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    We showcased this incredible metropolis with our award-winning DMC – MEP Destination Business Solutions.

     Our partner All About Flights flew us in style on British Airways, touching down at the brand-new Istanbul Grand Airport which was a seamless experience.  After a warm welcome by our hosts, we were whisked off to our hotel – The Kempinski Ciragan Palace – where we stayed the first two nights.

    Highlights of our first day:

    • Dinner at the stunning Tugra Restaurant.
    • A surprised party where our guests dressed up in traditional costumes, whilst being entertained by belly dancers, a whirly dervish dancer and listing to a Turkish coffee fortune teller!

    Highlights of our second day:

    • Showcasing old Istanbul which included highlights such as the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sofia, the Hippodromeand a highlight – a private light show in an underground Cistern – a must inclusion on any M.I.C.E program!
    • For lunch, we were hosted by the quirky Hilton Curio Collection Mansions, which included an introduction to the traditional  Turkish drink Raki.
    • We walked the rooftop of the Grand Bazaar, and shopped till we dropped.
    • Enjoyed a private transfer to our hotel on a luxury catamaran sailing on the Bosporus Strait.
    • Dinner at Mikla, one of Istanbul’s finest restaurants in the Pera district, with stunning skyline views over the Golden Horn whilst sipping Allure rose.




    Highlights of our third day:

    • Sait Halim Pasa Mansions for a traditional Turkish breakfast, whilst Eda and Birgul delivered an insightful presentation on what’s new in Turkey.
    • Exploring unique venues on the Bosporus by private boat with team MEP.
    • A visit to the Esma Sultan Mansion where the lovely Duygu welcomed us on their private pier, followed by an immersive drumming session with sparkling wines delicious chocolates and canapés to fully enjoy this incredible venue.
    • Lunch and site visit of the brand-new Mandarin Oriental overlooking the Bosporus
    • An overnight stay at the recently opened JW Marriott Hotel in the fashionable Karakoy District
    • A farewell dinner hosted at Birgul’s home – the absolute essence of hospitality.

    Our day of departure:

    • We explored Karakoy district, followed by a stroll across the Galata bridge to watch the local fishermen, to the spice souk where we tasted baklava.
    • Lunch at Padeli restaurant, before heading back to the airport.

    So, there you have it! An extremely productive site visit of this wonderful part of the world. Regarding COVID-19, throughout our site visit in Turkey we felt very safe. Social distancing, personal hygiene awareness, and COVID protocols were all observed at each of the hotels and venues we visited. We have complete confidence in MEP and their partners to host events in the current climate.

    Finally, we can’t thank Birgul and Eda enough for showcasing the best of Istanbul to our guests. Their passion and knowledge of the region, and the requirements of MICE, proved second to none, and we look forward to returning soon!