Almost everyone in Turkey likes going to the baths. When they’re not at the baths, people miss it and just the thought of it will make them smile. When you visit Turkey, you must visit a bathhouse to experience the entertaining environment inside. Musicians make music and people have fun. Sometimes there are bachelorette parties, sometimes people visit with a friend and sometimes people go alone to lie on their stomach and just think. After a drinking session, many people leave the tavern, drink tripe soup and then go to the bath. Some people even drink tripe soup in the bath.
Bath culture originated in Roman times, and in Istanbul, it continues to this day. The first public bath in the city was Çemberlitaş Hamam, built-in 1584 by Nurbanu, Sultan to Mimar Sinan. The bathhouse not only has a large bathroom but also offers complimentary extras such as a loincloth, Hamam stone, fibre and a pouch.
Spa culture has also survived since Roman times. These are different from the hammam baths but a spa in Istanbul is an equally enjoyable experience. Spas are not found around the city like baths and are usually part of a hotel complex. This is due to a ruling by the International Spa Association. This is not the only feature that distinguishes SPAs from baths. Although they say the spa can be experienced in the Turkish bath, we recommend you try the Turkish bath separately. Both will give you a beautiful moment of calm and relaxation…
The spas which our Istanbul guides have tried and recommend are as follows:
1. Miss Istanbul Hotel
This 85-room hotel, which is 9 minutes from Hagia Sophia, 10 minutes from Topkapı and 11 minutes from Sultanahmet Square, is famous for its spa treatments. There is a very large spa section where you will feel very comfortable. As one of the best places for massage in Istanbul, Miss Istanbul Hotel will pamper you. The hotel has a hammam as well as a spa, and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The hotel also accepts pets. Enjoy! Be aware, spa service is only for the hotel guests.
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2. Orka Royal İstanbul
Pets are not allowed at the Orka Royal Istanbul hotel, which is a 10 to 15-minute walk from the Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque. The spa at Orka Royal Hotel employs the magic touch of professional hands. The most popular massages are Swedish, aromatherapy and medical massages. In addition to enjoying the spa, you can use the outdoor pool or the hot tub. The pleasure of the Turkish Bath and spa is waiting for you at Orka Royal.
3. Glk Premier İstanbul
Another alternative in the old city is GLK Premier. GLK Premier has 4 hotels in total, all of them in the old city and all offering spa services to pamper yourself. All the spa centres are fully equipped. No pets or assistance animals are allowed in any of these hotels. GLK Hotels is one of the best spa facilities in Istanbul and the effect of the massage and the oils are extraordinary. Be aware, spa service is only for the hotel guests.
4. Scorpios Traditional Reflexology House
Located on one of the busiest streets in Beyoglu and open between 12.00 – 22.00 every day of the week, this place boasts authentic interior decor. There are special massage treatments available using aromatherapy oils. If you need to unwind there is an anti-stress massage too. If you prefer Thai massage in İstanbul, you are in the right place. There are massages to smaller areas such as the ear and head, the feedy sultan foot ritual and a sultan hand ritual as well as massages to larger areas such as the medical back massage. Scorpios intend to remove fatigue from your body and blow your mind.
5. Ambassador Spa & Beauty Salon
You are at Istanbul Airport. You need a massage and a bath. Where will you go? Of course to Ambassador Spa & Beauty Salon. Here you can take a shower, have a massage and let your tiredness run off with the water. There are many different massages available but we especially recommend the Ottoman Bath, Sultan’s Bath, Ambassador Signature and Traditional Turkish Ritual. You will feel like a sultan while experiencing any of these. After using the sauna, steam room and showers, you can relax completely in your personal relaxation room. This is arguably the most beautiful place in Istanbul Airport.
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6. Ritz Carlton İstanbul
Ritz Carlton, one of the most beautiful hotels in Harbiye, has a fascinating spa centre which was inspired by the baths built in the 16th Century by Hürrem Sultan. Although there are separate areas for women and men, it also offers suites for couples. Ritz Carlton is the only hotel that provides a spa service where you can receive therapy in the summer season accompanied by a magnificent Bosphorus view. Ritz Carlton builds its entire wellness service on spa. We especially recommend the Anti-stress ritual. Ritz Carlton is one of the best spa hotel in Istanbul.
7. Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa, Hotel Les Ottomans
UPDATE: Les Ottomans Hotel is no longer in business. It’s been using as a filming location for TV series and movies nowadays.
Experience a trademark spa at Les Ottomans. Vinotherapie Spa Caudalie is only available in Les Ottomans in Turkey. This magnificent duo will make you feel like you’re in heaven. With the Red Wine Barrel bath, made with wine extracts, and Crushed Cabernet Peeling made with grape beans, you’ll be free from dead cells and stress. The sparkling ceiling in the restrooms is ideal for a peaceful rest. The heated stone bed that you lie on absorbs your negative energy and makes you feel only happiness. You start your wonderful spa journey with a cup of special detoxifying tea.
8. Sanitas Spa, Ciragan Palace Kempinski
At Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul’s exclusive spa, the only problem you’ll have is deciding which of the treatments to choose to achieve full relaxation. Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul’s spa centre includes a Turkish bath, jacuzzi, indoor pool, sauna and steam room, massage rooms and a beauty treatment room. You can also enjoy a dip in the heated infinity pool, which is open all year and offers a magnificent view of the Bosphorus. Treat yourself. You deserve it.
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9. Sultan Spa, Hotel Yaşmak Sultan
The Sultan spa, which operates by appointment for hotel customers, will make you feel like a sultan with aromatic oils and a wide range of massages, and it will pamper your soul with its minimalist interior decoration. The Sultan spa is near the hammam and indoor pool. When there is an organised event in the Sultan spa, you are redirected to Allure Spa where you can get discounted massages. In addition to massages based on your star sign, there are many massages special to Sultan Spa such as rakı massage, Hürrem Sultan bath and Sultan İnci massage. Be aware, spa service is only for the hotel guests.
10. Pera Palace İstanbul
A luxurious spa experience awaits you in an area of 400 square meters within the Pera Palace Hotel. Pera Spa By Spa Luxury is at your service with massages which combine the past and present. It’s a complete retreat offering private massages, skincare packages, Turkish bath, steam bath, jacuzzi, and sauna in Istanbul. Pera Spa is open to anyone, even if you’re not staying at the hotel. First, you decide what type of treatment is required, then your therapy starts. If you have a jet lag problem, we recommend the jet lag massage here. The Orient Express Care Package is a traditional Turkish bath-themed pampering method. The Greta Garbo Beauty package is also a spa massage which uses skin masks and relaxing massages.
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I’m newlywed, me and my partner love living in Istanbul. We love to discover new places and share these discoveries with our friends.