The Vibe: There is not much to do here on this side of the Bosphorus, and that’s exactly what you want in this frenetic city.
The Area: Right on the shore on Istanbul’s Asian side in Çengelköy. Çengelköy is 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. The hotel’s private boat Sumahan I whisks you to the other side of the Bosphorus -complimentary- or private tours can be arranged.
The DNA: Sumahan on the Water is a luxury boutique hotel set in a former 19th-century distillery (producing suma, the unadulterated spirit to make raki, the Ottomans’ favourite tipple). 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. Breakfast, including Turkish and international options is served in the breakfast room. Dining options include an all-day waterfront café and restaurant serving Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine and mezze. The library has a large stock with books on Tukish culture and literature. Guests can enjoy the Turkish hammam, fitness centre or an invigorating massage.
Suite-Me-Up: The loft-style rooms and suites come with contemporary furnishings and include Turkish-style marbled bathrooms. All come with fabulous water views and facilities such as a flat-screen TV, a DVD player, a minibar and a safe. Selected rooms have fire places and/or private gardens.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 13 rooms & suites (16-22m2) (172-237 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2005 • architecture & interior design: Nedret & Mark Butler • parking possible on-site (charged) • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk