Istanbul, a place where the continents collide, most people describe as a miraculous meeting point between East and West. It is also a city of thousand minarets, city of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, city of the most famous Grand Bazaar in the world, a city of emperors, city of hidden tea gardens waiting to be discovered, a city of extraordinary cuisine which no gourmand can resist. In other words, it is a city of colors, city of spices, city of senses. And we can go on and on like this because Istanbul surely is the city of a unique inspiration.
Walking the streets of Istanbul mean that you are walking down the paths of history unfolding before you, and staying strongly and deeply within you. You don’t have to look hard to find attractions, they can be seen at every corner. You do not need to worry about getting lost out there, locals will be glad to help you. In fact, do get lost out there. It is the best way to get to truly know the city, its people, its various shapes and forms, its rhythm.
If you have already been in Istanbul you know what we are talking about. And don’t you worry if you are coming to this city for the second, or the third, or who knows exactly what time after your first visit. You are never going to be bored in this place, no way. No worries needed if you are just passing through the city for a day or two, either. One way or another, you can find interesting new attractions to see, new gardens to discover, new food and wine to taste, new tea aroma to try.
And even though the streets are beautiful, we do not want you to sleep over outside. Oh, no, we don’t. That is why we are recommending you these carefully selected art hotels, guesthouses, and boutique B&Bs which all share one thing – love for the arts, and style, and design. Their superior interiors and magnificent exteriors will make a perfect spot for your rest after long walks around the city. They are comfortable, lovable, and stylish. And they hide some truly artistic decor on their walls. What more could you wish for?
P. S. While you are in Istanbul, make sure not to miss the chance to explore Istanbul’s vibrant art scene as well. There are various contemporary artists worth knowing about. There is always an offer of various art exhibitions, displaying everything from fine art to multimedia installations, showed in everything from glamorous art venues to non-profit performance art spaces, to repurposed formal warehouses. Embrace the art and enjoy your stay!
P. P. S. If you want to experience Istanbul from a personal point of view of one of its famous citizens, please follow our book recommendation.
Editors’ Tip: Istanbul: Memories and the City
While portraying the city he was born in, Orhan Pamuk is creating some kind of self-portrait as well, because all of his life is deeply attached to Istanbul. He is still living in the family apartment he was living as a child. This book is intimate imagery of his old memories and new political happenings, a melancholic view of the city on the Bosphorus, as its consciousness is shaped by writers and painters, bot local and global. From panoramic perspective to fractures of a lost empire, Pamuk is documenting the story of Istanbul in a truly unique way only original Istanbullus could do.
As one of the most popular hotels in Istanbul, centrally located Sura Design Hotel & Suites brings the palace-like interior to its guests. With modern furnishing and a focus on a profound interior design, this hotel has been welcoming guests since 2011. It offers 60 rooms, some of them overlooking the luscious garden, and with all of them featuring state-of-the-art soundproofing systems, satellite channels, an espresso machine, and other amenities. The restaurant serves Turkish specialties, as well as organic vegetables and meat from its own farm. Sura hotel is ideally located near museums and main attractions, and it provides peacefulness to its guest, with the calming effect of the artistic design nd carefully selected color matches.
Featured images: Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Images via Bookng.com
Arts Hotel is situated in fashionable Nisantasi district, and it offers tastefully decorated rooms, with trendy outlooks, and true attention to details that matter to guests and provide a truly comfortable stay. There is the Pure Spa & Gym with a rich offer for relaxation. Some of the rooms feature spectacular view to the sea, so the guests can enjoy their cup of coffee while overlooking the Bosphorus Bridge. In-house dining offers a fine selection of local cuisine and various domestic wines. Inspiring room interiors are accompanied with hallway walls decoration that features colorful artworks, giving a vibrant character to the whole space.
Featured images: Arts Hotel Istanbul Bosphorus - Images via Booking.com
Everyone has heard of Four Seasons hotel, and its hotel venue in Istanbul is truly astonishing. But this time, we are representing to you a charming little hotel, just around the corner from the Four Seasons in Istanbul. It is the Empress Zoe boutique B&B, named after Byzantine empress, which offers various types of rooms, apartments and suites for a reasonable price. What we like the most is the fact that the finest garden suites feature private little hammams. The main building rooms may be smaller, but they are as much stylish and artistic as the garden ones. And there is a hidden gem too in a form of two secret patio gardens in the heart of the property, with one of them leaning back to back with some on a 15th-century Turkish bath ruin.
Featured images: Empress Zoe - Images via the Hotelswelove.com
There are six standard rooms, eight superior apartments, and two luxury suites which are all equipped with parquet flooring, double glazed windows, black-out curtains, international TV channels, and all other standard features for the enjoyable stay. Additionally, there are secretarial, laundry and pressing services for a number of distinguished guests. Guests can also view the Marmara Sea from their room’s French balcony. And that’s not all. Every room is decorated with high-quality Ottoman-style design silk called Suzani and handmade copies of the original collection of Iznik tiles.
Featured image: Art City Hotel - Image via Booking.com
Ranked No. 4 among 1,088 hotels in Istanbul on the TripAdvisor platform, with more than 2,000 guest reviews, from which 90 percent rated this hotel with five stars, as excellent. For sure, it has it all – professional staff, great service, beautiful rooms, luxury offers, friendly atmosphere, and reasonable value for money. Placed in the heart of the Istanbul’s Old Town, this hotel also has a great location for touristic or business visits to Turkey’s capital. And when you don’t feel like walking around the city, you go to the rooftop terrace and enjoy the amazing sunset with a complimentary glass of wine. Or, you can choose to relax at the indoor swimming pool. Either way, you will be passing the hotel lounge space, which includes an exhibit of more than 100 replicas of Anatolian Civilizations. And if you explore this hotel a little further, you will find the library that offers a significant amount of books on Turkish arts, culture, and history.
Featured images: Neorion Hotel - Images via Booking.com
With a little strange name, Endless Hotel Taksim is situated in the Marmara Region, with a great view of the city. When you enter the lobby area of this hotel, you have only one word in mind – retro. Going further through the dining area, and down the hallways, you see that retro style is all over the place. It is colorful and joyful, and it attracts mainly younger guests, so the vibrant atmosphere is always up and running. If you want a quite piece of time for yourself, some of the rooms feature the privet sitting area as well, and there is always a room terrace to enjoy the fresh air. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant, and the popular Nisantasi district with many trendy city cafés and restaurants is only half a block away. And of course, central Taksim Square is only 500 meters away from the hotel.
Featured image: Endless Hotel Taksim - Image via Bookng.com
Villa Denise is a rough diamond among Istanbul's hotels. It is situated in the most picturesque Bosphorus suburb there is – in the Arnavutkoy, which is translated as Albanian village. The surrounding wooden houses are built in the art nouveau style, and they are lining up the shore making the truly inspirational atmosphere for the visitors. And when you go around these houses, and wander around the rows of restaurants, eventually you will find yourself just in front of the Vila Denise. Invisible for all the passersby along the shore, and secluded from the city rush, this villa is covered with luxurious, colorful, and somehow mystical fabrics inspired by the famous Topkapi Palace. Inside the villa, every room features its own kitchenette, and there is also a Spanish restaurant on the ground floor. This hotel is ideal for those who want to spend quiet time on their own, but still not too far from the variety of interesting events downtown.
Featured image: Villa Denise - Image via Hotels.com
Decorated with warm colours and Turkish-style decor, with a truly artistic sense of beauty, rooms at Best Point Hotel Old Town have a really calming effect on their guests. Knowing that there is a private Turkish bath within some of the apartments only increases their value. This hotel is located in the Old City of Istanbul, within a walking distance to Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and other central attractions. Breakfast is served on the roof terrace with the Marmara Sea view. Also, Ferry Port is near which offers Bosphorus boat tours and an easy ride to the Asian side. If you want to make the Best Point Hotel your starting point for tours around the city, don’t waste your time, because this is one of the best-ranked hotels in Istanbul. It is also one of the hotels with the fastest selling out time, as the rooms are usually booked much earlier than the arrival dates.
Featured image: Best Point Hotel Old Town - Image via Booking.com