The wealthy Pasha who used to live in this mansion would have loved what the current owner has done to Les Ottomans, an extravagantly restored manor house perched on the banks of the Bosphorus.
For now it is the most luxurious (and expensive) boutique hotel in Turkey. It originally came to my attention because from the get-go it has been steadily racking up just about every “Best Hotel Award” available. It’s fair to say that Les Ottomans has become the Meryl Streep of the hospitality industry.
When Turkish hotelier, Ahu Aysal, first visited the mansion (then in ruins) she immediately saw the possibilities and spent endless amounts of time and money over the last decade in order to bring this prestigious Pasha’s palace back to life. In 2006 she unveiled the results: ten magnificent suites oozing decadence with giant crystal chandeliers, sensual swathes of the embroidered silk and rich brocades, inlaid wood floors, priceless antique pieces eclectically mixed with handmade Turkish furniture– all positioned according to the principles of Feng Shui. (Ask to see the framed plaque in the lobby signed by the renown Singaporean Feng Shui master Yap Cheng Hai.)
The spacious suites (many are split-level) seamlessly combine 18th century elegance with today’s modern conveniences, by offering one-touch wall pads that control your plasma tv, music, lights, lower the shades, open the windows, etc. alongside an in-room fax machine, laptop and Wi-Fi. (I have to admit that while I adored my opulent copper ornamented bathroom with Jacuzzi and walk-in shower it did take the better part of the afternoon to figure out how to turn everything on.)
The staff lives to meet your every need and whim —for example, upon arriving at the airport you can choose between having the chauffeur driven Bentley or the private yacht pick you up and whisk you “home” where a bottle of chilled champagne and a golden tray of dried fruit and nuts awaits you.
If you can bring yourself to leave your room, head downstairs for some world-class pampering in the Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa, which offers a full range of treatments from an exfoliating Crushed Cabernet Scrub to an intoxicating Sauvignon Massage. Or live dangerously, and put together your own relaxation program as you roam between an ultraluxe version of a traditional Turkish hamman, a calming meditation room, sauna, liquid sound pool, aromatherapy shower, or the state-of-the-art fitness room which all combine to provide the perfect antidote to jet-lag.
The price of a stay in this fantasy setting starts at about $1,000 and rapidly proceeds to priceless which has hardly deterred past celeb guests such as Fergie, Jodie Foster, Paris Hilton as well as many heads of state.
Hotel Les Ottomans
Muallim Naci Cad. N° 68
34345 Kurucesme – Istanbul – Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 359 15 00
Fax: +90 212 359 15 40