This ancient capital city is seriously cool. A hip bar and restaurant scene, and recent openings from some of the hotel industry's swankiest players mean the city feels exhilarating and dynamic. Symbolising the resurgence is The Istanbul Edition.
The hotel is a 15-storey tower in the Levent district, a short Metro hop from bustling Taksim, and near the upscale Kanyon shopping mall. The decor is Ottoman opulent - bronze mosaics, dark wood and pale silks. Ask for a room on a higher floor for panoramic views of the city at your feet.
WOW FACTOR The Gold Bar's lush terrace garden that feels like Suleiman's seraglio, lit with 100 twinkling tealights.
FLIGHT TIME 3.5hrs from the UK