October 12, 2016
CIRAGAN PALACE KEMPINSKI (link)
Istanbul’s hospitality and amazing architecture was a nice treat throughout my entire stay in Turkey, and to wrap things up, I ended my Turkish trip at Ciragan Palace Kempinski, the only palace and hotel on the Bosphorus. The hotel is reminiscent of a real Ottoman palace – it’s grand, ornate and the attention to detail is always present. I had a beautiful room that faced the Bosphorus with a balcony, and it was so lovely to watch the city as it awoke and slept (though it doesn’t seem to ever sleep!). The hotel however will execute a redesign project next year to create more experiences for guests. Not only will the CP Kempinski be getting an entire new look, the staff uniforms and menus will change as well. I can’t wait to see what they do!
The first thing you will notice (and it’s something that I will remember about my entire trip) is that everyone working has a mentality that their job is more than just that. Hospitality is their way of life and they care about your experience and anything they can do to make you feel at home. I truly felt taken care of and at home even though it was my first time in Istanbul. The staff at the hotel are very helpful and caring. They even helped me take the photos for this post. Huge thank you to any of the staff that passed by that I forced to be my photographer.
After eating around the city during my trip, I learned that Turkish breakfasts had so much variety with over 15 different kinds of things served. It can be difficult to order everything especially if you’re traveling solo. It’s a good thing that the breakfast served at the CP Kempinski is buffet style, so you can try a little bit of everything. The buffet includes a Champagne Bellini station, juice station, gluten free bread station, all tradition Turkish breakfast items and then some. Eggs are ordered a la carte. In addition to the amazing breakfast I had every morning, I also explored the property’s pool, hamam, outdoor shisha bar and two other restaurants.
I’m still in awe of the city and absolutely fell in love with Istanbul. I will be back very soon.