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“Exceptional experience”

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Sumahan on the Water
Ranked #222 of 1,129 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Exceptional experience”
Reviewed 15 March 2013

A contemporary boutique hotel with finest decoration. A former brewery, renovated in a very contemporary style. Service is perfect. restaurant on the sea very good. Just my favorite place in Istanbul.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SamsaraVilla01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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371 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Carlow, Carlow, Ireland
Level Contributor
75 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2013

Although located on the Asian side of the river Bosphorus which flows within metres of each of the Sumahan's luxurious rooms, and almost an hour from Ataturk airport, the hotel's pluses - of which there are a surfeit - far outweigh any niggles that may exist.

Sumahan on the water was designed and lovingly created like a work of art by its owners Mark and Nedret Butler both of whom are architects and designers - and it shows. The attention to detail in this boutique hotel is the telling factor. The things which go almost unnoticed, the finishing touches which appear natural, the materials used which sit in harmony with ever changing colours of the water and sky which are visible from the hotels every hidey-hole and getaway.

My stay was short, only two nights, and my first introduction to both Istanbul and Turkey. The room to which I was appointed was a two floor loft suite where you could laze in bed and watch the ships and boats ply their trade on the waters outside the huge windows. Every comfort is catered for in the rooms from underfloor heating, wi-fi, tv and radio, refreshment facilities and a luxurious bathing/shower space.

The staff in the hotel were - as mentioned in another review - business-like and professional (perhaps a little more genuine interaction would be appreciated, but this is noted without complaint or fault). My every need was catered for and my every request handled efficiently and with a smile. Even when it came time for me to leave and book another hotel in the Old City, the reception staff handled the booking and transfer flawlessly.

For some the hotel's location may be a hindrance - requiring crossing the river by either the hotel's private and complimentary launch boat (comp for guests) or by taxi across the beautifully illuminated Boshphorus Bridge - but for others the location will be the key factor. Cengelkoy is a typically Turkish area where tourism takes a back-seat to daily life, where locals shopkeepers are proud of their services and prices are less inflated than across the water.

Sumahan on the Water also boasts its own wonderful Hamman - another masterpiece of design in grey marble - which can be hired privately and also has a small but fully modern gymnasium for those who feel the need to keep in shape.

After a visit to the Hotel's restaurant, 'Tapasuma', a Turkish tapas restaurant the gym may be just what's needed. Again design is everything and not just in its architecture. The lines are crisp, clean and again featuring large windows inviting the river to become part of the ambience. But it's the Turkish take on Tapas which will have people return again and again. Starters of Sea Bass with capers and lemon, Grape leaves stepped with rice and other delicacies, Octopus salad in virgin olive oil, scallop skewers (cooked to perfection) and a main course of what I can only describe as the most delicious 'Kebab in a bowl' I have ever tasted.
Even desert was a work of art - a white chocolate horn filled with chestnut cream and a pistachio sauce - all decorated with real Gold Leaf. That's attention to detail.

As I've said the only negative for me was the distance to the Old City, but if you want to relax before or after a hectic tour of Istanbul's many historic and modern sites (of which there are so VERY many) Sumahan on the water and the surrounding region is the place to be. With promotional rates starting from €125p/n value is there to be found if booked at the right time. In high season prices rise substantially, but as they say, you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Brendan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amman, Jordan
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2013 via mobile

Very beautiful hotel with very friendly staff,delicious breakfast buffet,but most important is the beautiful view of the river and the lights of the bridge very soothing and relaxing.
The area around the hotel is very full of local stors, backery grocery the fruit are fresh and delecious.
In rush houre it take almost an houre to reach the old city on European side.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Amna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2013

Sumahan on the water is no less than it says; it could not be closer to the Bosphorus if you tried, with stunning views of the first bridge (Bosphorus Bridge) and distant views towards the Golden Horn with Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia silhouetted. The Hotel itself, an old distillery, was more recently converted by the Architect husband and wife team who own this property, with a minimal style and light touch which is a credit to their skills.
The rooms are clean and neat ranging from small doubles to large executive suites with fireplace and living area. The favourite areas in the hotel for me are the Library (mainly historical and architectural books) and the Hammam, which is an octagonal marble lined space with central slab and perimeter water bowls. The spa provides a range of treatments with choice of male or female therapists.
Each room has a view of the Bosphorus so there really is no best room in these terms, they are all good. The service is discreet and efficient and the staff at reception are polite, professional and efficient and always willing to suggest good restaurants and the best way to travel around.
The Hotel has its own launch but if the water is too rough you may need to take a taxi to Uskedar to take the ferry to Kabatas, from where you can decide to branch out towards the Old City, the trendy bars of Beyoglu or Galata or simply walk along the Bosphorus or take a boat trip.
The food is generally very good, breakfasts have a Turkish twist with traditional style eggs and sausages being served daily.
For more formal dining in very chic surroundings, guests can try Tapasuma, a new restaurant in the building, but this is not for casual dining as the price is beyond the everyday and Clientelle tend to dress up when they come here, but it is an excellent location with good food for that special occasion.
I have only visited Sumahan in the Winter but with it's wonderful waterfront indoor and outdoor seating areas it promises to be even better in the Spring and Summer. I look forward to returning!

Room Tip: All rooms have the same view, onto the Bosphorus, but I imagine you may want to avoid the areas abov...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank charles_collett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
54 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2013

The sun, after five days of snow and rain January 2013, shone as we moved to Sumahan on the Asian side. Glorious Bosphorus views 24/7. Day 1- luxurious Turkish bath/massage @ Sumahan's on site hamam. Day 2-Sumahan staff explained the fine points of using the IstanbulCard (elusive item but excellent when acquired) and we bus-ed into Uskudar for an afternoon of mosque-hopping and a comforting classic meal @ Kanaat Lokantasi. Day 3, short sunny trip from our room to the Sumahan patio and back again; picnic in our room on the Bosphorus. Day 4, Adventure up the Bosphorus on City Ferry to various villages. Got off at Kanlica, yogurt capital of Turkey--missed the return boat; lost- briefly--on a bus to interior Cavubasi--but kind locals put us on the correct bus back to Cengelkoy; dinner picnic on the Bosphorus. We did not feel the need to cross to the European side; Cengelkoy is a sweet village with terrific street, small take-away cafe food and produce markets. Uskudar, and Kadikoy ( home of the exceptional restaurant Ciya Sofrasi/ Kebap) were further afield. And closet to home was our Sumahan room with its adjacent art/architecture library.
Needs =completely fulfilled. My one complaint would be that the service was more remote, hotel-school corporate, than other places in Istanbul; i would have welcomed a little more relaxed interaction with the staff. Sumahan's formal service might appeal to many travelers used to high-end venues. But regardless of preferences, go, go, go for the glorious Bosphorus views.

Room Tip: we stayed in a deluxe room--the most modest accommodation; it was lovely.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ann p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2012

Stayed at the hotel for 4 nights based on the positive reviews so far. I have to say we were really glad to have taken the advice of others and really enjoyed our stay. We had a double room which was adequate in size and had an excellent view of the bospohoros and the bridge with it's ever changing colours. Enjoyed the boat rides back and forth and other facilities like the Hamman which was nice to have as together as a couple. Breakfast was lovely and the staff friendly and helpful. There are places to eat within walking distance in Cengelcoy or take a taxi down to uskardar for more choice. There is also a ferry from uskardar to kabatas. Recommended to get away from the hustle of the main tourist areas.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WaimanCheuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 December 2012

it's an amazing place to stay, but not for those who are planning for sight seeing as it's a bit far from the touristic area (water launch take 30min to the nearest tram station).
we have decided to stay there for our last night to enjoy the interior and the view, we insisted on the fact of getting a fire place in our room. we had to book a loft as they couldn't confirm that the double room we will book will have fire place ??
the loft was really a pleasant experience with it's amazing view and small garden, it took us a whole night to heat the down stairs while the up stairs was fine. i think the reason is that the door wasn't blocking the wind properly.
the surprise was that no fire place in whole hotel was working, the hotel team were kind and explained that it's due the windy time, but if it's not meant to be working during winter, then i wondering why they have it in first place :(
the view is surrounding you all over the place, breakfast was nice, nothing really to complain of.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank laylabacha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sumahan on the Water

Property: Sumahan on the Water
Address: Kuleli Cad. No:51 Cengelkoy, Uskudar, Istanbul 34684, Turkey
Region: Turkey > Istanbul > Uskudar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
#79 Spa Hotel in Istanbul
#91 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#161 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sumahan on the Water 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sumahan On The Water Hotel Istanbul
Sumahan On The Water Istanbul

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