Travel Talk

Published on December 23rd, 2014 | by Ann Rickard


A Bucket-List Beauty

Most travellers could fill a notebook with their bucket lists and I bet topping most lists would be a visit to Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

I visited Raffles Singapore this time last year when the grand lobby of the legendary hotel was home to a sevenmetre-high live Christmas tree, adding to the magic.

“An exquisite hotel in one of the world’s most alluring cities – could it be any more bucket-list worthy?”

So, with Raffles Singapore crossed off my bucket list, next up it’s a stay at the newly opened Raffles Istanbul.

Named by Luxury Travel Intelligence website as one of the best new luxury hotels of 2014, Raffles Istanbul overlooks the Bosphorus River and Prince Islands.

“This caught us by surprise,” said Luxury Travel Intelligence. “A routine stopover in Istanbul revealed an impressive new property that has so much to love: staff and management, nice design aspects, excellent shopping (the hotel is an integral part of an upscale shopping mall) and…wonderful beds.”

An exquisite hotel in one of the world’s most alluring cities – could it be any more bucket-list worthy?

Istanbul looks, feels and smells exotic. Its long and rich history hits you on every corner and the city is the meeting point between East and West, Asia and Europe.

Dreams can be as heady as you want them to be in one of Raffles 132 guest rooms, or better still in one of the 49 suites. All rooms and suites promise space and light, a blend of Turkish and contemporary design, with floor-to-ceiling windows leading to private terraces and balconies.Raffels Instanbul

Instanbul is an epicurean’s paradise and now with the opening of Raffles, dining options have gone to new giddy gastronomic heights.

Two restaurants, two bars and lounges, and a patisserie, offer a culinary theatre of possibility day and night. The Writer’s Bar is the place I want to hang out, followed by an indulgent visit to the Long Bar, counterpart to Singapore’s Long Bar with a glamorous twist, and its own champagne room. A Singapore Sling is one thing (yes, ticked off the bucket list last year) and now a Stamboul Sling with my name on it waits for me in Istanbul.

A visit to Turkey would not be complete without a spa session and with nine treatment rooms and suites and a choice of pools, saunas, steam rooms and hamams, Raffles Spa claims the title of one of the most comprehensive in the city.

One magnificent hotel, one thrilling city, more bucket list items than a traveller could dream of.


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About the Author

is a Noosa (Australia) local and author of six successful books, all humorous travel narratives. In 2005 Ann won the prestigious ASTW’s Australian Travel Writer of the Year and in 2007 she won the ASTW Travel Book of the Year. Ann takes a culinary tour to the South of France in June every year . Ann writes travel, dining and columns for the Sunshine Coast Daily and is the Life editor of the Noosa News. Ann also maintains a well read and popular blog site. Ann’s travels have seen her explore cuisines all over the world.

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