The Sumahan, a Hotel on Water – Istanbul

Posted on 15 August 2012

The Sumahan might not be the ideal place if you went to have a bite of Istanbul’s spicy nightlife. But, if after a day of sightseeing you wish to relax and refresh, while enjoying the outstanding views of the Bosphorus and the city skyline, you’ll love this hotel.

 Each of the Sumahan’s 20 rooms boast a unique and tasteful design that characterizes the distinctive architectural style of this boutique hotel. Needless to say, each of the rooms have large windows looking out to the Bosphorus strait and the European side of Istanbul. It is an unforgettable sight, with the ever-changing river scenery, the floating boats and the classic domes of Istanbul. Most of the rooms also have fireplaces and a Turkish Bath, while some ground-level suites open up to a courtyard garden right on the river.

Originally built in 1875, the Sumahan on the Water was recently restored from a former Ottoman distillery. The name Sumahan sums up its rich history: The plant distilled the pure spirit, “Suma”, needed for the traditional Ottoman aperitif “Raki”. The term “Han” was what can be roughly translated into “inn” in Ottoman times.  An example of successful functional architectural preservation, this boutique hotel introduces modern design with great respect for the site’s historical background and aquatic setting. Using materials such as wood and marble, steel and brick and textiles, the hues of the neighboring waters are mirrored by a color palette of blues, greens and grays.

What perhaps makes its renovation unique is that the project was put together by a talented family team. The owners of the Sumahan, prominent Istanbul architects Mark and Nedret Butler, took this extraordinary opportunity to convert the 19th century industrial complex into an inimitable deluxe hotel while asking their daughter, interior designer Yasha Butler, to join in.  As Yasha herself sums up the concept: “The hotel will respect the setting in which it belongs. As marble can be transformed from a rough element to a light and smooth material, so will the hotel transform itself from an industrial plant to an elegant space with hidden details”.

The hotel has two convenient restaurants, the “Waterfront Terrace Restaurant” serving Turkish and International cuisine and “Kordon”, one of Istanbul’s best seafood and fish eateries. Transfers to and from the hotel may be done by either water or road and it is just a fifteen-minute boat ride to downtown Istanbul. All year round you can use the Hotel’s boat launch, which is also available for private excursions along the Bosphorus’ Asian and European shores, or there’s the regular city ferry every 15 minutes from a nearby wharf.

- Stefano Maranzana

Kulelí Caddesi No 51,
Çengelköy, Istanbul
+90 216 422 8000

Categorized | Hotels

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