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Turkey has been luring visitors to its azure seas and ancient sites for thousands of years, but only recently has it gained a reputation as a Hollywood hangout — not to mention a filming location. Until the late ’90s, the most well-known movie set in Istanbul was 1978’s Midnight Express, a cautionary tale about its prison system. Long a source of consternation among Turks, it was banned locally until 1992.
Flash forward to 2012. That prison in Midnight Express now is one of two plush Four Seasons — the Four Seasons Sultanahmet (Tevkifhane Sokak 1, rooms from $405). The hotel is one of dozens of Turkey’s new breed of ultraposh resorts in a city increasingly renowned for its cuisine and contemporary art.