Whether it’s a few hours off during a business trip or a well-earned vacation; seeking luxury or adventure, Turkey has a wide palette to offer a world traveler. Of course, the Grand Bazaar or Hagia Sophia make for great sight-seeing in Istanbul, and the stunning Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia should not be missed; all wonders of nature, design and time. However, Turkey has a contemporary scene and a few other treasures that may surprise you. The cafés and restaurants in Istanbul and throughout Turkey are fantastic feasts for all of your senses, great works of design to perch oneself in and people watch or simply gaze upon a fantastic view. And when it comes to fantastic views, there are many excellent choices in Istanbul. Located on a hilltop in the upscale neighborhood of Ulus, Ulus 29 is a breathtaking experience in both cuisine and design. Showcasing a stellar view of the Bosphorus strait, the décor was designed by Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu, an internationally acclaimed interior designer, and the first woman to design a mosque. Across town, Frankie Istanbul sits atop the Sofa Hotel, with a view of the entire city as seen from Nisantasi, the heart of the city’s design district.
Is contemporary shopping more to your liking? Turkey boasts its own line, “Vakko”, a quality design line that can easily be touted as Turkey’s “Hermes” for the east. For a masterful take on blending the old with the new, check out Armaggan, a curated gallery and multi-faceted artist work space (complete with restaurant) perfectly combining original contemporary designs with traditional Turkish techniques, you will be mesmerized.
Leaving the city for warmer regions? Cappadocia, an ancient village built into a stone hillside in the south of Turkey offers premium inns such as Argos or Museum, complete with spas, wine cellars, views and delectable menus, all to be enjoyed while discussing the day’s balloon ride over the famed (aforementioned) Fairy Chimneys (ancient, whimsical rock formations). This region also boasts fantastic vineyards and wineries, if you’re into whites, try the Narince grape varietal, sure to be the next hit in North America. Visit winesofturkey.org for more information. A little yachting perhaps? Bodrum in south Turkey is a well-known secret, a Miami life-style scene with pure European flavor.
Far too many places to list, Turkey is a contemporary, ancient place with something for everyone, do your research and do not miss out.