Built in 1892, the Palace was created to host passengers traveling on the famed Orient Express, and it was here that Agatha Christie got the inspiration for her acclaimed mystery, Murder on the Orient Express.
Situated in the Tepebasi neighborhood of the Pera district of Istanbul, the property is the oldest “European hotel” in
Mata Hari, who also traveled aboard the Oreint Express, even stayed there a time or two, which only adds another layer of allure to the fascinating atmosphere of the hotel.
In 1981, the hotel was awarded the status as a “museum-hotel” when it converted Room #101 into the
After countless delays,
So overpowering are the ghosts of the past that you are captivated by an eerie perception that Murder on the Orient Express literally wrote itself.
Today, guests are transferred to and from the airport in a maroon 1949
usually parked at the entrance of the hotel.
One feature stands out amid the antique furniture, the famous kubbeli (domes), the wrought-iron balconies and the wood paneling, and that is the historic cast-iron elevator. Now returned to working condition, the oldest elevator in
Decorated with a red velvet bench and mirrors, as you ascend to the floors above, the elevator conjures omnipotent feelings of peering downward into the past.
Next to the elevator, white marble steps lead from the main lobby to the Kubbeli Salon located in the heart of the hotel.
Add the music of a grand piano, and you have the perfect setting for English-style high tea, which would most certainly have met with Ms. Christie’s approval.
Ernest Hemingway, on the other hand, preferred the Orient Bar in another corner of the Palace where he could indulge in more manly drinking activities.
Christie stayed in Room #411 at
At that time, travelers would cross the Golden Horn of the Bosphorus by the
Christie fans should take the opportunity to dine next door to the hotel at the Orient Express Restaurant where photographs and other memorabilia can be viewed at different stages of her life.
Room rates are seasonal and vary according to currency fluctuations. One night in a twin or double room at this time of year is approximately $400 per night. Hair dryers, breakfast and other amenities are included.
In coming weeks, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express with David Suchet reprising the role of Hercule Poirot is scheduled for re-broadcast on PBS. Check local television schedules for details.
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Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in
Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.
As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.
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