...granted I was there for a 24 hour transit enroute to Africa. The hotel reflects the history and elegance of a grand era where I can imagine guests adorned like the characters from Downton Abbey having high tea and cocktails before dinner. When I travel I always choose the property with the greatest history and grandeur --all of the Raffles properties in Cambodia, Burma and Singapore, the Moana Hotel in Honolulu, the Oriental in Bangkok, The Milestone Hotel in London, etc. and this one is in that league of those grand dames although more buotique in size...so I ignored the highest rated hotels because my values don't include wanting the largest plasma screen TV or a Philippe Starck interior----as classic service and elegance never go out of style. From the moment I was picked up by the hotel luxury car, to the graciousness of the bellman, to riding in a 100 year old elevator, I felt as if I had entered an era where grace and elegance pervaded. The service was impeccable, with most of the staff knowing my name within minutes. The room, while small, by American standards, was glorious with its high ceilings and crown moldings, and classic but new furnishings with nods to the Orient Express (the hotel was the last stop on the train's route and Agatha Cristy and other writers wrote here) with 1920s style leather bound volumes of the room service menu. The hotel has been completely renovated so while there is the classic elegance there are Ipod/Iphone I-phone docks, and wireless internet. The french doors opened on to a small balcony sufficient for drinks and a romantic view of the Golden Horn and the Old City in the background. During my very short visit from 6 pm to 6 pm the next day, I soaked in the claw footed tub, dined at the Agatha Christie restaurant and had what must be one of the top ten best meals of my life and a full bodied Turkish Cabernet. The service was attentive, confident but not instrusive. I appropriately brought a spy novel to read over dinner...And I was attended to by both a male and female server who were eager to offer suggestions of their favorites. The dinner was leisurely , with three courses and when I left at 10:30 I was one of the last patrons to leave. I slept soundly for 14 hours on a comfortable bed with exquisite linen and a down pillow with a menu of pillow options based on preference. Since I had slept through breakfast and lunch, I had high tea in what looked like to be the original library room with soaring ceilings and a jazz pianist playing American Jazz standards. I felt as if I spent 24 dreamlike hours in another time and world and after the rat race of preparing to leave on my travels which have now taken me to Africa (with no female servers or executives to be seen) then on to Asia (ditto) , I needed the 24 hour respite. I am planning to fly through Istanbul again enroute back to the US from Asia and have booked a hamman treatment at the hotel and a private tour of the Old City so that my experience of Istanbul will be more than the Pera Palace Hotel. I must acknowledge some of the staff who took extraordinary measures...Emre, who when I said my suitcase locks were cut by US customs offered to go across the street and purchase new locks...I have only had this experience once when someone offered to leave the property to assist me and that was in Sydney at the Observatory Hotel. Irem, the front desk executive assisted me in moving rooms twice when the first one didn't have a tub and the second did have consistent internet. Rather than regarding me as difficult they went out of their way to please. Finally, I left my jacket in one of the rooms along with my passport in the pocket, and the front desk executive Seravent (not sure of spelling) found it and sent it to my room while I was having dinner and informed the maitre de at the restaurant. Good service is feeling valued and respected and that often come through when the staff are treated well and themselves respected either by guests or management and feel proud of the property that they represent. As a woman business owner, I was pleased to see the mix of men and women on the staff and noted that the general manager was also female. What is great service? When you can let your guard down and feel care for. They have gained a loyal guest in me because they earned it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Gazing over the golden years of history, Pera Palace Hotel, Jumeirah overlooks the magnificent view of the Golden Horn and is located in Tepebaşı district of Pera once known as the “Little Europe”. With its 115 rooms, including 16 suites, retaining the characteristics of the 19th century elegance through historical furniture, the hotel combines refined elegance with state-of the-art technology to fulfill the needs of 21st century travellers. Enjoy a range of revitalized restaurant and bar choices, including the Agatha Restaurant, The Kubbeli Saloon, the French style Patisserie de Pera and the legendary Orient Bar & Terrace and rejuvenate yourself in the soothing atmosphere of Pera Spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pera Palas Hotel