Words are insufficient to describe Istanbul‘s Sumahan on the Water, a boutique hotel located on the eastern Bosphorus shore in the township of Çengelköy. We’ll try anyway.
The Butlers, both architects and with an experience in teaching architecture in Iowa, are the founders and owners of the Sumahan. They had a dream and a vision: to convert a historic Ottoman factory building into a graceful boutique hotel. With The Sumahan on the Water they made their dream come true in Istanbul. The property in fact was an old alcohol factory tha by the end of the 19th century produce suma, a fig spirit used to make raki. In the renovation they have managed to preserve its original industrial appeal while modernizing the interior—with polished wood floors, flat-screen TVs, and, in most rooms, glass-sheathed fireplaces—and retaining a touch of the old Ottoman style in the marble bathrooms with hammam-style basins.
All the seven deluxe rooms are unlike, as the three junior suites, four loft suites, three family loft suites, three executive suites, and the exclusive Sumahan suite. It goes without saying, all rooms and suites have an amazing view over the Bosphorus views, of course.
Just as each table in the water’s edge terrace restaurant, which has open-air tables for al fresco dining, and sleek dining rooms when the weather does not allow it.
Guests may indulge at the Sumahan Wellness Center, featuring it own Turkish Bath (Hamam), an exercise room, and massage facilities
Bosphorus hotels may have an issue regarding transportation. On the European shoreline tourists need to use a taxi to move about the hotel and the major centers of interest. It is more complicated for the Asian shore.
The Sumahan’s solution is to provide its own water shuttle service between the hotel and Dolmabahçe. From there you can easily walk to Kabatas and take the new Füniküler (or a cab) to Taksim Square, or the Zeytinburnu-Kabatas tram (or a cab) to Karaköy, Eminönü, Sultanahmet, Beyazit and the Grand Bazaar, and other areas.
It is wonderful to be right in the hustle and bustle of Istanbul for sightseeing and entertainment, but you’ll love being out of it and on the Bosphorus shore when you only want to relax and enjoy the warmth of Turkish hospitality. If you are a late-night party-goer, you might see the Sumahan a little far out. But if you are there to enjoy the magic that Istanbul of the Bosphorus can exude. The Sumahan on the Water is your place.