Raffles Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey

Zorlu Center Address: Levazım, Vadi Caddesi Zorlu Center, 34340 Beşiktaş 

Tel:+90 212 924 02 00


If there’s a city that reads like a sacred verse but appears like a spell, it’s Istanbul. Anyone who arrives in the former capital of the Roman Empire for more than a thousand years  –  by way of sea, air or land instantly falls for its sensory enchantment; as redolent passages of the Quran, like a welcome overture, reverberate from the city’s minarets.

Istanbul, whilst happy to put on an ancient melody for its visitors, is itching to play a new tune and eager to look the part. Out of the several high rises competing for Istanbul’s skyline, the Zorlu Center which houses the Raffles hotel, easily rivals the city’s emblematic minarets, at the same time claiming the laurels as Istanbul’s ultimate chic and sleek.

Looming over the Besiktas neighborhood on the European side, with views of the historic peninsula, the Bosporus and its iconic bridge, Raffles Istanbul takes each guest to a height of luxury and bespoke experiences. The hotel connects into a modern day affluent grand bazaar where shopping, dining as well as performing arts converge. Zorlu Center has direct access to a subway and is located in a transit point between city bus and metro line (M2), a convenient way to connect to the Old Town. From Istanbul International Airport (IST), it’s a 45-minute ride to the hotel without the traffic.


The days of the former sultans who ruled both Asian and European continents and their habit of building magnificent structures of sheer scale are long gone but here at the Raffles Istanbul, the moment lives on. Step into its capacious lobby and one can’t help but feel Lilliputian amongst its massive mosaics and eclectic art commissioned pieces. A little preview of what’s to come:  glass-blown chandeliers and palatial columns, towering floral arrangements perching on huge amphoras, gilded doors and high ceilings.

Go bold and big – is the hotel’s visual caprice of saying ‘merhaba’. Even entry-level Deluxe rooms are spacious enough to be fitted with walk-in closets.


All 185 accommodations (Rooms, Suites and Residences) are framed by floor to ceiling windows that open to private balconies with panoramic views. Expect a light and airy cocoon that plays on neutral tones with an occasional opulent dash of silver and gold. Dreamy evocations of Istanbul’s iconic landmarks depicted in murals hang in the bedroom as Turkish carpets uniquely woven for the hotel find their place in the living room.

The best part, all rooms come with a dedicated butler with round the clock service. The rooms on the 22nd – 27th floors (Residences) are equipped with kitchenettes and larger living spaces making them ideal for longer or yearly stays. Overall, the interior is modern, residential but never falls short in evoking the Byzantine bijou.


One comment on Tripadvisor reads “extremely spacious with a king size bed that was so comfortable and cozy”. This is something every guest should look forward to when arriving from a long haul trip or after a quick tour of the old city. Think of Madame Pompadour’s fondness of ‘Lit à la Turque’ only reimagined in the 21st century. At the end of the day, certainly ‘dormir comme une sultana’.


The Raffles Istanbul takes its sustainability practices seriously the way it does with its hospitality. Over the years, since the hotel welcomed its first arrival of guests, the Raffles Istanbul has been making sure to reduce its environmental impact, support local communities, raise awareness among its employees on ethical and social responsibility issues and above all, preserve its cultural values.

Its green initiatives are strongly felt from its choices of replacing single-use plastic materials with eco-friendly alternatives (room keys are made of wood), reducing the amount of food waste, increasing its supplies locally whilst favoring organically produced products, providing excellent avenues and more leadership roles for women in the workplace and supporting local artists and community projects. When the devastating 2023 earthquake struck Turkey, the hotel stepped up its commitment in providing support and food to the victims of the tragedy.


  • Long Bar (a homage to the legendary bar of the first Raffles hotel in Singapore)
  • Restaurant (Isokyo Pan Asian cuisine)
  • Brasserie (Rocca – all day dining and snack)
  • 24 Hour Room service
  • Butler Service
  • Laundry / Valet
  • Steam Room / Hammam
  • Spa and Wellness Center
  • Jacuzzi / Whirlpool Bath
  • Heated Indoor and Outdoor Pool
  • Wifi all throughout the Property
  • Fitness Center
  • Kid’s Club and Babysitting Services
  • Meetings and Conference Rooms
  • Business Center
  • Transfer Services (limousine, helicopter, private jet)
  • Car Parking / Heated Helipad
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Pet Friendly



My final thoughts logoA hotel room key and welcome amenity
Raffles Istanbul – it’s where everything gorgeously gleams from inside and out. Housed within Istanbul’s new bastion of modernity, the Zorlu Center is a gilt glass mecca for those who are in pursuit of a pampered lifestyle and topnotch luxury. Indulgence is as addictive as the hotel’s welcome tray of Turkish delights. Lost your luggage while in transit, fret not. Fancy a helicopter ride, sure. Want someone to run you a bath pronto and place petals in the tub, just dial M for magic and let your butler handle the rest.
Listed among the 3rd Best Hotel in the World by Conde Nast Traveler in 2021, travelers and well-heeled locals in the know, have their eyes steadfastly set with tender gaze on Raffles Istanbul. It will remain that way for a very long time and might as well be. Care for a Bosphorus Sling? About time!
The verdict logo

4.6 / 5 Rating


General Manager posing for a photoINSIDER’S TIP

“Traveling to Istanbul is a step back in time in this city of 3,000 years of history and culture. A delight for shopping, culture, history and food explorers. At the Raffles Istanbul with its signature butler service for every guest, is the epitome of luxury travel and experiences. A Bosphorus suite with its stunning views and access to the Bosphorus lounge on the 22nd floor is an exceptional way to experience this beautiful city.”  – Andrew Steele, Raffles Istanbul General Manager / 2024


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  1. I can’t enlarge the pictures in the gallery as they are “protected by magic” but having read your blog for a while now, I fully trust your judgement here. I know we have a similar demand for accommodation on travels so I take it this one too is quite unique with a boutique character. I loved hearing that the hotel has a kitchenette in the rooms. That is a huge plus for me and makes me chose a hotel over any other choices.

    Carolin | Solo Travel Story

  2. This sounds like the perfect place to stay in Istanbul – a great location but I love that it supports the community. The spa looks like it’d be perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring the city!

  3. Combine my new love for Istanbul with my old love of fancy hotels and this is a recipe for amazingness. I stayed at the Raffles in Paris and it was magical, one of my favorite hotels, but I like the look of the views here more. And the butler service with every room? How regal.

  4. I’ll take this suggestion into consideration the next time I’m in Istanbul. Although this type of luxury accommodation is not often part of my way of traveling, the atmosphere is certainly appealing.
    I particularly liked the hotel’s commitment to supporting local projects and boosting local investment.

  5. I love everything you have said about this hotel, especially its green credentials and sourcing local foods.
    I’ve been to the Famous original Raffles Hotel in Singapore but never went to the Istanbul one.
    I do fear that the room price would be similarly very high and thus unfortunately way over my budget. I certainly seek it out just to luxuriate in the cafe with a coffee and cake, just to say I’ve been there though!
    Istanbul was a city that captivated me entirely and I long to return to explore more of the fascinating city.

  6. The first thing that struck me was the photos of the iconic views of the Bosporus and the bridge – how stunning! Raffles looks like a spectacular place to stay where everything seems to be super-sized. A dedicated butler sounds very decadent (but also very lovely). Great to hear about the hotel’s green credentials and especially its commitment to supporting community projects. We have yet to visit Istanbul, but very much want to, so may just have to revisit this post for a night of decadence when we finally plan our trip!
    Mitch & Colin from Very Tasty World

  7. Raffles seems like a wonderful hotel to luxuriate, relax, and soak up the atmosphere. Its location in Zorlu Center makes it even better. I appreciate and seek out establishments that support the community, so Raffles will be on my radar the next time I visit Istanbul… although it is more luxurious than what usually choose. I’m not convinced I am posh enough for butler service.

    Lyn | http://www.ramblynjazz.com