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