As the capital of Turkey, Ankara is known as the calmer and more organised bureaucratic sibling to Istanbul. For tourists, the city has plenty to do and plenty of excellent hotels. We’ve rounded up some of the best – bookable on Culture Trip.
Want to explore Turkey’s vibrant bazaars and rocky valleys? Book Culture Trip’s 12-day group tour where you’ll stop at key historical sites and glide across the landscape in a hot-air balloon.
South of the city centre in the Çankaya neighbourhood near Kuğulu Park, this Hilton high-rise is fused to a long elevated greenhouse-like building incorporating a restaurant, a lobby lounge, a gym and a 750-guest ballroom. The four-lane indoor pool features a glass-canopy roof and floor-to-ceiling windows facing a semi-circular terrace. While the big-window rooms and suites are sober and sensible, rather more interesting design percolates the public areas, from the elaborate cage latticework in the lounge to the suspended hoop-lights in the restaurant.
Barely a stone’s throw from the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, this 17th-century former caravanserai (inn with a courtyard) with a himis (traditional timber frame) construction has been meticulously converted into an upscale hotel. Even with a courtyard now covered with a steel-framed glass roof, the heritage fabric has been skilfully retained while incorporating modern amenities. That courtyard now features a small atmospheric lounge alongside a decorative water pool, while compact yet elegant rooms are beautifully appointed with vintage-style furniture, rugs and lamps, some with portraits of Chinese Manchu nobles and Ming-style vases.
Facing Kurtuluş Park in downtown Ankara, this nine-storey edifice is rather fetching at night with vertical two-tone spotlighting. The public interiors are interesting with timber detailing from floor to ceiling and a white baby grand piano in the Park Restaurant. Straightforward rooms have a modern, almost Scandinavian feel with blue armchairs and attractive olive-and-turquoise bedspreads. The Aria spa specialises in massages, from Swedish to reflexology and mechanical G5 devices.
The part-brick, part-neoclassical facade of the Gordion wouldn’t look out of place in Europe, but here, the thrust of the polished elegant interiors is a distinctly Ottoman-meets-European style. Vintage handmade furniture, oak panelling, Turkish Vakko textiles, Italian wallpaper, framed lithographs of nobles and sultans, and display cases of military medals lend shape, texture and colour. The conservatory restaurant seems relatively plain in comparison, even though there’s a ceiling mural of a map depicting the Mediterranean region from the Black Sea to the Atlantic.
Near the Karum Mall in the Çankaya neighbourhood, the Lugal, with a contemporary sheen and modern rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and natural wood furniture, lends a sleek glossy atmosphere. The highly regarded Aruni restaurant features an eclectic menu of mainly Anatolian dishes, some rather obscure. Unless you’re vegetarian, it’s worth making a beeline for items such as the King Midas lamb with plum sauce – much more affordable than it sounds – or goose casserole, both cooked in wood-fired ovens.