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Pera Palace Hotel

Decorated throughout with vintage artifacts and cabinets displaying the hotel's own past, the Pera Palace is an historic gem. Opened in 1892, the Pera Palace was the first building in Istanbul with electricity, but the hotel is also noted for its celebrity guests, including Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie, who wrote Murder on the Orient Express here and after whom the hotel's restaurant, Agatha, is named.

The property has an excellent location in the heart of the vibrant Beyoglu district, within walking distance of the Bosphorus, Galata Tower and the renowned shopping street of Istiklal.

A number of the hotel's public areas are very ornately decorated, such as the entrance lobby and, most notably, the patisserie, which is pink, chintzy and filled with Venetian glass. Rooms are of a good size and each is uniquely decorated, with almost all rooms containing a piece of antique furniture and many featuring a French balcony.

Guests can enjoy a wonderful afternoon tea in the tea lounge, Kubbeli; relax in the indoor jet-streamed swimming pool, spa and hammam; work out in the gym; and peruse The Ataturk Suite — a museum room dedicated to famous Turkish leader Ataturk, who stayed in the room several times.

OUR RATING: First Class

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