Ansen Suites

Pera, Istanbul, Turkey Book from

In the heart of the city’s old European quarter, a sophisticated apart-hotel with 10 spacious suites and an Italian restaurant and bar
Boutique hotels are the new big thing in the 2010 Capital of Culture. And this little beauty was one of the first - certainly it was the first to inject new life into the fading grandeur of old Pera, the historic neighbourhood between the glittering Bosphorus and the bo-ho back-streets of Beyoglu. In former times, it was the hotel district, a mosaic of races and religions, in the cosmopolitan heart of the city. In the 1950s, it began a slow decline which left many of its beautiful buildings abandoned and derelict - though the rejuvenation of this one has helped restore the area’s reputation as one Istanbul’s favourite places to stay.

A tall skinny, late Ottoman townhouse, it was converted in 2004 into a block of swish apartment-style suites (2 on each of its 5 floors). The façade is late Ottoman fancy; the interior contemp-orary classic. Downstairs, there’s an Italian bistro restaurant serving classical Italian dishes - part of an emerging community of cafés, bars, night clubs, jazz clubs. The mosques and museums of Sultanahmet are just across the water.

Highs

  • Great location, within easy walking distance of Istiklal Caddesi (the former Grande Rue de Pera), Tunel, Taksim Square and the Galata Bridge
  • Smart apartment-sized rooms with all mod cons including kitchenette (excluding the Standard Suite)
  • The water-side suite on the penthouse floor has superb views of the Golden Horn
  • Flexible check-out time and 24-hour room service

Lows

  • The service, though charming, can be a little erratic - for this price you expect better
  • Staunch non-smokers may find the full ashtrays in the reception a little off-putting
  • The lower floor suites have no views (other than the walls of neighbouring buildings)
  • The kitchenette is more symbolic than practical - but realistically, with so many great restaurants on your doorstep, you won't be self catering

Best time to go

Spring or autumn, as Istanbul can be stiflingly hot in the summer months (June - September), and freezing in mid-winter, though it’s busy all year-round. Crowd-pulling annual events include a programme of arts events run by the Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation: the Film Festival in April, Theatre Festival in May, and the Music Festival in June/July.

Great for...

City Style
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Luxury Hotel
  • 10
  • Restaurant + basic self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

There are just 10 suites: 2 on each of the building’s upper 5 floors. They come in 4 sizes. Standard Suite (which lacks a kitchenette), Superior Suites, Deluxe Executive Suites and the Penthouse Suite - but all share the same basic comforts: kingsize platform bed (which converts into 2 singles), a dining table and chairs, low lighting, a minibar, air condintioning, nifty fitted cupboards and storage, satellite TV with dozens of channels (including BBC news and CNN) and plenty of space.

The décor tends toward the urban bachelor pad (in muted masculine colours: grey, taupe, cream, black, chocolate, leather, beech, dark wood etcetera), though the Penthouse Suite (number 501) has a vaguely 60s pop-art theme (featuring a guitar and rows of illuminated eyes, staring out from red walls), and Deluxe Executive Suite 410 has a Chinese feel.

If you can, book the Penthouse; situated on the 5th floor (though the elevator only goes as far as the 4th floor), this spacious suite has superb views of the Golden Horn, seen across rooftops through floor to ceiling windows which slide open onto a little balcony. At dusk, the sight of Sultanahmet’s floodlit domes and minarets, Suleymaniye mosque, Aya Sophia, the Galata Bridge, is breathtaking. Of the rest of the suites, only Deluxe Executive Suite 410 has Golden Horn views, but all the rooms are comfortable and inviting.

All except the Standard Suite have a kitchenette with a halogen hot plate, kettle, crockery, basic pans and utensils, and a fridge stocked with cold drinks (Miller beer, miniature Moet, mineral water).

The bathrooms are lined with marble and mosaic tiles, and have modern walk-in glass showers.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Kitchenette
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The Da Vittorio restaurant , on the ground floor, complete with wood floors, walls of black-and-white photography and glass lamps serves Italian dishes. A warm, inviting bar, serves, wines, spirits and cocktails.

If you don’t fancy dining in the restaurant, you can have dinner sent up to your room, or you could knock up a simple meal in your mini kitchen (see Rooms).

Otherwise, a 5-minute stroll will take you into the back streets of Beyoglu - where dozens of restaurants, many with outdoor tables, serve simple, authentic Turkish dishes. And there’s a good Thai restaurant, the Pera Thai, right next door.

Breakfast in the Petit Bistrot, served more or less whenever you want it, is a buffet of cheeses, olives and scrambled eggs, and/or cereals, breads, pastries and preserves. Continental or Turkish breakfast can be served in your room.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Kitchenette
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Self-catering
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Take a taxi across Galata bridge to Sultanahmet (10-15 minutes away): home to one of the richest concentrations of ancient relics in the world, among them the Suleymaniye and Sultanahmet (or Blue) Mosques, Aya Sophia (a 6th century Byzantine marvel) and the Topkapi Palace

  • Take to the water: cruising up and down the Bosphorus on a ferry or a tourist boat is one of the best ways to see the city and all the main docks - Karakoy, Eminonu and Kabatas - are within easy distance of the hotel

  • Ferries can take you to Ortakoy (for boutiques and waterside cafes), Bebek (trendy Bosphorus village), or the Beylerbeyi Palace - the magnificent 19th century imperial residence of Sultan Abdulaziz (open every day except Monday)

  • Go shopping: From the haggles of the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carshi) to the high-street stores that line the Istiklal Caddesi, or the designer boutiques of Nistantasi, Istanbul is a shopaholics dreamland.

  • Take the old-fashioned tram from Tunel (5 minutes walk) to Taksim Square - Istanbul’s Piccadilly Circus; from here you can catch a metro to anywhere.

  • Go party: Beyoglu is Istanbul’s club central and many of the better night spots are within walking distance - try Nardis Jazz Club, Nu Club, 360 (a cool rooftop terrace bar) or Babylon (for world music)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Children are welcome at Ansen Suites, and there is ample space in each room for a child, and under 12s go free in parents' room.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Almost all of the suites certainly provide the space needed, and the modest cooking facilities are useful. All the suites have a basic kitchenette and are furnished with a sofa bed, cots can be provided on request - except the Standard Suite. If you are traveling with toddlers with push-chairs, you may want to avoid the top floor suites as the lift stops on the 4th floor.

Babysitting:

Babysitting can be arranged, though it's expensive.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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