The Luxe List 2012, Turkey: Georges Hotel, Istanbul

Opened late last year by a French lawyer turned hotelier Alexander Varlik, this meticulously refurbished 1890s apartment building in Istanbul’s storied Galata area features 20 sleek rooms, most with bijou balconies that confer splendid views toward the Bosporus. Interiors feature exposed brickwork, handcrafted desks of Brazilian rosewood, parquet flooring, black-marble bathrooms, and excellent soundproofing—a necessity in a city crowded with honking traffic and minarets.

Other thoughtful in-room touches include Nespresso machines and yoga mats (private yoga sessions can also be arranged). The rooftop terrace offers Galata’s most jaw-dropping panorama,while downstairs, petite lobby restaurant Le Fumoir is the best dining room in the neighborhood, with a wraparound leather banquette, a brass-embellished bar, and a French menu highlighted by entrecôte and a decadent chocolate mousse.

24 Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak, Galata; 90-212/244-2423;; doubles from US$215.

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