Standing proudly on the rise across the Golden Horn, just a street below the bustling Istikabal Avenue sits this throwback to Ottoman-era Istanbul…

This golden thread connects one to the late 19th century era. Built in 1892 with the purpose of hosting the passengers of the Orient Express, it was designed to offer the most convenient stay for the Paris-Bosphorus line travellers.

Pera Palace Hotel is more than just one of Turkey’s most elegant establishments.

It is an historic monument that represents the character, style and spirit of Istanbul. The hotel holds the title of “the oldest European hotel of Turkey.”

The iconic hotel was the first building in Turkey to be powered by electricity, other than the Ottoman Palaces and also, the only address in the city able to provide hot running water for its guests. The elevator is the second oldest in Europe (the oldest being the one at the Eiffel Tower) this was the first electric elevator in Istanbul.

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Entrance to the oldest elevator in Europe, which still works
(Pera Palace Hotel. Images by GirlInBlueJeans)

Covid-19 precautions

While the pandemic continues to spread around the world, hotels and tourist destinations have taken great lengths to ensure the safety of visitors.

According to the hotel’s managers, hygiene and cleanliness are taken very seriously. “Our leadership team has been closely monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization statements regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are following the guidelines from these agencies and the local health departments on appropriate hygiene standards.”

“Our health and safety measures are designed to address a broad spectrum of viruses, including COVID-19, and include everything from handwashing hygiene and cleaning product specifications to guest room and common area cleaning procedures.”

Agatha Christies room
(Pera Palace Hotel. Images by GirlInBlueJeans)

Agatha Christie was a famous guest at the hotel!

It rapidly became a favourite location for those visiting the Turkish metropolis and has been graced with many notable people over the centuries. Agatha Christie, the “queen of detective writing” stayed in room 411 regularly between 1926 and 1932.

One of the most requested rooms at the hotel, with its rich crimson and burgundy brocade, her favourite colours and a replica of her typewriter on the desk.

Urban legend tells that during the 11 days that she went missing, she was here at the hotel. It is also said that the key found in her room can open Agatha Christie’s diary, which holds the secret to her whereabouts for this time.

On 3 December 1926, she vanished after learning about her husband’s affair, her car was found abandoned by a lake but she was nowhere to be seen.

Agatha claimed to have no recollection of those 11 days so it became an ongoing mystery. Her diary has never been found.

Ernest Hemmingways room
(Pera Palace Hotel. Images by GirlInBlueJeans)
Museum room of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
(Pera Palace Hotel. Images by GirlInBlueJeans)
Bathroom in Greta Garbo’s room
(Pera Palace Hotel. Images by GirlInBlueJeans)

You can’t book room 101

The only room that cannot be booked is room 101, the museum room of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic. On his 100th birthday the room was turned into a museum, it preserves the old furniture and decoration and some of the President’s personal belongings.

One of these is an old clock whose hands stopped ticking exactly at the moment of Ataturk’s death.

Interesting facts

  • Designed by French- Turkish architect Alexander Vallauri in a blend of neo-classical , art nouveau and oriental styles.
  • Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had been staying in the building since 1917
  • The rose shaped domes open up like petals and where the old style air con system
  • It underwent a 23 million Euro restoration process in 2006 taking two years to complete
  • The hotel witnessed the declined of the Ottoman empire, the founding of the Turkish Republic and two world wars and a Cold war.
  • In the lobby is a palanquin that was used to transport people from Sirkeci railway station to the hotel.
  • Prominent figures who have stayed here include Brodsky, Mata Hari, Ernest Hemingway, Agatha Christie , Jacqueline Kennedy- Onassis, Alfred Hitchcock, Ismet Inonu and Pierre Loti to name but a few.

The marble Hammam
(Pera Palace Hotel. Images by GirlInBlueJeans)

Advantages

  • Heart of Istanbul in the Beyoğlu district
  • Pera museum is a few 100 metres away
  • Easy walking distance to many restaurants, cafes, clubs, bars and Taksim square
  • Safe to walk around at night
  • Spectacular views of the Golden Horn known as ‘ Little Europe “
  • Cabs are located right near the hotel, making it easy to get transport.

Hotel features

  • Indoor pool
  • Rooms have classical style combining European and Ottoman influences
  • Hard wooden floors with floor – to ceiling windows
  • Each room has a TV and mini bar
  • Majority of rooms have a balcony
  • Agatha Christie Restaurant offers contemporary Turkish Cuisine
  • Orient Bar is ideal for meetings and travellers want to mingle and socialise.
  • Kubbeli Saloon tea lounge offers gentle live piano music
  • Pera Spa has a hammam with a heated marble platform and foam bath
  • Steam bath , hot tub and sauna
  • Fully equipped gym
  • Free WiFi

This is a unique heritage of culture where you can not only visit as a tourist , but also stay as a guest . The epitome of timeless elegance, this hotel was and still is the place to be seen.

www.perapalace.com

Balcony of my room
(Pera Palace Hotel. Images by GirlInBlueJeans)
The gym
(Pera Palace Hotel. Images by GirlInBlueJeans)

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