For many people a hotel is just a place to spend a night, in this case the Raffles has become truly an institution in the short time it has been open; to the point that it is said that you come to Raffles to really get know Istanbul.
We feel privileged of having had the opportunity of staying at the Raffles Zorlu Center. We are not afraid to affirm that this may be the best hotel of the world, or at least it is right there at the top. Having seen so many beautiful properties around the globe, what makes this particular one so special?
Ornate beauty, rich decor, sweeping balconies, it might sound like I’m describing one of the many palaces of Istanbul, but in fact it is one of the newest and most posh addresses in the city. Raffles belongs to a very small chain of hotels. Truly an elite collection of properties that always create a moment and a story wherever one finds them across the world. Most travelers experience the hotel as a side product of the destination, but Raffles Istanbul and Raffles in general is an experience.
From the moment one steps into the lobby it is easy to perceive this place is special. It is indeed luxurious and beautiful but at the same time, intimate, personal and focused around the guest.
The check in area is a very small space whose intention is to make one feel at home, everybody seems to be ready and to know what the guest is expecting from the visit.
The Spa and the wellbeing facilities are breathtaking to say the least. There are thousands of square feet of Hamams, steam rooms, several pools and Jacuzzis along with relaxation areas and a top notch gym. Once again even when the hotel is so big one feels that the whole place is for oneself.
The rooms are beautiful and huge, something great in a market that frequently is focused in the tourism of the masses; here everything has a sense of intimacy and privacy. Views are to die for and the butler really takes care of all the details. No request takes too long to be fulfilled, nothing has to be repeated twice. I know it is hard to believe but here everything goes perfectly!
The Raffles is part of a luxurious complex: Zorlu center with fine dining, first class supermarkets, nightlife entertainment and some of the most luxurious brands. One can come to Raffles and hardly leave the place to visit something else.
Years ago a traveler wrote a postcard and sent it from the original Raffles property in Asia, he wrote a line that has become the motto of this hospitality name, today we can change it a little and we think it will apply perfectly to our experience. Our advice is: “While at Raffles maybe why not to visit Istanbul.”