Many people believe that some particular places have their own souls and they are not unfair at all by thinking this way. These kinds of places are witnessing the history of their existences. Pera Palace Hotel is among those places we introduced. Towards the end of the 19th century, opened in the heart of Taksim, Pera Palace Hotel’s story is a tale of history on its own!
When the world-famous Orient Express, carrying the most prominent names of the period, began to make its Paris-Istanbul expedition in 1888, there was no luxury hotel with high standards that could accommodate them in Istanbul. For this reason, Pera Palace Hotel was built in 1895 and started to host its first guests with a memorable opening ball.
As the first hotel in Turkey with European standards, Pera Palace Hotel has hosted thousands of important guests around the globe since the day it was opened.
Among these guests, there were artists, actors, writers, diplomats, directors… In this article, we will present some of these important names passing through the Pera Palace Hotel. Here are those names that are part of the Pera Palace Hotel!
One of the most special guests of Pera Palace Hotel was Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Pera Palace Hotel has hosted the Great Leader many times since 1917. Sometimes he preferred Pera Palace Hotel to take the most critical decisions about the country and sometimes to welcome his distinguished guests. His visits were often in Room 101. The place, which was turned into a museum room in 1981, was renovated with the sunrise color, dawn pink, which is the favorite color of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In addition to his personal belongings, the room also decorated with the precious Atatürk books, magazines, photographs, postcards, and medals, all of which were collected from various auctions. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s room 101, located at Pera Palace Hotel, is still open to visitors and is waiting for those who want to witness this fascinating atmosphere!
İsmet İnönü and Celal Bayar, the 2nd and the 3rd presidents of the Republic of Turkey, were among the prominent names Pera Palace Hotel has hosted. Inönü and Bayar took some critical political decision in rooms 201 and 301 where they were accommodated regularly.
Agatha Christie was one of the most famous guests of the Pera Palace Hotel which is the first modern hotel in Istanbul and hosted the most notable people of a period. The writer stayed many times in room 411 between 1926 and 1932 and allegedly wrote her famous novel The Murder on the Orient Express. Her often preferred room 411 was converted into a museum after a while and is still being visited by her enthusiasts.
Hungarian-American actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was selected as Miss Hungary in 1936 and became one of the most beautiful women of her time after coming to Hollywood. When Gabor escaped from the war and took shelter in Istanbul, she became a true enthusiast of Istanbul! The beautiful actress, who adores Istanbul, chose Pera Palace Hotel as the most famous and luxurious hotel of the period.
Another well-known writer, Ernest Hemingway, was among the people whose path passed through the Pera Palace Hotel. The writer stayed in Pera Palace Hotel during his travels to Istanbul in the 1920s. It is known that Hemingway often spent time at the hotel’s bar section, the Orient Bar, during his stay… Hemingway’s room is now visited by his enthusiasts as a museum room, just like Agatha Christie’s.
Alfred Hitchcock – an English-born American film director and producer, often named “The Master of Suspense,” who pioneered many components of the suspense and psychological thriller genres, is remembered to have stayed at the Pera Palace Hotel during his visits to Istanbul. He made his fame to all over the world with his films like Psycho, North by Northwest, Vertigo and The Birds. Hitchcock, one of the best directors of all time with his movies, was also among the ones passing through Pera Palace Hotel.
Another famous name passed through the Pera Palace Hotel was Greta Garbo. Swedish actress Greta Garbo stayed in Pera Palace Hotel for 50 days when she came to Istanbul for a film project in 1924. The room where the successful actress was staying, was room 102.
The famous French novelist Pierre Loti is known to be the real name of Louis Merie Julien Viaud. According to some sources, the name Pierre Loti was given to him by the Tahitian natives during a student expedition in his student years in 1867, according to some sources, and this famous writer is one of the important names that stayed at Pera Palace Hotel.