Whether you’re a business traveler, sightseeing vacationer, or a couple looking for a romantic getaway, Istanbul frequently lands at the top of the list of places to visit. While the city now offers an abundance of hotel options, long-term visitors are often interested in staying places that feel like a home away from home. Swissôtel Living can accommodate all such travelers, with rooms that will please even the pickiest of guests.
Located on the grounds of the legendary Swissôtel The Bosphorus, Istanbul, the Swissôtel Living apartments were built over the course of two and a half years, with an investment of 20 million euros. There are 63 suites, ranging in size from studio apartments to single, double, and triple bedrooms, with even the studio apartments very generously sized. The interiors were designed by London-based Khuan Chew of Burj al Arab fame, and feature her trademark blend of elegance and luxury, with every single detail thought through.
What makes staying in Swissôtel Living such a treat is that you can have all of the privacy and personal luxury of an apartment hotel while benefiting from all the services and amenities of the hotel, which is located just steps away. Guests can take advantage of the hotel’s indoor and outdoor tennis courts and swimming pools, the Amirta Wellness Spa, room service, the business center, and the hotel’s 65-acre garden.
The rooms all feature tasteful décor in neutral beiges and browns, with marble and hardwood floors. The rooms offer the latest technology, including LCD TVs and home cinemas, as well as fully equipped kitchens that would please any chef and large bathrooms complete with roomy bathtubs. There are also guest bathrooms and laundry facilities even in the smaller units. However great these features are, one of the best things about the rooms is undoubtedly the views over the Bosphorus.
The Swissôtel is a real Istanbul institution, and holds a special place in the heart of Istanbulites. The city’s residents will often tell you how it was the first hotel to set the standard for luxury five-star hotels in Istanbul, and was often the hotel of choice for celebrating special occasions, or for a weekend with the family at the pool or the Chalet restaurant. In fact, when staying at the hotel, you do feel that this is a special place, due in large part to the impeccable service you receive from the staff.
The Swissôtel benefits from an excellent location, with sweeping views across the Bosphorus over the historical Dolmabahçe palace. In many ways, staying here feels like you are staying at a holiday village, for you can keep yourself entertained for hours without actually leaving the hotel’s vast grounds.
You can take a stroll through the wooded grounds along the jogging path, where you’ll notice a sign telling you to “Beware of Dogs”. The warning seems almost comical, however, when you see that the dogs in question are the two huge, sloppily adorable resident Saint Bernards. During the winter months you can dine on genuine Swiss cuisine at the Chalet restaurant, including fondue and raclet – surely the only place in Istanbul where you can have a meal in a traditional rustic Swiss cottage. Afterwards, you can enjoy a spot of ice skating at the outdoor rink, warning up with hot chocolate and crepes or mulled wine.
The hotel offers many more dining and entertainment options, including Miyako, widely regarded as one of the top Japanese restaurants in the city. You can have a snack at the lobby restaurant or listen to some excellent live jazz at the Les Ambassadeurs bar. Or, for a more gourmet dining option, visit Gaja restaurant, which specializes in sophisticated modern cuisine and offers an extensive wine list. Staying at Swissôtel Living, you have a variety of options for where to eat a decadent breakfast – you can go to the main hotel, enjoy it in the more intimate setting of the Living building, or even have it brought up to your suite.
A highlight of any stay is surely a visit to the Amrita Wellness Spa, which includes an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, sauna, steam room, Turkish bath, tropical shower, ice fountain, Jacuzzi, and relaxation room. If you want to indulge in one of their body, mind, and soul services, you can treat yourself to a facial treatment, exfoliating and detoxifying body treatment, slimming and firming package, hand and foot treatment, or a range of massages including aromatherapy, Thai, Shiatsu, reflexology, hot stones, and more.
While the pool at the main hotel is undoubtedly wonderful, even better is the small rooftop pool on top of the Swissôtel Living building – how many places in Istanbul are there where can you swim in an infinity pool with a jawdropping view over the Bosphorus? The rooftop deck offers not just swimming, but also a bar and lounge area, perfect for sharing cocktails with a group of friends.
A stay at Swissôtel Living is truly a memorable experience and offers the best of both worlds – the comfort and privacy of your own space, paired with all the luxuries and amenities of a fivestar hotel.