If you’re looking for a romantic hotel in Istanbul, look no further than Sumahan on the Water.Formerly an Ottoman-era distillery, this place was converted into an award-winning hotel by its discerning Turkish-American owners. As the hotel is situated on the Asian side of the Bosphorus Strait, guests arrive from Europe in the hotel’s own launch. There can be few finer ways to begin a visit to Istanbul.Nearby landmarks such as Bebek (1.5 mi) and Ortakoy (1.5 mi) make Sumahan On The Water Hotel a great place to stay when visiting Istanbul.Guest rooms offer a flat screen TV, air conditioning, and a minibar, and Sumahan on the Water makes getting online easy as free wifi is available.You can also take advantage of some of the amenities offered by the hotel, including 24 hour front desk, room service, and a concierge. In addition, guests can enjoy a fitness center and an on-site restaurant during their visit. As an added convenience, there is parking available to guests.Travellers looking to enjoy some dim sum can head to Shang Palace. Otherwise, you may want to check out a pub such as Rainbow Cafe & Restaurant, Summit Bar and Terrace, or PS Lounge.The staff at Sumahan on the Water looks forward to serving you during your upcoming visit.
The hotel is situated in Çengelköy, a pretty village once home to a mixed population of Greeks, Armenians, Jews and other non-Muslim minority groups. It’s renowned for its fish restaurants, some with fabulous views down the Bosphorus to the first suspension bridge and beyond, and Ottoman period, wood-built waterfront mansions known as yalı. Indeed there’s not a whole not to do in the immediate vicinity of the Sumahan bar watch the ships and flights of shearwaters glide up and down the strait – and that of course is a major plus in this often noisy, frenetic city.The hotel launch will take you across to the European side of the Bosphorus at Kabataş – a wonderfully scenic ride in its own right – from where it is easy to pick up a tram into the old city, a ferry out to the Princes’ Islands, or ride the funicular to buzzing Beyoğlu.
It’s hard to imagine a better mix of superb waterfront location, fascinating period building and sympathetic contemporary restoration. Inside there’s lots of exposed brick and stone work, steel girders and split-levels, whilst from the outside the simple, functional façade derives interest from its symmetrically arranged arched windows, and the greenery-fringed dining deck fronting it.
What Can You Do?
Sumahan also seems the ideal place to try the traditional Turkish spirit, rakı (best with a meze and fish meal), as for many decades the spirit used in the production of rakı, deriving from fig syrup, was produced right here. Co-owner Nedret’s ancestors were actually the owners of the distillery, so it seems very appropriate that she and her American husband, Mark, still preside over this grand old historic building. It’s also very handy that they are both architects by profession.One of the best things about the Sumahan is that all rooms have magnificent views of the Bosphorus, and you can either lay in bed, or sit in a comfy armchair, and watch the sun play on the water outside. Light floods into the carefully designed rooms through floor to ceiling windows, illuminating the stylishly contemporary, but never austere, interiors. Think natural wood floors, neutral walls and plain drapes enlivened by tastefully upholstered soft furnishings, little vases of flowers, trendy Italian light fittings and the flickering flames of the real fires which are a feature of most rooms.
There are six different kinds of rooms here, with the split-level loft suites of particular appeal, especially as they open onto lawned gardens. The beds are extremely comfortable and bathrooms, most with bathtubs as well as showers, both elegant and functional.