Contemporary interiors and luxury touches create a chic hideaway in the centre of Old Istanbul.
Turkey’s cultural capital is a fascinating mix of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman influences. Here, right at the heart of charming Old Istanbul is the DoubleTree by Hilton Sirkeci, Istanbul a luxurious bolthole set among the historic sites of Sultanahmet. On your doorstep are all the big-hitters; wander the surrounding lattice of narrow streets to stumble across the minaret-studded Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and its magnificent mosaics, the sixth-century Basilica Cistern and Topkapi Palace’s warren of elaborately tiled rooms arranged around a beautiful Turkish bath. A clutch of Ottoman bathhouses and excellent museums (plump for the three-in-one Istanbul Archaeology Museums if you’re short on time) sits alongside the city’s kahvehans (coffeehouses) and meyhanes (Turkish taverns).
However, be sure to save room to sample the hotel’s culinary offerings: three restaurants span everything from traditional breakfasts and all-day light bites through to a more refined à la carte dinner menu. The standout is the rooftop Bosphorus Terrace Restaurant, where diners linger over shared platters of classic Turkish meze, served with captivating views of the Istanbul skyline. The more laid-back Prince Café & Bar rustles up more casual plates like pan-fried Izmir cheese and oven-fresh flatbreads filled with feta and zucchini, washed down with local beers and wines.
Rooms are elegant and stylish in earthy colour palettes, accented with bursts of turquoise woven into velvet armchairs and splashed across wall art. Standard Guest Rooms come with luxury finishes like 300 thread-count bed sheets and a Sweet Dreams Sleep Experience, while Junior Suites feature separate bedroom and living areas and Deluxe Suites bump up the space, making room for a dining table.
In the Sultahanmet neighbourhood, 10 minutes from the Blue Mosque
113 rooms and suites
• Sweat out the toxins in one of the city’s steamy Ottoman bathhouses* • Wander around the Hagia Sophia to eye its glittering mosaics • Look out for the upside-down head of Medusa supporting a column at the Basilica Cistern • Discover the maze of ornately tiled rooms in Topkapi Palace’s secretive harem*.
2 restaurants, café-bar
Breakfast at Gulhane Restaurant.
*Denotes local charge