Celebrating Christmas without kids this year had us opting for going abroad, and the choice came to Istanbul, being a lovely place to visit, and not too far away travelling from Denmark. We chose Grand Hyatt for its fashionable address in Taksim, which ensures stylish (international) shopping and delectable cafés and restaurants, but is a little far from the more local experiences. Perfect for a romantic holiday, though.
The hotel is in walking distance from shopping on the European side, as well as from the ferry to the Asian side. The Asian side is an absolute must, and we returned with wonderful spices and nuts from the Spice Market, Misr Carsi.
On the day of Christmas eve (as we call December 24th in Denmark), we had a steaming hot cup of "Salep" with a generous dash of nutmeg and cinnamon at a nearby café. This is a local drink made of hot milk and salep root (orchid root), which tastes very much like Danish rice pudding with cinnamon sugar - Christmas in a cup.
As for Christmas eve, Grand Hyatt Istanbul is the right place to be after dinner: You can enjoy a really deliciously spiced German "Glühwein", while sitting in a Disney cartoon Christmas special - or so it looks (and feels) like, in the library style bar. Quite nice, for a change - to be pampered the way we usually pamper the kids.More