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The ”iragan Palace Kempinski has fully re-opened after an extensive renovation. Its waterside position cannot be faulted, on the European side of the Bosphorus, near the financial and business districts, and in a city notorious for its traffic bottlenecks, it is just 15 miles from the international airport.
”iragan Palace (pronounced ”Chiraan”), once the residence of the last Ottoman Sultans, was built at the end of the 16th century in wood and then rebuilt in marble for Sultan Abd”laziz in 1857. It was badly damaged by fire in January 1910 and lay derelict and abandoned until 1986. Managed by Kempinski since its re-opening in 1992, the ”iragan Palace Kempinski has been a flagship property ever since.
The property has 284 rooms and 31 suites and has often featured as one of the world”s great hotels.
The careful renovation programme, which started last year with the restoration of the opulent palace suites, has been completed with the restoration of the lavish meeting rooms, public areas and the award-winning Tugra restaurant. Kempinski says the palace now offers not only grand surroundings but also state-of-the-art technology.
To ensure the authenticity of the designs were preserved, the work was supervised by Handen T”z”n, she an expert on Istanbul palaces, together with Professor Nurhan Atasoy, a specialist on Ottoman Art. They aimed to achieve a synthesis between East and West, by researching and incorporating Ottoman style oriental embellishments for walls and ceilings.
The Tugra restaurant, with balconies and terraces overlooking the picturesque river panorama, reflects the magnificence and grandeur of Ottoman palaces with carefully selected furniture and palatial curtains in blue and violet. The menu complements the restaurant”s setting, offering traditional Turkish-Ottoman cuisine. Currently on view are works by the famous Turkish painter and poet Ilhan Berk followed by an exhibition by Mehmet Guleryuz.