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Hotel Highlights

  • Spectacular views overlooking Asia from Europe’s edge
  • Stylish Autoban-designed interiors
  • Great nightlife, with the city’s top club right next door

Overview

Once a palace, the grand House Hotel Bosphorus in Istanbul seamlessly blends old-world opulence with contemporary design. Rooms and public spaces have exquisitly refurbished parquet wood floors, Bauhaus-inspired furnishings and sleek marble bathrooms. Several of the 23 rooms and suites have breath-taking Bosphorus views, too.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The House Hotel Bosphorus with us:

For members staying one or two nights, the hotel's signature cocktail, the Bosphorus Blue, in the lounge (overlooking the Bosphorus) on arrival. For members staying three or more nights, dinner for two (excluding drinks).

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at The House Hotel Bosphorus

Early-booking offer: 15% off

Facilities

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The House Hotel Bosphorus - Istanbul - Turkey

Need To Know

Rooms

26 rooms, including 12 suites.

Check–out

Midday. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $198.15 (€156), excluding tax at 8 per cent.

More details

Rates include a buffet breakfast.

Also

The historic building was once home to the Balyan clan, an architectural-design dynasty in Ottoman days.

At the hotel

Massage rooms, gym and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar and Lokum Istanbul bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Superior rooms may be the smallest, but they’re surprisingly spacious. With views this good on offer, though, it’s worth splashing out on a Bosphorus-facing bedroom – so opt for a Superior Bosphorus or Deluxe Bosphorus Suite, both of which have private balconies overlooking the bridge and the next continent. For an even bigger splurge, book the palatial Simon Kalfa Suite for its wraparound balcony above the sparkly strait.

Packing tips

Ortakoy may be an old fishing village, but these days it’s lively, especially at night – so don’t forget glam gear for after-dark.

Also

In-room massages can be arranged.

Children

Extra beds are free for children under six, €30 for ages 6 to 12 and €60 for children age 12 and over.

Food & Drink

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The House Hotel Bosphorus - Istanbul - Turkey

Hotel Restaurant

Food from the House Café downstairs can be brought up to the roomy, open-plan lounge, a stylish space with cookbook-packed bookshelves, a grand chandelier and leather chairs; or enjoyed on the open-air terrace overlooking the Bosphorus. Here, salads, pizzas and pasta dishes are served alongside mezze platters and small plates such as falafel and salt and pepper calamari. Breakfast can be taken in the lounge or café. It's quite a spread, with Eggs Benedict and omelettes, and traditional Turkish dishes such as gözleme and Yeni toast. 

Hotel Bar

There’s a bar in the corner of the lounge, where guests can relax over a couple of rakis.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7am right up until midday; lunch and dinner merge, with food on offer from 12pm until 11pm.

Room service

Light meals can be ordered 24 hours a day.

Smith Insider

Dress code

The name gives it away – smoking jackets and slippers are perfectly acceptable.

Top table

Snag one of the three tables by the window, overlooking the Bosphorus Bridge and the Ortakoy mosque.

Local Guide

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The House Hotel Bosphorus - Istanbul - Turkey
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Commission a captain and a small boat right outside the hotel for a personal cruise of the Bosphorus; Captain Yalcin’s on +90 533 465 1016, but he doesn’t speak English, so enlist the hotel’s help.

Local restaurants

Next door, try Angelique, a scene-y waterfront restaurant and club with mirrored walls and sleek white furniture (+90 212 327 2845). Arrive by boat, and sit overlooking the Bosphorus Bridge from the decking. For contemporary Japanese cuisine, head to Zuma, also on the water in Ortakoy (+90 212 236 2296; www.zumarestaurant.com). On Muallim Naci Caddesi, the vast Sortie opens out onto a spacious deck overlooking the water. If you’re in need of food and it’s late, service doesn’t stop until 4am (+90 212 327 8585; www.sortie.com.tr).

Local cafés

The House Café is where the hipsters hang by day (+90 212 227 2699), and they stick around at night, too.

+ Enlarge
Asia-facing Ortakoy

The House Hotel Bosphorus

1 Salhane Sokak, Ortakoy, Istanbul, 34347

The House Hotel Bosphorus is on the banks of the eponymous strait, in Istanbul’s Ortakoy district.

Planes

The city’s Atatürk Airport is 35 kilometres away. British Airways (www.ba.com) and Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com) fly direct from London Heathrow.

Trains

The nearest train station is Sirkeci, 15 kilometres from the hotel. Cross-country trains call in on their way to other Turkish cities, including Ankara.

Automobiles

Yellow taxis are easy to come by in Istanbul, and they’re cheap. There’s parking nearby if you have brought some wheels. The hotel can be tricky to find, so feel free to contact the Smith Travel Team if you need directions.

Reviews

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The House Hotel Bosphorus - Istanbul - Turkey

Anonymous review

by Jason Fine , Men's man

7am and Istanbul is sparkling. Sitting in the breezy lounge and library of the House Hotel Bosphorus, in the heart of the laid-back Ortakoy neighbourhood (it means, literally in Turkish ‘middle village’), the view is tranquil, historic: baroque old mansions rising on the far banks of Istanbul’s world-famous strait; teak-decked fishing boats meander under the grand Ortokoy Bridge;…
Read more

The House Hotel Bosphorus

Anonymous review by Jason Fine, Men's man

7am and Istanbul is sparkling. Sitting in the breezy lounge and library of the House Hotel Bosphorus, in the heart of the laid-back Ortakoy neighbourhood (it means, literally in Turkish ‘middle village’), the view is tranquil, historic: baroque old mansions rising on the far banks of Istanbul’s world-famous strait; teak-decked fishing boats meander under the grand Ortokoy Bridge; men on bicycles deliver bread to cafés lining Ortakoy’s laidback plaza. As Mrs Smith and I sip thick black Turkish coffee, it’s easy to imagine we’ve been transported back to the 18th century when Ortakoy was a small fishing village…

Easy, that is, until a waiter decides now is a good time to crank up the stereo and Mark Ronson’s ‘Bang Bang Bang’ comes blaring out of the speakers. I’m fleetingly piqued by the intrusion, but Mrs Smith just smiles. She reminds me that contradictions like this are part of this cosmopolitan city’s charm: history is always mixed with hip.

Our stylish stay, the newest addition to Istanbul’s House Hotel group, is a savvy blend of old and new. Opened summer 2011 it’s a gleaming white Ottoman-style mansion designed and built in the 1890s by Simon Balyan, the youngest son of a dynasty of imperial architects. (Simon’s father, Garabat Balyan, built the baroque mosque across from the hotel.) Originally created as a family residence (the rooms still have the feeling of being in a stately, if carved-up, formal home), the mansion fell into disrepair in the past half-century and was for a few years, randomly, a ball-bearing factory.

A simple, elegant renovation applied great attention to period details, from light fixtures to new hand-carved wall moldings. The House Hotel Bosphorus does not feel fussy or old-fashioned, and has a keen eye for modern style, namely care of designers du jour, Autoban. Our two-room, second-floor suite feels midcentury Danish, and features plenty of hi-tech conveniences: two flatscreen TVs, remote-controlled curtains, and small but fabulous, heated marble bathroom.

Having flown in after a week of roughing it in Ethiopia we are ready to eat well, lounge in the sun and sleep under soft sheets. Dinner is at the chic House Café, a restaurant built on a deck leading to the docks; it proves as good a start as we could imagine: ice-cold Turkish rosé (generally better than the loc whites I tried such as Narince and Misket), yogurt with cucumber soup, vegetable risotto, grilled aubergines and spiced fish. By day, the House Café is a popular post-shopping stop for locals craving the famous house lemonade loaded with apples, pears orange and strawberries. At night, it is loud and bustling, with tables of young, well-dressed people drinking imported champagne and partying late.

Like Paris, Istanbul is a city that loves to dazzle, with flowers and candles, spectacular food and drinks. But unlike Paris, Istanbul is not so fussy – things are looser, more quirky and imperfect. I love that about this buzzing hub, and the House Hotel is no exception. There’s a casualness to the place that makes you feel at home. Often, waiters act less like servers and more like friends. One morning at breakfast a member of staff takes our order, then plops down at the table to chat a while. When we tell him how much we love the eggs menimen (baked scrambled eggs with feta and parsley and tomatoes) he writes down a family recipe. (We’ve since tried it; it’s good.)

If your main goal is to see the old-city sites of Istanbul, the House Hotel Bosphorus, a few miles upriver from the Galata Bridge, is not necessarily the most convenient base. But if you don’t mind taxiing into town (or taking the long walk up the Bosphorus, which was one of our trip’s highlights) the neighbourhood is a respite from the tour buses and overpriced kebab houses. In fact, after visiting the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market and the Blue Mosque on our first day, we don’t even bother straying beyond our locale. Instead we wander through Ortakoy’s cobblestone alleys, discovering a great quarter of bakeries, cafés and produce markets just across Muallim Naci Cd from the water?

Our amble leads to Kosebasi Reina, a sceney new addition to the international Anatolian cuisine empire. (For those unfamiliar, Kosebasi is the Nobu of kebab houses, with outlets everywhere from Amsterdam to Ankara.) Reina shares a large outdoor deck with other high-end restaurants and clubs, and requires running a gauntlet of check-in stations and security guards to gain admittance. The food is worth it: lamb and beef kebabs marinated in milk and olive oil, a house salad of arugula and parsley with pomegranate syrup (another recipe we take home) and creamy babaganoush that’s the best eggplanty dip you’ll ever taste.

Strolling back alongside the water, the sun setting, and the city at dusk sparkles again. We stop for hand-churned mango ice-cream and to watch a street magician perform tricks with cards and real rabbits. A couple of blocks from the hotel, we pause at a small rug store called Hazal. It doesn’t look much from the street but inside we find three floors of gorgeous Anatolian kilims and carpets stacked up in every room and hanging on the walls. The daughter of the shop’s owner, Engin Demirkol, is especially proud of the rugs her mother creates by sewing together pieces of antiques into modern designs of her own.
‘We aim to preserve the history of these types of kilims,’ she tells us, ‘but we also want to make things that are new.’
As we step back into the Ortakoy plaza, with the last light gleaming off the Bosphorus, I think that this is exactly what Istanbul is about: making something centuries-old feel exciting and fresh.

 

The Guestbook

Reviews of The House Hotel Bosphorus from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We absolutely loved it! The staff couldn't have been more helpful. The location right on the water's edge of the Bosphorus by the Ortakoy Mosque is stunning, if a little further form the old town than some hotels.

Don’t expect

Traffic is terrible (at least it was for us) so a better water bus/taxi service would be lovely. A shuttle between the pier by the hotel to Kabatas to pick up the excellent tram would be really ideal!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the large rooms (living room and bedroom), balcony over the Bosphorous and the great staff.

Don’t expect

We think more frequent boats to Istanbul, would have been better. There are now two in the morning and two in the late afternoon and it's only a 15 minute trip.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The building and interior space are lovely and the rooms are very well appointed. The location is also a very nice one and we enjoyed the café at the back of the hotel. Ten out of 10.

Don’t expect

The only complaint we had was that our rain shower didn't function properly when we first arrived (the staff were very helpful in fixing it). There was also some language miscommunication – we asked for some clothes to be pressed and were told that it would be done immediately, but some time later we were told that the housekeeping department was closed over the weekend.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

A well appointed room and very quiet. The perfect location for a jog or walk around Luxembourg Gardens, not to mention for shopping.

Don’t expect

NA

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The staff were so attentive, and the room was gorgeous (I highly recommend the Superior Bosphorus) - not to mention the balcony and view overlooking the Bosphorus.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The stunning view over the Bosphorus is forever imprinted into my brain! The hotel is in the heart of Istanbul's nightlife district, with good restaurants and Istanbul's top nightclubs nearby. Service in the hotel is impeccable, with multilingual staff. Get a Bosphorus-facing room with a balcony.

Don’t expect

There is no hiding from the fact that at the weekend the locals party all night. The double glazing helps block the noise but if you are a light sleeper bring earplugs and Ambien if you are there at the weekend and not joining in the revelry. While the hotel staff are excellent, the friendly team in the adjoining House Café are a little unpolished – in our experience drinks orders can take a while to arrive and may or may not be correct. Any errors, however, were quickly and unquestioningly corrected. A B for effort in the cafe, with a C minus for execution. That said, the views from the terrace and the buzzy atmosphere compensate for a few service lapses.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Great hotel right in the heart of things. The staff were excellent and couldn't have done more to make the stay enjoyable and relaxed. We met the manageress who always had time to see how we were getting on and offer advice on where to visit.

Don’t expect

Maybe ask the guy that called everyone to prayer at the mosque over the square from the hotel to turn his mike down a bit!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel staff were extremely professional and genuinely courteous with lots of local knowledge and recommendations. In particular Bahar – the general manager – was proactive in seeking us out during our five-night stay. He made sure that we saw all of the appropriate highlights as well as taking our feedback. The hotel dining room where we ate breakfast was spectacular in regard to its views over the Bosphorus. The breakfasts were always interesting, never boring. The rooms were opulent with toiletries by L'Occitane. The position of the hotel was excellent for sightseeing. Thanks once again to the very attentive staff and manager at the House Hotel Bosphorus.

 

Rating: 10/10 stars