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“Fabulous Place!”

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Sumahan on the Water
Ranked #221 of 1,140 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fabulous Place!”
Reviewed June 26, 2011

This was our third visit to this marvelous hotel, which was once a distillery. In addition to being in Istanbul, which is an utterly fascinating city, it's sufficiently small and out of the way to be great for just chilling out. It's beautifully decorated, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the Bosphorus, which is only a few feet away. Eager and attentive staff whose English is excellent. The hotel owns a launch that plies the strait between the hotel and downtown several times a day; there's also a pubic ferry terminal about a five-minute walk away from which there are regular ferries to the Galata Bridge terminal. The restaurant is excellent, too, as is the one (same ownership, I believe) next door. The Sumahan is an excellent value if you want a top-flight place to stay.

Room Tip: I think all rooms look onto the Bosphorus
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank EHirschhorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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375 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2011

I travel extensively across the world and the Sumahan is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, one of the finest hotels I have ever stayed in. The trip to Istanbul was a surprise for my wife, to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We were not disappointed. The hotel is superb, the design and taste are impeccable, the view on the Bosphorus absolutely breathtaking and the hotel staff offer some of the best examples of Turkish hospitality. On arriving at the hotel, Nural, the hotel manager, made sure that candles had been placed in the room and that a bottle of wine was waiting for us! We look forward to coming back.

Room Tip: All rooms have beautiful view:
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Simon_Mizrahi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
227 reviews
106 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 439 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2011

We stayed at Sumahan for just two nights at the end of our trip. We had previously stayed in Sultanhamet so wanted a different perspective from the Asian side. The location is really perfect...great views of the Bosphorus and just steps from the very charming Cengelkoy. We booked one of the loft suites and the room was beautiful. The only problem is as the previous reviewer commented ,the room is far from private.Actually you open your door to a public area and the ones on the end are near restaurants. Sometimes we found our chairs gone and most of the time our neighbors were out (three young people) and talking loudly on their cell phones. I actually think other room types which are less expensive would offer more privacy. Indeed the room description does not indicate that the garden area is "private" so not much to complain about. Were I to return I would opt for another room type and not pay a premium for the direct access. Our welcome was very nice and in general the hotel staff aims to please. Breakfast was very nice and you could order some eggs etc. which were included. Lovely breakfast room and outside terrace. We did not eat in the Kordon Restaurant because I had read about the prices and asked about a less expensive option...they booked Iskele just down the block and it was fantastic...and just as much if not more atmosphere. For our last night they booked Borsa which has a wonderful view but nothing better than you could find at the hotel and we found it business like and rather stuffy...food was good. The private boat shuttle was efficient and they can provide you with an Akbil to be used on the tram which leaves right from where the boat takes you. Fun experience. Because we had done our major sightseeing we only used it once. Stolling around Cengelkoy early morning or evening was really a treat with lots of local color and few if any tourists around. That was great. We wanted a transfer to return to the airport (we had our own to arrive) and hotel seemed only interested in two options local taxi (about 40 Euro) or VIP Limo quoted at 125 Euro. I asked a few times as I was not excited about that ride in a taxi (never know what you will get) and could not justify 125 Euro to go to airport. I did my own research and booked one of the many transfer companies who picked us up promptly in a very nice van and cost was 40 Euro. It seems that option could have been offered given my requests. I understand Sumahan is five star but most hotels would offer all options. I would recommend this hotel for your stay in Istanbul if you are looking for a quiet location and don't mind the transit to the major tourist sights. Excellent for return visit to Istanbul. We enjoyed our stay at the Sumahan despite the few negative comments.

Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank gene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2011

I stayed at Sumahan with my mother and my aunt for a week to celebrate my mother's birthday. One of the issues we had witht he hotel from the first day was the weird mix of quotes they provide - rooms, taxi quotes, massages are quoted in euros. Food, mini bar, room service are quoted in Lira. Which is it? Consistency would be nice. We stayed in the family suite with a garden. The room is two storeys and very nice with a stunning view over the water. However; the room was right next to the restaurant which meant that we were awoken every morning at 6.00am to the clanging of cutlery. Also, people from the restaurant often felt welcome to use the outdoor furniture in the garden directly outside our room (doors were open for breeze and I was sleeping on the lower level - slightly unsettling). At times other guests also sat on the outdoor furniture. When booking they made it sound as though we would have a private garden. The garden is not private and we were informed of that when we made enquiries about the strangers on our back door step. Then we were told that if anyone should sit there we could call reception and they would move them along....confusing. Is it private or public?
The hotel failed to provide amenities for three people....2 bath robes, 2 pairs of slippers, 2 towels, 2 sets of shower gel, shampoo etc despite several requests to provide amenities for a third person. Finally on the last day, they came to the party.
The hotel launch across the Bosphorous has a schedule that it doesn't really run to. You have to book the launch each way. If the one peron who books it for 10am shows up at 9.45, it leaves at 9.45. What's the point in the schedule? No one told us we had to make a reservation and when we brought this issue up with them they told us they had told us and we should have listened more carefully! Rude!
Finally, on the night of my mothers birthday, we had the hotel book us in to see a traditional sufi ceremony. They booked us in to a ceremony in an obscure and remote area that not one person on the front desk was familiar with. They did not provide us with sufficient directions on how to get there and told us it was a 5 minute walk from the restaurant where they made a dinner reservation for us.....it was a 20 minute walk and we missed the show.
We wrote a letter to the front desk outlining all of our complaints and they continuously made us offers of cake and wine which we didn't want and continuously turned down. Finally they offered us a 3 course meal in their restaurant on our final night which we couldn't commit to as we had rebooked the sufi ceremony for that night. In the end they took two bottles of wine off of our bill of thousands of dollars. The most alarming thing was when the gentleman at the front desk (Gokhan) told me that the reason that was all they do for us was because the only one of our complaints they found to be valid was the lack of amenities in the room.....I was outraged. I have worked in many hotels....you don't tell the guest that what has made them upset isn't important
Overall, this hotel was a let down!

Room Tip: Request a room away from the restaurant!
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
15 Thank akf89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2011

Wonderful views. Great windows that open so you can truly enjoy the experience of being right on the Bosphorus Strait. Very helpful desk staff.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DonutDollie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
60 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2011

We stayed at Sumahan for the last 3 days of our stay in Istanbul, to have a few days on the quieter Asian side of Istanbul. ("Quieter" is relative in Istanbul.) They have their own small boat (classic, stylish launch) that has a scheduled service between the hotel & key points on the European side (their web site has its schedule).

We had a Junior Terrace Suite - top floor single level, the "Beykoz" room. It is beautifully designed and modern, & our favourite activity was watching the boats & ships on the Bosphorus and the lights change on the first bridge, & the Euro side. The hotel is right on the water. The king bed was very comfortable.

Location - this can be a plus or minus depending what you want. We liked being "away" from the busier side. There's only a few sights & you need to use taxis, but the Euro side is available through the hotel's boat or regular city ferries from a wharf 5 minutes walk away. There's a small town a few minutes' walk away. Ensure you get their map, & their address on their card as the hotel is not obvious to most taxis from the street. The location itself is a well-to-do area, though the small town nearby is more typical Istanbul.

Service - was impeccable, helpful & friendly. The owner/architect came out to introduce herself given we'd come from Australia.

Food - they have a small in-house restaurant with quality & OK-priced local & international meals. Wine is pricey but the local wine choice is better than most restaurants. There's several high standard restaurants close by (used by wealthy locals, judging by the number of Porches!).

Sights - not as much as the Euro side, but head south, & also get a cruise up the Bosphorus towards the Black Sea.

Facilities - there's a small gym, and a small hammam. No pool. This is a boutique hotel not a generic faceless chain, though they do get CNN if you can't escape propaganda. Watch the Bosphorus, not TV!

Highly recommended.

Room Tip: internet & look at photos
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
45 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2011

We stayed at Sumahan on the Water for four nights in April and it was a great choice. My hesitation was in staying on the Asian side of Istanbul, but the shuttle boat works magnificently. Every room at the hotel has great views of the Bosphorus river and the European side of Istanbul. The key is the shuttle boat, which provides timely 20 minute rides across the river to the main tram station. From there, all the major spots in Istanbul are easily within reach. Once we arranged for the shuttle to pick us up at an alternate spot across the river, and the boat appeared at the dock right on schedule. I was very impressed. The staff was very helpful in mapping out alternate ways back to the hotel via other shuttles and taxis if out of hours, and were extremely attentive.

Our room had a sitting room and a fireplace which provided the perfect atmosphere after dealing with the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. If you don't mind the 20 minute boat ride, you'll love this hotel.

Room Tip: All the rooms have great views
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tisidor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sumahan on the Water

Property: Sumahan on the Water
Address: Kuleli Cad. No:51 Cengelkoy, Uskudar, Istanbul 34684, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Uskudar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
#84 Spa Hotel in Istanbul
#91 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#167 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sumahan on the Water 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sumahan On The Water Hotel Istanbul
Sumahan On The Water Istanbul

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