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A classic structure, Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah is known for famous guests who stayed here back in time. Passengers who travelled on the Orient Express in the early days stayed at this hotel making it a historic structure. Today this elegant accommodation still welcomes guests into a world of grandeur and history with beautifully appointed rooms and suites. Termed as a 'musuem-hotel' as it features decor and items from the 19th-century, it also home to the Atatürk Museum which is the converted suite of modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Get pampered at the spa with various treatments or dip in the refreshing pool. Dine at the world-class restaurants or lounge at the bar. Pera Palace promises to make your stay a memorable one.
Away from the crowd and hidden from the tourists, the quiet Café Susam is perfect for cocktail hour. Laze about with a couple glasses of wine, or indulge in a Sunday brunch while you're comfortably nestled in an arm chair. Befriend a waiter and you'll get the best table. -Stephanie Berton
Ara Guller is one of the first Turkish photographers to gain international recognition. His café takes you through the lens of a 35mm camera back to a black-and-white Istanbul circa the 1950s. If you are lucky, you might even meet him. Either way, you can sit back and enjoy people watching from the terrace, or follow the intellectual crowd inside and explore the permanent exhibition of his best shots. Located in the lively Beyoglu neighborhood, Ara Kafe stands out with its tasteful Mediterranean and innovative local cuisine. -Stephanie Berton
The two buildings of this hotel, once the former residence of the Ottoman Sultan, are nestled on the glowing shores of the Bosporus Strait. Just a short drive from the airport, all of the rooms are richly furnished and fitted with several amenities, and some offer magnificent views of the sea. The hotel boasts of many in-house restaurants and bars to take care of your gastronomic needs, and excellent facilities to ensure the success of any corporate event. For sightseeing, there is the nearby Oratakoy District, where you will find that most eateries serve fish delicacies. The area is also popular for its antique stores, jewelry shops and handicrafts. The shopping zone of Akmerkez is also just a short drive away.