The best massage in the world at the Shangri-la Bosphorus in Istanbul

The lovely new Shangri-la Bosphorus in Istanbul
has a portside location, glamorous furnishings, super-friendly staff,
massive rooms, and a fantastic spa.

Good evening from seat 1C of Turkish Airlines, on my way back to Asia and right now somewhere over Iraq, living a never-ending Travelife.

It was really a sweet but all too short stay in Istanbul. And this time, I chose the lovely new Shangri-la Bosphorus for my stay.

Scroll down to read more. On sale everywhere from this week…


As for the Shangri-la Bosphorus, this hotel deserves a seperate entry for being Turkey’s best new hotel. It’s been open all of six weeks, and we really had a great time.

The staff is wonderful and everything is efficient, even if the hotel is very new.

The very efficient and friendly front desk staff

I’m so glad I booked the Shangri-la Bosphorus for our stay.

Istanbul has several top-class luxury hotels, and price-wise, they’re all in the same range so, within this category of hotels, it’s really a matter of preference.

I decided on the Shangri-la because it’s new and I was curious to see how this essentially Asian hotel brand would make its mark in this part of the world.


Room with a view

The lobby is intimate but very ornate, with a mixture of Oriental and Turkish or European decor.

Meanwhile, the rooms are all lovely.

I booked a grand harbourview room rather than a suite, as I thought I wouldn’t need too much space for such a short stay and I definitely wanted a view. More than anything.

This is the main reason for choosing a luxury hotel by the Bosphorus, as it’s really one of the most beautiful views in the world.


For a room that’s not a suite, this was a massive room with a pretty glamorous bathroom set-up. Size-wise, it was literally an exercise to walk from one end of the room to the other.


But my biggest indulgence today — in a life pretty full of sweet indulgences, I have to admit — was to spend the afternoon at the Shangri-la Bosphorus Chi Spa.

I did so today on the pretext of needing some TLC before a long flight on a flat bed.

Please note that I’m using the word “pretext,” as I definitely needed a good reason to be booking an afternoon of treatments on my last day in Europe, after a pretty luxe holiday in France.


I am so glad I did this.

First of all, I had the hammam experience.

I’ve done the hammam experience before, but the spa of the Shangri-la Bosphorus is just marvelous because it’s well-planned and furnished.

It made the hammam experience a hundred times better.

One of the hammam rooms at the Chi Spa of Shangri-la Bosphorus.
The Luxury Hammam experience here was pretty amazing.

Then, after my hammam experience, I booked something called a yoga rebalancing massage. I actually was on the verge of choosing something else for my second treatment, when the spa manager happened to come along.

She said: “If you’re still deciding on treatments, I suggest you try our yoga rebalancing treatment. It’s very popular.”

She should know what she’s talking about, I thought, so I followed her suggestion.


Lobby of the Chi Spa

What an amazing treatment this was, and especially when coupled with the luxury hammam experience.

The best part of all was that my therapist was a Filipina who’s been living in Istanbul for four years now. She’s the best therapist in the hotel, although I understand that the whole spa team is simply excellent.


It was really the best massage I’ve had in a long time, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife. It was a mixture of Thai, Indian and Swedish, with a little Philippine hilot thrown in, and it’s completely original to the Shangri-la Bosphorus.

At the moment, this is the only place in the world that you can get this massage, although I hope it’ll be on the regular menu of Chi Spas around the world soon.

Even just for that massage again, I would so stay at the Shangri-la Bosphorus again. Fortunately, there are so many other reasons to choose this hotel, and you’ll read about all my reasons soon.

Good night for now from up in the air, somewhere over Iraq again, living a…you know the rest of this.