Make Sparks Fly at These Romantic Istanbul Hotels

PHPNBE The beautiful view of the Galata Tower across the Golden Horn, Istanbul, Turkey
PHPNBE The beautiful view of the Galata Tower across the Golden Horn, Istanbul, Turkey | © Elena Ermakova / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Tom Smith
1 June 2021

Whether you’re cruising across the Bosphorus or walking hand in hand through the city’s winding streets, Istanbul exudes romance thanks to its twinkling cityscape. Here we list 13 romantic hotels for you to stay in with your significant other on a honeymoon or loved-up city break.

Fairmont Quasar Istanbul

Hotel
Map View
Fairmont Quasar Istanbul
Courtesy of Fairmont Quasar Istanbul / Expedia
Lording over the city’s northern reaches, in the lively Sisli neighbourhood, the Fairmont’s modern towers gleam with steel and glass. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow for breathtaking views across town to the distant Bosphorus, a panorama rendered more enjoyable from a lounger by the rooftop infinity pool. Billed as an urban retreat, the more luxurious rooms have private Turkish baths with heated pedestals, but all guests can indulge in authentic hamam treatments at the hotel’s Willow Stream Spa.

Glamour Hotel

Luxury, Hotel
Map View
Glamour Hotel
Courtesy of Glamour Hotel / Expedia
A few blocks west of Topkapi Palace near the Golden Horn stands the Glamour Hotel. It’s within walking distance of most of the city’s top sights and features modern rooms dazzling with white décor that’s offset by pops of blue in curtains, bedspreads and headboards. Many of the rooms have sea views of the famous Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. There are wider panoramas too, from the rooftop lounge and restaurant where you’re encouraged to dine like locals and indulge in some shisha.

Sura Design Hotel and Suites

Hotel
4.3/5 (108 Reviews)
Sura Design Hotel and Suites
Courtesy of Sura Design Hotel and Suites / Expedia
It would be hard to choose a more centrally located property than the Sura, which sits close to Istanbul’s prime monuments and sights. Housed in a stately, four-storey mansion with tall arched windows and decorative iron railings, its interiors are conspicuously bold without being brassy. For a romantic dinner with spectacular views, head to the Deraliye Terrace Restaurant. The Secret Garden is also worth visiting for its festively-lit pergola, festooned with jasmine and wisteria.
More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Bar/Lounge

Antusa Palace Hotel & Spa

Hotel
4.5/5 (316 Reviews)
Guest room at Antusa Palace Hotel and Spa
Courtesy of Antusa Palace Hotel and Spa / Hotels.com
Just a short stroll from Hagia Sophia, the Antusa’s retro facade neatly masks a new-build hotel with a faintly old-world vibe. Café tables jostle by the reception, while the neat, unfussy rooms feature wooden floors and vintage style furniture. Some rooms boast round beds or quirky right-angled headboards for beds set in corners. Round off a day’s sightseeing in the traditional hamam complete with vaulted brick ceiling, or flit between the hotel’s sauna, steam and massage rooms.
More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Restaurant
Full-service spa
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff
Bar/Lounge

Hotel Amira Istanbul

Hotel
4.8/5 (983 Reviews)
Suite at Hotel Amira Istanbul
Courtesy of Hotel Amira Istanbul / Hotels.com
A block shy of the Sea of Marmara, the Amira’s unassuming facade hides an interior full of character and charm. Signs on the stairs wittily indicate distances to the city’s top sights, while rooms feature decorated ceilings and a generally neutral palette, enlivened here and there with burgundy curtains and chairs. Potted plants and splendid views make roof terrace dining and lounging a particular treat. Don’t leave without trying the cooked-to-order Gözleme flatbread at breakfast.
More info

At a Glance

Full-service spa
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Bar/Lounge

Romance Istanbul Hotel

Hotel
4.8/5 (168 Reviews)
Romantic suite at Romance Istanbul Hotel
Courtesy of Romance Istanbul Hotel / Hotels.com

With an enviable location in the old town’s Sirkeci quarter, Romance Istanbul Hotel is an exercise in old-fashioned over-the-top opulence. Each of the 40 rooms has been inspired by an Ottoman sultan’s talismanic shirt – replicas of the Topkapi Palace’s 16th-century collection hang in many of the rooms – and there’s plenty of gilded furniture, satin sheets, glitzy pendant lighting and private balconies. The Olive Anatolian Restaurant on the rooftop of its sister hotel, Yasmak Sultan, supplies views of Hagia Sophia, while the in-house Allure Spa offers a blissful range of massage therapies, a traditional Turkish hamam, an invigorating sauna, a fitness centre and an indoor pool. There’s even a bridal bath hamam package to pamper the bride before her big day. Reserve the massive Romance Suite for a special occasion.

More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Bar/Lounge

Romantic Hotel Istanbul

Hotel
4/5 (62 Reviews)
Suite at Romantic Hotel Istanbul
Courtesy of Romantic Hotel Istanbul / Hotels.com

Not to be confused with Romance Istanbul Hotel, Romantic Hotel Istanbul is another lair of luxury that lovers will adore. It’s situated below the Blue Mosque near the Sultanahmet seaside, and you can’t miss this stone mansion’s pink facade blanketed in blooming purple flowers – an introduction to the floral theme that runs throughout the property. All nine rooms feature ornate, traditional decor – heavy drapes, velvet headboards, period furniture and the like – and there’s a terrace café bar peering over the Marmara Sea. The palatial Dolmabahce Suite takes those vistas to another level, with a glimpse of the water from your pillow and a private balcony.

More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Laundry Facilities
Bar/Lounge

Ciragan Palace Kempinski

Resort, Chain Hotel, Luxury, Hotel
4.6/5 (303 Reviews)
Ciragan Palace Kempinski
Courtesy of Ciragan Palace Kempinski / Expedia

This five star hotel is literally a palace. Constructed on the Beşiktaş waterfront by Sultan Abdülâziz during the 1860s, Cıragan Palace fell into ruin in the 20th century before it was restored to all its baroque glory by the Kempinski hotel group in the new millennium. The result is one of Istanbul’s most mesmerising luxury hotels, with 310 extravagant rooms and suites occupying this gorgeous marble palace. Ciragan Palace Kempinski has six mouthwatering food and drink locations, including Laledan in the palace gardens and fine-dining Tuğra on the first floor, plus an authentic Turkish bath and an al-fresco pool nestled against the shore of the Bosphorus. The jewel in this glistening crown is the lavish Sultan Suite, which is the ultimate in romance for those with deep pockets.

More info

At a Glance

Free Wifi
Outdoor pool
Full-service spa
Business Centre
Concierge Service
24 Hour Front Desk
Fitness Facilities
Laundry Facilities
Multilingual Staff

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  • Régie Ottoman Istanbul

    Hotel
    4.7/5 (236 Reviews)
    Suite at Régie Ottoman Istanbul
    Courtesy of Régie Ottoman Istanbul / Hotels.com

    The Régie Company used to enjoy a lucrative monopoly over Turkey’s tobacco trade in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire, before a chic boutique hotel breathed new life into the 150-year-old tobacco factory and company headquarters. More moody than magnificent, the Régie’s 34 rooms celebrate the original texture of the building – the wooden floors, the patterned brick ceilings and the sunny arched windows – while adding cool contemporary décor, tiled private balconies, modern white bathrooms and atmospheric lighting. Only a block or two from the Eminönü ferry terminal on the historic peninsula, this intimate hotel also provides a gym, a sauna and the upscale Hayal Kahvesi restaurant.

    More info

    At a Glance

    Free Wifi
    Restaurant
    Full-service spa
    Concierge Service
    24 Hour Front Desk
    Fitness Facilities
    Laundry Facilities
    Multilingual Staff
    Bar/Lounge

    DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Moda

    Hotel
    4.4/5 (966 Reviews)
    DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Moda’s guest rooms feature a host of amenities
    Courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Moda / Hotels.com

    The mere mention of the word ‘Hilton’ is enough to appease even the fussiest partner, and this DoubleTree franchise will not disappoint. Looming over the Kadıköy ferry docks, this glittering glass tower makes the most of its waterfront location with floor-to-ceiling windows in each of the 245 sleek rooms. The rooftop pool and bar, the intimate tables at the executive lounge and Doubles Restaurant, and the full-service on-site spa are all tailor-made for couples, while the suites with marble bathtubs overlooking the Bosphorus offer a particularly romantic touch.

    More info

    At a Glance

    Free Wifi
    Outdoor pool
    Full-service spa
    Business Centre
    Concierge Service
    24 Hour Front Desk
    Fitness Facilities
    Laundry Facilities
    Multilingual Staff

    Rixos Pera Istanbul

    Hotel
    4.4/5 (883 Reviews)
    King room at Rixos Pera Istanbul
    Courtesy of Rixos Pera Istanbul / Hotels.com

    Since it was founded in 2000, Turkish luxury hotel chain Rixos has earned a stellar reputation for its swish properties across Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East. They moved into Beyoğlu in 2012 with this five-star property, infusing each of the 116 rooms with the elegant character of historic Pera – vintage furniture, traditional Turkish rugs and gilded finishes, plus a dazzling view of the Golden Horn. Dine in the clouds at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant or tuck into a snack in the courtyard of Chapelle café, then pamper yourselves with a treatment at Spa Soul, such as hot-stone therapy, a couples massage or a soak in a romantic bathtub decorated with flower petals.

    More info

    At a Glance

    Free Wifi
    Full-service spa
    Concierge Service
    24 Hour Front Desk
    Fitness Facilities
    Laundry Facilities
    Multilingual Staff

    Celal Sultan Hotel

    Hotel
    4.2/5 (465 Reviews)
    Celal Sultan Hotel
    Courtesy of Celal Sultan Hotel / Expedia

    With a series of flower-lined balconies covering the facade, the family-run Celal Sultan Hotel would seem more at home in Paris than in the most ancient quarter of Istanbul. But this Sultanahmet stay offers a little flavour of France in the shadow of the minarets belonging to Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, with a scenic cocktail bar and a terrace capitalising on the prime location. The 55 rooms are quaint and old-fashioned – this is the kind of place where your towels are folded into the shape of a swan by the attentive housekeeping staff – but represent great value for couples.

    More info

    At a Glance

    Free Wifi
    Restaurant
    Business Centre
    Concierge Service
    24 Hour Front Desk
    Laundry Facilities
    Multilingual Staff
    Bar/Lounge

    Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus

    Hotel, Spa Hotel
    4.8/5 (308 Reviews)
    Suite at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus
    Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus / Hotels.com

    The Atik Paşa Konak retains all of the magic it had when this Ottoman mansion was first erected on the banks of the Bosphorus during the 19th century, lovingly restored for the new millennium by the Four Seasons group. This seaside palace features the breathtaking Aqua restaurant – which serves world-class Mediterranean food and offers magnificent views over the water – and boasts outdoor yoga sessions and a pop-up eatery during summer, three hamams and an excellent spa, as well as a heated outdoor pool featuring private cabanas and drinks service. The distinguished array of 170 rooms and suites shout luxury at every turn and come with a price tag to match.

    More info

    At a Glance

    Free Wifi
    Outdoor pool
    Restaurant
    Full-service spa
    Business Centre
    Concierge Service
    24 Hour Front Desk
    Fitness Facilities
    Laundry Facilities
    Bar/Lounge

    Amar Grover contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on June 1, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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