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  • Writer's pictureMirko La Rosa

Raffles Istanbul: A Stunning 5-Star Luxury Hotel in the Heart of Turkey

Updated: Feb 2


Raffles Istanbul is a 5-star hotel in Istanbul that is managed by Raffles Hotels & Resorts. The hotel opened on September 1, 2014. Designed by Emre Arolat & Tabanlıoğlu Architecture, the hotel has a height of 134 meters, making it one of Istanbul’s most noticeable buildings.

Unlike the majority of luxury hotels in Istanbul, Raffles does not pay homage to the city’s bygone Byzantine and Ottoman eras, but stands instead as a symbol of a modern, self-confident Turkey.

In 2007, the Zorlu Center project started with the purchase of the property. After several years of construction, Raffles Istanbul was opened on September 1, 2014. The hotel is part of the award-winning Zorlu Centre Zorlu Center which consists of residences, offices, a shopping mall, and a performing arts center. The hotel itself hosts an art collection of around 200 pieces from both international and local artists. The hotel also includes a ballroom with a capacity of 1,200 people and is directly linked to the Performing Arts Center.

Raffles Istanbul has an array of recreational facilities:

- One of Istanbul's largest spas which is 3000 square metres [5]

- 3 Turkish Hamams / Turkish Bath

- Indoor & Outdoor pool


Istanbul is a city that is steeped in history, culture, and beauty. Located on the Bosphorus Strait, it is the largest city in Turkey and one of the largest cities in Europe and Asia. With a rich heritage and vibrant modern culture, Istanbul is a must-visit destination for any traveler.

The history of Istanbul dates back over 2,000 years, and it has served as the capital of several empires, including the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. Today, visitors can explore the city’s historical sites, including the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque. The Hagia Sophia, a former cathedral and mosque, is one of the city's most iconic landmarks and is a stunning example of Byzantine architecture. The Topkapi Palace was once the seat of the Ottoman Empire and is now a museum that offers visitors a glimpse into the opulence and grandeur of the era. The Blue Mosque is an impressive mosque that is known for its striking blue tiles and six minarets.

Istanbul is also a city of culture, with a vibrant arts and music scene. The city is home to numerous museums, galleries, and cultural centers, as well as traditional Turkish bazaars and street markets. Visitors can also enjoy the city's delicious cuisine, including meze (a variety of small dishes), kebabs, and Turkish sweets.

One of the most breathtaking sights in Istanbul is its panoramic view of the Bosphorus Strait and the city's skyline. Whether you take a ferry ride along the strait, stroll along the seaside promenade, or enjoy a sunset from a rooftop restaurant, you are sure to be captivated by the city's natural beauty.

In conclusion, Istanbul is a city that has something to offer for everyone, from its rich cultural heritage and historical sites to its vibrant modern culture and stunning natural beauty. Whether you are a history buff, foodie, or culture lover, Istanbul is a city that you won't want to miss.

What we liked most

Imagine a revitalizing oasis, right in the heart of Istanbul. Experience local traditional treatments in our 3 Turkish Hamams, enjoy the privacy of one of our 2 Couples Suites, or retreat to one of the 7 luxuriously appointed treatment rooms. With 3000 square metres of spa and wellness facilities, there is plenty of space to indulge.

The Spa of Raffles Istanbul features male and female relaxation areas with saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzis, experience showers and ice fountains. The outdoor pool offers stunning panoramic views of the city and both indoor and outdoor pools are bathed in natural light. Completing the suite of facilities are a yoga and pilates studio, personal training, Technogym® equipment, and 2 hair and nail salons.


Although the interior décor of the rooms is restrained, with neutral hued walls, floors and ceilings, there are enough opulent splashes of pattern, texture and colour to give them a comfortable feel – as well as swish touches such as espresso machines and workstations complete with tablet computers. Each room also has body-moulding mattresses on the white-lined clad beds, and works of art inspired by the city’s landmark Blue Mosque. Floor to ceiling windows give sublime views over the city; bathrooms are spacious. For longer stays, the recently completed residences, spread over the top six floors of the hotel, are available for monthly or yearly rentals.

Food and Drink

The hotel offers a choice of restaurants. Opened in 2018, the Isokyo offers the best range and quality of Asian food in the city, with the various chefs all coming from their home countries but overseen by the executive chef, New Zealander Clinton Cooper. There’s a set degustation menu offering a wide selection of delicious Asian dishes for £54 a head. Mains, which include caramelised miso black cod and tom yum braised lamb shank, start at around £17. The lobby floor Rocca restaurant specialises in Mediterranean and international cuisine. Wednesdays are tapas themed, while Fridays offer Turkish meze. The Lavinia Lounge is popular for its afternoon teas. For pre-dinner drinks you can choose between the stylish Long Bar or the poolside Lounge 6.


Sleek wood-panelled floors, gossamer fabrics, tropical plants and mirrored columns set the scene for a culinary journey across Asia from Istanbul to Tokyo. In this seductive, contemporary setting, peruse a menu that features pan-Asian dishes inspired by the quarter of a century Raffles Istanbul Executive Chef has spent exploring the continent. The intense umami flavors of Japan, Thailand’s elegant balance of sweet and spicy, pickled and fermented delicacies from Korea and age-old Chinese recipes. All of these and more are showcased in exceptional style at Isokyo, and given their own unique twist with the introduction of beloved Turkish ingredients.

Lavinia Lounge

Lavinia Lounge is the beating heart of Raffles Istanbul. Located in the middle of the light-filled lobby, it is a place in constant motion – a place to meet friends over cups of fragrant coffee and sugar-dusted Turkish delight, before wandering arm-in-arm through the connected walkway to the Zorlu Center. Or, choose to linger awhile over a healthy quinoa salad and a classic club sandwich, or succulent meats fresh from the grill. As you watch the ebb and flow of your fellow guests arriving and departing through the lobby, take a moment to unwind and appreciate the incredible artworks that make Lavinia so special.

Services and facilities

All guests are assigned a personal butler. Service is attentive without being obsequious. The spa and wellness facilities are outstanding, with three hammams, seven separate treatment rooms and two couples' suites. The outdoor pool has expansive city views, the indoor one is bathed in natural light, and there are yoga and pilates studios as well as a state of the art gym.

Our experience

Click here to see our full experience

Key info

Location: Zorlu Center34340 Istanbul, Turkey

Hotel website:

Hotel phone: +90 212 924 0200

INSTAGRAM: @rafflesistanbul

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