I was referred to the Adahan by an acquaintance that lives in Istanbul. I had originally wanted to stay in Sultanahmet because it was closer to the Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, etc. “Stay in Beyoglu, it’s the Soho of Istanbul” she told me, and would be much more to my liking. She was right!
We were in Istanbul for a meeting and had time to explore the area before actually moving to the Adahan (meeting was at the Ritz Carlton – one of the best in the world in my estimation but not in a great location). We were dropped off at the Galata Bridge and made our way up the narrow, winding streets toward the hotel. It took us about an hour to go one block – the small shops filled with wonderful hand crafted items (shoes, jewelry, clothes) and heavenly Turkish bath towels drew us in one after the other. Shopping nirvana!
Halfway to the Adahan is the Galata Tower. It sits in a beautiful old square with quaint shops and restaurants surrounding it. We stood in line for about 20 minutes waiting to enter the tower. It was a great opportunity to chat with our line-mates. A Turkish father and his just-about-to-go-to college age son were behind us. The dad spoke some English (our Turkish is non-existent) he said he’d learned while a Sergeant in the military and stationed with Americans. He was very proud of his son. The young couple on the other side of us told us that they had just gotten engaged! They asked us to take pics of them and smiles and laughter ensued.
You pay for your ticket (18EU) once you enter the tower, take an elevator up and then climb a few flights of stairs. There is a restaurant in the tower for drinks, snacks or dinner but we didn’t stop there. The 360 view is fantastic. Don’t miss this!
The next day our Taksi (cab) expertly maneuvered the maze of steep, curvy streets and dropped us off at the front door to The Adahan. The hotel sits on a quiet, almost residential, street a short walk from the main drag, Istiklal Cadessi. We walked into the lobby and it reminded me of the small pensions I’d stayed in many years ago in Italy. Compact and stately, the wonderful architecture of the building is allowed to shine through. Heavy doors, beautiful marble floors, fantastic staircase. Be warned, the entry stairs are steep and we needed assistance with our luggage, which was happily offered by the front desk staff. There are two sleek elevators to take you to the rooms and rooftop so no worries there.
We were quickly checked in and shown our rooms. We’d requested balcony rooms (they have four on the 3rd floor). A misstep with one of the rooms (no balcony) was quickly and easily fixed. The front desk staff were gracious and accommodating throughout our stay. I was mystified by the earlier posts of rude staff…at one point the front desk gal, who had given us directions to a hamam (Turkish bath – see my post about Kilic Ali Pasa Hamam) saw us leave and she ran out to tell us to take wraps. We loved the friendly staff here!
I was in room 305 and my friend in 302 at a rate of $260USD per night. These rooms offered a separate sitting area with tv, sofa and the balcony overlooking the side street. A mini fridge filled with waters was a nice touch. The bedroom was delightfully spare. Although I found the pillows a bit hard for my taste I’m sure they would have changed them if I’d asked. Beware of ants – it’s an old building! Neither of us was bothered by street noise and we found the rooms to be a quiet respite at night. There is AC if you prefer to close your windows (I didn’t!)
The bathroom was light filled and spacious and the amenities were delightful. Little glass bottles of shampoo/conditioner plus a variety of natural soaps.
It’s the rooftop terrace that is the icing on the cake. Refined yet just the right touch of rustic, it’s a comfortable and welcoming spot with a FANTASTIC view. The breakfast, which is included in the room rate, was extensive and filled with farm to table type items. A selection of cheeses, breads, yogurts, honey, jams, fresh fruit, eggs (srambled and hard boiled), oatmeal. Plus great coffee, tea and juices. We also had dinner here one evening and the food/wine/service was wonderful.
We took a short walk one evening and had dinner at Leb-I Derya Kumbaraci (located on Kumbaraci Caddisi – not the Leb-I Derya at the Richmond Hotel). Great food, unbeatable views.
All in all a great location, nicely updated rooms, free wi-fi and fantastic rooftop terrace. While the hotel is upscale it’s comfortable and not stuffy. Don’t miss the Ark of Crafts on the 5th floor, a small gift shop filled with locally sourced art. We walked from the hotel and across the Galata Bridge to the Bazaar, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and it took us about 30 minutes. You can also catch the tram (4TL for a one way) and it will drop you off just steps from these sites. A cab ride was 15TL (about $8USD, including tip). I can’t wait to return!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ADAHAN ISTANBUL simply graceful, purely timelessHoused in a charmingly restored, 1874 - grand apartment building in the very heart of the historic and chic Galata district, ADAHAN ISTANBUL truly redefines the Istanbul experience for our spirited guests. The building itself, the recent restoration, and the interior decor are neat, graceful, and respectful - so are the staff and the hotel's management philosophy. Guests stay in 40 individually refurbished living quarters, enjoying the timeless purity of custom designed wooden furniture and floors; cotton curtains, linen, and pillows; olive-oil soaps, and many other amenities.ADAHAN ISTANBUL's unique interior design reflecting its "respect for the natural and the pure" continues in the building's public areas such as the parlor floor, meeting rooms, and the lounges.ADAHAN ISTANBUL is a neat, sophisticated, warmly comfortable and joyful place in a great location . Enjoy the new definition of experiencing Istanbul. ... more less
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