Sumahan, a five star boutique hotel, sits on the very edge of the Bosphorus Straits which separate Europe from Asia and link the cold waters of the Black Sea to the warm waters of the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean beyond. The Bosphorus feeds the heart and spirit of the city.
It was built in the mid-nineteenth century to produce “suma” the unadulterated spirit used to make ‘rakı’, the Ottomans’ favourite tipple. Where today a motorised launch ferries hotel guests to and from downtown, barges laden with figs would arrive to keep the stills of the Sumahan busy.
It is a rare Bosphorus-front property that has remained in the hands of the original family. Turkish-American owner-architects Nedret and Mark Butler have transformed an unlikely family heirloom – a derelict late Ottoman alcohol factory, into a design hotel and a special retreat for visitors to the modern city. Its aim is to provide the highest degree of service to the independent traveller in the intimacy of a family-owned hotel.
Status in Istanbul has long been determined not by the horsepower of your car but the magnificence of your living room view. Every bedroom in the luxury hotel offers an ever-changing seascape of fisherman and ferryboats and ships gliding through the night. It’s a view of myth and of history. Odysseus, Jason and his Argonauts all passed in front of the Sumahan as did Soviet submarines. In a list that includes Topkapi Palace and the Maiden’s Tower, the Guardian newspaper cites Sumahan as the only hotel among Istanbul’s five best waterside views.
The busy city of Istanbul is there on display – on a clear day, close enough to touch - but guests of Sumahan Hotel enjoy this panorama from the elegant, comfortable and quiet privacy of a secluded waterfront.
The romantic Sumahan Hotel is just outside Çengelköy, a part of the city that still preserves its air of an authentic Bosphorus neighbourhood. It is a village of wooden houses, fish restaurants and seaside promenades. The Bosphorus-front mansions nearby are among the stately homes of Turkey, and include the residence of Abdullah Paşa, the son of a Çengelköy boatman who went on to become the Grand Vezir. Çengelköy was famous for its fruit orchards and market gardens and had a royal palace where the last Ottoman Sultan was raised.
Visit the Website: sumahan.com