Istanbul, the land where east meets west in a marble clash of thousands of years of culture, history and tradition, with some settlements as old as 7,000 years. Istanbul has seen many names and many civilizations, including the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Ottomans, and now modern Turkey as we know it. The city is a fascinating record of the human race and its migrations across the planet, showing cultural influences from around the world.
Hotel Sultania is a luxury hotel located in the heart of old Istanbul, which takes the best of old Ottoman style and luxury and combines it with modern comfort and personal service. As soon as you walk through the door, you are enveloped in a unique type of luxury that leaves you wanting for nothing, yet leaves your personal space and privacy intact. Everything from the welcoming Turkish coffee served in intricate silver cups on an engraved silver tray with Turkish delicacies on the side, to the genuine warmth and kindness of the staff that accompanied everything they did, this luxury hotel in Istanbul is the perfect base from which to explore the city that was for hundreds of years the center of the western world.
One of the Sultania’s best features is its location, in the middle of Sultanahmet in old Istanbul, some of the city’s biggest attractions are only five to ten minutes’ walk away, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and Topkapi Palace.
While the whole hotel is a special experience in itself, it has one amazing feature that really sets it apart from all the others – the traditional hamman-style spa. The corridor is located below the hotel and opens to a luxurious underground area with an indoor pool, Himalayan salt hot tub, fully equipped gym, sauna and Turkish steam room. There’s even a padded alcove to crawl into between sauna sessions, and intensely invigorating water jets to soothe hours of exploration away from your aching muscles.
PEOPLE / STAFF
The staff is where you will find the real warmth of the Sultania Hotel, real hospitality, interesting conversations, advice tailored to anything and everything you want to do in the city. They are completely attentive to your every need without being overly eager or intruding on your personal space and free time.
The rooms are designed to make you feel like a Sultan in pure Ottoman style, while combining the experience with modern design and amenities. The bed was covered with intricately woven blankets and turkish pillows, flanked by a long couch and soft mood lighting. When we arrived we found a surprise welcome tray with more Turkish sweets and treats, followed by a personally delivered bottle of wine and other Turkish specialties! The glass wall of the bathroom contrasted with the classic eastern style of the rest of the room and created a kind of east-west elegance, perfect for relaxing after exploring this amazingly exhausting city!
FOOD / RESTAURANT REVIEWS
Ground Floor Restaurant: We ate breakfast at the ground floor restaurant, right next to the lobby, which was a lot of tasty local and international food. The Turkish breakfast always consists of healthy green salads, olives, olive oils, fresh yogurt and fruit with added international extras such as waffles, fried eggs, omelettes and cereals. Turkish tea or coffee is a wonderful morning after morning!
The Sultania Hotel’s true culinary masterpiece resides on the top floor of the rooftop restaurant Olive Anatolian. The style of the cuisine is based on Turkey’s most versatile product, the olive, for its central role in the healthy Mediterranean diet.
For starters we had a mixed seafood salad, with finely chopped, brightly colored vegetables, leaves and herbs, hiding fresh octopus, squid and muscles.
Our main courses were a traditional Turkish kebab of tender, juicy beef and roasted shallots on a bed of rosemary mashed potatoes, then grilled fish fillets with a fresh leaf salad. Both dishes used the perfect combination of a handful of complementary ingredients to create fresh and intense flavors.
Desert was equally opulent with a chocolate brownie with a runny chocolate center and thick, creamy Turkish ice cream on the side, plus a variety of Baklavas.
Floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic views of Istanbul, all the way from the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia to the eastern side of Istanbul. Watching the twinkling lights of the buildings spread across the hillside on the east side and the lights of the ships passing through the Bosphorus creates a lively yet intimate atmosphere.
Even if you are not staying at the Sultania Hotel, we recommend that you treat yourself to one night of luxury dining!
EQUIPMENT: Cable television; Hot water; Wi-Fi; Inner pool; Jacuzzi; Fitness Suite; Hammam; steam chamber; Dry sauna.
INTERESTING TIPS: Ask for a room on a higher floor because although only the restaurant has a view of the city, you will at least get a bit more natural light.
WHAT TO DO AROUND / IN THE SULTANIA HOTEL AREA
- Visit the Blue Mosque – check the prayer times as it is closed during these times.
- Visit the Hagia Sophia
- Basilica Cistern – Explore Underground Istanbul!
- Continent Jump – Board the ferry on the east side and see the east meet the west.
- Walk across the bridge from east to west and you will see locals fishing from the side of the bridge!
- Treat yourself to a traditional Haman Spa treatment!
Note: We were invited guests by the hotel and all opinions and texts are my own!