Turkey’s Pera Palace Hotel Reopens

One of Istanbul’s most important cultural treasures, the Pera Palace Hotel, has reopened following 2.5 years of careful restoration work. Established in 1892, the hotel was home to many firsts, including being the first building apart from the Ottoman Palaces to have electricity and the first electric elevator, as well as bathrooms that provided the only running hot water in the city. Amongst the distinguished guests that have been hosted at the hotel were writers Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie, the founder of the Republic of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the UK’s King Edward VIII and Queen Elizabeth II, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, as well as Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Greta Garbo and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

 

Every part of the neo-classical, art nouveau and oriental-styled hotel was renovated to incorporate modern technical features without infringing on the original architecture of the building. Classified as a “museum-hotel”, the 115 rooms and suites bear witness to decisions which have changed the course of history and feature original 19th Century fittings, including “White Carrara” marble and Murano glass chandeliers amidst modern amenities. Each accommodation option is furnished with luxurious King or twin beds, bathrooms with bathtub or shower and antique furniture, with some rooms having a private French balcony on which guests can take in views of Pera. The Pera Palace Hotel has also honoured some of its illustrous guests with their own themed rooms, including the Greta Garbo Corner Rooms and the Agatha Christie Room in which her famous bestseller “Murder on the Orient Express” was thought to have been written in.

 

Since its opening, the hotel has had a reputation for impressive dining. 4 unique food & beverage outlets carry on its gastronomic legacy today. At the Agatha Restaurant, the combination of French, Italian and Turkish cuisine pay tribute to the 3 major stops of the former Orient Express (Paris, Venice and Istanbul), while the smell of freshly ground coffee and pastries fill the air at Patisserie de Pera. Afternoons are best spent over tea at the Kubbeli Saloon-Tea Lounge, with its magical atmosphere and high ceilings. Long a meeting point for high society, the Orient Bar continues the tradition with its menu of wines, spirits and cocktails.

 

Guests at the hotel have the opportunity to visit the Ataturk Museum Room, which the late Turkish leader stayed in several times in war and peace. Transformed in 1981 on the occasion of Ataturk’s 100th birthday anniversary, the room was decorated in sunrise pink and turned into a museum exhibiting many of his personal belongings.  Following a hectic day, the Pera Palace Hotel’s SPA awaits to rejuvenate guests with its series of treatments, including the traditional Turkish bath whose roots date back to the Roman Empire. The facility is also equipped with a gymnasium, jacuzzi, jetstreamed swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath.

 

For more information, visit www.perapalace.com.

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