Çirağan Palace Kempinski
The 313-room Çirağan Palace Kempinski is truly Queen of the Bosphorus. Located majestically on the historic strait that links the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmaris, the Çirağan (pronounced Chir-ah-an) Palace is a five-star hotel that offers incomparable grandeur, luxury and elegance. From the moment you first step into this majestic hotel lobby and throughout your entire stay, you cannot help but feel sheer delight within the walls and corridors of this magical place.
It is said that Napoleon claimed, “If only one nation existed on earth, Istanbul would be the Capital.” And if Napoleon himself were to choose where to spend his days in Istanbul it would truly be the Çirağan Palace.
With a history that reaches back to the 16th century, this opulent hotel was once the first of the sultans’ yali (villa by the water) featuring torchlit celebrations—“Çirağan” Festivals—a Persian word suggesting a “special light source.” Eventually the word became synonymous with the palace itself. In 1863 a thorough work of renovation began with the demolition of the old wooden structures and replacement by stone foundations, rare marble and imported mother of pearl. By 1871 construction was completed at a cost of 2.5 million gold coins. In 1910 a fire destroyed the entire inside of the palace, taking with it many priceless antiques and artworks, including precious works by Rembrandt. The palace began its present restoration from December 2005-April 2007 and the cost was 5 million dollars.
Today the Çirağan Palace is the place in Istanbul for hosting lavish celebrations or special occasions. The firstmember of “The leading Hotels of the World” in Turkey, Çirağan Palace has hosted royalty, dignitaries, artists and celebrities since its opening. It showcases a fine blending of the European tradition of grand hotel service with the warmth of Turkish hospitality. Here guests may choose to stay either at the Çirağan Palace itself, where there are 11 exclusive luxury suites that come with 24-hour butler and valet service, or the Grand Hotel adjacent to the Palace, where there are 304 deluxe bedrooms and suites. Both hotels offer sweeping views of the Bosphorus with uncompromising elegance, attention to detail, and superb service.
Located dramatically of the shores of the Bosphorus near the bridge that links Europe and Asia, there are three ways to arrive at the Çirağan Palace Kempinski, the only Imperial Palace hotel in Turkey: By helicopter, by private boat or limousine. Once the home of the last of the Ottoman sultans, the Çirağan now boasts the famous Sultan Suite, the only hotel suite that can rightfully claim to have been lived in by sultans. This 458-square meter (4927.5 square foot) legendary suite is one of the largest in Europe and the most prestigious in all of Istanbul. It features such elegant appointments as a floor-to-ceiling marble hammam (Turkish bath), opulent silk carpet wall hangings, richly decorated vaulted ceilings, and palatial windows overlooking the Bosphorus. While other hotels may offer rooms that are fit for a sultan, these suites actually have been the suites of sultans. Today this € 25,000 per night suite is likely to be occupied by Saudi princes or internationally-famous dignitaries.
Also in the Palace portion of the hotel is a 947.6 square meter (10,101.5 square foot) ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests. Twenty newly renovated meeting and conference rooms offer state-of-the-art technology with unparalleled service in a comfortable yet stunning location. All rooms enjoy natural daylight and are equipped with all the amenities and conveniences to ensure productive, memorable meetings. The Tugra (sultan’s signature) Restaurant is located in the premier Palace setting, offering classical Turkish and Ottoman cuisine. Head Chef Rudolf Van Nunen prepares Turkish fusion specialties to delight the most discriminating palate.