Check in with Ivo Weyel

Armed with unparalleled knowledge of where to book the most sophisticated rooms and suites, Ivo unveils two unique destinations. From a lavish escape located along the enchanting Bosphorus to a luxurious hotel with a royal touch.

Text: Ivo Weyel


King Charles 1 of Portugal had such a beautiful name that I cannot resist writing it down: Charles Ferdinand Louis Maria Victor Michael Raphael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Frans of Assisi Joseph Simon of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Bragança. He was the penultimate king of Portugal, known for his intelligence, extramarital affairs and profligacy, and was shot dead in 1908. He had almost looted the treasury, and we have the nineteenth-century Bussaco Palace Hotel to thank for this, a hysterical folly of a castle that he had built as a hunting lodge and that was transformed after the death of his son (the last king). into a (then) luxurious hotel. It still has five stars, noting that every room has central heating and a telephone. Then you already know when the last renovation took place, around the 5s, I estimate. On the other hand, the bed linen features impressive, hand-embroidered, golden coats of arms and there is a sign on the dressing table stating that it is authentic Art Deco furniture. The staff dates from around the same period, so it may take a while for your cocktail to be prepared (shaking is quite difficult at that age), but their eccentricity (our waiter smelled wonderfully of Chanel XNUMX, “the last leftover from the bottle of my deceased mother,” he explained with a welling tear) fits perfectly here. A stay (and the truly incredibly impressive wine list) is an experience you will never forget. Everything is still authentic, the gigantic tile tableaus, the stained glass, the marble, the countless styles mixed together, the fantastic arched galleries where you can have a drink on nineteenth-century wicker chairs, where here and there a detached reed stem in the buttocks stings. And then the surrounding park where the king went hunting, the arboretum, the adjacent monastery, the water features and rose arbors, the fountains and endless walking routes past densely mossy statues of Mary. And then I'm not even talking about the faded black-and-white photos on the walls showing illustrious hotel guests, including the occasional out-of-tune dissonant (prime minister/dictator Salazar). A hotel not only to stay in but especially to experience.


Every big city reinvents itself from time to time. Then a forgotten, decaying neighborhood suddenly turns into the place to be. That costs a few cents (over two billion in this case) but then you also have something, namely the new Karaköy, a strip directly on the Bosphorus near the Galata Tower, which has now been given the name Galataport. It is teeming with restaurants and cafes, there is the brand new Istanbul Modern museum by Renzo Piano (in a former warehouse) and a spectacular, underground (!) cruise terminal that turns into a walking promenade when there is no ship moored. The pièce de milieu is the new Peninsula hotel, located in three old buildings with a beautiful architectural side wing, or rather front facade, because it is placed in the embrace of the historic facades, opening onto the Bosphorus through the leafy gardens. A hotel that has everything and that you actually don't want to leave to visit the city. The hotel's modern interiors are full of references to the surrounding mosques and Turkish culture, a successful mix. Even the gigantic indoor swimming pool is reminiscent of a mosque. And what about the hint of mother of pearl that is woven into the marble of the bathrooms. Costs are expensive of course, count on a starting price of around 1.500 euros for a room with river view (a must here, I think) without breakfast, but it is worth every cent. A nicer hotel and better location does not exist in Istanbul. So go ahead and start the journey luxuriously in Turkish Airlines business class, because that's where the cooking is really good ("Do you want the meat à point? Medium? And the lentil soup mild or spicy?") and you get a nice flickering , battery-operated candle on your tray table. Voted Best Business Class Catering of 2023 by Skytrax. A city trip has rarely been so fun and luxurious. |

MASTERS Magazine

Curious about the rest of Ivo's hotspots? You want this edition of MASTERS. A milestone in print, pushing the boundaries. Innovative. Surprising. Stunning. Including a very extraordinary guest editor. An interview with the man who pointed out to the Ajax Supervisory Board in 2015 the gaps within the organization that have now come to light. Merijn Zeeman explains how Jumbo-Visma has developed into a top sports company. Quoteman Paul van Riessen calculates how much you need to no longer have to work. Sabine Riezebos explains what sets Bernardus apart from other golf courses. A look at the Stratos Yacht yard, where the ultimate boat for carefree sailing pleasure is being built. And also the rise of robots (where is the sex robot?), Fake News and, exclusively in MASTERS: the 'new Doutzen Kroes'.


Order MASTERS Magazine #56 here