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The World Is Your Oyster

The winding road to the Upper Greek House ($80-$150/night; +90 384 353 54 13) leads you to the top of the grand old Turkish village of Mustafapasa in Cappadocia. The high-end bed and breakfast is an actual villa that has been delightfully restored by John and Judy Warmerdam, its American owners, who sit with you in their comfy Internet-ready living room lounge area. Each sleeping room is a bit different; however. I was in the cave bedroom with a grand fireplace and the thickest, most luxurious blanket that I have ever had the privilege of sleeping with. The expansive bathroom was appointed with what felt like ancient Greek/Turkish marble and sumptuous bath products.

Sitting outside on one of their high terraces, drinking tea or one of the locally made wines instantly transports you to another time and place that is foreign and familiar at the same time. The great pains the staff took to care for the guests were something out of an old novel. You wonder could this actually occur in 2012?

The authentic Turkish meals mixed with locally growth organics rounded out the stay very nicely.

A New Take on an Ottoman Palace

Gazing across the Bosphorus strait to the Asian shores while standing on the opulent terrace of a nineteenthcentury Ottoman palace, once named Atik Pasha, is something you probably only can do in Istanbul at the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus, (Ciragan Caddesi 28, Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey; +90 212381 4000, $300+/night). It’s a view that catches you immediately upon arrival at the sumptuously polished entrance hall that leaves you in further doubt as to whether you are in a hotel or one of Turkey’s historic palaces and museums.

A spa featuring three Turkish hammams and intriguing on-site souq area further beckons you to stay there. The hotel is the perfect landing area after 12-hour days searching the Old City for hidden treasures and delights, including the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar and Hagia Sofia.

ILLUMINATION

What started as a way to reconstruct and utilize broken glass in times of war, the Turkish mosaic lamp has evolved into a hot export that illuminates the homes of American celebrities and dignitaries like George Clooney, Michael Strahan, Madonna and George H.W. Bush. High quality lamps start at $75 for desktop and $130 for triple drop ceiling model. FedEx shipping will cost you around $35.

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