Travel + Leisure Readers' 3 Favorite Hotels in Istanbul of 2024

Readers adore the properties located on the Bosphorus Strait in "World’s Best Awards" survey for 2024.

<p>Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels</p>

Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels

Istanbul is one of the best places to go in 2024 — thanks in part to its abundance of fantastic luxury hotels. This year, the voters’ favorites are all located on the banks of the Bosphorus, the famous strait that divides Europe and Asia. A winning combination of historic glamor, proximity to must-see attractions, and attentive service made these properties shine the brightest.

How Voting Works

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, inn, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Rooms/facilities

  • Location

  • Service

  • Food

  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

What Readers Loved

It’s not an exaggeration to say Istanbul’s popularity among travelers has skyrocketed in recent years. It was voted the best city in Europe of 2023, and ranked in the top 5 in this year’s World’s Best Awards. So what makes these three hotels the best in a city full of contenders? Guests at the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus (No. 3) swear by its stunning architecture and incredibly storied past. Once a 19th-century Ottoman palace known as Atik Pasha, the hotel received a touch-up from interior designer Sinan Kafadar, who transformed it into a meticulously designed hotel. Today, it’s embellished with hand-painted ceilings, mahogany furniture, and elevated décor. One reader was eager to share, “This beautiful property is one of my favorite hotels in the world.”

The Shangri-La Bosphorus (No. 2) also garnered rave reviews from discerning voters. “The location is great for travelers,” one says. “Tourist attractions are closer by walking than by taxi.” Located in the Beşiktaş district, this historical building is a 15-minute walk from Dolmabahçe Palace, the largest palace in Turkey and an important landmark in Ottoman culture. The reigning winner, however, soared in all of the above, especially in making travelers feel welcome.

The Winner

The Peninsula Istanbul

<p>Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels</p>

Courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels

Opened in February 2023, in the district of Karaköy, the 177-room Peninsula Istanbul stands tall as a show-stopper hotel made of four buildings. One reader exclaimed: “I had such an impressive guest room — you could literally park a bus in my suite.”

The dining options include The Lobby, Topside Bar, and the beloved Gallada restaurant with Turk-Asian cuisine. For wellness gurus, the Peninsula Spa and Wellness Centre has eight private treatment rooms, where guests are free to use the saunas, relaxation rooms, and hammams pre- or post-treatment. Another highlight? There's an outdoor swimming pool with dramatic views of the dazzling Bosphorus waterfront.

But it was the quality of service that left readers with a lasting impression that inevitably made The Peninsula Istanbul the No. 1 choice. “The service was unbelievable,” one voter said. “It was the most exceptional experience I have ever had.”

The Full List

1. The Peninsula Istanbul

Reader Score: 98.77

2. Shangri-La Bosphorus

Reader Score: 93.50

3. Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus

Reader Score: 92.27

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