Shangri-La Bosphorus Istanbul
I recently had an unforgettable press-trip to Istanbul with Shangri-La hotels. We visited their luxury hotel Shangri-La Bosphorus, which sits in the Besikatas district of Istanbul. Istanbul is a city full of culture, traditions, mouth-watering food, beautiful architecture and some of the most welcoming and hospitable people I’ve ever met. With over 15 million people living in Istanbul, and an unusual split between two continents (Europe and Asia) – it makes this country completely unique. With the majority of Istanbul’s attractions, being on the Europe side – it is easy to get from A to B either using public transport or taxis.
Before I go on any further about out our time in Istanbul, I want to ask you – what you think Shangri-La means?
The name Shangri-La, originated from the book Lost Horizon by James Hilton; Shangri-La (fictional novel) is a magical place in time, where unforgettable utopia dreams and memories are made. When you stop to think about it, I am sure you’ve had many ‘Shangri-La moments? I certainly have. Whilst you continue to read about my experience in Istanbul, I want you to keep that thought circulating – because there is a mega competition to be won, and of course I want one of my readers to win it ;)
Where has your Shangri-La moment been? #myshangrila
Having never stayed in a Shangri-La hotel before, this 4-day trip to Istanbul was already heading towards one of those unforgettable memories for me. From the moment we were collected from the airport and then dropped back to the airport 4 days later, we felt like royalty.
We had a jam-packed itinerary, visiting the local touristy attractions, but also experiencing what Shangri-La Bosphorus had to offer inside the hotel.
The hotel has 186 rooms and suites, many with outstanding Bosphorus views. We were very lucky to be given a huge suite with views of the Bosphorus from every window! The hotel also boasts two outstanding restaurants, one serving Sushi & continental cuisines called IST TOO, and a Chinese restaurant called Shang Palace. I am sure you can guess which one was our favourite? It was soy, delicious…. ;)
Shangri-La Bosphorus is a short 15-minute walk from Dolmabahçe Palace, which we visited with a representative from the hotel. Dolmabahçe Palace was built between the years 1843 and 1856 and is absolutely exquisite from the outside, with lush manicured gardens surrounding it. The inside, being equally exquisite actually took me by surprise. I was envisaging a Turkish interior, with tiles, ample amounts of silks, chaise longs paired with Turkish rugs - but instead, it was very regal and traditional; which reminded me of Buckingham Palace! Unfortunately, no camera’s were allowed once inside the Palace - so I can’t visually show you how it was, however this just means you’ll need to try and visit Istanbul yourself…
Every afternoon at Shangri-La Bosphorus they serve a huge spread of afternoon tea, and being English - a cup of Earl Grey and cake - always goes down well! We would then go up to our suite to find a surprise (this happened everyday), which would normally included more goodies! We were blown away by the length the chef / patisserie went to, into designing our chocolate masterpieces!
One of the must see areas in Istanbul, which Shangri-La Bosphorus kindly took us too, is Balet. This hidden gem is full of colourful wooden houses over 200 years old, cute restaurants along with alleys FULL of colourful umbrellas. But what I loved most is the relaxed feel-good vibe Balet offers. Obviously with this place now hitting Instagram, it does come with it’s tourists. However, I recommend getting their early and wandering around, maybe stopping to have breakfast in a cute cafe somewhere. We then went into the centre of the city to visit the Galato tower - although we didn’t climb it (the queue was huge) it was beautiful to see though.
As our days at Shangri-La Bosphorus were coming to an end, so was our carefully curated itinerary.
Our last few days were spent being spoilt in the spa, a tour in a Rolls Royce, visited Kinaliada island via ferry and wandered the ancient building of Hagia Sophia - where we met the instagram famous cat, that’s been a resident for 15 years (I specifically loved this moment…)
Our time at Shangri-La Bosphorus was unforgettable, so thank you to everyone there that made it so. I can’t wait to be able to visit another Shangri-La hotel again in the future.
Now, remember I told you to think about what Shangri- La means to you? This is your chance to share it. Shangri-La hotel, invites you to share that moment with them and by doing that, you will be entering a competition to win Golden Circle Award Points and a chance at a two-night getaway, anywhere in the world, flights included!!
ENTER this competition now by simply uploading a photo to Instagram or directly to their website, sharing your Shangri-La moment. Don’t forget to read T&C’s and use all the correct tags.
Good luck to you all, as I said… I want one of my readers to WIN!