Rare waterfront location overlooking Istanbul’s iconic cityscape and the busy Bosphorus strait
World class subterranean CHI, The Spa
Popular brunch in the main IST TOO restaurant; snag a seat by the window for Bosphorus views
Read about Istanbul's top sights, restaurants, shops and more
What To Know
Not all guestrooms have Bosphorus views
Central location in the Besiktas neighborhood means navigating Istanbul’s notorious traffic. Consider taking the ferry from outside the hotel
Shangri-La’s signature fawning service can feel overly formal at times
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Luxe digs on the Bosphorus, with palatial rooms, a world class spa and a destination Cantonese restaurant
In the heart of Istanbul’s Besiktas neighborhood, the Shangri-La is the newest kid on a luxury hotel block (neighbors include the Four Seasons Bosphorus and Kempinski Ciragan Palace) with rare front-and-center views across the Bosphorus strait. Housed in a tobacco warehouse dating from 1929, the boxy exterior belies Shangri-La’s signature gilded luxury, which is on full display inside. Expect cascading crystal chandeliers, acres of marble, fresh flowers galore and a considered mix of Chinese and Turkish accents, from the whirling dervish–inspired light fixtures to the 60-foot silk painting in the atrium.
Bed and Bath
Less showy than the public spaces, the guestrooms are done up in sea foam shades of blue and green and start at a roomy 450 square feet. The corkscrew layout of the old warehouse means more than half the 186 rooms have views across the Bosphorus strait to Istanbul’s Asian side, but all except first-floor rooms also frame scenes of the minaret-studded cityscape through floor-to-ceiling windows. All the modern comforts are present, including free WiFi, 40-inch LCD TVs, heated floors in the black marble bathrooms and pinchable Bulgari toiletries.
Fuel up for a day of sightseeing with breakfast at the IST TOO restaurant. The posh buffet covers all international tastes with sweet pastries, fresh fruit, eggs made to order, Turkish favorites and more. The popular Sunday brunch adds still more delicacies, plus cocktails and a lively mix of guests and locals. There’s also a separate sushi bar for afternoon bites. On the lower lobby level, the signature restaurant Chang attracts Istanbul’s in-crowd for authentic Cantonese fare (don’t miss the hand-pulled noodles, which can be made tableside) and traditional Chinese tea ceremonies, while Le Bar is a low-lit drinking den for post-dinner tipples. For spa lovers, the sprawling CHI, The Spa is a destination unto itself, with a gorgeous marble hammam, oversize treatment rooms and organic products.
In the Area
The Ottoman glitz of Dolmabahçe Palace is just a short walk away, so you can get there early to beat the tour buses. Or wander a little farther to the excellent Istanbul Modern museum and hipster haunts in Karakoy. Sultanahmet is the historic heart of the city and home to its most famous sights: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. You can score some serious retail therapy, from the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar to Nisantasi’s international designers, Galata’s avant-garde fashion boutiques and Çukurcuma’s treasure trove of antiques and vintage shops. Mikla, on top of the Marmara Pera, is as famous for its show-stopping views as its fabulous fusion menu. Don’t miss partying under the stars at superclub Reina. Read more about Istanbul's must-see sights, restaurants, bars and more.