Travel Like a Celebrity - Luxury Tours in Istanbul

by GoWithGuide travel specialist

Istanbul is no stranger to luxury. Formerly known as Constantinople, for centuries it was home to the rulers of one of the world’s top  historic superpowers. The opulence of the ages is still evident in many parts of the city, and can be enjoyed to this day. 

Today, Istanbul is the picturesque business hub of modern Turkey. The cosmopolitan city attracts people from across the globe, while royalty and celebrities routinely make the seaside resort of Bodrum their leisure destination of choice. 

Our guides regularly rub shoulders with the rich and famous and are the souls of discretion. GoWithGuide’s flexible tours can be tailored to your specific needs and schedule. 

Exclusive Accommodation 

The elite global hotel chains are well represented in Istanbul. The Grand Hyatt, Hilton, Raffles, and Ritz Carlton all host five star venues in the city. Most of these straddle the Golden Horn, the inlet of the Bosphorus that divides the European from the Asia Minor side of the city. 

For a more intimate stay, there are several boutique hotels in the vicinity that offer the equivalence in comfort and service. The best of these are to be found in the Sisli district. This vibrant, affluent area was once home to the country’s industrial dynasties. Though many of the Art Noveau edifices have been retained, the area has been modernised and is now the most desirable destination in the central business district. 

For the ultimate Istanbul experience, why not opt for a stay in a palace or heritage mansion? The five star Four Seasons Hotel situated on the shores of the Bosphorus was formerly a 19th century Ottoman palace. It has been refurbished to the highest standards of luxury accommodation and fine dining, and offers world class spa facilities. 

Its sister establishment, the Four Seasons Hotel in Sultanahmet, is a tranquil retreat in the heart of the old city. This neoclassical mansion features the pinched arches, marble pillars, domes, and tiles that encapsulate the architecture of the city’s eclectic history.

At the Ciragan Palace Hotel, also on the shores of the Bosphorus, you can open your balcony door and marvel at the panoramic view of the waterway. Contact one of our local guides today to get recommendations on the hotel that will best suit your needs. 

Coastal Cuisine

Istanbul has a wonderful Mediterranean climate, and there is always something new in season. Vegetarians will relish the variety of fresh produce and other delicacies available, while meat lovers can enjoy lamb, chicken, and the line fish of the day. 

This intercontinental city is a melting pot of Anatolian, European, and Asian cuisine. There is a rich choice of modern, traditional, and fusion dining experiences - from street kiosks to world class restaurants. 

Award winning eateries are found on the seafronts of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn. Rooftop restaurants allow you to recline in the lap of luxury amidst Turkish textiles and refreshing sea breezes.

If you choose to dine on the water, the Maiden’s Tower Restaurant provides a novel setting situated in a lighthouse approximately 200 meters off the Anatolian coast. It serves a range of local dishes for breakfast, romantic dinners a few floors up, and coffee in the dome. Alternatively, opt for a private dinner while cruising the Bosphorus.  

Like many coastal cities, Istanbul has a year-round party atmosphere. The nightlife flourishes along the fashionable seafront of the Sea of Marmara. There you will find live music of your choice, from traditional Jazz to the Turkish Top 20. Great sounds, a gourmet dinner, and a glass of fine wine will bring a memorable close to your day. 

Explore the Region in Style

If you have a week or more, why not live on the water? Istanbul has a robust yacht charter sector where you can hire powered or sail boats. Whether you’re interested in a sloop, a schooner, or a super yacht - you can find it here. 

Competent skippers can manage boats up to 100 feet in length, but beyond that you will need to hire a crew. If your intention is to sail away from the city, a personal chef will see that your energy levels are sustained. On shore, you can enjoy the benefits and social contacts afforded by the Istanbul Yacht Club. 

You might find sightseeing on terra firma more comfortable, especially if you are driven through the city streets by a chauffeur or one of our expert tour guides. Specialist car hire companies stock classic cars, sedans, and stretch limousines.  

Further afield, about an hour away by chartered flight, is the Turkish Riviera on the Bodrum peninsula. This is truly the playground of the rich and famous, and some have chosen to purchase holiday homes in the area. It is frequented by Hollywood A-listers and super stars in the music industry, such as Madonna who held a birthday party in Bodrum castle.  

For a calmer airborne experience, head in a more easterly direction to Cappadocia. There you can enjoy an early morning ride in a hot air balloon over the lunar-like landscape of the region. This is followed by a champagne breakfast before you jet back to Istanbul for the afternoon.  

Taking Home Mementos

Turkey has a thriving manufacturing sector renowned for its production of luxury goods. These include leather articles, textiles, and carpets. In addition, the country hosts a thriving jewellery industry.   

Acres of Istanbul are dedicated to bazaars, malls, and boutiques. Nisantasi, the commercial hub of Sisli, showcases the most desirable items that the city and country have to offer. It is home to the country’s top fashion houses, jewellery designers, and purveyors of other high-end items.  

At the northern end of Nisantasi, you will find Istanbul Cevalir Mall, the sixth largest of its kind in the world. This 20-storey shopping extravaganza houses more than 100 of the top global brands, and showcases the best of Turkish merchandise. The décor is an opulent spectacle, best viewed during the festive season. 

Conclusion 

Istanbul is rich in the diverse attractions available to the discerning traveller. To make the most of the hotspots, allow our expert guides to show you around the exclusive places where you can experience the finest the city has to offer. 

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