10kara1Not so long ago the Balıklı Hanı in trendy Karaköy was home to some of the hardware stores for which the area is so famous. Now it's a glitzy, stylish hotel, beautifully designed by award-winning architect Sinan Kafadar who has sneaked references to the fish (balık) even into the doorhandles. 

This is a hotel with the wow factor in spades. Where to start? The soaring atrium is a place of great beauty with lots of sitting areas. More can be found in the lovely ground-floor bar which has an enviably inviting fireplace for cold nights. 

Open-sided lifts whisk guests to rooms which go for an up-to-the-minute but restrained look with comfort uppermost in the design. Bathrooms, for example, come with underfloor heating. Relatively small, they have walk-in showers rather than tubs but lots of inviting toiletries. 

On the ground floor the Rudolf restaurant is a real gourmet haven. Menus are the handiwork of Dutch chef Rudolf Van Nunen and feature such exotic treats as octopus carpaccio alongside more familiar favourites such as lemon tart (heared served with a to die for peach sorbet).10kara2

The hotel basement houses a fitness center but no spa or hamam. The roof terrace features a small bar and partial views across to Sarayburnu. 

Valet parking is available which is fortunate since the hotel is on a busy road which newcomers to İstanbul might find hard to handle. 

Sultanahmet is within walking distance or you can hop the tram. Ferries ply back and forth to Kadıköy, Üsküdar and sites along the Golden Horn from the nearby waterfront.

Thumbs up: Superb conversion of a historic building in a great location with excellent gourmet restaurant

Thumbs down: Tram ride away from Sultanahmet attractions. No spa

Tel: 0212-703 3333

Click here to book now



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