Set on the Bosphorus strait that links Europe and Asia, this Four Seasons hotel is housed in a restored 19th-century Ottoman palace. The pleasingly symmetrical exterior wouldn’t be out of place in a Wes Anderson movie, and is best viewed from the water (be sure to arrive by the hotel’s luxury boat transfer, or take a sunset cruise to explore the surroundings).
The interiors are soothing and understated; the views across the strait to the hills of Asia take center stage. Visit over a weekend to join in the festivities at a definitely-not-basic brunch — it’s more akin to a festival with live music.
Top suite: Atik Pasha Suite from $26,000 per night
If you do one thing: Tour local Ottoman mansions and visit celebrated interior designer and Ottoman art historian Serdar Gülgün’s waterside home.