Sometimes it is impossible to put a hotel into a category. THE PENINSULA ISTANBUL actually has its own categorisation – hybrid. It’s a superlative business hotel, a fascinating resort, a centre of nature, a gallery of art, a collection of lovely well-trained people and so much more.
Take its location, the former cruise terminal on the European side of the Bosphorus. Three of those buildings, 1910, 1912 and 1937, are now joined with a 2023 sibling, and believe it or not the tribe meshes perfectly. Eventually, when it is all finished, there will be 680 staff, a 350-seat indoors-out rooftop restaurant by a local double-Michelined chef, 230+ exotic trees (many from Italy) exactly planted along the 250 metres of Bosphorus-flanking garden,177 rooms and suites, three boats and one 510sq m, two-floor rooftop Presidential Suite with private pool. The last must be finished, by the way, by 7th June as that is when the UEFA circus rolls into town.
Right now, two weeks after opening, some rooms are not ready, some of the plantings need a bit of time, but Girlahead is already bowled over. Take room 1407. The soft taupe colours and satin-smooth lacquered woodwork are typical Peninsula, as are the next-gen easy-use information tablets. There are masses of USB and even USC ports. The bathroom has heated towel rails, local-botanical toiletries in recycled aluminium tubes – and bathsalts and hammam robes. And OH the view, over the Bosphorus.
The gym, 24/7 with latest Technogym bits, is next to a pretty good-looking pool, and a first-class spa. Girlahead arrived in a Maybach, easy Wifi. she ate splendidly (though she could have subsisted solely on the just-made bread rolls, so more-ish). It was sunny on arrival but on departure, in a somewhat more ordinary car, it was about to rain. Oh well. The experience until then was more than 10/10.