Open double doors reveal a balcony with a chair and a small table overlooking blue sky and the cityscape of Istanbul. Inside the hotel room is an incredible breakfast spread on a round table.

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Originally published: July 31st, 2022

Staying at the Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul

Did you know that Istanbul is the most visited city in Turkey? Actually, it’s one of the most visited cities in the world. Previously, on an attempt to visit Istanbul, we spent the entire night camped out at the airport. Like, created a bed from the chairs and all. Undoubtedly, that’s a story for another time. However, this was made up for. 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, the Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul is the opulent stay you need!

Lodging Type: ★★★★★ Luxury Hotel, Historic Hotel

Book Pera Palace: Here

A bit of History about Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul

Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul dates back to the late 1800’s. Whereas, it was originally built to house passengers from the famed long distance train service, the Orient Express.

In fact, it was the first hotel in Istanbul to have modern comforts like electricity and hot running water. 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. The hotel closed for four years to undergo an update from 2006 – 2010. Certainly, at the present, Pera Palace has as much lavish, yet tasteful, palatial charm as ever.

Close up of the first electric elevator in Constantinople
Part of the stunning lobby and the original electric elevator
Entrance to the iconic Orient Bar

What to expect and Amenities on Site

Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul truly embodies the comfort and convenience that one would and should expect from five star hotel excellence.

Pool

Fitness Center

Bar & Lounge

Room Service

Restaurants & Patisserie

Spa, Hammam, Steam Room, Dry Sauna

Currency Exchange

Butler Service & Concierge

24 Hour Front Desk & 24 Hour Check in

Laundry Service, Dry Cleaning, Shoe Shine

Visiting the Spa at Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul

Serenity Care Hammam & Massage by SPA LUXURY

It’s always exciting when your accommodation has spa facilities. Albeit, spa services at a hotel are generally incredibly more marked up than if you sought out a spa elsewhere. The nice part is, the service prices at Spa Luxury are pretty comparable to other spa services around Istanbul.

The Hammam sink at SPA LUXURY
Right after my first Turkish bath experience. I laid on the red towel for my service.

The spa attendant, manager and service providers were all friendly and knowledgeable. The spa is its own space away from it all, great to unwind and relax. There’s a pool, dry sauna and steam room to use prior to your service(s).

Previously, I was just on (multiple) airplanes. Markedly, my travels were much rougher than usual, so I was prepared to pamper myself. I got a facial and had my first Hammam experience! It had long been on my bucket list to have a Hammam spa service, and little did I know I would experience my first one in Istanbul. It was pretty epic!

What is a Hammam?

A Hammam or “Turkish Bath” is essentially a type of steam bath or “place of public bathing.” In terms of a spa experience, Hammam’s are typically private as you are basically nude. In this instance, they do cover you with a towel as needed. The Hammam experience is a full body cleanse, scrub and steam followed by a hot oil massage.

Noteworthy Rooms at the Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul

With 130+ years of history, Pera Palace has hosted many a guest over time. Subsequently, there are some rooms worth noting at Pera Hotel Istanbul. However, if you don’t care about this sort of thing, feel free to book your room without reading this.

Room 101 is a “Museum Room” that can be viewed by anyone between 10:00am – 11:00am and 3:00pm – 4:00pm. Actually, it’s the Atatürk Museum room to be exact. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is a former president of Türkiye. The room is decorated with a lot of his former possessions and gifts and was created in dedication to him on what would’ve been his 100th birthday.

Additionally, some rooms and suites are named after guests 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.

Tip: You can book any of the namesake rooms and suites at an additional cost.

Check in and The Rooms

The check in experience is as smooth and elegant as the atmosphere at Pera Palace Hotel. There are a few types of guest rooms and suites to pick from. I selected the Deluxe Pera View Room, which is a “side room.” These rooms have balconies and views.

A small balcony, but perfect for getting fresh air or having my morning coffee with a view!
The Deluxe Pera View Room, true to its name, had views of Istanbul – it felt like you could see the whole city!

For a slightly elevated room above standard, the guest room was very comfy and well appointed. There was an armoire, lots of toiletries, a nice (on the smaller side) bathroom, a refreshments area, a desk, a sitting bench (alternatively can be used for luggage) and a tiny living room area for sitting.

Tip: You can book the exact guest room I booked: here.

Service

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

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 many 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 on weeknights 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.

Safety & Security

The Hotel and surrounding areas feel incredibly safe. There is a 24 hour doorman who can assist you if you need to go somewhere. The doorman will also help you safely and efficiently get a taxi.

We took out on foot to see several things in the immediate area. This included me going on a mission to get my hair washed and blown out in a salon in the neighborhood. The neighborhood is quite walkable, despite not being close to any of the “major attractions.”

Reading and lounge area by the entrance of the Orient Bar
Only hotel guests can go beyond the lobby and ground floor where the bar and restaurants are

What’s to Eat?

Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul has a well rounded selection of food and beverage to choose from right on site. Unquestionably, I recommend eating at the hotel’s Agatha Restaurant. Surprisingly, the menu prices are quite reasonable for the quality of the food and caliber of the hotel. Otherwise, there is a patisserie, lounge that serves afternoon tea, the Orient Terrace and the famed Orient bar.

Agatha Restaurant

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. It’s a midsize dining room, well appointed and comfortable.

Complimentary Amuse Bouche: olives, pita chips and a yogurt dip
Complimentary bread rolls

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.

Assorted fruit & cheese plate at Agatha Restaurant – ₤250 Turkish Lira or about $13.93 USD
Lobster Carpaccio

When you think of Turkish cuisine, perhaps Kabobs immediately come to mind? Turkish cuisine consists of lots of vegetables, foods cooked in olive oil and Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flair. So, of course, we ordering Baklava for dessert was a must.

Our main entrees – delicious Turkish fusion food in all its glory – really incredible and fresh!

All the dishes were clearly made with care and fresh, high quality ingredients. As a hotel restaurant, the menu had intercontinental options. There was diverse fare to accommodate a variety of tastes and preferences. We opted to have mostly Turkish cuisine.

Complimentary fruit plate from the restaurant
Their Baklava platter
This was an absolute masterpiece

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.

Tip: Agatha Restaurant’s menu seems to update seasonally. Since the time of dining, they seem to have changed their menu considerably. However, the menu still remains diverse with lots of Turkish cuisine items available.

Know Before You Go

I love the Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul and I fully intend on staying there again someday. It would be remiss not to mention 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. Nevertheless, staying at Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul is worth the extra trek if you love a historical, luxury hotel stay.

Istanbul isn’t the easiest place to get a taxi at times. If you manage to find areas where you can hail a taxi, don’t assume you’ll actually get one. At least, not right away. Additionally, taxi’s in Istanbul are notoriously known for turning down rides if they determine the “ride isn’t long enough” or other reasons.

Instead, avoid taxi scams by asking your hotel around how much a ride should cost from where you are to where you’re going. Remember a few rules when dealing with taxi’s in Istanbul. Firstly, only take official taxi’s. Secondly, don’t agree to flat rates… always run the meter. Lastly, if you pay cash, pay attention to notes that you give the driver. This will help avoid any “notes getting switched” or other issues regarding payment.

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

Find out if Pera Palace Hotel Istanbul is available during your trip dates:

 

Headed to Turkey?

Check these out!

An Amazing Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia
Charming Cave Hotel Cappadocia – a unique, unforgettable happy Place

Travel Tips & Resources to Help You Plan an Epic Trip!

Going – I’ve subscribed to Going (formerly, beloved, Scott’s Cheap Flights) for awhile now and it’s an amazing resource for finding… did you guess cheap flights? Yes, you can set your preferences from airports to flight class and get destination deals right to your inbox. It’s fab! I use the Premium paid version, but they have a FREE version too. So what are you waiting for?! Let’s get Going!

Booking.com – the majority, if not almost all of my stays are booked on Booking.com. It’s a reliable site to book and manage your reservations. It’s a great way to find boutique stays and unique accommodations at the best rates! You can also easily communicate with your accommodation through the app.

Expedia – If I am looking for a flight to a specific destination for specific dates, I find myself booking many flights on Expedia. It’s user friendly and straight forward. I often find the most cost effective rates, while earning points for every flight I book (in tandem with the points I receive from the credit cards I pay with).

Viator – most of the activities, tours and excursions I book for my trips are booked through Viator. Whether you’re seeking a guide for the day, a group tour, a cooking class, Viator has you covered!

Get Your Guide – this is another great marketplace to find tours, excursions and activities to book for your upcoming trip.

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