When it opens on 1st September this year, Raffles Istanbul will be the perfect embodiment of the ‘new’ face of Istanbul: cutting-edge, eclectic and energetic.
The hotel is at the heart of the Zorlu Center, a new hub for fashion, food and the arts on the European shore in Besiktas – overlooking the Bosphorus, the Princess Islands and the historic Peninsula. This is a next-generation bazaar, where fashion, performance and art converge. Like those of its stylish sister, Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris, the sleek modern interiors at Raffles Istanbul will be embellished with an impressive collection of artwork, specially commissioned from local artists, a mix of paintings, sculpture, photography and video installations. These will all come together under the common influence of Turkish culture and heritage, giving the hotel a strong sense of place.
And as in Paris, Raffles Istanbul will have an Art Concierge, to steer clients through the city’s exciting new art scene which, over the last few years, has shifted from heavily traditional to a reinvigorated one, energetically celebrating its new generation of artists. The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey’s first private museum to stage modern and contemporary art exhibitions, was founded in 2004 on the shores of the Bosphorus, and in 2012 the contemporary art space SALT opened. Last year a number of Istanbul art galleries attended Frieze London, as well as Art Basel in Basel and Hong Kong. Art lovers are not the only ones beating a path to Istanbul: fashionistas have it in their sights too. From cutting-edge to haute-couture, Turkish fashion designers are the ones to watch. Istanbul is full of one-of-a-kind boutiques and edgy concept stores, filled with home-grown talent alongside international names. As well as having designer shops on its doorstep, Raffles Istanbul will offer its guests a personal shopping and styling service, to take them on a fashion trail through the city.
Peter French, President of Raffles Hotels & Resorts, explains: “Turkey is a rising star of the global economy and Istanbul is a rising star of global tourism. It is a meeting place between East and West, between Asia and Europe. A city on which, over many centuries, great civilizations and cultures have left their mark. Travellers have come to Istanbul for thousands of years: 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 Center 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.”
Fashion, business or art. Whatever Raffles Istanbul’s guests are seeking, the hotel will provide a calm, modern luxury oasis, perfectly placed to experience this timeless city. Whether flying in to the rooftop helipad, or arriving by car from the airport, guests will be welcomed into sleek rooms with huge balconies offering wonderful panoramic views of the city. The stunning rooftop pool offers a respite from the city by day – and by night a chilled space, with live music and a vibrant DJ/club atmosphere. A champagne bar, a young Turkish chef and a glorious signature Raffles Spa will all help anyone staying here feel relaxed and at home. The authentic Raffles touch is never far away, personified by the legendary Raffles Butler Service, which currently extends from Singapore to the company’s ten hotels around the world. The Raffles Butlers will bring a new level of luxury and service to Istanbul – a first for the city. And downstairs in the Long Bar, cocktails will be classic – but with a distinctly glamorous new twist – a place to see and be Seen+. Make that another Istanbul Sling, please…
About Raffles Hotels & Resorts:
Raffles Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, luxury international hotel company with a history dating back to 1887 with the opening of Raffles Hotel, Singapore. The portfolio currently comprises ten luxurious properties, from secluded resorts to city hotels in key locations around the world: in Singapore, Cambodia, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, the Philippines and Paris, each one is an oasis of calm and charm. The company is embarking on a new phase of expansion, with openings in key destinations scheduled over the next two years. With a compelling mix of cultures and styles, every hotel in the Raffles family has its own individual personality, with its own story to tell and its own sense of place. However, each one is proud to draw on the timeless essence of Raffles – to deliver thoughtful, personal and discreet service to well-travelled guests. Raffles Hotels & Resorts is owned by FRHI Holdings Ltd, a leading global hotel company with more than 105 hotels and resorts worldwide under the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded residences, Estates and luxury private residence club properties. www.raffles.com