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Hotel Highlights

  • Majestic, Autoban-remastered mansion
  • Ottoman architecture, with Rococo flamboyance
  • Close to Beyoglu’s antique-stocked basements

Overview

An exquisite mansion dating from 1850, The House Hotel Galatasaray, located in Istanbul's antiques district of Cukurcuma, has been cleverly converted into an elegant, modern, 20-room hotel. The acclaimed Autoban design team seamlessly blends the old and new: wood beam ceilings pair with sleek modern furniture, original marble staircases with cast-iron banisters are balanced with eye-catching light fixtures. And, as an added bonus, one of the city’s best restaurants is located right behind the hotel.

Smith Extra

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

For guests staying one or two nights, a Turkish cheese plate for two people. For guests staying three nights or more, a cheese plate and a bottle of Turkish wine (red or white).

Special offers

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

21 days in advance: early booking offer 15% off

Facilities

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The House Hotel Galatasaray - Istanbul - Turkey

Need To Know

Rooms

20 suites.

Check–out

12pm, but flexible (free until 2pm, 50 per cent of an extra night thereafter). Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $156.30 (€119), excluding tax at 8 per cent.

More details

Rates include buffet breakfast.

Also

The street behind the hotel is home to one of the area's most popular restaurants (along with a cluster of other bars and eateries), and it can be lively late at night so be prepared for the sounds of revelry – rooms positioned at the front of the hotel are generally a bit more peaceful.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, butler service and beauty treatments. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, bottled water and L’Occitane bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The spacious Penthouse Suite has high, pine-beamed ceilings, corniced white walls and gleaming floors, and that’s not even the best bit: see the windows for this (and their view of the Galata Tower, city sprawl and a minaret or two). Lovers of natural light will enjoy roomy Executive Suite 15.

Packing tips

A roomy bag and the number of a good shipping company for the covetable finds made hunting for antiques in Beyoglu’s basements.

Also

Pets weighing in at 5kg or less can come along for €20.

Children

Cribs for babies are free, and extra beds can be added at no cost for children under six (€60 a night if they're older). Babysitting with a local nanny costs €75 a night. There are no lifts or bath tubs, however, which could be an issue for smaller Smiths.

Food & Drink

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The House Hotel Galatasaray - Istanbul - Turkey

Hotel Restaurant

The top-floor restaurant is more of a lounge-bar hybrid, serving a choice selection of snacks and light meals rather than a full menu. The chilled-out atmosphere makes it a perfect post-bustle refuge after a day out in Istanbul. It’s decked out with leather sofas, Turkish tiles and a chalet-style pine ceiling. Breakfast is served here; pile plates high with fresh cakes and croissants.

Hotel Bar

The bar is part of the top-floor lounge space. Sip a signature margarita or some Turkish Raki overlooking Cukurcuma’s winding streets and the Galata Tower.

Last orders

Food is served from 7.30am until midnight, with breakfast running between 7.30am and 11.30am. Drinks are served until midnight.

Room service

The full restaurant menu can be served in your room between 7.30am and midnight.

Smith Insider

Dress code

It’s so relaxed, you won’t feel out of place cracking out your kilim slippers and slacks.

Top table

Nab a snuggle-friendly sofa by the fireplace.

Local Guide

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

Worth getting out of bed for

Do as the Turkish do and head to a hamam to de-stress; the Galatasaray Hamam (+90 (0)212 252 4242; www.galatasarayhamami.com) is on Erkekler Kismi. Beyoglu has several antiques shops: rummage for riches at Moderntarih (+90 (0)212 292 7296; www.moderntarih.com) or ask the concierge to arrange a trip to A La Turca (+90 (0)212 245 2933), trinket-filled with treasure from Turkey and beyond.

Local restaurants

Pop around the corner for contemporary Turkish cuisine and enjoy the relaxed alfresco atmosphere at Cezayir (+90 (0)212 245 9980; www.cezayir-istanbul.com). If your interior-design standards are high, keep consistent by heading to Autoban-produced Münferit (+90 (0)212 252 5067) for some fine-dining and artful use of wood and glass. The best Bosphorus views are offered at Topaz (+90 (0)212 249 1001; www.topazistanbul.com), and they come with traditional Turkish food.

Local bars

Rooftop refuge by day and happening hotspot by night, 360 Istanbul (+90 (0)212 251 1042; www.360istanbul.com) is famed for its cocktails. Otto (+90 (0)212 292 7015; www.ottoistanbul.com) and rooftop-enhanced Balkon (+90 (0)212 293 2052) both prop up the nightlife in bar-filled Tunel, south of the pedestrianised Istikal Caddesi thoroughfare.

Local cafés

Try Sofyali (+90 (0)212 245 0362; www.sofyali.com.tr) in Tunel – this lively lunch spot serves up tasty takes on local specialities.

+ Enlarge
Old-town Cukurcuma

The House Hotel Galatasaray

Firuzaga Mah. Bostanbasi Cad. no: 19, Istanbul, 34440

The House Hotel Galatasary is in the centre of Istanbul, in the historic, antique-shop-filled Cukurcuma. It

Planes

Atatürk International Airport is roughly 25km from the hotel. Both British Airways (www.ba.com) and Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com) fly direct from London Heathrow.

Trains

The nearest train station is Sirkeci, 2km away. Cross-country trains call in on their way to other Turkish cities, including Edirne.

Automobiles

Yellow taxis fill the streets; they’re incredibly cheap and you’ll never be waiting longer than a couple of minutes. There’s free parking 50m away. 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 Galatasaray - Istanbul - Turkey

Anonymous review

by Bryce Longton , Wanderlustful writer

Centuries-past plasterwork and pristine parquet flooring is the elegant backdrop to statement retro lighting, quirky marble ensuite bathrooms in this lovingly revived mansion in Cukurcuma reworked by designers du jour, Autoban. Just how Mr Smith and I have come to be wandering around the Galatasaray district searching for such splendour on a balmy evening is something of a story, too. A year be…
Read more

The House Hotel Galatasaray

Anonymous review by Bryce Longton, Wanderlustful writer

Centuries-past plasterwork and pristine parquet flooring is the elegant backdrop to statement retro lighting, quirky marble ensuite bathrooms in this lovingly revived mansion in Cukurcuma reworked by designers du jour, Autoban. Just how Mr Smith and I have come to be wandering around the Galatasaray district searching for such splendour on a balmy evening is something of a story, too.

A year before, we were headed to the airport to hop a plane, that time to revel in a hip hotel in Miami, when we missed our plane out of JFK. This led to a few tears, some choice words, and a re-route to another Florida airport. Determined not to miss another flight we arrived at the airport the full two hours early. As we reached the gate, high-fiving each other for being on time, an announcement offered vouchers in exchange for our seats – the flight was overbooked. A shared glance, a jog to the counter, and we were walking away with $1,600 for future flights. Cut to 12 months later, and here we are on a 10-day adventure in Turkey.

Having arrived in Istanbul from the resort-town of Bodrum, we are sunburned but relaxed as we wind our way through Galatasary’s cobblestone streets, bags in hand, trying to find a tributary street called Bostanbasi. As we pass the same taxi stand for the third time, I muse to Mr Smith we might be lost. Our inadvertent detour, anything but boring, has us snaking up and down the labyrinthine sidestreets off Istiklal Avenue, the coursing artery of the New District of Istanbul. Under the warm late-September sky, the air is alive with animated philosophical discussions over glowing coals and bejeweled hookahs. With the help of a few hubbly-bubbly bar proprietors and late-night fruit merchants, we land at last at the front entrance of the House Hotel, its steps charmingly hidden from the hustle and bustle.

The House Hotel’s marble entrance glows softly with a warm light. As we step inside, it feels as though we are in a turn-of-the-century yet neatly appointed mansion, complete with wall sconces, chandeliers, and brocade couches placed strategically on the landings. The lobby is cosy, with a front desk tucked under a grand staircase.

Once in our room, Mr Smith and I take a few moments to fully test out our boutique bolt hole – me perusing bath products (L’Occitane) and WiFi (free), and him on minibar (fully stocked) and bed-testing (perfectly plush yet firm) duty. There's a spacious living room and a large boudoir, with a vibe that's both modern and classic; golds, creams and navy contrast nicely with witty bathroom tiling. And, as we overlook an open-air garden restaurant behind the hotel, a pleasant clinking of forks and glasses is our soundtrack as we spruce up for supper.

The best quirk? A standalone glassed-in shower smack dab in the middle, between bed and bathroom. Sure it’s got all the right requisites (scented unguents, piping water, perfect pressure) but it really sells itself when I step in for a quick rinse and Mr Smith gets a reverse peep show he won’t soon forget. Less steamy, but just as satisfying is the discovery that when we leave the lights turn on and off with the door key – an eco-friendly feature I always appreciate.

It's late, and tonight the hotel is only offering room service. Happily we discover that the alfresco eatery beyond our room is one of the best in the neighborhood, so we amble across for a leisurely late-night meal. After dinner, a few drinks later, and a few wrong turns, we end up back at our beloved hotel in time to pull the drapes on those massive windows tight and collapse in that bed…

Breakfast is a buffet affair, with fresh fruit, cheese and yogurt alongside options such as eggs, pancakes and freshly brewed cappuccinos. Knowing it beckons from three flights above prises us from our comfortable lodgings. As we reach the top floor, before heading into the small dining room, we steal a glimpse into the penthouse. There, in a gigantic, gorgeous room, we spy a glamorous girl getting her make-up done, no doubt for a photo shoot in this exhilerating style-drenched city. Flopping onto one of the leather couches we get another eyeful of something also worth snapping – a breathtaking panoramic view over Istanbul's rooftops. Meanwhile, bringing a glimmer of Palm Beach to our surroundings, is a more eclectic take on the decor with  brightly coloured ceramic birds, indoor greenery, and dark wood coffeetables. What a stunning start to a day.

Packing up our cameras, our water bottles filled, we head off for some shopping at the world’s oldest mall, the Grand Bazaar. Centrally located a short walk from both Istiklal Avenue and the Metro, it’s an easy hop from the hotel to the city’s colourful markets. Here we search for trinkets for our families, when I discover the best handbag shop ever. I spend the next few hours honing my bartering skills, Turkish style. My reward? A Balenciaga replica – ‘Pretendciaga’ I quip to Mr Smith – that would fool Anna Wintour.

Several cups of sweet, strong Turkish tea later, Mr Smith and I salute our retail triumphs over sunset drinks at the top of the Marmara Pera hotel – its view over this East-meets-West, old-meets-new city is stuff postcards were made for. Here we toast, too, the House Hotel. Classic glamour yet completely contemporary – this hip urban hideaway shares the same unique contrast that makes Istanbul such a magnificent destination. Thank you, JFK for bumping us off that Miami flight.

The Guestbook

Reviews of The House Hotel Galatasaray 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

I liked the hotel's style: traditional with a few modern touches. It was well positioned in lively but quiet area, and the staff were friendly and the breakfast was excellent.

Don’t expect

It was difficult to find.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I absolutely loved it. It's a perfect hotel to provide some luxury and indulgence at the end of a hectic business trip.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the location and the decor. The staff were also very helpful in arranging airport transfers.

Don’t expect

The breakfast selection was not as good as on my previous stay at the hotel.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the palatial rooms with fabulous modern features, excellent lounge/bar with views a great location for exploring the real Istanbul.

Don’t expect

I would've liked tea/coffee mugs in the room that are more than espresso size; more staff enthusiasm to help with luggage updown four flights of stairs (there's no lift). It's wise to book a front room as the back can be noisy due to the (excellent) adjacent restaurant. Taxi drivers are often not keen to make the return trip from major sights mainly because they don't know the location.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

All the staff we had contact with both prior to arrival and once there were helpful, polite and knowledgeable. Climbing the many flights of stairs to our Penthouse Suite was tiring but made us feel less guilty when eating in the excellent restaurants. Breakfast on the other hand was very easy to get to and was always delicious.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This hotel is cntral and yet quiet, with great comfortable beds with lovely linen, delicious breakfasts and amazing service. I couldn't recommend the penthouse more.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the location. The quiet backstreets had plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops within walking distance, and it was walking distance to some of the main sights and a short tram-bus ride to others. The friendly staff and delicious breakfasts set us up for a great day of sightseeing. The power shower in the room rinsed off the day's exertions before a sound sleep on very comfortable bed.

Don’t expect

The four flights upstairs to breakfast got the heart pumping before my sleepy head was ready!

Rating: 7/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on No

We loved

Beautiful decor, fantastically friendly and helpful staff, fabulous room (the penthouse suite), very comfortable bed, perfect location, so much charm, and really quiet too, despite being so well placed. We LOVED it. Top marks. Fantastic value too. One of those rare hotels with class that don't charge extra for WiFi. And the breakfast (delicious) is included too, which seems to also be rare even when you pay through the nose. You may not always choose to eat in the hotel for breakfast, but it's great to not have to wander too far for morning sustenance and not pay extortionate rates.

Don’t expect

Nothing for us, but the penthouse especially is not one for children, or anyone elderly or disabled, as there is no lift because it's a beautiful, renovated old building.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel was gorgeous, small and discrete. It was staffed by friendly, helpful people.

Rating: 10/10 stars