,600BC and was one of the most important maritime routes of the ancient world, and it remains a bustling shipping route to this day. The Bosphorus also separates Asia and Europe. Straddling these two continents is the vibrant, delightfully chaotic, history-rich city of Istanbul, Turkiyë.
There is no better location to get a front-row seat to the activity than the Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul, which is nestled neatly on the European shoreline. The recently opened Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul manages to simultaneously be in the heart of the action while feeling worlds away. Flanked by lush greenery and mountainous landscapes on one side and the Bosphorus on the other, it is a peaceful haven in one of the world’s busiest cities, offering guests the opportunity to explore Istanbul as well the ability to retreat to tranquility come the day’s end.
The modernity of the sprawling, three-wing property juxtaposes its historic surroundings with contemporary architecture and the opulent aesthetic found across Mandarin Oriental hotels. However, renowned design firm Tihany Design paid homage to Istanbul by integrating cultural elements throughout the space, including tiles bearing the tulip motif, embroidered textiles and three-dimensional wood panels that evoke pulsing waves. The 100 rooms and suites also feature design elements inspired by the historic strait, with rounded corners and light wood mimicking the interior design of yachts. The rooms are grand, luxurious and spacious, made all the more magnificent with floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the Bosphorus. No matter how busy your schedule, whether you are relaxing in your suite or sauntering the pristine grounds, it is impossible to resist staring at the water and conjuring scenes of centuries gone by. Where else in the world can you settle into a plush bed in Europe while gazing over the moonlit landscapes of Asia?
The hotel’s setting on the banks of the Bosphorous is breathtaking at both sunrise and sunset (and, well, anytime in between) and all of its culinary offerings are perfectly situated to allow guests and in-the-know residents alike to soak up the view with bank-side seating. Hakkasan, a new addition to the culinary roster, brings haute Chinese cuisine to Istanbul for the first time; Novikov serves up elegant Japanese fusion cuisine; Olea is a go-to for romantic dinners and lazy lunches spent indulging in Italian fare; while the famed Mandarin Oriental Cake Shop is ideal for both an after-dinner treat or afternoon pick-me-up after a day of exploring.
Holidays are made for unwinding, and Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul ticks all the wellness boxes. The gigantic yet intimate 3,500-square-metre spa underneath the hotel features 14 treatment rooms and an array of beauty and wellness offerings, including the Turkish hammam experience, as well as a sauna, steam room, indoor pool, gym and workout studios dispersed throughout the greenery-filled space.
Venturing out of the hotel, nearby Bebek is perfect for strolling the waterfront and people-watching from elegant cafes, while chartering a yacht from the property’s docks is an ideal (and traffic-free) way to explore Istanbul and make your way to Old Town. Plus, the dock is conveniently placed between restaurants at Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul, so you can return home in time to make your dinner reservation. Book now
- Words by Savanna Smith