Dreaming of an exotic wedding, replete with gorgeous sights, mouthwatering delicacies and opulent romance? What better destination to say “I do” than by the Bosphorous in Istanbul! Turkey is a gem that encapsulates all that is best about the West and the East. Europe and Asia collide in this beautiful country and Istanbul is the epicentre of it all.
Istanbul is an amazing option for a grand desi destination wedding, with its beautiful melting pot of cultures that make it a must-visit city. World class hotels, restaurants, exotic bazaars and baths and plenty of activities abound here, making it an exciting place to have your wedding. Turkey and the city of Istanbul in particular has a fascinating cultural and historical background and offers magnificent venues many of which are on the banks of the Bosphorus.
One such hotel is the lavish Ciragan Palace Kempinski, which we had the pleasure of visiting very recently. What an absolutely beautiful experience it was! Before we even talk about the hotel itself, what really impressed us was that they deliver on their promise of 5 star luxury right from the moment you land at the airport. The hotel’s Welcome Service ensures that you are taken care of right from the get-go. We were greeted by a representative right outside the plane and whisked off in a buggy to immigration, our bags were handled and we were on the fast track right through. We went straight to the car, were asked if we had any more requirements and went straight to the hotel. This is definitely a stellar way to make the start your wedding guests’ trip noteworthy and it sets the tone for the entire duration of the wedding!
The Ciragan Palace Kempsinski is the first Turkish member of the Leading Hotels Of The World (LHW) establishment and it shows from the distinctly well-rounded experience they offer. The hotel by the Bosphorus was once a Sultan’s abode and an Ottoman Imperial palace. Talk about a destination wedding venue that is steeped in history and grandeur! The only palace hotel in the country, it dates back to the 17th century. Splendid style, a superb location, fascinating view and resort ambience including spacious green gardens with palm trees, make it a gorgeous choice for an international destination wedding.
The architecture and location had us hooked from the first glance and trust us, it only got better! Let’s start with the room options. This award winning hotel has over 300 rooms and suites – certainly big enough to accommodate the average Indian destination wedding. We checked out the stylish and uber comfortable rooms and suites that could cater to different sized wedding parties and they were all lovely.
We loved the Palace Room Suites in the new wing; pretty ideal for special accommodation for the bride and groom and/or close family. One gorgeous option is the huge 400 square metre Sultan Suite which has two bedrooms, a large dining area that seats 12, a private Turkish bath, gold plated fittings, exclusive art, fire-places, state of the art technology and loads more…. absolutely exquisite!
As far as the rooms go, the icing on the cake was the phenomenal service and attention to the detail the Ciragan provides. We were surprised with a local treat like Turkish Delights and baklava everyday! Similarly, you too could arrange to surprise your wedding guests with a delicious sampler or little gifts during their stay.
Exploring the possible venues for the wedding and wedding functions at the hotel was super fun because the possibilities were really exciting. The Ottoman architecture, royal ambience and stunning fittings and décor make the hotel conducive to the most elaborate wedding fantasy and our creative wheels were turning!
There are large outdoor areas that are ideal for elaborate banquets, sit down ceremonies and wedding functions. One such jewel is the ‘Turkish Hammam’, one of the more special venues at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski, suited for smaller groups. The refurbished yet historical Hammam has retained much of its original allure with the wall engravings, gorgeous architecture and high ceiling. We thought it was perfect for a more intimate cocktail party with your close friends, as it has a capacity for 20-40 people.
We found multiple options that can be used for different wedding functions and in fact also stunning scenic backdrops for your wedding photo shoot or pre-wedding / engagement pictures. We saw some really interesting photos being taken at the property… all pretty inspiring!
No Indian wedding can be complete with plenty of good food and good food is just what we found. We tried a great variety including local, international and even Indian cuisine and there are multiple restaurants, bars and lounges on the property.
With its rich history, beautiful views and exemplary service, the Ciragan Palace Kempinski sets a high bar for destination weddings. Rest assured, we were treated like royalty and you and your wedding guests will be as well!