Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus
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Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus
Istanbul Hilton.JPG
Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus seen from north (2011)
General information
LocationCumhuriyet Cad., Elmada?, ?i?li
Town or cityIstanbul
OpeningJune 10, 1955; 64 years ago (1955-06-10)
OwnerEmekli Sand (Pension Fund)
ManagementHilton Hotels
Technical details
Floor count11
Design and construction
ArchitectSkidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), USA
Other information
Number of rooms499
Number of suites13
Number of restaurants6
Official website

The Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus (Turkish: Hilton ?stanbul Bosphorus) is a five star hotel in Istanbul, Turkey. It is located at Cumhuriyet Cad. in Elmada?, ?i?li. Opened in 1955 as the Istanbul Hilton, the hotel has been a part of the Hilton Hotels conglomerate ever since.

It was the first modern hotel in Europe built from the ground up in the aftermath of World War II. Currently, it is also titled with Hilton Hotels' longest-serving member outside the United States.[1]


The original Istanbul Hilton, before later additions, on Republic Day 1959

On December 19, 1950, Conrad N. Hilton revealed to the New York Times that he had recently reached an agreement with the Turkish Government to build a new Hilton hotel in Istanbul with 300 rooms costing US$5 million. The U.S. governmental agency Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA), which administered the Marshall Plan, the post-war aid program for Europe, was the main financier of an investment project totalling US$50 million in the whole of Europe. Hilton would bring up the operation capital and run the hotels while keeping one third of the profits.[1]

At the time, Istanbul was growing in tourism, economy and commerce, but lacked high-class accommodation sites except six luxury hotels (Park Hotel, Konak/Tokatl?yan Hotel, Tarabya Konak Hotel, Pera Palace Hotel, Deniz Park Palace Hotel and Splendid Palace Hotel) as well as six first-class hotels (Continental Hotel, Bristol Hotel, Londra Hotel, Öz ?pek Palace Hotel, Ç?nar Hotel and Akasya Hotel). The total number of rooms conforming to internationally acceptable comfort standards was 290. The project would more than double the city's accommodation capacity at the international level.[1]

John Wilson Houser, vice-president of Hilton International, wrote a letter to Conrad N. Hilton on June 23, 1951 about the Soviet Union's intention to build a 1,000-room hotel in Istanbul similar to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, plans of which he had seen. Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus project thus became a factor in the Cold War US-Soviet rivalry.[1]

The final contract between the Turkish Government and Hilton Hotels was signed on August 9, 1951. The necessary land and US$3 million of the investment capital were provided by Emekli Sand, Turkish Pension Fund, and the remaining US$2 million by the ECA. Hilton International secured the operation rights for 20 years.

Architecture and construction

Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel seen from south (2007)

The hotel was designed by the renowned American architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), which was also carrying out some other urban planning and building projects in Turkey. Award-winning Turkish architect Sedat Hakk? Eldem was appointed as an advisor.[1]

The Hilton Hotel was built upon the confiscated property of a former Armenian cemetery.[2][3][4]

The groundbreaking took place in the summer of 1952.[1]German company Dyckerhoff, Widmann & Julius Berger was signed for the construction. The labor at the construction site was carried out by up to around 500 Turkish workers and engineers. Critical construction materials were imported. White Portland cement, glass and structural steel came from Germany, marble and ceramic fittings from Italy, and aluminum window castings, air-conditioning units and elevators from the United States.[5]

The eleven-story building, in the form of a rectangular prism with dimensions of 21 m × 100 m (69 ft × 328 ft), represents modern architecture. The building was erected on a green hillside with a panoramic view of the Bosphorus and is very close to the busy Taksim Square.[1][5][6]

The building is a combination of the modern lines of Gordon Bunshaft with the rich artistic and romantic elements of Ottoman and Turkish architecture, implemented by Sedat Hakk? Eldem.[1] As an example of Orientalism, the roof of the main entrance, designed by Eldem, resembles a flying carpet.[7] The decorative tiles came from Kütahya, and the carpets for the rooms covering 12,500 m2 (135,000 sq ft) were woven in Konya by hand.[1]

After completing the construction work in a record time of 21 months, the hotel became the largest in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.[1]

Entrance of Istanbul Hilton Hotel from Cumhuriyet Avenue.

The hotel was temporarily opened on May 20, 1955. The official opening took place in a ceremony on June 10, 1955 in presence of Conrad N. Hilton,[8][9]Fahrettin Kerim Gökay, Governor and Mayor of Istanbul, as well as American guests and celebrities, who came the day before on a chartered flight. Among them were Terry Moore, Olivia de Havilland, Mona Freeman, Irene Dunne, Sonja Henie, Diana Lynn, Merle Oberon, Ann Miller, Lon McCallister, Keefe Brasselle, Leo Carrillo and Elaine Shepard.[1]

Rooms, restaurants and facilities

The Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus contains 499 rooms of 5 m × 6 m (16 ft × 20 ft) with private balcony. In addition, the hotel offers 158 executive rooms and 13 suites.[1][10]

Restaurants at the hotel are "Dubb" which offers Indian cuisine, "Veranda Grill & Bar" for organic food and fish, "Bosphorus Terrace", "Lobby Lounge & Bar", "Pool Café" and "Dragon", which offers classical Chinese cuisine.[10]

Further facilities of the hotel are a Turkish bath, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room for relaxing.[10]

Notable guests

Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus hosted following important heads of state apart from numerous nobilities[clarification needed], politicians, sportspeople and celebrities:[1]

In popular culture

The hotel is recognizable in Jules Dassin's 1964 film "Topkapi", in an exterior shot that shows the hotel in which the main characters are staying as they plan their heist.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Altun, Mehmet (2010). Hilton Istanbul-Hilton ?stanbul'un an? defterinden 55 y?l-55 years in the chronicles of Hilton Istanbul (PDF) (1 ed.). Istanbul: Ofset Yap?mevi. p. 148. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-30. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Nalci, Tamar. "Istanbul Radio was an Armenian Cemetery". Midyat (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ Koc, Vehbi (1977). My life story: the autobiography of a Turkish businessman. Vehbi Koç Foundation. p. 238.
  4. ^ Tu?lac?, Pars (1991). ?stanbul Ermeni kiliseleri. ?stanbul: Pars Yay?n. ISBN 9789757423003.
  5. ^ a b Wharton, Annabel Jane (March 2, 2004). Building the Cold War: Hilton International Hotels and Modern Architecture. University of Chicago Press. p. 272. ISBN 978-0226894201. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Öztürk, Dilek (2010-06-10). "?stanbul Hilton Oteli'nin 55. Y?l?" (in Turkish). arkitera. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "?stanbul Hilton Oteli" (in Turkish). arkiv. 2008-06-23. Archived from the original on 2018-05-31. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Deliklita?, Murat; U?ur Can (2010-07-01). "Hilton ?stanbul'un 55'inci y?ldönümü kutland?". Hürriyet Ekonomi (in Turkish). Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Conrad N. Hilton" (PDF). Ultimate Warrior. Retrieved .[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ a b c "Hilton Istanbul" (in Turkish). Hilton. Archived from the original on 2013-01-22. Retrieved .
  11. ^ Gurata, Ahmet (2012). "City of Intrigues: Istanbul as an Exotic Attraction". In Koksal, Ozlem (ed.). World Film Locations: Istanbul. Intellect Books. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-841-50567-1.

Coordinates: 41°02?40?N 28°59?21?E / 41.0445°N 28.9891°E / 41.0445; 28.9891

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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