24 Hours at the Raffles Istanbul
Superlatives are not enough to describe this superluxe new luxury hotel above the Bosphorus. We arrived by Limousine, all our bags were already in our room and after opening the doors of the luxurious S-Class Mercedes (by Travelium) we were greeted by last name. "Welcome to Raffles Istanbul, Mr Egger" where these 5 words that made me feel coming to a known place. The very friendly head porter did know everything and escorted us to the hidden front desk. We took a seat and the journey began: After booking a Shilouette Suite (which is like a Junior Suite), the kind front desk men informed us of the upgrade to a Horizon Suite, which boasts amazing views and 180 square meters of pure luxury - he added! We did not know what to expect but felt that this could be the highlight of our one-month trip!
Exited like a child at the first school day we opened the heavy door of room 1202 and there it was: Probably one of Turkey's most amazing hotel suites - the Horizon Suite of the Raffles Istanbul. The curtains open, a plate with Turkish delicacies, a vast living room and a view to die for! A whole city was lying under us - overlooking the lively business district to the right, the old town on the horizon, the Bosphorus in front and Asia behind this amazing sea way. Opposite this view our suite - like expected from a true upscale property - with a huge living room, exclusive deco pieces and expensive furniture. A welcome plate of fresh fruits was waiting for us as well as a not from the General Manager. Already flashed by the view and the huge living room, the nice front desk men showed us our bedroom! Two sliding doors opened and there was it: a boxspring bed with truly heavenly blanket and even better pillows. Ohh... Wouldn't there be the Doha flight at 1 pm! Who knows, maybe we would have slept forever :-), so it was good for the Raffles.
After we experienced the living- and bedroom - although I was still speechless - we continued our Suite Tour to the bathroom! Well now that's a part I could write a novel but I keep it short for you: It was one of the most wonderful hotel bathrooms I have bathed in! The free standing bath tub was amazing enough but a view of the old and new Istanbul did make it unforgettable and unique. Not to mention the double vanities, the shower with three different heads, the marble floor, the access to the vast terrace (I think it was bigger then the suite itself) and last but not least the best toiletries I have ever tried - by Ortigia!
Well, wouldn't we have got that amazing suite I believe in the fact that the highlight would have been the Raffles Spa. There is just one hotel coming to my mind where I had such a crush on the spa area like I had at the Raffles Istanbul. Take a look on the pictures - it is simply perfect. The staff were super attentive, the towels and robes of best quality, the whole spa amazingly clean and there was a wonderful smell everywhere. Beside a changing area for both gender with sauna and steam bath there are men and women spas (truly huge and wonderful) and one mixed area with an amazing indoor pool. I think we spent nearly 5 hours at the spa and did not feel bored as there is so much to explore!
We also had dinner at Rocca Restaurant which was also very good - or first encounter with the Turkish cuisine. Afterwards we had cocktails in the main bar upstairs. I took a Bosphorus Sling - a landmark of the Raffles Hotels while my colleague had a Havanna Punch. How could a day in Istanbul end properly? I ended this unforgettable day in an unforgettable city with a bath by Ortigia accompanied by a cocktail overlooking the lively metropolis on the Bosphorus! That's the best way to feel like the Sultan of Turkey (in a modern way of course) - I can just say you won't regret booking one of the Raffles Istanbul Horizon Suites!