Timeless elegance of Pera Palace

Standing proudly on the rise across the Golden Horn, just a street below the bustling Istikabal Avenue sits this throwback to Ottoman – era Istanbul. This golden thread connects one to the late 19th century era. Built in 1892 with the purpose of hosting the passengers of the Orient Express it was designed to offer the most convenient stay for the Paris – Bosphorus line travellers. This posh hotel is more than just one of Turkey’s most elegant establishments. It is a historic monument that represents the character, style and spirit of Istanbul. The hotel holds the title of “ the oldest European hotel of Turkey “

Pera Palace

The iconic hotel was the first building in Turkey to be powered by electricity, other than the Ottoman Palaces and also the only address in the city able to provide hot running water for its guests. The elevator is the second oldest in Europe ( the oldest being the one at the Eiffel Tower ) this was the first electric elevator in Istanbul

Second oldest lift in Europe, and it still works at Pera Palace

It rapidly became a favourite location for those visiting the Turkish metropolis and has been graced with many notable people over the centuries. Agatha Christie, the “ queen of detective writing “ for one stayed in room 411 regularly between 1926 and 1932. One of the most requested rooms at the hotel, with its’ rich crimson and burgundy brocade, her favourite colours and a replica of her typewriter on the desk. Urban legend tells that during the 11 days that she went missing, she was here at the hotel. It is also said that the key found in her room can open Agatha Christie’s diary, which holds the secret to her whereabouts for this time. On 3 December 1926 she vanished after learning about her husbands affair, her car was found abandoned by a lake but she was no where to be seen. Agatha claimed to have no recollection of those 11 days so it became an ongoing mystery. Her diary has never been found.

The room of Agatha Christie at Pera Palace
Agatha Christie room at Pera Palace
Replica of the type writer used by Agatha Christie

The only room that cannot booked is room 101, the museum room of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic. On his 100th birthday the room was turned into a museum, it preserves the old furniture and decoration and some of the Presidents personal belongings. One of these is an old clock whose hands stopped ticking exactly at the moment of Ataturk’s death.

The museum room of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk at Pera Palace
Mustafa Kemal Ataturks bed at Pera Palace

Interesting facts

Designed by French- Turkish architect Alexander Vallauri in a blend of neo-classical , art nouveau and oriental styles.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had been staying in the building since 1917
The rose shaped domes open up like petals and where the old style air con system
It underwent a 23 million Euro restoration process in 2006 taking two years to complete
The hotel witnessed the declined of the Ottoman empire, the founding of the Turkish Republic and two world wars and a Cold war.
In the lobby is a palanquin that was used to transport people from Sirkeci railway station to the hotel.
Prominent figures who have stayed here include Brodsky, Mata Hari, Ernest Hemingway, Agatha Christie , Jacqueline Kennedy- Onassis, Alfred Hitchcock, Ismet Inonu and Pierre Loti to name but a few.

A palanquin that was used to transport people from Sirkeci railway station to Pera Palace
The rose domes open up like petals to allow air to flow in at Pera Palace
The rose domed ceiling at Pera Palace
Ernest Hemingways room at Pera Palace


Heart of Istanbul in the Beyoğlu district
Pera museum is a few 100 metres away
Easy walking distance to many restaurants, cafes, clubs,bars and Taksim square
Safe to walk around at night
Spectacular views of the Golden Horn known as ‘ Little Europe “
Cabs are located right near the hotel, making it easy to get transport.

View of the Bosphorus from my balcony at Pera Palace
Different floors in Pera Palace

Hotel features

Indoor pool
Rooms have classical style combining European and Ottoman influences
Hard wooden floors with floor – to ceiling windows
Each room has a TV and mini bar
Majority of rooms have a balcony
Agatha Christie Restaurant offers contemporary Turkish Cuisine
Orient Bar is ideal for meetings and travellers want to mingle and socialise.
Kubbeli Saloon tea lounge offers gentle live piano music
Pera Spa has a hammam with a heated marble platform and foam bath
Steam bath , hot tub and sauna
Fully equipped gym
Free WiFi

The gym at Pera Palace
Indoor swimming pool at Pera Palace
Marble Hammam at Pera Palace
loved my room at Pera Palace
Bathroom found in Greta Garbos room at Pera Palace

This is a unique heritage of culture where you can not only visit as a tourist , but also stay as a guest . The epitome of timeless elegance, this hotel was and still is the place to be seen.

Stepping out onto the balcony
Reading in the lounge, Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk
Agatha Christie Restaurant in Pera Palace
Magnificent lounge in Pera Palace