Istanbul, the land where East meets West in a marbled clash of culture, history and tradition dating back thousands of years, with some settlements thought to be as old as 7000 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 it’s migrations across the planet, showing cultural influences from all over the world.
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Hotel Sultania is a luxury hotel located in the heart of Old Istanbul, which takes the best of old, Ottoman style and opulence and marries it with modern convenience and personal service. As soon as you walk through the door, you are shrouded in a unique type of luxury that leaves you wanting for nothing and yet leaves your personal space and privacy intact. Everything from the welcome Turkish coffees served in intricate silver cups on an engraved silver tray with Turkish delights 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 the center of the western world for hundreds of years.
One of the best features of the Sultania is the location, in the middle of Sultanahmet in old Istanbul, some of the city’s greatest attractions are only five to ten minutes’ walk from the hotel, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and Topkapi Palace.
Table of Contents
HIGHLIGHT of the PROPERTY
While the entire hotel is a special experience in itself, it has one amazing feature that truly make it stand out from all the rest – the traditional hamman-style spa. Located underneath the hotel, the corridor opens out into a luxurious subterranean space, with an indoor swimming pool, a Himalayan salt Jacuzzi, a full gym, sauna and Turkish steam room. There’s even a cushioned alcove to crawl into between sauna sessions and intensely reviving water jets soothing the hours of exploration from your aching muscles.
THE PEOPLE / STAFF
The staff are where you find the true warmth of Hotel Sultania, genuinely hospitality, interesting conversations, advice tailored to everything and anything you want to do in the city. They are completely attentive to your every need without ever being over eager or invading your personal space and free time.
The rooms are designed to make you feel like a sultan in pure Ottoman style, whilst blending the experience with modern design and facilities. The bed was covered with intricately woven covers and Turkish pillows, with a chaise long sofa to the side and soft mood lighting. When we arrived, we found a surprise welcome tray of more Turkish sweets and treats, followed by a personally delivered bottle of wine and more Turkish delights! The glass bathroom wall contrasted the classical Eastern style of the rest of the room creating a kind of east-west chic, perfect for relaxing in after exploring this amazingly exhausting city!
FOOD / RESTAURANT REVIEW
Downstairs Restaurant: The downstairs restaurant, just next to the lobby was where we ate breakfast, which was a plethora of appetizing local and international dishes. Turkish breakfast always consists of healthy green salads, olives, olive oils, fresh yogurt and fruits, with added international extras like waffles, fried eggs, omelettes and cereals. A Turkish tea or coffee is an amazing kick in the morning!
Hotel Sultania’s real culinary masterpiece lives on the top floor, in the Olive Anatolian rooftop restaurant. The style of the cuisine is based upon Turkey’s most versatile product, the olive, for its central role in a healthy Mediterranean diet.
For our starter we had a mixed seafood salad, with finely sliced, brightly colored vegetables, leaves and herbs, hiding fresh squid, octopus and muscles.
Our mains were a traditional Turkish kebab of tender, juicy, beef and roasted shallots on a bed of rosemary mashed potatoes, then grilled fish filets with more fresh leafy salad. Both dishes used the perfect combination of a handful of complimentary ingredients to create fresh and intense flavors.
Desert was equally opulent with a chocolate brownie with a liquid chocolate center and thick, creamy Turkish ice cream on the side, plus a variety of Baklava.
The floor to ceiling windows provide a panoramic view of Istanbul, all the way from the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia to the eastern side of Istanbul. Watching the flickering lights of the buildings which spread up the hillside on the eastern side and the lights of the boats passing through the Bosphorous, creates a vibrant yet intimate atmosphere.
Even if you’re not staying at the Hotel Sultania, we recommend that you treat yourself to one night of luxurious dining!
AMENITIES: Cable TV; Hot Water; Wi-Fi; Indoor Pool; Jacuzzi; Fitness Suite; Hammam; Steam Room; Dry Sauna.
INSIDER TIPS: Ask for a room on a higher floor, as although only the restaurant has a city view, you will at least get a little more natural light.
WHAT TO DO AROUND/ WITHIN THE AREA OF HOTEL SULTANIA
- Visit the Blue Mosque – Check for prayer hours, as it is closed during these times.
- Visit the Hagia Sophia
- Basilica Cistern – Explore the underground Istanbul!
- Jump between continents – Take a ferry to the Eastern side for a view of east meets west.
- Walk across the bridge from East to West to see the locals fishing from the side of the bridge!
- Indulge yourself with a traditional Haman Spa treatment!
Note: We were invited guests by the hotel and all opinions and text are all mine!