- Çiragan Palace (tel. 0212/326-4646; www.kempinski.com/istanbul): More than just Istanbul's original posh hotel, the Çiragan Palace is a destination in its own right. The grandeur of the lobby -- tinted by light coming through the stained glass and imbued with the fragrance of fresh roses -- hardly prepares you for what's to come. Expect regal gardens, a delicious Bosphorus-side pool, big fluffy beds, and flawless service. Make sure you splurge for that sea view, or all bets are off.
- Four Seasons Hotel (tel. 0212/638-8200; www.fourseasons.com): Nothing drives home the magnitude of this hotel's history more than watching a former political prisoner once incarcerated here break down and cry in the hallway. Some original tile and marble details were preserved and reused in the renovation, and you might encounter the rough etchings of an inmate's name in one of the columns. But these days, the unqualified opulence and comfort of this grand hotel couldn't be further from its bread-and-water past. The new Four Seasons the Bosphorus (tel. 0212/638-8200) promises the royal treatment -- but without the historic background.
- Les Ottomans (tel. 0212/359-1500; www.lesottomans.com): You'll find rooms truly fit for royalty here, if you can get a reservation. Every detail, from the chandeliers, to the salon chairs, to the bedding, is a unique creation that screams "one of a kind." This very personalized nature of the hotel foreshadows the high standard of hospitality.
- Ada Hotel (Türkbükü, Bodrum Peninsula; tel. 0252/377-5915): If you're looking for quintessential Turkish elegance, the Ada Hotel's got it, and more. Characteristic, stylish, romantic, and utterly memorable, all rolled into a boutique experience on the hillside above the trendy yet serene outpost of Türkbükü.
- Hillside Su (Antalya; tel. 0242/249-0700): The over-the-top, snow-blinding white design concept is sleek and razor-sharp in its wit.
- Mardan Palace (Antalya; tel. 0242/310-4100): The Turquoise Coast's monument to excess wows its clientele with gold leaf, crystals, and luxury yet to be seen this side of Dubai.
- Aboard a Gulet (the Turquoise Coast): The blazing August sun gives way to a mild summer night, and you wake up at dawn with your shipmates on the rear deck of the gulet, covered in fresh morning dew. There's nothing like sleeping under the stars in a cove along the shores of the Mediterranean.
- A Cappadocian Cave Hotel (Cappadocia): Truly, where else could sleeping in a cave be so sweet? The secret is out, and every year the hotels entice you with more and more romance. I'm convinced, but I'm preaching to the converted.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.