Answers from Our Experts (1)
The Old City is a popular choice for many visitors, but when we visit Istanbul we prefer to stay either along the Bosphorus strait or in Beyoğlu. With that in mind, here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the best Istanbul hotels:
1. TomTom Suites. While TomTom Suites is located on a quiet back street, it’s just a few blocks from Istiklal Caddesi, one of Istanbul’s most happening streets. The hotel itself has received a number of awards thanks to its top-notch service and simple-yet-modern design. We particularly love the terrace and La Mouette, the hotel’s top-floor restaurant, both of which offer stunning panoramic views of the city.
2. Georges Hotel Galata. Featuring a sexy, modern design and a popular downstairs bar and restaurant called Le Fumoir, Georges Hotel Galata is an Istanbul newcomer on a small stone street just a few steps from historic Galata Tower. We love that most of the beautiful guestrooms here have a balcony and view of the Bosphorus.
3. Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet. This former site of an Ottoman prison is today a gorgeous hotel surrounded a courtyard garden. You’ll have great views of the major Sultanahmet sites here, and the grand, elegant guestrooms are just what you’d expect from a Four Seasons hotel. (Want to be closer to the water? Stay at sister property Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus.)
4. Sumahan on the Water. Situated on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus in Çengelköy, Sumahan on the Water is ideal for both romantic getaways and as a convenient jumping-off point for exploring Istanbul. Despite its seemingly out-of-the-way location, Sumahan actually puts you in the center of the action thanks to its private boat that runs between Asia and Europe. The hotel itself is a historic distillery restored by a Turkish-American husband-and-wife team — book one of the two-floor loft rooms with a private hammam and living room doors that open to unobstructed views of the Bosphorus.
5. The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul. Centrally located in Taksim Square, The Ritz-Carlton adds authentic details throughout the luxury hotel, with Turkish décor like colorful Iznik tiles in the bathrooms. We recommend heading to the indulgent open-air spa, to soak in the sun on the teak terrace with a smoothie and then head to the hammam. For the best ocean vista, book the luxury hotel’s Ritz-Carlton or Bosphorus View suites.