Located on a stunning headland between the Bosphorus and a picturesque inlet lined with Ottoman-era homes
The 4,000-square-foot spa overlooks the Bosphorus and is open daily until 10 p.m.
Elegant afternoon tea with Turkish pastries
What To Know
Tarabya is trendy, but far sleepier than downtown Istanbul
Taksim, the city's dining and nightlife district, is at least a 20-minute taxi ride away
WiFi is free
Parking on site
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Glam waterfront retreat along the coast from Istanbul, with a mammoth spa, sprawling terrace and Bosphorus views
Overlooking a former fishing village that's now a glam haunt for Istanbul’s glitterati, the Grand Tarabya is a towering hotel with stunning Bosphorus views. From its dramatic lobby, decorated with opalescent silks and crocodile suede sofas, to its 4,000-square-foot spa, which comes complete with a marble hammam, it’s the very definition of a ritzy five-star retreat. Renovated extensively in 2013, the property attracts gossiping socialites — and the occasional Turkish starlet — for afternoon tea, which is served to the tunes of a harpist, violinist or pianist. The lobby, bar and two restaurants overlook the water, and the sprawling, sun-dappled terrace is a top spot for sundowners.
Bed and Bath
Floor-to-ceiling windows lend the Grand Tarabya's 248 guestrooms sweeping views of the Bosphorus or Tarabya Bay's lively, yacht-cluttered marina. The rooms aren't enormous, but the minimalist decor, soft lighting and wooden wall paneling create the illusion of space. The bathrooms are exquisite glass box affairs, with walk-in rain showers and tubs from which you can soak up unobstructed sea views. Toiletries come courtesy of Molton Brown, and the rooms are stocked with free chocolates from the hotel's in-house bakery.
Luxe and labyrinthine, the 4,000-square-foot spa buzzes with Jacuzzis, plus a heated pool, sauna and top-notch fitness center. Traditional body scrubs are offered in the marble-clad Turkish hammam, while a cadre of Indonesian masseuses provide a menu of seawater massages, herbal body wraps and organic facials. Guests can book a private Jacuzzi or opt for a candlelit massage suite overlooking the Bosphorus. The Grand Tarabya's in-house brasserie serves a respectable menu of French-Turkish fusion dishes, and Limani, the property's big-ticket fish restaurant, offers an impressive array of local seafood and live Greek music. In summer you can dine alfresco on the sprawling terrace.
In the Area
The winding shoreline of Tarabya is cluttered with genteel Ottoman-era mansions and luxury yachts. Local institution Le Pecheur serves some of the district's best seafood right on the Bosphorus. For more proletarian tastes, the lively, workaday Hristo dishes up seafood straight from the boats of local fishermen. A sunset stroll on the pier leads to the decidedly upmarket Bebek, northern Istanbul's nightlife capital, where dining and drinking options abound.