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Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah in Istanbul: Celebrating 125 Years of Excellence

Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah in Istanbul: Celebrating 125 Years of Excellence

HOTELS, LUXURY TRAVEL, TURKEY

On my way back from St. Petersburg, Russia, I had the great pleasure of staying at the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah for one night. From the moment I stepped through its opulent doors, I knew I was staying somewhere special. Located on the European side of Istanbul in the charming neighborhood of Pera, this upscale hotel is housed in a grand 19th century building. It was built for the purpose of hosting the passengers on the Orient Express and holds the title of “the oldest European Hotel of Turkey”!

Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul Entrance
Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul Entrance
Pera Palace Istanbul Entrance and Lobby Area
Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul Entrance and Lobby Area

Pera Palace Hotel was built in 1892 which means 2017 marks its 125th Anniversary, an incredible milestone for a hotel! I felt honored to visit at such an exciting time. Thanks to its brilliant history, you will find different layers of architectural styles. The building is beautifully decorated in a blend of neoclassical, art nouveau and orient styles.

Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul Lobby Area
Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul Lobby Area
Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul Lobby Area
Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul Lobby Area

Impressively, Pera Palace Hotel was the first building in Turkey to be powered by electricity, other than the Ottoman Palaces, and was the first hotel in the city to provide hot running water for its guests. The hotel is also home to the first electric elevator in Istanbul which is still in operation today!

Electric Elevator - Pera Palace Istanbul
Electric Elevator – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul

Accommodations

The hotel offers 115 elegantly furnished rooms, including 16 suites where most provide French balconies. There are 44 Deluxe Rooms which offer characteristic street views of Pera. The 30 sqm rooms are airy, featuring high ceilings. The style is classic, with fresh almond green and rich burgundy interiors, furnished in sumptuous fabrics along with antique furniture. Most of the Deluxe Rooms also feature individual French balconies.

I was lucky to stay in a Deluxe Golden Horn King Room which included one of those beautiful balconies that opened onto the street. The furnishings were very tasteful, comfortable, and a perfect blend of the old and the new.

Deluxe Golden Horn King Room - Pera Palace Istanbul
Deluxe Golden Horn King Room – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul
Deluxe Golden Horn King Room Balcony View - Pera Palace Istanbul
Deluxe Golden Horn King Room Balcony View – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul

My room had a nice surprise of tasty Turkish delights waiting for me which I thought was a very nice touch.

Welcome Tray at Pera Palace
Welcome Tray at Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul 

In the bathroom glass artwork had been added to divide the bed and white Carrara marble clad bathroom, allowing natural light to stream through.  My bathroom had a soaking tub which was also the shower.

Deluxe Golden Horn King Bathroom - Pera Palace Istanbul
Deluxe Golden Horn King Bathroom – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul

Over Pera Palace’s incredible 125 years, the hotel has hosted some very special guests. Celebrities like Greta Garbo and politicians such as famous Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk are just a couple notable people to pass through those opulent doors. To honor their time at the hotel, you can stay in one of six Greta Garbo themed corner rooms or visit the incredible Ataturk Suite. This suite is a museum room dedicated to the founder of the modern Turkish state. He stayed in this room many times himself!

Ataturk Museum Room - Pera Palace
Ataturk Museum Room – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul

One very special room is the Agatha Christie King Room. Novelist Agatha Christie wrote her novel “Murder on the Orient Express” during one of her stays at the Pera Palace Hotel! Fans of the renowned murder mystery writer can stay in the exact room she stayed in, Room 411. It serves both as a memorial to Christie, and a place of pilgrimage for fans wanting to spend the night there. You can definitely see where she got her inspiration for the novel. Guests can immerse themselves into an extensive library set against a dramatic burgundy and black backdrop which creates the perfect feeling of mystery and intrigue. They also have a typewriter from her era in the room!

Agatha Christie King Room - Pera Palace Istanbul
Agatha Christie King Room – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul
Agatha Christie King Room and Bathroom - Pera Palace Istanbul
Agatha Christie King Room and Bathroom – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul

Another notable guest was American writer Ernest Hemingway who stayed at the Pera Palace Hotel when he was a young war reporter in 1922. He was also a regular patron of the Orient Bar. There are five suites each paying tribute to this literary giant. The interiors are decorated in a jade blue reflecting Hemingway’s love for the sea and an earthy brown as a nod to his love for cigars.

Ernest Hemingway Room - Pera Palace Istanbul
Ernest Hemingway Room – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul

Dining

I ate very well during my short stay at the Pera Palace Hotel. Their iconic Kubbeli Lounge just exudes glamor with its high domed ceilings, live piano music, and decadent food. I enjoyed a late-night dinner here and can highly recommend their Caesar salad, pizzas, and the impressive wine selection.

Kubbeli Saloon Tea Lounge - Pera Palace Istanbul
Kubbeli Saloon Tea Lounge – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul
Kubbeli Saloon Tea Lounge - Pera Palace Istanbul
Kubbeli Saloon Tea Lounge Seating Area – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul

Next to the Kubbeli Saloon Tea Lounge is The Library Room which is always a great place to relax with an evening cocktail.

The Library Room - Pera Palace Istanbul
The Library Room – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul
The Library Room Area - Pera Palace Istanbul
The Library Room Area – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul

The Agatha Restaurant, paying tribute to the three major stops of the former Orient Express -Paris, Venice and Istanbul – serves a blend of French, Italian and Turkish flavors. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, providing an elegant setting for meetings and social gatherings throughout the day.  I enjoyed the wonderful breakfast buffet they offered. My cheese and mushroom omelette was delicious.

Agatha Restaurant and Buffet Selections - Pera Palace Istanbul
Agatha Restaurant and Buffet Selections – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul

If you have a sweet tooth, then you need to try Patisserie de Pera which is a traditional French patisserie. The menu serves classic French cakes and pastries, as well as a wide selection of the finest coffee and teas from across the globe.

Patisserie de Pera - Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah
Patisserie de Pera – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul 
Patisserie de Pera - Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah
Patisserie de Pera – Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul 

SPA/Fitness Center

Although I didn’t get the chance to experience the spa, I was impressed with the cozy, calm, and contemporary space I saw.  The Pera Spa features three ultra luxury treatments rooms, traditionally designed Turkish bath, a steam bath, Jacuzzi, sauna, fully equipped gym, and an indoor jet-streamed swimming pool. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the perfect place to unwind and relax for a few hours while in Istanbul!  I look forward to taking advantage of their extensive treatment list and beautiful facilities during my next visit.

Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul - Spa Area
Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah Istanbul – Spa Area

My stay at the Pera Palace Hotel felt like an escape back in time. The historic grandness of the hotel mixed with modern features created an absolute feast for the eyes! I only hope I can stay for longer next time and soak up more of their incredible history.

Note:  I was a guest of the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, and all the opinions here are my own.

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen’s Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

9 Comments

  1. seema
    November 16, 2017 at 12:25 am
    Reply

    wow..all the pictures of the hotel jumeriah are lovely.. looks like you’d a great time 🙂 I’ll add this to my bucket list when i visit istanbul anytime in future

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 17, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Glad to hear it, Seema! It’s a fabulous place.

  2. Tonya
    November 17, 2017 at 9:29 am
    Reply

    What an opulent property. It exudes luxury from every corner! I’ve not been to Istanbul but I’ve always been intrigued by its beauty.

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 17, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Istanbul is a beautiful city and this is the perfect place to stay to experience the history 🙂

  3. Lara Dunning
    November 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    Reply

    I love historic hotels and this one looks truly amazing. Love the decor and the amenities the hotel offers. The How cool to stay in the room that Agatha Christie wrote one of her novels!!

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 18, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      I know, it’s such a magnificent place with fascinating history!

  4. Amanda Rinehart
    November 21, 2017 at 1:04 am
    Reply

    Goodness, how regal! Also super cool that Ataturk stayed there! As a political science nerd, I would excited about that. I learned about him in college!

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 21, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      That’s awesome!! You’d definitely love this place, Amanda.

  5. Evan Kristine
    November 22, 2017 at 1:44 am
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing this post! Everything in this hotel are so lavish, I really love the decorations, all of the rooms are so luxurious and looks so comfy. Food looks so scrumptious! And the sweets from Patisserie de Pera looks so yummy!
    Evan Kristine recently posted…Top Tourist Attractions in the USA (Destinations to Visit in Different States)My Profile

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