Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeFashionThe Peninsula Istanbul Is the Dazzling New Jewel of the Bosphorus

The Peninsula Istanbul Is the Dazzling New Jewel of the Bosphorus

The history of Istanbul is one of the most head-spinningly complex of any city on the planet: Here, on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait, religions have staked their spiritual home, empires have tussled for power, and towering fortunes have been made and lost. Yet for Istanbul—and indeed for Turkey as a whole—the previous decade has proved to be no less turbulent than in centuries past. As the balances of power in the Middle East have continually shifted leading to outbreaks of civil unrest, the 2010s proved to be a tough decade for the country’s tourist industry. And then came the one-two punch of the pandemic and the devastating earthquake in February of this year.

Arriving into the colossus of steel and glass that is the city’s brand new airport back in July, and then taking a horn-honking taxi through its sprawling suburbs—and then, finally, watching the minarets began to rise above the hilltops to signal the city’s arrival—there was a palpable feeling of a place that had sprung enthusiastically back to life. It seems that the storied hotel chain The Peninsula, who despite first establishing themselves in Hong Kong in 1928, have opened only ten properties over the decades since, would agree: Their latest project is not only one of their most ambitious yet, but serves as a symbol of Istanbul’s fierce creative energy and resilience.

Sitting on the lip of land right where the Bosphorus meets the Golden Horn estuary, The Peninsula boasts genuinely jaw-dropping views of the architectural marvels that dot the opposite shore: the gleaming domes of the Topkapi Palace, the elegant spires of the Hagia Sophia, and the glittering lights of the bazaars that sprawl across the hillside of the Eminönü district, visible from every one of the hotel’s floors and buildings. I say buildings, plural, because the scale of the property is vast. Spread across four separate edifices—three of which date to the early 19th century, and serve as a history lesson in architectural styles ranging from Art Nouveau to Arts and Crafts; a fourth was constructed specifically for The Peninsula—and nestled among gardens bursting with magnolia and pomegranate trees designed by Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea, it’s a peaceful enclave right in the beating heart of the city.



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