Set on the fringes of fashionable neighborhood Nisantasi, the iconic Macka Palas was originally designed by Italian Guilo Mongeri in the early 1920’s as a residence for the Italian embassy. The plan fell by the way side the following year when the capital of Turkey was moved to its present day location in Ankara. Gutted and refurbished with beige and mother of pearl trimmings, the building was since opened as the Park Hyatt Istanbul. Soft and elegant during the day, tinged with French perfumer Blaise Mautin’s signature scent, the lobby is transformed into an impromptu jazz bar in the evening, setting the scene for aperitifs before heading upstairs to the macho steak house, The Prime. But it’s the 90 guest rooms which shine here, punctuated with Art Deco furnishings, polished limestone bathrooms and old photos by Turkish photojournalist, Ara Guler. Even better are the bathrooms, with Blaise Mautin toiletries made with rose from Isparta, Duravit bathtubs, a flat screen TV and purified drinking water on tap. Book a spa room and you can even enjoy in-room scrubs and massages in your private hammam.

Tesvikiye, Bronz Sokak, Istanbul; + 90 212 3151234; Istanbul.park.hyatt.com; double rooms from $390

This article appeared in the Sep/Oct 2009 edition of DestinAsian Magazine.