“A restored Ottoman apartment block in the throbbing heart of Beyoglu, with sleek rooms and suites plus a hip restaurant-bar”
The rooms and suites vary in size and shape, but all share the same easy-on-the-eye décor, with Scandinavian-style furniture, lots of blonde wood and velvety rugs on wooden or tiled floors. Colours are neutral - mostly soft greys and taupes - with vibrant paintings and occasional flashes of teal or magenta. It’s all very crisp and contemporary, though there are subtle nods to the traditional in the form of studded leather chairs, inlaid wooden tables and green glass lamps.
The suites are essentially open-plan studios with sitting areas; a couple have terraces, too. There are chunky beds with organic orthopaedic mattresses, sink-into sofabeds, sleek glass coffee tables and 2 or 3 tall windows (though nothing much in the way of views). Aided by the triple-glazing, we slept beautifully in our Deluxe Double, which had a comfy kingsize bed and enough space for cartwheels; larger still are the Superior Triples (each with a queensize bed and a single bed), which are useful for families. Junior Suites are a little more compact, with queensize beds.
Though much smaller than the suites, Standard Rooms still have space for a desk, a large wardrobe and an armchair or sofa. They can be set up as doubles or twins.
All rooms and suites have underfloor heating and air-conditioning (both heaven-sent given Istanbul’s sticky summers and chilly winters). You also get Molton Brown toiletries, snuggly robes and slippers.
The hotel’s restaurant-bar, 8 Istanbul, is shaping up to be one of the best hang-outs in Beyoglu - a lively mix of high-class food, cocktails and music, with wooden tables and shutters offset by industrial-chic flourishes such as exposed pipes and girders.
Overseen by the enthusiastic Maskut (a bit of a local celebrity chef), the busy theatre kitchen turns out an imaginative fusion of Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine from midday to 11pm. It’s delicious stuff, and our dinner was one of the tastiest we’ve ever eaten: slow-cooked octopus with lavender, sea bass ceviche with lime, tomato and red onion salsa, succulent lamb with orzo, mushroom risotto with beetroot cream. There are also pizzas (with inventive toppings such as salmon and pear or veal and courgette) and a selection of burgers. Maskut often ventures out from behind the counter to explain the history of each dish and make recommendations, creating a friendly, informal atmosphere.
Breakfast, served from 8am to 11am, is another highlight. The traditional Turkish spread of white cheese, sliced tomatoes, olives, borek and yoghurt is supplemented by some more unusual options, including kaymak (clotted cream with honey) and scrambled eggs with onion, peppers and tomatoes. It’s all accompanied by excellent orange juice and freshly brewed tea or coffee.
If you want to eat out, this is Istanbul’s restaurant central - in fact some of the narrow streets off Istiklal Caddesi are nothing but. For lunch, try one of the cheap street cafés where locals (mostly men) sit in plastic chairs dunking hunks of bread into soups and mutton stews. For dinner, check out Haci Abdullah (excellent old-school Ottoman cuisine, just off Taksim Square), Hamdi (for kebabs, meat balls and views across the Golden Horn) and Bebek Balikcisi (a fish restaurant on the Bosphorus). Misafir’s helpful reception staff will point you in the right direction.
Notwithstanding the urban location and the lack of outside space, this is a family-friendly place.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
All suites (but not Standard Rooms) have sofabeds plus space for a rollaway bed and / or baby cot, and the Superior Triple Suites each have 1 queensize bed and 1 single bed. DVD players and Playstations are available on request if you need to keep the kids entertained.
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking