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Home & Away with Robert Walshe

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Weekend Hotspot – Ciragan Palace Istanbul Turkey

Located on the two continents of Asia and Europe, Istanbul is known as Turkey’s cultural capital. With such a rich abundance of history and culture, you will never tire of this city’s endless charms. For sightseers, the dramatic Blue Mosque and decadence of Topkapi Palace are top of the list. For some retail therapy, haggle in the busy Grand Bazaar or sample Istanbul’s culture at one of its many international festivals. The Bosphorus connects the Black

Sea with the Sea of Marmara and lies right in the middle of the city. Ciragan Palace Kempinski is Istanbul’s only imperial palace and the hotel is the perfect location for an accommodation for travelers who desire to explore this beautiful body of water and immerse themselves in culture, style & sophistication. The 19th-century waterfront palace was once the residence of the last Ottoman Sultans and has been restored to its former glory. In the early 20th century Ciragan was briefly the home of the Turkish Parliament until it burnt down in 1910. A celebrities wall just off the lobby at-

■ Ciragan Palace Istanbul Turkey.

tests, with photographs, to a roll call of the hotel’s famous guests such as the Prince of Spain, the King of Jordan, Hillary Clinton, Madonna, and Oprah Winfrey, among others. Rooms on the Bosphorus side enjoy spectacular views of this famous and busy waterway. Other facilities include a spa with massage rooms, Turkish baths and saunas, indoor and outdoor pools with sunbathing terrace, a fitness room and even a putting green.”Tugra” located in the Palace wing is the hotel’s signature Turkish restaurant. The elegant cuisine and impeccable service here attracts tourists and well heeled locals. Expect perfectly presented Turkish and Ottoman specialties paired with the finest local Turkish wines, but it is the champagne cart on wheels, boasting numerous vintages, and elaborate presentation that really make a memorable first impression. If you are travelling in late spring or summer be sure to request a table on the balcony for one of the city’s most prized dining seats. Ciragan’s welltrained concierge team offers

For our best deals call 0044 28 9038 1111 or visit www.mooneyhotelgroup.com customised itineraries for guests wanting a unique, personal adventure. A stay at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski is not complete without the exploration of both shores of the Bosphorus on a cruise. Starting at the Palace, the boat will take you along the European side of Istanbul, and you will see the Ortakoy neighborhood, a trendy area full of seafood restaurants ■ Turkish Airlines and speciality antique, ceramic and jewellery shops that can accommoalso be explored by foot as dation in a superior Bosphoit is only a five minute walk rus view room, daily opulent from the hotel. As you pass buffet breakfast for two at the area, take in the majestic Laledan Restaurant. Dinner view of the Bosphorus Bridge for two at Tu�ra restaurant & which connects the two con- lounge (once during the stay, tinents. As the boat turns excluding beverages) High towards the Asian shores, be tea for two at Gazebo Lounge sure to admire the architec- (once during stay) Two-hour tural style of this area charac- in-room complimentary baterized by wooden mansions bysitting service during the and marble palaces. The dinner for guests travelling Çıra�an Palace Kempinski Is- with children. Price from: 845 tanbul stay and dine winter EUR. www.kempinski.com break valid Friday to Monday Turkish airlines offer 10 continues through March flights a week from Dublin to The offer includes two-night Istanbul with twice daily de-

partures most days. Turkish Airlines also fly to 96 countries across the globe with new destinations including Kilimanjaro, Sharm el Sheik, Maldives and South Africa. For best fare prices www. turkishairlines.com Robert Walshe is a travel broadcaster with Q Radio Network and Travel Editor for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland. www.robertwalshe.com

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