Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

A posh Istanbul escape with history

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet is a posh escape. But before it was converted to a hotel in 1996, it was a less luxurious experience.Formerly a prison, the neoclassical building once housed oppositional political figures and dissident writers, including famed Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet.

Today, it is hard to imagine the woebegone days of the beautifully renovated century-old structure. Its unusually large arched windows, warm yellow-ochre plastered façade, tile decorations and finely furnished interior glamorously adorned with glitzy Murano chandeliers, hand-woven Turkish carpets and shiny marble inlay floors provide a departure from its original purpose.

At the heart of the historical quarter, just a few steps from major monuments, Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet is a captivating historical gem.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • The service at this Istanbul hotel is exemplary — expect to see your picture on the key card or find your pet’s photo on your desk. The rooms and common areas offer a homey atmosphere, which is only strengthened by the friendliness of the staff.
  • With the iconic Hagia Sophia as its backdrop, A’Ya Rooftop Lounge is the ultimate place to enjoy afternoon tea or Turkish wines and light bites at sunset.
  • The intimate courtyard is finely manicured with careful landscaping — an inviting refuge after a tiring expedition in the city. This peaceful haven was once the exercise area for prisoners, the only place they could breathe fresh air and see the sky above.
  • Whether you choose to dine on the terrace or in the glass-enclosed courtyard, dinner at Seasons Restaurant is sure to be memorable. Chef Sadik Unal’s elevated Mediterranean cuisine is always a highlight, but the dedicated kebab menu is not to be missed.
  • Some of the luxury property’s 11 suites have steam rooms with marble seats resembling mini Turkish baths. They are great for those seeking some pampering.

Things to Know

  • There are two Four Seasons properties in Istanbul. You can stay in the Sultanahmet property and enjoy close proximity to top attractions, then take the free shuttle to the brand’s Bosphorus hotel to utilize its facilities — be sure to take a dip in its waterfront pool. 
  • Use the hotel’s packing-unpacking service so you can spend more time exploring the city. 
  • All the Iznik tiles displayed in the corridors are for sale. Pick up a few for some design inspiration and have the hotel ship them home. 
  • Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet hosts occasional pop-up shops. You may find that the designer cup that you enjoyed your coffee in up in your room can be purchased at the boutique or pop-up shop in the lobby.

The Rooms

  • Boasting high ceilings and warm colors, the 65 rooms are comfortable with every detail well thought out, such as remote control window blinds.
  • Starting at more than 450 square feet, the accommodations are already spacious, but gorgeous views of the hotel’s pristine grounds, Istanbul skyline and Hagia Sophia through large windows make the rooms feel extra light and airy.
  • Make the most of Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet’s unforgettable views by booking into one of the nearly 1,400-square-foot Marmara Suites. Equipped with three terraces overlooking the Sea of Marmara and Princes’ Islands, these fourth-floor accommodations are a romantic getaway.

The Restaurants

  • Breakfast and buffet brunches take place in the glass pavilion in the courtyard, which transforms into Seasons Restaurant for lunch and dinner. Mediterranean cuisine reigns supreme here, but be sure to save room for dessert where Turkish classics like kazandibi (caramelized milk pudding) and kunefe (angel hair pastry made with cheese and topped with syrup) steal the show.
  • The seasonal Saturday brunch is a must at this Istanbul hotel. Indulge in a buffet of international favorites, but keep in mind that this vast spread is only on offer from October to May.
  • Watch out for special culinary events throughout the year. From September to March, indulge in Cheese & Cheers on Fridays with a rich cheese buffet and four flights of accompanying wines. In spring and summer, enjoy Beer & Burger evenings on the terrace.
  • The lobby lounge provides three distinct spaces for you to unwind in: an intimate dining room with a fireplace, an artwork-lined piano room and the serene winter garden. Stop by for a light lunch, elegant afternoon tea or a pre-dinner cocktail.

Meeting rooms
Getting There
Tevkifhane Sokak No. 1 Sultanahmet-Eminönü Istanbul, 34122 Turkey
IST (24-40 min)   SAW (40 min-1 hr 5 min)  
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