Husband and wife Smaranda and Hans Becker balance being apart for work with traveling together.

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Hans Becker was studying for his final exams in mechanical engineering at university in Germany when he heard a commotion outside and stuck his head out of the window to see what was happening. ‘I remember screaming because I was trying to learn how to ride a bicycle and kept falling off,’ says Smaranda Becker, who was there as a business and economics exchange student at the time. ‘Hans was very kind; he interrupted his revision and took me to a nearby park to teach me how to ride.’ The pair struck up a friendship; then Smaranda returned home to Romania. It wasn’t until two years later, in 2010, when she called Hans to say that she was moving to Nuremberg for her master’s degree that romance blossomed. ‘He told me that he had just changed job and was living there too.’

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"Smaranda makes me laugh; her humour is surprising and takes me out of work mode."

It was a happy coincidence, especially when the dorm room promised to Smaranda by the university never materialised. ‘When we met again, we saw each other in a new way,’ she recalls. ‘I ended up staying with Hans for two weeks while I looked for an apartment, so our first date was at his home with a good bottle of wine.’ From the beginning, long-distance has been a factor in their relationship: Hans spent more than a year working in China and now they spend the week travelling in different directions. ‘Our relationship has always been about commuting so until this point, we have really only seen each other at weekends. To make the most of our time together we take trips to see friends and new places,’ says Smaranda.

‘Staying in a hotel is a chance to escape to somewhere we can focus purely on ourselves,’ continues Hans, who believes that the eight-year age gap between the couple (they got married two years ago) is part of what keeps life interesting. ‘Smaranda makes me laugh; her humour is surprising and takes me out of work mode. Basically, she makes me feel younger – and sometimes older too, he quips.’

Smaranda and Hans at The St. Regis Istanbul
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Taking residence at the Nişantaşı district, Istanbul's most vibrant neighborhood, the modernist Art Deco-influenced hotel features exceptional services and world-class facilities at Istanbul's best address. The ideal luxury hotel forms a focal point for cosmopolitan Turkish and international society. Stay in our award-winning guest rooms and signature suites uniting discreet luxury with timeless elegance.


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