Pera Palace Hotel - History and Facts | History Hit

Pera Palace Hotel

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About Pera Palace Hotel

Situated in the Beyoğlu (Pera) district in the historic and cultural city of Istanbul, Turkey, Pera Palace Hotel was originally built in 1892 to host passengers of the Orient Express. Known as the ‘oldest European hotel of Turkey’, the hotel is notable for having hosted illustrious guests from Agatha Christie to Ernest Hemingway.

From 2006 to 2010, the hotel underwent major renovation works and is now well-known for its stunning interiors, delicious food and historic and cultural artefacts. In 2022, it was the focal location of historical drama series Midnight at the Pera Palace.

History of Pera Palace Hotel

Pera Palace Hotel was built between 1892 and 1895 for the purpose of hosting the passengers of the Orient Express, a long-distance train service created in 1883 that has long been popular amongst Europeans. The architect, Alexander Vallaury, designed the hotel to have an exceptional neo-classical exterior façade and oriental interior ballroom, amongst other features.

The hotel was the first in Istanbul to have electricity and hot running water during the late Ottoman period, and then became the first hotel in Constantinople to have an electric lift. It is known for having hosted eclectic characters such as Agatha Christie, whose favourite room – number 411 – now bears her name. The Agatha Christie Room is also said to have been the place where she wrote Murder on the Orient Express.

Pera Palace Hotel today

The hotel today still represents the very best in luxury, and is a popular place to stay for a range of guests from across the world. Suites such as the Alfred Hitchcock and Ernest Hemingway are particularly popular, as are restaurants such as the Agatha Restaurant.

Room 101 has been turned into a museum, dedicated to the memory of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who stayed at the hotel many times between 1915 and 1917. Atatürk was a field marshal, statesman and the founding father of the Republic of Turkey and was president from 1923 until his death in 1938.

Getting to Pera Palace Hotel

The Pera Palace Hotel is located in the Tepebaşı neighbourhood of Pera, once known as ‘Little Europe’. It is about 20 km from Atatürk International Airport. From the centre of Istanbul, the hotel is reachable in less than 10 minutes via the Metro, or is a pleasant 35 minute walk.