Home»On the Road»Istanbul: Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, the Mata Hari Of The City’s Grand Hotels

Istanbul: Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, the Mata Hari Of The City’s Grand Hotels

The elevator at the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeira, Istanbul
The elevator at the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeira, Istanbul

by Gary Walther

The Hotel Detective can sum up Istanbul’s character in a word: byzantine. The city is a wormwood of streets, passages, and bazaars, which also describes the know-how to know how to navigate the place.

The one hotel that encapsulates this spirit is the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, because of it’s long history, celebrated guest list (Mata Hari, Josephine Baker, Edward VIII, and Sarah Bernhardt, among others), and a grand lobby (below) as well as an interior lobby whose shadowy corners and dusky atmosphere still convey a sense of the intrigue that marked the place through three wars, One, Two, and Cold, as well as the Interwar decades.

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GaryGary Walther, the former editor-in-chief of Departures and ForbesLife, now writes “The Hotel Detective” column on Forbes.com.

 

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