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Hotel Highlights

  • Huge apartment-style suites to spread out in
  • Staggering city views
  • Warm and stylish Autoban interiors and Ross Lovegrove modern marble bathrooms

Overview

Once the Turkish headquarters of Ogilvy and Mather, the centrally located Witt Istanbul Suites hotel teems with Mad Men worthy mid-century design and furnishings. Stylishly updated by the award-winning Autoban design team, it is now a sophisticated and spacious hotel with large rooms sparkling with marble kitchenettes and fabulous Ross Lovegrove-designed bathrooms. Many rooms offer glorious views of the Bosphorus and Black Sea.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Witt Istanbul Suites with us:

A welcome drink and basket of fresh fruit on arrival

Facilities

View Gallery
Witt Istanbul Suites hotel – Istanbul –Turkey

Need To Know

Rooms

17, and three penthouse suites. Three rooms have sea views.

Check–out

Midday, but later may be possible, depending on availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $279.75 (€208), excluding tax at 8 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

Thai massage and reflexology treatments are also available.

At the hotel

Library, DVD/CD selection, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, iPod dock, kitchenette with microwave, kettle and Nespresso machine, minibar. All beds are king-size.

Our favourite rooms

With sweeping views of Istanbul, the Bosphorus and the Black Sea, Sea View Suite 52 is the pick of the bunch, but 53 and 42 are also top spots, looking out over the river and the Topkapi palace. All the hotel’s suites cultivate a luxury-apartment feel, thanks to superbly equipped kitchens, hi-tech Marmara marble bathrooms created by design wizard Ross Lovegrove, each boasting an indulgent five shower heads (but no bath), and oodles of space.

Packing tips

Bring your swimsuit – although the Witt Suites doesn’t have a pool, you can soak up the sun in secrecy on your balcony, if you have one.

Children

The hotel's not ideal for children, and extra beds aren't a possibility, although cribs are available for babies.

Food & Drink

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Witt Istanbul Suites hotel – Istanbul –Turkey

Hotel Restaurant

The hotel serves a Turkish breakfast buffet every morning, but you’ll have to take advantage of the numerous excellent eateries in the nearby area for lunch and dinner.

Hotel Bar

A soft jazz soundtrack permeates the lobby area, a relaxing, informal space decorated with wood laser-cut into floral patterns, low lime-green armchairs and cosy sofas.

Last orders

Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 11am, but drinks (tea, coffee, wine and spirits) are available from the lobby 24 hours a day.

Room service

You can order breakfast in your room, and the drinks menu is available at any time.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Relaxing diplomat – slinky suits and cocktail dresses.

Top table

Grab a steaming mug of the hotel’s divine hot chocolate and curl up on a sofa in the lobby beside the bookshelves.

Local Guide

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Witt Istanbul Suites hotel – Istanbul –Turkey
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The Istanbul Modern (www.istanbulmodern.org) is an old dockside warehouse turned art and design gallery, a short roll down the hill from the hotel. The bar-restaurant, which offers brilliant Bosphorus views, is a key lunch spot – but take a taxi back up the hill; it's a brutal slope. Opposite the Witt Suites, on the other side of the river, sits the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul's most magnificent Byzantine building, now a museum. For a proper Turkish bath, try the Aga Hammam (+90 (0)212 249 5027) five minutes away on Turnacaibagi Sokak, a small, neighbourhood baths built in 1454 and frequented by Mehmet the conqueror.

Local restaurants

Situated in an elegant corner venue in one the cities oldest districts, the European-brasserie-feel Karaköy lokantası (+90 (0212) 292 44 55) has striking blue-tiled walls and specialises in traditional Turkish Mezes and finely-crafted seafood. Only a few doors down the street, Didem Şenol ‘s Lokanta Maya (+90 (0212) 252 68 84) has been a firm favourite amongst Istanbul’s foodies since opening its doors in 2010. In a bright, Scandinavian-chic dining room, the restaurant offers sophisticated fine-dining in the form of gourmet Mezes and modern gastro-Turkish cuisine. Those looking for a more intimate experience will enjoy Münferit (+90 (0212) 252 50 67); with outdoor tables lingering along its cobblestoned alleyway and subterranean patio, this sleek and exquisitely stylish dim-lit restaurant serves up contemporary Turkish-fusion Mezes. After 11pm the louche, New-York-chic bar takes the main stage, where you’ll find hip Istanbulites sipping finely-balanced cocktails into the early hours.

In a lavish penthouse space and awning-flanked al fresco bar-and-dining deck, overlooking the Bosphorus, the ever-popular Sunset Bar & Grill (+90 (0212) 287 03 57) serves Turkish-fusion and New Japanese cuisine to those looking for a more picturesque dining experience. The evening views of the illuminated Bosphorus Bridge make for a charming setting in which to indulge in sushi and cocktails. Similarly, Bebek Balıkçısı (+90 (0212) 263 34 47) is an elegant water-side eatery, situated in Istanbul’s ancient port-neighbourhood. Sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with celebrity and high-society clientele, you can look out across the Bosphorus and sip a glass of Turkish sauvignon blanc while merchants haggle with a local fisherman over the day’s catch. This is traditional, simply-cooked seafood at its best. The restaurant is usually busy, so reservations are highly recommended.

Local bars

Meyra (+90 (0)212 244 5335), at the junction of Akarsu Caddesi and Matara Sokag, combines a tasty Mediterranean menu with evening DJs and a creative clientele who enjoy the atmosphere until 4am. Slightly more backstreet and bohemian, Alti Café (+90 (0)212 293 0849) just off Akarsu Caddesi, has a shaded green garden and a hip, cheery vibe.

Local cafés

Nearby Cuppa on Yeni Yuva Sokak (+90 (0)212 249 57 23) serves an appetising area of fresh juices, quality coffee, and tasty salads.

+ Enlarge
Cihangir's hipster hubbub

Witt Istanbul Suites

Defterdar Yokusu No:26, Cihangir, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey, 34433

Planes

The nearest airport is Istanbul’s Atatürk International, 25km away. The journey should take half an hour, but this can grow rapidly in rush hour. Shuttle services go from the airport to Taksim Square, which is 800m from the hotel.

Trains

The nearest metro stations, Tophane and Taksim Square, are both about five minutes’ walk from the hotel. It may only have two lines, but the metro covers many of the city’s major points.

Automobiles

Cars aren’t essential since so many of the city sights are accessible on foot, but if you are driving, the hotel has free valet parking.

Reviews

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Witt Istanbul Suites hotel – Istanbul –Turkey

Anonymous review

by Jody Day , Interiors insider

No one told me there was a Grand Prix for taxi drivers, and that it was being held in Istanbul on the weekend Mr Smith and I arrive in the city. By the time we’re dropped off, dizzy and disorientated, at the cool stone steps of the Witt Istanbul Suites, I seriously wonder if I’ll ever regain my balance again. Ten wobbly paces later, though, we’re in the soothing sanctuary of a so…
Read more

Witt Istanbul Suites

Anonymous review by Jody Day, Interiors insider

No one told me there was a Grand Prix for taxi drivers, and that it was being held in Istanbul on the weekend Mr Smith and I arrive in the city. By the time we’re dropped off, dizzy and disorientated, at the cool stone steps of the Witt Istanbul Suites, I seriously wonder if I’ll ever regain my balance again. Ten wobbly paces later, though, we’re in the soothing sanctuary of a sombrely lit lobby and all traffic woes are forgotten. The welcome we receive as we check in is warm and genuine, which, considering it’s 1am, is no mean feat.

I’m tired and still feeling slightly irked by the fact that one of our bags has decided to go somewhere else for the weekend, but all negativity disappears when we’re shown into our fifth-floor corner suite. It’s beautiful and my eyes are immediately drawn to the huge bed in which I hope to be imminently snoozing. Then I see the windows. I can vaguely hear someone trying to explain to Mr Smith how to make the fancy flatscreen TV work, but all my senses are now fully engaged on the view. The Bosphorus spreads out beneath us like a velvet blanket and the mosques of the Golden Horn are lit up like jewels beside a flame. ‘It’s OK,’ I say to the hotel manager. ‘We won’t be watching the TV.’ He looks mystified, as though I’ve said we won’t be sleeping in the bed.

The next morning, we wake in a dark and silent room after the best night’s sleep in ages. We pull up the blinds with the excitement of children on Christmas morning – and we’re not disappointed. The French doors next to the bed yield a view down to the turquoise Bosphorus across the manicured courtyard of the old Italian Hospital, and across to the Topkapi Palace. Thousands of higgledy-piggledy roofs sit in between, adding to the sense of chaotic beauty. We pop our iPod into the Bose dock, make ourselves some espresso and take our Turkish breakfast back to bed.

Being in our suite feels as though we’ve been given the keys to our coolest friends’ tip-top apartment for the weekend. There’s a kitchen for starters – how often do you see that in a hotel room? – and a bathroom that’s an intriguing mix of traditional and modern. Built with grey-veined marble, as found in many of the city’s hammams, it also features bobbly Ross Lovegrove fittings and a glass-walled shower – oh, and large bottles of Molton Brown products. The living area, which has its own Bosphorus-view balcony, comes with a leather-and-wood sofa, a marble coffee table, and a flatscreen TV and DVD player. The whole tone of the place is cosy and modern, with a simple natural palette of black, taupe, grey and white. A quirky, feminine touch can be seen in the floral patterns on the wardrobes and the white panel above the bed. Designed by Wallpaper*-friendly local architects Autoban, the end result is domestic luxury rather than hotel swank. I’d happily move in tomorrow.

When we finally bring ourselves to leave the room, we head over to Ni?anta?i for a session of what Mr Smith calls ‘nuclear shopping’. He’s got business meetings in the city tomorrow and all of his work outfits are in that missing bag. It takes him just an hour to find himself outfits for both work and play – about the same time it takes me to try on a swimsuit and then have a cappuccino to get over it. We eat close to the hotel, at Meyra on Akarsu Caddesi, where we enjoy the best aglio et olio this side of Rome and get delightfully sozzled in the warm afternoon sun.

The area of Cihangir, in which the Witt Istanbul Suites sits, is the sort of bustling quarter that only insiders know about. Its streets are a jumble of trendy cafés and creative start-ups, mixed in with traditional kebabçi, barbershops, mosques, hammams and crumbling family apartments. Just uphill from the hotel, at the junction with Akarsu Caddesi, is a 24/7 hub of taxi drivers, all-night terraced cafés and little eateries, whilst around another corner Anatolian women in traditional dress sit crocheting in the street and children with limpid eyes watch you from dark doorways. Just downhill from the Witt, on the shores of the Bosphorus, is the stylish Museum of Modern Art. In a city that, for thousands of years, has been at the crossroads of two cultures, perhaps it is natural to find such differences within a few square metres.

On Sunday morning, while Mr Smith goes off to talk business in his new clothes. When he returns, we head downstairs to check out, only to decide that we’ll stay here for a couple more days. ‘Welcome back,’ says the manager, smiling. ‘And the other good news is that your missing bag has arrived.’

I know exactly where it’s going to go. And, now that we’ve discovered the Witt, so do we. We genuinely don’t want to go home – unless, of course, someone in London is willing to lend us their beautiful, design-conscious apartment for the weekend.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Witt Istanbul Suites 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

The hotel was so smart and had incredible views of the Bosphorus. The staff were friendly and gave us a very warm welcome.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the great location, amazing rooms and very friendly staff. Everything was perfect.

 

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The suite itself was fabulous and the staff very attentive. Turkish breakfasts are brilliant and available in the room at no extra cost. The panoramic view of Istanbul from our room was stunning, particularly at sunset.

Don’t expect

The hotel is up a very steep road so getting there using public transport with luggage would be challenging. However, once there, it is an easy walk to the hub of shops and restaurants.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The staff, the quality of the rooms, the location and the proximity to the trams.

 

Don’t expect

Bring your own dressing gown!

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

It was quite a journey through Istanbul airport and the Friday night rush hour traffic, but well worth it when we arrived and were greeted by a welcome drink. The suite was fabulous and the staff directed us to some great places, particularly White Mill (www.whitemillcafe.com/tr/), just down the road. It had good food and a secret garden you would never expect from the street. Staff also recommended two good restaurants and booked tables at both for us – Vogue (www.voguerestaurant.com), with amazing views of the city from the outside terrace, and Müzedechanga, which had superb food overlooking the Bosphorus.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel was perfect; the rooms were large with lots of great features and amenities, the staff were knowledgeable and helpful, and it was in a great location.

 

Don’t expect

Nothing.

Rating: 8/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

From the moment we were met at the airport to the wonderful reception on our hotel arrival at 9am and being able to access our suite and the offer of breakfast as well, to the excellent advice given by the hotel staff re: sights, transport, restaurant and bookings, we could not fault the hotel. It was a perfect location for accessing our cruise as the terminal was just down the hill (as was Istanbul Modern). Great views back to the old city and a relatively quiet location. Wish we had stayed longer and will return some day I hope. Thanks. Annie.

Don’t expect

Having to wait in long queues for the Turkey visa on arrival after a long flight and then having to pay USD 60 when others pay only USD 20! Only other downside was the traffic in Istanbul and the sometimes rather forceful carpet sellers! Had a couple of taxi drivers who were ready for the rip off.

Rating: 10/10 stars