Exotic, inexhaustible and dynamic – East meets West head-on in this mesmerising city metropolis, famed for its extraordinarily rich history, superb food and shopping, and mind-blowingly magnificent, over-sized mosques.
Recommended place to stay:
Sumahan on the Water
Istanbul, Marmara Region, Turkey|www.sumahan.com|
Official star rating:
No place has better views over the Bosphorus and European Istanbul than this contemporary boutique hotel, occupying a mid-19th-century Ottoman distillery outside the traditional Bosphorus village of Cengelkoy.
The wonderfully light-filled rooms and suites (including three designed for families) have big windows overlooking the famous Bosphorus Strait.
The fireplaces in the rooms are lovely to come back to in winter; and having breakfast in your room, watching the ships sail past, is a mellow start to your day.
Or relax in the hotel’s marble Turkish hamam – opt for the full works, including a sublimely relaxing foam massage.
A regular ferry and hotel shuttle provide easy transport to Kabatas and its tram stop, allowing guests to enjoy both the Sumahan’s waterfront tranquility and stay connected to the city’s most popular neighbourhoods.
The hotel is in Cengelkoy, a typical, peaceful village on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, a mix of wooden houses with orchards and gardens, fancy mansions and fish restaurants in easy walking distance; there are several upscale summer houses with pools on the slope around the hotel, but they’re mostly surrounded by trees. The waterfront promenade is lively in summer.
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