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If you’re a luxury brand that isn’t in Istanbul you’re missing out not just on the present but on making inroads to the future.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts is on an expansion streak that will see the luxury international hotel company open its first property in Turkey, the Raffles Istanbul, on September 1.
The hotel is located in the heart of the city in the award-winning and iconic Zorlu Centre, overlooking the Bosphorus, the Princess Islands and the historic peninsula. It is the 11th hotel in the international Raffles Hotels & Resorts portfolio, and the second in Europe. Raffles Istanbul has a total of 181 rooms, including 132 guest rooms and 49 suites.
Peter French, president of Raffles Hotels & Resorts, said: “Turkey is a rising star of the global economy and Istanbul is a rising star of global tourism. It is a meeting place between the East and West, between Asia and Europe. A city on which, over many centuries, great civilizations and cultures have left their mark. It is a place where people meet, exchange ideas, tell stories, rest, refresh and set out again on their journeys.”
“And it is this tradition of bringing people together, which is very much part of the Raffles philosophy, that is an essential feature of the story of Raffles in Istanbul. The Zorlu Centre is a new destination for the city of Istanbul and for people from all around the world. A new icon, both in function and design — very much like our hotels, wherever they are,” French explained.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, Tarek Mourad, general manager of Raffles Istanbul, said: “Raffles Istanbul has many relevant and exclusive offerings directly connected to the destination — the most timeless of cities. We provide spacious rooms starting from 62sqm and going up to 416sqm in suites. We provide floor-to-ceiling windows and a private terrace in each room and suite, for the guests to immerse themselves in the uniqueness of this magical city. We are also very happy to have the restaurant ‘Arola’ by Sergi Arola, the celebrity Michelin-star chef.”
Like the Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris, the sleek modern interiors at Raffles Istanbul will be embellished with a collection of artwork, specially commissioned from local artists, a mix of paintings, sculptures, photography and video installations. These will all come together as a contemporary interpretation of Turkish culture and heritage.
“Another unique offering of Raffles Istanbul is the signature Raffles Spa,” noted Mourad. “Since we are in Istanbul, the Turkish culture dating back to centuries is a highlight. The spa will provide a blend of classical and mystique treatments given with the most appealing and exclusive products of Organic Pharmacy, Gazelli, Erbaviva. In terms of the variety of meeting and banquet spaces that will be catering to upscale corporate and social events, we have the most glamorous ballroom with its own set up and private entrance, yet smartly accessed through the hotel as well.”
And as in Paris, Raffles Istanbul will have an Art Concierge, to steer clients through the city’s exciting new art scene. The Art Concierge will enable the direct access of guests to the Zorlu Centre of Performing Arts, which offer world-class dramas and musicals opening simultaneously with New York’s Broadway and London’s West-End.