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Hot List 2007

Hotel Les Ottomans, Istanbul 
$$$$

168 Muallim Nacı Caddesi

Kuruçeşme

Istanbul
Turkey 34345

Tel: 90 212 287 1024

It may not look like much from the outside—a white facade behind a skimpy porte cochère—but on the inside, where it counts, Les Ottomans is a well-executed fantasy. This mansion-turned-hotel sits just a few feet from the Bosphorus, and each of the 12 huge suites is a high-Orientalist dreamworld of deep-pile carpets, red glass lanterns, and luxurious swags of embroidered silk drapery. Best of all are the windows, which open fully with the touch of a button, letting in the sound of lapping waves and inviting you to perch on the sill and dangle your legs while eating the blini and caviar that greet each guest's arrival. The discreet staff, while short on English, are sweetly well-intentioned, as is the personal chambermaid who stands sentry outside your room and straightens it upon each departure. The lavish Caudalie Spa, with its stepped hot tub, and the elegant dining room, Club Ottomans, make staying in all the more decadent. If there's one shortcoming, it's the location, a 40-minute car ride from the old city of Sultanahmet.

When to go: October through November, when nights are brisk but days are sunny.
Which room to book: The Saphir, which, though not one of the largest, has a full view of the Bosphorus.
Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Gym, Pool, Spa
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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