“Live like a trendy Istanbulite in one of 8 stylish self-catering apartments (sleeping 4-7), set in hip yet historic Galata”
The 8 apartments, all in different buildings near Galata Tower, mix gleaming white walls, high ceilings and original tiled floors with contemporary fittings and comfy soft furnishings in neutral tones.
We stayed in third-floor Pasha Place, which sleeps 6-7 in 3 bedrooms (2 doubles and a twin). Its heavy front door opens onto a hallway that doubles as a dining room, and its bright living room has 2 squishy sofas. The fabulous views over the Golden Horn almost render the flat-screen TV obsolete, and are best enjoyed with a glass of wine at the bar table nestling in the bay window. The bedrooms are simple and uncluttered, with wooden floors and walls dotted with artwork. One double and the twin room share the same striking view as the living room; the second double has an internal window with no view. The sparkling bathroom is small but perfectly formed, with white ceramic tiles and a rain shower, and there’s a separate toilet.
Large third-floor Aslan Place also sleeps 6-7 in 2 double bedrooms and a twin; it has a shower room and a second toilet. Equally spacious but with 2 bedrooms (a double and a twin, sleeping 4-5) is second-floor Galata Place, which has a sofabed in its huge living room, a family-sized bathroom with a bath and overhead shower, and pretty sea-green frescoes on the ceiling. Both apartments look out over Galata Tower.
First-floor Petraki Place (sleeps 4-5) has frescoes and exposed brick walls, with 2 good-sized double bedrooms (one with an ensuite shower), a small single room suitable for a child, and a second shower room. On the floor above is Petraki Place II (sleeps 6-7), which we're yet to see, is the largest apartment with 2 doubles and a twin room. Both of these apartments have access to the building’s shared roof terrace, with sweeping views across the city. Since our visit, 3-bedroom Petraki Place III has been added, offering the added bonus of a private hammam.
In a nearby building is third floor Shah Place (sleeps 4-5 in 1 double and 1 twin room) and first floor Shah Place II (sleeps 4 adults and a child). Each has original frescoes, antiques and velvet headboards, as well as views over the narrow streets below.
All apartments come with WiFi, cable TVs, hairdryers, irons and ironing boards, washing machines, and plenty of maps, guidebooks and magazines to help you plan your stay.
You can create anything from simple snacks to lavish meals in the apartments’ gleaming kitchens, which contain all the necessary equipment: microwaves, fridge/freezers, toasters, utensils, pots, pans, kettles, cafetières, teapots, even dishwashers. Shah Place and Aslan Place have no ovens, but all have hobs. There are dining tables in the tiled hallways or by the windows in the airy living rooms.
Tea, coffee and a large bottle of drinking water will be waiting for you on arrival, along with essentials such as dishwasher tabs, washing-up liquid and bin bags. Galata has plenty of small family-run grocery shops, mobile fruit and veg sellers, and supermarkets close by where you can stock up.
Dining out is equally easy, with a vast array of restaurants nearby. Adigüzel by Galata Tower is a reliable lokanta (mezze bar) with friendly staff and good home-cooking. In Beyoglu, Leb-i Derya is a sophisticated restaurant with incredible views over the Bosphorus. For even more stunning views splurge at NuPera, a bar/restaurant/club complex that houses 4 different venues. Dress to impress and book ahead, especially at weekends.
For contemporary Turkish cuisine, try the sleek Autoban-designed Münferit, or Cezayir, where you can dine alfresco in lovely gardens. Head to Nevizade Sokak or stunning Rococo arcade Cicek Pasaji (‘The Flower Passage’) for traditional eateries serving old-school mezze and raki, Turkey’s potent aniseed-flavoured tipple. Also worth trying is the trendy House Café on bustling Istiklal Caddesi. It's in the same historic apartment block as 360 Istanbul, a hip rooftop bar and restaurant with a view that lives up to its name.
Children are very welcome, and families will certainly appreciate the space and flexibility of a self-catering apartment. The apartments are found across several architecturally intriguing, historic buildings, each on a street within a lively mixed community and plenty of food shops nearby.
We think it would work best with teenagers, who will enjoy the shopping, music and bustling city life on the doorstep, as well as (hopefully) some of the rich history and Islamic architecture - the owners can arrange bespoke guided tours to suit all ages and interests. All apartments have free WiFi and flatscreen TVs.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Extra beds and baby cots can be added to the apartments, and all have twin or single rooms that would suit children. Galata Place is the only apartment with a bathtub; the others have showers only.
Two apartments (Petraki Place I and Shah Place II) are on the first floor, two are on the second (and one of these, Galata, has a lift) and the final three (Pasha, Aslan and Shah) are on the third floor. So bear in mind that you may have to negotiate 3 flights of stairs with pushchairs and little ones if you are in one of the higher-placed apartments.
Babysitting can be arranged, see Rates
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking