Those who have visited Istanbul before, or those with a little more time, may be keen to venture to the Asian side of the Bosphorus. This quiet and calm district will give you a taste of the old Istanbul and there is nowhere better to stay than the design-led hotel, Sumahan on the Water.
Housed in a 19th century former drinks factory, this property has great character and charm. We had a lovely days excursion to Sumahan, a much-needed break from the bustling streets and markets of the city centre. Catching the mid-morning complimentary speedboat transfer, we arrived at the hotel in time for lunch. With the sea breeze and the fantastic vista, it felt like a different city.
On the terrace of the restaurant Tapasuma we enjoyed delicious, beautifully presented Turkish specialities. Fine, refreshing local white wine, homemade bread with warm soft grilled cheese and tapenade. My highlights of the menu included warm hummus topped with indulgent sliced beef, tender roast lamb shank with mashed cracked wheat, fresh herbs, dates, plum, apricot and oregano lamb sauce. Pudding was sublime, a butter chocolate soufflé dusted with icing sugar and accompanied with ice-cream and cream. It was soft, sweet and gooey, the perfect consistency and utterly irresistible.
After a flavoursome and filling meal, we had time to relax in the sunshine before heading down to the petite spa. The space was simple but stylishly designed, and very comfortable. Here guests can try a luxurious Turkish hammam or indulge in one of the signature treatments. I enjoyed a vigorous aromatherapy massage with rose oil. The rhythmic movements eased the tension in my back and legs, and though it hurt at times, it felt like it was really improving my posture.
Sumahan on the Water is a blissful escape, a Turkish delight just thirty minutes across from Istanbul’s main city. Never has it been so easy to see two continents in a day, with the picturesque boat ride between being a bonus.
More information and book here.