8 stylish boutique hotels in Istanbul, including art-filled rooms and stunning Bosphorus Strait views

Advice

Straddling Europe and Asia, capital to two successive empires and today looking to both the Christian West and Islamic East, the vibrant metropolis of Istanbul defies the stereotypes. Byzantine churches sit cheek by jowl with Ottoman mosques in historic Sultanahmet, whilst vibrant Beyoğlu hums with bars, restaurants, contemporary art galleries and shops. The sheer incongruity of modern Istanbul is reflected in its architecture, not least in the myriad boutique hotels that have sprung up over the last decade or so. From tastefully restored historic gems to the downright quirky and ultra-modern, here are some of the city’s best boutique hotels.

Tomtom Suites

Istanbul, Turkey

9
Telegraph expert rating

A chic hotel fashioned from a former Franciscan nunnery. Tomtom Suites, like the city in which it is located, is full of surprises – not least because it offers great value for such stylish accommodation. There are 20 rooms, spread over three floors linked by a glass lift, and split into six different categories ranging from Standard through to Luxury suites. Whichever category of room you choose you can expect high ceilings, large, well-proportioned sash windows, natural-wood floors, contemporary prints on the plain painted walls, and a comfortable sitting area. Don’t miss the rooftop terrace where guests enjoy sundowners looking over the confluence of the Golden Horn and Bosphorus Strait.


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£
132

per night

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Vault Karakoy, The House Hotel

Istanbul, Turkey

8
Telegraph expert rating

An impeccably stylish hotel from the renowned House group, built in a former bank in the now-hip, waterfront Karaköy district. The Vault is small enough for staff to get to know the guests quickly and has a friendly atmosphere. The 19th-century building’s original, delicately inlaid granite flooring has been preserved throughout, as have the elegant Neoclassical columns and the beautiful arched windows. High ceilings, panelled wooden doors, parquet floors and tall windows give a characterful period feel to most rooms, as do the Carrera marble bathrooms. Head up to the rooftop bar and restaurant which is particularly impressive at sunset.


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£
112

per night

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Georges Hotel Galata

Istanbul, Turkey

9
Telegraph expert rating

Georges is the epitome of the new wave of hip boutique hotels to open in the city’s old European quarter and makes the most of the beautiful, 19th-century apartment building from which it is fashioned. Yet knows exactly what its discerning clientele want from their accommodation in this vibrant city. The majority of the 20 rooms here have decent-sized balconies with stunning Bosphorus Strait views and plenty of light floods in through the floor-to-ceiling French windows. The generously proportioned bathrooms gleam with chrome and plate glass softened by antique distressed tile floors and grey, marble-clad walls. Georges’ rooftop restaurant, Le Fumoir, serves traditional French dishes and is justifiably well-known both locally and internationally.


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£
149

per night

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10 Karaköy

Istanbul, Turkey

8
Telegraph expert rating

Originally a quarantine hospital, then for much longer a major fish market, this beautifully restrained 19th-century Neoclassical building has been given a new lease of life following its conversion into 10 Karaköy. The chic ring lights of the modern chandelier dominating the elegant atrium represent air bubbles exhaled by the fish once sold here, while the waters of the stylish fountain on the back wall of the atrium trickle down over sculpted leaping salmon. The mid-tone décor of the rooms is muted yet warm, enhanced by arty photographs of Istanbul and its inhabitants. The real treasure, however, is the Bahane 10 rooftop bar cum restaurant, which serves a great mezze-based menu.


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£
114

per night

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Bankerhan Hotel

Istanbul, Turkey

8
Telegraph expert rating

Bankerhan is perhaps the most arty hotel in Istanbul, with a multitude of works by leading contemporary Turkish artists adorning the walls of a hotel expertly fashioned from a 19th-century, Parisenne-style apartment building. The hotel has a great location on a quiet side street just above the Art Nouveau Kamondo Steps, famously photographed by Henri Cartier Bresson in the 1960s. Standard doubles come with stripped-wood floors, plain pale walls and exposed brick ceilings. Sea view rooms carry a premium and for the most sensational views, you’ll have to book the Executive Room, with its own terrace.


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£
97

per night

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Hotel Ibrahim Pasha

Istanbul, Turkey

8
Telegraph expert rating

With a stylish roof terrace, comfortable rooms, friendly staff and excellent breakfasts, this hotel in the heart of Istanbul is popular with discerning city-breakers. It offers an excellent location, only a short walk across the former chariot racing arena to the Blue Mosque. Fashioned from a pair of tall, early 20th-century town houses and spread over four floors, the contemporary makeover the interior has received enhances its Ottoman roots. Think potted plants, blonde-wood floors, patterned rugs and crisp-white bed linen. Opt for one of the 12 Deluxe rooms which are bigger and arguably better value than the standard rooms, with comfy sofas and futon-style beds – and the under-floor heating is a big plus in winter.


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£
89

per night

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Sub Karaköy

Istanbul, Turkey

9
Telegraph expert rating

A hip hotel wrought from an anonymous 1980s office block a few streets back from the Bosphorus shoreline. There’s no designer minimalism here, rather a quirky, eclectic but somehow cohesive blend of the über-contemporary. A mirrored feature wall, bold colour schemes and individual paintings by prominent local artists (Sub is hooked up with a number of prestigious galleries) set the scene in the rooms. The cool roof terrace has great views across the across the confluence of the Bosphorus and Golden Horn. Breakfast is a treat, a real spread of homemade and organic food stuffs, each labelled with a map of Turkey showing its place of origin.


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£
60

per night

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The House Hotel Bomonti

Istanbul, Turkey

8
Telegraph expert rating

This sleek and ultra-modern hotel in the fashionable arts-cum-business district of Bomonti/Şişli offers something truly distinctive and new to the Istanbul hotel scene. Designed by Conran + Partners, this is the last word in sophisticated contemporary design, with copious use of black, plus grey, and white and gold trim for subtle relief. It’s soothing rather than gloomy, a feeling enhanced by the grey textured ‘waterfall’ wall opposite the massive lobby which brings the soft tinkle of running water into the hotel when the doors open. The machines in the gym are the latest hi-tech models, the blue waters of the decent-sized pool inviting.


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£
85

per night

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