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“Gorgeous getaway”

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Sumahan on the Water
Ranked #214 of 1,163 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 June 2010

LOCATION: The Sumahan is a great way to experience the Bosphorus waterfront in a boutique hotel setting. If you're a first-timer to Istanbul, it may be a bit far from the action of Sultanahmet and the trendy shopping/dining districts of the European side. But if you prefer your base to be a relaxing escape from the bustle of the city, this is it.

ROOMS: We stayed in a deluxe suite, which was an ideal configuration for two friends, as there were an extra closet and powder room. We loved being able to step out directly onto the riverfront lawn. (Only complaint: since our room was closest to the restaurant, we heard the clanging of dishes. However, I didn't request to change rooms.)

SERVICE: The service was friendly and accommodating. Unless you speak Turkish, you will need the staff to help arrange your transportation, reservations, etc. One problem is the English of the night managers. In a hotel with international clientele and at these rates, you expect better.

GENERAL:
- Food at the Sumahan is good. For breakfast, the Turkish egg dish is excellent. I brought my own gluten-free bread and they toasted it for me in the mornings.
- The restaurant two doors down, Rigal, has an excellent though limited menu. Staff there spoke only Turkish.
- My favorite restaurant of the trip was Ulus 29-- the views, decor, menu/food, and service were superlative.
- Traffic is Istanbul is nightmarish. If you can take a boat to cut travel time, whether the public ferry, scheduled hotel launch, or private sea-taxi, I highly recommend it.

A pool would elevate the Sumahan to the next level! As it stands, it's a good, relaxed alternative to the behemoth Ciragan Palace and Four Seasons Bosphorus at a lower price point. We were so comfortable at the Sumahan, we went to breakfast in our pajamas.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank privacyplease2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 May 2010

If you are after a place were you can rest in peace, if you wish to avoid the crowds of tourists rushing to all directions, but still want to be able to visit Istanbul and not to be too far away from the center, this is an ideal place for you.
Sumahan is situated litterally on the Bosphorus: you will enjoy stunning views of the Bosphorus bridge, fisherman boats and ships cruising up and down, of the several marvallous mosques of Istanbul...all of this, just sitting in your room, or while having breakfast or dinner at the garden restaurant. I took a loft room at the garden level, and was able to sit in a deckchair reading a book and enyoing the cocktail and the strawberries kindly offered by the hotel.
I have also tried the hammam and massage: the best I had in Istanbul!
Another highlight is the little private launch that 'navigates' you from the hotel to Kabatas: simply wonderful!
To conclude: the service is excellent, the rooms are beautiful and clean. The staff is very kind and professional, particularly Nural, who has the ability to make you feel like a star!
I stronlgy recommend this hotel, you will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank EleTbilisi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2010

We stayed at the Sumahan in April for three nights. The location was definitely unexpected and wonderful. The asian side is not nearly as much crowded as the european side, and being a romantic holiday, it was perfetc. Don't expect any nightlife..too far from the clubs... We ate at the hotel restaurant the first night. The food was mediocre and slightly overpriced. The next night we went to the next door restaurant. The food was delicious and the price fair. Even the owner of the Sumahan was eating there with friends, and for at least two nights in a row!!The trip from the asian to the european side, if you can get the hotel's shuttle, is quick and easy. Taxi boats are very expensive! The best airport to arrive to if you want to go to this hotel is Sabiha Gokcen, so you don't have to cross the Bosphorus Bridge, which is orrendously busy any time, day and night

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank mariat68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2010

Where do I start in describing this truly unique small hotel? It's the level of pampering service and attention to detail that made my stay here so outstanding. Its similarity to other European boutique hotels I had experienced in Portugal and Italy struck me, as it successfully blends a historical building with modern design. I found the overall look and feel of the Sumahan to be tasteful and warm.

First of all, my stay here came at the end of a two-week trip to Turkey, ending in Istanbul. I thought that staying in Sultanhamet, near the monuments, would have been better. However, that area was very congested and noisy. Moving to the Sumahan was like taking a step into a magical oasis right in Istanbul.

The boat transfer pick-up point at Kabatas, on Istanbul's European side, was extremely easy for the taxi driver to find. The captain of Sumahan's little boat helped me on board with a smile and off we went on a sunny April day, admiring the views of Istanbul's minarets and riverside palaces. Arriving at the hotel, I was greeted with a glass of fresh lemonade, a swift check-in, and a gracious escort to my room. My room didn't have a room number, but a name, Tarabya. It had a fireplace and large windows overlooking the Bosphorus; everything in the room was placed to maximize the great views. The marble bathroom was well appointed and I loved the handmade soaps.

My last day in Istanbul was my day of rest. I was by then shopped and sight-seed out, so I made the most of the hotel's assets: the Bosphorus itself. I took the shuttle boat across to the nearest point, hopped a bus one stop to the quaint neighbourhood of Ortakoy (the hotel provided an Akbil bus pass); where I ate fried mussels, people watched while sipping a Turkish coffee, meandered a bit, window-shopped, then went back for the return shuttle boat. Going back into Sultanhamet would have been just as easy, with a taxi ride thrown in. That ease of getting to and from the hotel was a pleasant realization, as I hadn't been sure about that. Again, a glass of lemonade greeted my return.

I finished the afternoon in the hotel's garden, sitting on an Adirondack chair facing the Bosphorus. Between watching the boats go by, observing the cormorants fish, and trying to read my book, I dozed off in the sun. When I woke, a wonderful young woman brought out an afternoon tea tray with sage tea and homemade cookies. I had mentioned earlier that I was hoping to enjoy this kind of tea again before I left Turkey and she remembered.

I had booked an appointment for the hamam and went before dinner. It was blissful! The attendant was a lovely woman, who had magical hands. The products were very high quality, the massage skillful and I came out very relaxed, refreshed and glowing like a shiny new penny! It was the best way to prepare for the long flight home the next day.

A final note about the food: Dinner, as well as the breakfasts, were very, very good, as well as the wine selection. The baklava was the best I have ever had - delicate and not syrupy sweet. The presentation was beautiful and the service excellent. Between the seafood restaurants next door and the hotel's own restaurant, I found that a quiet retreat to the hotel at night is a good way to end the day in Istanbul.

My only regret was that my husband wasn't with me this time. I hope to go back to the Sumahan with him the next time I come to Turkey. I would recommend this wonderful hotel in a heartbeat... I couldn't help but think that for honeymooners or people taking a cruise, the Sumahan would be a very special treat!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled solo
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Thank Free-to-wander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2010

Cannot imagine a better place to stay in Istanbul! Fantastic contemporary hotel with spectacular views from every position, situated along the Bosphorous Sea. Fabulous service from knowledgeable, incredible staff. The Sumahan has it's own boat that acts as a taxi across to central Istanbul, which is a wonderful way to get around. The Sumahan is a refuge from the hectic city atmosphere of Istanbul and is a wonderfully serene place to escape to after a long day soaking up the sights. It is also located in a neighbourhood with some of the best fish restaurants in Istanbul.
Cannot say enough about our fantastic experience at The Sumahan!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank memlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2010

This is my second stay at Sumahan, formerly a distillery and now a luxury boutique hotel. Last year I came with a tv film crew and was super-impressed with the efficiency and professionalism of staff, the art-form presentation of a delicious Turkish breakfast, the excellent coffee and the lovely, spacious, contemporary rooms. This year, I have more to add to the list. Not only is my room gorgeous, complete with fireplace and comfortable seating facing the Bosphorus, but so was my sleep last night. The bed is very comfortable, as are the pillows. Linens are top notch too. Turkish breakfast was even better than I remembered it, with the addition of an egg dish and fresh strawberry crepes (in the UK they would call them pancakes, but in NA we call them crepes.) Today I treated myself to my first Turkish Bath in the hotel's hamam, and I can honestly say it was the best I have ever had! Also, the hamam was spotless. I wish I could eat in tonight as I know their manti is delicious, but I have another meeting. This is one hotel you will want to return to. This is the perfect place to unwind for a few days after touring and before returning home, or after staying in Sultanahmet, the old city. A drive up the Bosphorus from Cengilkoy on the Asian side provides one with a real sense of how the locals live and it's a beautiful drive too. One final note: the spoken English has dramatically improved since last year and the staff is the same, which says a lot for management. Also, I have noticed that they are very proactive and take care of details before they are asked or need to!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled on business
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1  Thank BrendaTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2010

I thought the Sumahan was great for several reasons. First, the location is stunning. Right on the shores of the Bosphorus, I was treated to a fantastic view 24 hours a day. I loved watching the sun glitter off the water, and the boats proceeding up the channel and the lights on the bridge at night. I really enjoyed Istanbul, but most of the tourist attractions are in a busy and congested part of the city. The Sumahan, located on the Asian side, provided a relaxing and quiet interval during the vacation which my teenage daughter and I had in Istanbul. Yet, we did not feel at all out of it. You can take an enjoyable one half hour ride in the hotel's boat to central Istanbul or you can take a taxi, and I found the fares to be cheap.

I thought the atmosphere at the Sumahan was sophisticated, and the staff was excellent. The level of friendliness and responsiveness at Istanbul hotels is extemely high. In fact, I had never seen anything quite like it. But the Sumahan exceeded even this standard. The staff was incredibly friendly. The food was good too. I would recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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Thank WissahickonWanderer
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

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:
#88 Spa Hotel in Istanbul
#90 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#163 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: £151 - £230 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sumahan on the Water 5*
Number of rooms: 20
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Also Known As:
Sumahan On The Water Hotel Istanbul
Sumahan On The Water Istanbul

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