The historic centre of Istanbul can be a little too noisy for a decent night's sleep, and if you stay by the Bosphorous Strait you risk getting stuck in the nightly traffic jams on your way in and out of the city.

The chic but plush House Hotel Nişantaşı is the perfect compromise. Set in the city's elegant art nouveau quarter, home to cafes and boutiques, it is only a five-minute taxi ride away from the action.

Sitting directly atop Prada, The House's rooms are decorated in slate, cream and mocha, with modern glass-and-chrome bathrooms and views of the leafy streets below. Breakfast is taken in the cool library space on the reception floor, but if you want to indulge in a spot of beautiful-people-watching, take a stroll past Cartier and Vuitton, and sip a latte in the art deco-styled Nişanta\şı Brasserie.

For a different experience, cross the bridge into the Sultanahmet district to see the Hagia Sofia museum and the Blue Mosque, and try some haggling at the Grand Bazaar.

WOW FACTOR: The bathrooms - enormous, marble-filled glass boxes.

FLIGHT TIME: 4 hours

WHEN TO GO: Autumn, Spring

GO: Mr & Mrs Smith ( offers doubles from £134 per night, B&B.
British Airways ( flies from £169 return