Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul
What We Love
- 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
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
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.
How to Get There
Very good location in the crowded Besiktas but out of reach from the street areas. very safe and secure : Police station right next to the hotel.
The hotel lobby is beautiful and elegant (even though I prefer modern decoration I loved it). Not too big and intimate.
Breakfast is nice but not crazy. Nice waiters and nice terrace with a Bosphorus view.
We booked a Terrace Junior Suite which was beautiful but (and here is the only drawback) the noise from outside was impossible (Saturday night, they don't have a time limit for noise in Istanbul) so we got another room on the quiet side just to sleep.
Came back in the morning and they switched us to an Executive Bosphorus Suite on the other side of the building where we spent a great great time : beautiful room, beautiful view, no noise...
Special touch : we arrived on a Saturday evening, it was my wife's birthday and they made a great setup for her with ballons and fresh cake waiting for her.
SPA was very nice even though the Hammam was under maintenance and swimming pool a bit cold (good the Jacuzzi was here!). Great massage (Ying Yang for couples)
Room service food was very tasty.
All in all, a great choice in Istanbul, but don't book full Bosphorus view if you like to be quiet in your hotel room and ask for the Bosphorus views that are on the quiet side (not full views but great views)
Special thanks to Ece, the duty manager.
Stayed here for a business event and the hotel & staff are excellent. Lovely room with a very comfortable bed, superb bathroom/shower facilities, plenty of workspace and was a very quiet room. I had breakfast out on the patio in the morning, which is a great experience to have and the food & staff were again excellent.
Firstly walking into this hotel was a dream! Totally decorated with elegance and style yet warm and welcoming. Had a welcoming agent Nahiba, walk into our life and made everything happen effortlessly.,from reservations to a lost pashmina shawl. The breakfast was a dream in what ever your palate dreams off. The staff was the best! And so friendly and helpful. Shops around the corner and whatever you wish is their command!