Though many hotels can leave you with lasting memories, an amazing stay can guarantee that you will remember a trip for a lifetime. The Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, which has been voted the best hotel in the world, sits solidly at the top.

This hotel wasn’t always the best destination spot for tourists around, though. Built in 1918 it began as a guest house, and then was transformed into the Ottoman Empire’s first jailhouse, which was conveniently situated next to the courthouse. Even the street names, such as Tevkifhane, which translates to “detainee,” give away the building’s history.

As time went on, the jail closed in 1969; and in 1980, it was briefly reopened before falling into disrepair. In 1996, the Four Seasons took over. The brand has made sure not to forget the building’s heritage and the area’s extraordinary past, however. The Four Seasons worked meticulously to preserve the elements of the building in the mid-90s, and did so again in 2022, when it finished a two-year renovation project.

Following its unveiling, Martin Goddard, of the design studio Goddard Littlefair, shared, “Our designers researched styling, pattern, and details from antiques, fabrics, and architecture and distilled these influences through a contemporary filter to create designs that feel completely in tune with the building and setting.”

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The Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet has made sure to impress the idea of luxury, as well as history, upon its guests. Offering 65 luxurious rooms across several categories—which include deluxe, premiere, superior, as well as eight suites—every room includes a seating area, a dining table, and an impressive bed. Guests can even capitalize on their stay by booking the Beyzade Suite, which is a bi-level room offering sweeping views that overlook the street below.

A plethora of meal options also await. Guests can book a dining experience at Avlu, the hotel’s outdoor restaurant located in the courtyard, or inside at its Lingo Lingo Bar and Restaurant. Guests can also sip cocktails on the root at the Süreyya Teras Lounge, or even grab a coffee at its café, La Pistache.

That isn’t all the hotel offers, though. The hotel’s concierge will happily help guests submerge themselves in the local culture by setting them up with unique experiences. These include activities such as the Bosphorus cruise, time with Turkish coffee fortune tellers, as well as a Wonders of Istanbul tour. The hotel’s spa also offers traditional Turkish hammam treatments and even includes babysitting services to ensure that everyone has a comfortable stay.

The hotel takes part in a variety of sustainability efforts and takes care to ensure that site-specific efforts such as water-efficiency landscape, irrigation control, waste reduction, and sustainable food options do not go wasted. When visiting the Four Seasons, you can truly envelop yourself in the local culture and experience, which means that you are putting money back into the community that you are visiting.

By choosing to stay at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, you are offering yourself not just the trip of a lifetime, but a rich, cultural experience that will ensure you have memories for years to come.