A rich picking from Istanbul’s Ottoman era treasures, this whitewashed seaside mansion, fresh from a seven-year, US$65 million overhaul, is once again fit for a pasha. Over-the-top lavishness fills both public and private spaces, with tassel fringed furniture, plush carpets, handcarved screens, and showy chandeliers (not to mention a 4-to-1 staff-to-guest ratio) making this more a private palace than a 10-suite boutique hotel. It sits just steps from the Bosphorus on the city’s European shore, though only four of the rooms come with sea views. All, however, are outfitted with high-tech amenities, including a touch-screen system that allows you to operate room facilities from the comfort of your bed. Fancy watching the sun rise? Program the curtains to open at the first hint of light. Those afraid of heights would be wise to avoid the duplex suites, which are accessed via vertigo-inducing glass stairs. But be sure not to miss the glamorous Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa, with its vast wet area and sublime “meditation capsules”.

68 Muallim Naci Caddesi, Kuruçeşme; 90-212/287-1024; www.lesottomans.com; doubles from US$1,100

This article appeared in DestinAsian Magazine’s 2007 Luxe List.