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
- 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
I'd like to say many many thanks for great time which we spent with my friends to celebrate the Birth Day of our friend. We had the tea party at Longue from 2pm-6pm at 7 of December. All was amazing! It is really the 5 stars and I could give more the 7 stars. The decoration is grand, the stuff is very polite the food is delicious and looks appetizing. Many choice of snacks and cakes and you want to taste all of them because they looks attractively. The cozy and friendly atmosphere. We are planning come here again and try the restaurant and the bar. Very adviced!
Margarita Leonova and friends
Hubby and I stayed here for 2 nights at the end of November to celebrate our anniversary. Staff were very welcoming and appeared keen to make our special day as special as possible. Upgraded our room, we received fruit, cake and flowers in the room. Ist too restaurant was nice although the menu was a bit limited but service was good. The terrace is lovely and well heated. The shang palace restaurant is stunning, food was fantastic, service impeccable. The lobby bar didn't disappoint either. Used the spa, which does a good hammam. Overall a wonderful stay.
My godson and I had decided to hold his wedding banquet at this hotel in Istanbul, and we definitely have no regrets for making this hotel our choice.
The greatest asset of this hotel are its excellent service-oriented staff, who were full of warmth and looked after us so well, ever so helpful and kindly making sure my guests and I all felt like being at home whenever we walked into the hotel premises. This really helped to make our task of planning and holding a wedding party banquet so much easier despite all the challenges of coming from overseas and bringing guests from so many countries.
From the reservations to the front desk check-in, banqueting sales, restaurant chefs and food servers, lobby lounge attendants, spa attendants, massage therapists, swimming pool guards, housekeeping, bellboys and security guards, the staff at this hotel have set a very high benchmark for other top quality hotels in Istanbul to match. As a frequent visitor to Turkey, I can truly testify to their high standards of staff service that the Shangri-La Hotel group is normally proud of.
The second great asset of the hotel is its strategically located property that is a unique and beautiful blend of Oriental Chinese, Turkish and Western interiors, made up of its exquisite vases, carpets, decorations, furnitures, chandeliers, lightings, wall paintings, beautiful ballrooms and meeting rooms, indoor spa and health centre, plus the unique indoor garden atria with the high wall painting (a smaller version of the one in Island Shangri-La Hong Kong). We always felt so comfortable whether we were in our rooms or sitting in the lobby lounge having a cup of tea.
The strategic location of the hotel also offers many rooms with a full or partial view of the Bosphorus, which is such a beautiful sight especially at night with all its colourful lights and scenery.
One extra advantage of the hotel is having a pier located right in front of it, so we were able to charter a private yacht to come and pick up our friends and guests for a private Bosphorus dinner cruise on one evening. This might be a good idea if anyone were thinking of having a private yacht dinner party.
The only small drawback about the hotel is the heavy traffic congestion around the hotel because of its location in a very busy crossroads area and many taxi drivers do not seem to know how to navigate to get into the hotel compound. Otherwise, it is easy to tell taxi drivers to stop at Deniz Musesi (the Naval Museum) in Besiktas, which is just beside the hotel.
Having visited other nearby hotels like the Ciragan Kempinski and the Four Seasons, the Shangri-La is no doubt smaller in size but their staff service definitely stands out amongst them.
After pampering myself at Chi spa and while waiting for my husband to finish his, I decided to hangout at the lobby lounge.
Shangri la’s lobby was grandiose and elegant.
The tea lounge was just opposite the reception desk. The pastry and cake selections was appetizing and tasty.
Lovely view very attractive specially sea side view. Rooms are very comfortable. The staff is too friendly & professional. The food Qauality & presentation is very effective. The location of this hotel is very convenient for tourists.