I recently had the opportunity to visit a potential client in Istanbul. The company has built a magnificent new city within the city – a vibrant mix of retail, office and residential units in the heart of Istanbul called Kanyon. I had no preconceptions of what Istanbul would be like though I sort of thought it would be like Barcelona or Prague. How wrong could I be! The first thing to hit you about Istanbul is how utterly different it is. Firstly the scale of the place completely blows you away. Istanbul is a massive, unknowable megalopolis of maybe 14 million people, maybe more, all of them moving at all times, frenetic.
This is a city on the edge but one of amazing energy. The evidence of economic boom is inescapable as new buildings, and luxury hotels, spring up everywhere – adding to the chaotic feel of the place. But Istanbul is also an intimate city as seen in the beautiful narrow streets filled with restaurants and bars in the French area of Taxim, the secluded hidden restaurants along the Bosporus and the relaxed shopping area of Nişantaşi.
My hosts were very generous with their time and I packed a lot in to my 48 hours in the city. The highlight was undoubtedly the charming shopping area of Nişantaşi and dinner at Tuus, the ultra-trendy restaurant in the newly opened Sofa Hotel.
Another notable excursion was to Adress Istanbul, three floors of the best in international interiors, situated next to Cevahir Hotel and Akın Plaza. Great design brands and a great place to stop for lunch.
I left Istanbul tired, yet inspired and full of wonder for a city that although only 3.5 hours from London remains largely off the radar of the city break traveller. I have to admit I am hooked and look forward to further exploring this great city.
<a href= “http://www.jerde.com/projects/project.php?id=68”>www.jerde.com/projects/project.php?id=68
<a href= “http://www.thesofahotel.com/”>www.thesofahotel.com
Adress Istanbul (0212) 320 62 62