Within the heart of Istanbul's cultural corridor—Taksim—Marti Istanbul Hotel, part of a collection of five hotels within the Marti Group that are along Southwest Turkey's Turquoise Coast, opened in July. But it wasn't until this winter that the entire property was revealed, including an authentic Turkish spa, artfully designed public spaces, and two restaurants.
With all the design features headed up by Turkish designer Zeynep Fadillioglu the 270-room hotel (plus 40 suites) within an 11-story building includes a courtyard entrance (rare for Istanbul). To help tell Turkey's history, including the Ottoman Empire, with a modern twist she relied upon colors, textures, fabrics, and architectures. The atrium lobby's wall-panel mirrors, chandeliers, and lavender/white palate are glamorous and the guest rooms are decked out in rich shades of blues and purples. In each room is a 42-inch flat-screen television, iPod docking station, and luxury bathrooms with marble and glass, as well as rainforest showers. In the suites are Hammam-style basins with mosaic designs.
Fadillioglu recruited artists to create wall designs by hand—including a water-themed piece by Carnegie prizewinner Kutlug Ataman. Smartly situated in the Taksim part of Istanbul, guests are close to attractions such as the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia along with shops, galleries and cutting-edge bars and restaurants.
The 9,100-square-foot Marti Wellness by SpaSoul is on the 11th floor and home to three Hammams, two saunas, two steam rooms, and five treatment rooms. There is also a "vitamin bar" and relaxation area. Fitness fanatics don't have to abandon their routine: there is a glass-enclosed gym with panoramic views of Istanbul, including the first Bosporus Bridge.
BRASS and the Quad Restaurant & Bar both offer a lengthy wine list, elegant dining space, and dishes designed by executive chef Frédéric Médigue, with a fusion of French, Asian, and Turkish at BRASS and cocktails beneath an Ottoman tent at Quad. At the hotel's Piano Bar, Lobby Lounge, and Lounge 11 are even more opportunities to imbibe, and chocolates and pastries made in-house are available through a gourmet-foods shop.
In the spring a 12th-floor terrace with panoramic views will be unveiled.
To celebrate the opening, Marti Istanbul Hotel is offering the "Taksim's NEW Luxury Launch" package through March 31, 2013. The 20% discount on rates (which start at US$336 per night) also includes daily breakfast and a welcome-gift hamper with Marti-branded gifts (yes, there are Turkish delights inside!).
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photos courtesy of Marti Istanbul Hotel