This outpost of the über-hip W Hotel brand – Europe’s first – neatly symbolises Istanbul’s rise from bankrupt aristocrat to the continent’s coolest city. Housed inside the old stables and dormitories of the nearby Dolmabahçe palace, the W’s 136 guestrooms loop around the high-end stores of the Akaretler neighbourhood, among them Marc Jacobs, Marni and Jimmy Choo. Accommodation starts with 30m2 Wonderful rooms, which are equipped with rainforest showers and Bose sound systems. Spectacular and Fabulous rooms cost a few bucks more, and come with their own sun patio or private garden. Extreme WOW suites are in a different pay grade altogether, with a dining room for ten and an open-air Jacuzzi overlooking the Bosphorus. Drinking and dining are reasons alone to visit the W, not least as the hotel has one of the few alfresco terraces in the city – and a massive one at that. Indoors, Frederic’s does formal elegance and Italian cuisine, while the W Lounge – where breakfast is also served – is a hip hangout with art books, Turkish tapas and nightly DJs. Minyon, also indoors, features one of Istanbul’s hottest young chefs and an all-female kitchen line-up. W makes up for the classic Istanbul issue of no pool in the best possible way. Guests receive complimentary access to Su Ada, a funky floating pontoon pool just up the Bosphorus.