I generally do not like moving around too much on my holiday. Though many argued that I should at least go to Cappadocia, it is not quite a day trip from Istanbul from the sound of it, and interesting landscape is best enjoyed in the low light early in the day or around sunset time. So I decided not to be tempted by different ideas and booked myself 7-night stay here. I was pretty busy during the weeks leading up to departing Melbourne, from farewell dinners, handing over work, talking to accountants, etc. and while I had the Agoda.com, Hotels.com, etc. but I decided on the hotel at just the last minute. In the end, though, I am very happy with the choice I’d made.
According to the hotel information, it is a hotel that is built on a 200-year-old house. It is very close to all the major attraction of the Sultanahmet area (Sultan Ahmet is the one that is commonly known as ‘the Blue Mosque’). It is a bit of tourist central, with prices higher, lots of people talking to you trying to get your business, but it is a good spot, only a few minutes’ walk to the mosques and museums, and there is a tram stop nearby, only about 5 min walk, which can then connect to Metro, if you want to use public transport. When I arrived, the cost for a single ride was TL4 (4 lira) to buy a token, and for the 2 rides (train plus tram), it cost me TL8 from the Ataturk airport to Sultanahmet.
It is one of those so-called ’boutique hotels’ so they are not as expensive but comes with basic setup. The hotel stands against an old fortress wall, but I was lucky to get a road facing room which was full of light.
My booking came with free breakfast inclusive, and boy, how good was the meal!
Those are some of the friendly faces you are greeted by every day. Talking to Zuhal, who I thought was a lady who is making magic in he kitchen, I found out she is more than just a chef!
She starts by telling me that the paintings I came across in the hallway and in the room are made by her. She goes as far as saying that the whole thing is her ideas. She’s been with the hotel for 2 years now, but before that, she had a 16-year career as an art teacher who used to tutor students aiming to get scholarship in studying art. However, as you hear all the time from artists,it was hard making living on art, and she’d picked up this day job.
When she started working here, the whole place looked a little ugly, making people tired staying here. The architect who restored the building that had been damaged by fire did it wrong, she says, not correct to the original design. She took it as her personal mission to improve this place. She painted rooms and corridors in warm colours and put on warm, friendly details. In the room I stayed in, there was a beautiful painting of a violinist. It reminded me of the friend I left behind in Melbourne.
Next to the hotel is a taxi depot, just around the corner is the Four Seasons Hotel, and then mosques and Aya Sofya, all within a few minutes’ walk.
Look at more art work by Zuhal…
I’m not on affiliate programme (considering now but not yet…), so it won’t earn me anything, but if you ever decide to go, please tell them you’ve heard about it from me, the Japanese photographer who had blog and Facebook pictures about the hotel… Say hello to everyone 🙂
Here is the link to one of the booking sites’ page:
Ishakpasa Konagi hotel in Sultanahmet, Istanbul on Hotels.com