The Istanbul Hotel Wes Anderson Would Love

Posted on Dec 4, 2015 in Culture, Turkey | 2 Comments

istanbul and wes anderson

I didn’t read the fine print.

I have this terrible habit of visiting exhibitions in Istanbul just before they close, waiting until it’s down to the wire to experience the wonder. It’s not intentional, but constantly happens. I saw the Magnum Contact Sheets exhibit in the Istanbul Modern just days before it closed, and it was open for SIX MONTHS.

This is how a friend and I found ourselves on Buyukada, the biggest of Istanbul’s Princes Islands, during the last week of the two-month-long Istanbul Biennial. We were hoping to see the many exhibitions on the island, so I took a Monday afternoon off and we caught an island-bound ferry.

istanbul and wes anderson

But I hadn’t read the fine print. All the exhibitions were closed on Mondays.

Instead we wandered around the quiet island, trying to find the one exhibit that perhaps forgot to close. And that’s how we ended up at the Splendid Palas Hotel, one of the Biennial venues on Buyukada. The art was closed, but of course the hotel was open… So we went inside.

istanbul and wes anderson

istanbul and wes anderson

The hotel looked like the set of a Wes Anderson movie. There were just enough quirky antique touches, combined with a clean modern symmetrical look.

We walked up the stairs and around the open spaces, snapping photos and hoping no one would notice that we weren’t staying there.

istanbul and wes anderson

I didn’t end up seeing the exhibitions on Buyukada before they closed. Oh well–  I’m already dreaming of a summer Istanbul staycation, where I hole up in the Splendid Palace Hotel and pretend I’m living my own Wes Anderson life. Wouldn’t that be grand.

2 Comments

  1. Darmon Richter
    January 3, 2016

    Wow! I was on Buyukada just a few months ago, but I completely missed this gem. Looks like the perfect spot for a little writing retreat… I’ll bookmark it for a rainy day, thanks!

    Reply
    • Katrinka
      January 3, 2016

      You’re welcome! I have the same plan– it seems like a perfect place to escape the city without leaving.

      Reply

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