Big news for Turkey today: St. Regis Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement with Nisantasi Konaklama ve Otel Hizmetleri A.S. (Demsa Group) to open a St. Regis hotel in Istanbul. Set to open in the first half of 2014, The St. Regis Istanbul will mark the luxury brand's Turkish debut.
Located in the Nisantasi neighborhood in the Sisli district on the European side of the city, The St. Regis Istanbul will be close to boutiques, restaurants and cafes, and important landmarks including the Istanbul Congress Center and Taksim Square. Designed by award-winning Turkish architect Emre Arolat, the new-build hotel will overlook Maçka Park and the Bosphorus.
We hear the hotel will have 118 rooms, and that four suites will have custom interiors by major designers. The Presidential Suite is expected to cover approximately 2,000 square feet.
The hotel will, of course, include the signature St. Regis Butler Service, and we hear there will also be a brasserie-style restaurant for foodies. (We're a bit more excited about the rooftop restaurant, however—just imagine those views!) The hotel will also have a spa, fitness center, business center, meeting rooms and a ballroom.
Starwood currently operates nine hotels in Turkey under five of its brands, including four hotels in Istanbul – Sheraton Istanbul Maslak Hotel, Sheraton Istanbul Atakoy Hotel, W Istanbul and Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler. Outside of the city, Starwood’s portfolio includes the Sheraton Cesme Hotel, Resort and Spa, Sheraton Ankara Hotel & Convention Centre, and The Lugal, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Ankara, while earlier this year, Starwood entered Bursa with the Sheraton Bursa Hotel and Aloft Bursa Hotel, marking the launch of the company’s fast-growing Aloft Hotels brand into Turkey.
Later in 2013, Starwood will open its 10th hotel in Turkey with the Sheraton Adana Hotel, making Turkey one of the largest markets in Europe for the Sheraton brand. Scheduled openings in 2014 include The St. Regis Istanbul and the Sheraton Samsun Hotel. Starwood’s expanding footprint in Turkey is in tandem with the country’s continued growth as a tourist magnet and also as an event, business and financial center.
The Turkish economy is "booming," we hear, with GDP doubling during the last decade, while new projects underway in Istanbul include the world’s largest airport, with six runways and annual capacity of 150 million, as well as the new Istanbul International Financial Center and the recently-opened 6.5 million square feet Vialand, with a theme park, aquapark and retail park.