Brunette woman in yellow dress in the lobby of the Pera Palace Hotel

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Staying at the Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul

Istanbul is the most visited city in Turkey and actually one of the most visited cities in the world. The first time I came to Istanbul, we spent the entire night at the airport. Without doubt, that’s a story for another time. To make up for said memory, a recent trip to Istanbul was done right. I stayed in the lap of luxury at the Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul. The accommodation is a nod to yesteryear with its old world white glove 5 Star service, wall to wall antiquities and rich history. All in all, I can say with certainty, that Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul is the opulent stay you need!

Lodging Type: Historic Hotel, Luxury Hotel

Hotel Class: 5 Stars

Red velvet drapes and chairs in the Lobby of the Pera Hotel Istanbul
Lobby of the Pera Palace Hotel

A Bit of History about Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul

The Pera Palace dates back to the late 1800’s. It was originally built to house passengers from the Orient Express, a long distance train service. In fact, it was the first hotel in Istanbul to have modern comforts like electricity. Staying here, is to immerse yourself in its rich 130+ year history. After all, the hotel has withstood two world wars. While you can feel that the walls have stories to tell, you can’t see it. At the present time, the hotel has maintained its lavish, yet tasteful, palatial charm.

Ornate lobby and stairwell in the Pera Hotel Istanbul
Stairwell for hotel guests and the first electric elevator in Turkey and only the 2nd in Europe, built in the late 1800’s

Amenities

Pool

Fitness Center

Bar & Lounge

Room Service

Restaurant & Patisserie

Spa, Hammam, Steam Room

Currency Exchange

Butler Service & Concierge

24 Hour Front Desk & 24 Hour Check in

Laundry Service, Dry Cleaning, Shoe Shine

Ornate antique bookshelf at the Pera Hotel Istanbul
Ornate antique bookshelf near the Kubbeli Lounge near the entrance of the Orient Bar

Noteworthy Rooms at the Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul

There are some rooms worth noting in the Pera Hotel Istanbul. Room 101 is a Museum Room that can be viewed by anyone between 10:00am – 11:00am and 3:00pm – 4:00pm. Rooms and suites have been named after significant names that have stayed at the Palace. For instance, there are rooms named after Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock, Ernest Hemingway, Jaqueline Onassis and Agatha Christie. In fact, it’s said that Agatha Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express at the Pera Palace in room 411.

The Room

Obviously, this aspect will vary depending on the room you book. I was very happy with the room. Namely, it was very spacious, had a balcony, a nice bathroom and a Nespresso machine.

Service

The service at Pera Hotel in Istanbul is fabulous. But, you’d expect it to at a 5 Star Hotel. Luckily, it lives up to the level of service one would expect from a hotel of this caliber. From the check in experience to ordering room service or dining at Agatha Restaurant the staff makes you feel welcomed and cared for.

Room service spread - Oatmeal, baked goods, eggs, coffee and juices
Room Service for Breakfast with a view of Istanbul

Since we were up early and on the go each day, we ordered room service for breakfast a couple times. It arrived in a reasonable amount of time and was laid out nicely. Great way to start a busy travel day!

Hotel Cost

Like most hotels, rates will vary seasonally and likely increase year after year. At the time of my stay, I booked the room through American Express Travel for roughly $163.79 per night before tax. It goes without saying, this is a great deal for a hotel of this caliber.

However, since October of 2021, rates have more than doubled. I’ve seen this hotel go for as high as almost $500 per night on certain dates. The Pera Palace is definitely a worthwhile experience. If you’re on a budget, I’d recommended staying a night or two for the experience during low season.

Tip: January is considered the cheapest month to travel to Istanbul, and this hotel’s room rates are also low during that time. Just be prepared for the cold, as lows can be as frigid as 37° F.

Gold chandeliers, red velvet furniture, golden globes, bookshelves in an antique setting in the Pera Palace lounge
Reading and lounge area by the entrance of the Orient Bar

Safety & Security

The Hotel, and its surrounding areas, felt incredibly safe. There is a 24 hour doorman who can assist you if you need to go somewhere or get a taxi. We took out on foot to see several things, including me going on a mission to get my hair washed and blown out in the neighborhood.

Food Situation

The food at Agatha Restaurant is delicious. We dined there kind of late, and thus, had the whole restaurant to ourselves until our desert course. No complaints here!

Silver platter of assorted fruits and high quality cheeses
Assorted fruit & cheese plate at Agatha Restaurant – ₤250 Turkish Lira or about $13.93 USD

Of course, it’s always nice to have an on site restaurant for convenience sake, but this restaurant would be worth traveling to. The cuisine is a blend of French, Italian and Turkish.

Amuse Bouche at Agatha Restaurant

If you’re craving sweets… there is a beautiful patisserie in the hotel. Patisserie de Pera is clad in soft pinks, blush toned chairs and peachy chandeliers. The patisserie is an overtly feminine ambiance, where you can indulge your sugar cravings, enjoy a coffee or tea, have breakfast or even some ice cream in a casual but sophisticated setting.

Spa

A traditional Turkish bath Hammam at Pera Hotel Istanbul
A traditional Turkish Bath Experience, this is the Hammam

Know Before You Go

• I loved my stay at Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul and I fully intend on staying there again the next time I’m in Istanbul. I would like to note that this hotel is a bit a ways away from all the main tourist attractions. We took cabs back and forth to any sites we wanted to see.

• Istanbul isn’t the easiest place to get a taxi at times. If you manage to find an areas where you can hail a taxi, don’t assume you’re in. Taxis in Istanbul are notoriously known for turning down rides if they determine the “ride isn’t long enough” or other reasons.

• Avoid taxi scams by asking your hotel around how much a ride should cost from where you are to where you’re going. Only take official taxi’s and don’t agree to flat rates… always run the meter. If you pay cash, pay attention to notes that you give the driver. This will help avoid any “notes getting switched” or other issues.

After a fascinating time exploring Istanbul, next stop is Cappadocia!

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