Hotels in Istanbul - History

History

Contemporary hotel management in Istanbul started in the second half of the 19th century, as the Orient Express extended its non-stop service from Paris to Istanbul on 1 June 1889 (with the city becoming one of the two original endpoints of the timetabled service of the Orient Express) and the city became, as a result, a tourist destination. In 1892, a group of local investors, in partnership with the Wagons-Lits company, opened Hotel Pera Palace in Beyoglu district, which was designed by the famous Levantine architecht of Istanbul, Alexander Vallaury. Also in 1892, The Grand Hotel de Londres was opened by two local partners, L. Adamopoulos and N. Aperghis, in the place of the former residence of the Glavany family in Beyoğlu. Shorty afterwards, a series of hotels, including Bristol Hotel (1893) and "Hotel M. Tokatlıyan" (1897), were opened in the same district.

While the new hotels were being opened in Beyoğlu district, Sirkeci quarter within the old city quickly adapted to this new tendency and the old inns in the neighbourhood were gradually transformed into hotels at the beginning of the 20th century. Other districts of the city followed this trend and the number of hotels in Istanbul was more than 50 in the year 1910.

Similar progress occurred in the following years in the cities of İzmir and Ankara, while the development of hotel management was relatively slow in the rest of Anatolian cities.

During the Republican era, in the 1950s, opening of hotels of various types gained speed. The most important event of this period was the opening of Hilton Istanbul Hotel in 1954. As a result of the development of transportation and the domestic/outbound tourism, numerous new hotels were opened in the 1960s. The same development continued during the 1970s and 1980s as well, with this period seeing the opening of such large 5-star hotels as Sheraton Istanbul and Etap Marmara (later rebranded as Ceylan InterContinental Istanbul and The Marmara Taksim hotels, respectively).

In the 1990s and 2000s, along with the rapid development of different types of tourism in the country, such as the congress tourism, the health tourism, the religious tourism, etc., a new wave of hotel openings took place in the city. Hotels opened during this period of time included, among many others, Conrad Istanbul Hotel, Four Seasons Istanbul Hotel in Sultanahmet, Ritz-Carlton Istanbul Hotel and Sheraton Istanbul Maslak Hotel. Currently, there are numerous ongoing and planned hotel projects at various stages of development aimed at meeting the rising demand for accommodation generated by the global touristic status of Istanbul as the 9th most visited city in the world by the number of international tourist arrivals and the 9th most popular congress destination in the world.

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