Step out of the bustle of Istanbul’s Besiktas neighborhood and into royalty in the Shangri La. The hotel, situated on the coast of the Bosphorus, combines the best elements of Turkish and Asian hospitality.

The Shangri La’s lobby welcomes you with impressive sprawls of white marble illuminated by golden fixtures, including a two-story chandelier brought in from the Czech Republic. The interior designers took their cues from the nearby Dolmabahce Palace, and designed the hotel lobby floors with a sultan-esque sense of royalty.

The Atrium of the Shangri LaThe atrium of the Shangri La displays an 80 meter-high mural depicting peach blossoms. This mural was inspired by the story Lost Horizon – the origin of the hotel’s name.

The rooms however, draw their design form different inspiration. Soft blues, white, and beige hues replace the white and gold scheme of the lobby. The rooms provide a more tranquil, serene escape from reality. The design draws inspiration from the Shangri La’s Asian heritage, and its location in Istanbul. The soft blues in the carpet and bedding represent the waters of the Bosphorus Strait, while the beige colors of the furniture represent the Himalayan Mountains. Even the ceiling fixtures draw inspiration from Istanbul, the lights are meant to represent the skirts of the Whirling Dervishes. Roughly half of the Shangri La’s rooms have a view of the Bosphorus, Strait. On a clear day, a guest will enjoy the beautiful blue waters of the Bosphorus, the towering Bosphorus Bridge, and the Asian side of Istanbul.

The bathrooms of the Shangri La provide as luxurious environment as the rooms with their striking white and black marble work. The floors, walls, and countertops all use white and black marble (depending on the room); even the Jacuzzi tub is surrounded in marble. The Shangri La boasts over 19,000 square meters of marble, over 90% of which was sourced in Turkey. Bvlgari amenities help the weary traveler relax in these bathroom oases.

The restaurants in Shangri La provide unique fare, unlike other hotels in Istanbul. Ist Too, the hotel’s main dinning facility rests above the Bosphorus, and offers a succulent fusion of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, complete with a Japanese style sushi bar. The hotel’s premier fine dining restaurant, Shang Palace, stands unmatched in its Cantonese cuisine. The Shangri La imported its own specialty chefs, mastered in Cantonese cuisine, and specialty duck ovens, to prepare some of the best cuisine in Istanbul.Shang Palace

On the lower levels, the Shangri La has a spa and two restaurants. CHI, the spa, features its own authentic Turkish Hamam or Turkish Bath. Shangri La spared no expense in crating the authentic hamam experience; traditional white marble accented with red and blue tiles adorns the walls and hallways. The hamam even features a traditional foot-washing ceremony.

The unique fusion of two of the world’s finest hospitality cultures, Turkish and Asian, define the Shangri La. Dazzling interior design, and some of the finest and most unique dining experiences of Istanbul sit behind the Shangri La’s doors. This setting, combined with the staff’s high standards for guest satisfaction, makes the Shangri La one of the most sought-after accommodations in Istanbul.


Tip: The Beijing Duck is authentic Beijing Duck, and the Shang Palace is possibly the only place in Istanbul to experience this succulent staple of Cantonese dining. Also try the all-you-can eat lobster and champagne brunch at the Ist Too on Sundays.