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“Away from all the Hustle of Tourist Trap”

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Sumahan on the Water
Ranked #203 of 1,163 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 3, 2012

Sumahan on the water is a in a beautiful location overlooking the Bosphorus and a great spot to just relax and watch the daily events on this busy water way , the water traffic although not a bother was a little noisy on one morning. The hotel offers a boat service into Kabatas from here there is regular tram service up to the tourist attractions Topkapi Palace , Hagia Sophia, Cistern, Blue Mosque etc (dont forget to get a swipe card from hotel which gives access to trams ferrys etc - you will need to recharge if you are there for a couple of days but not difficult) . Hotel staff could not have been more helpful certainly gave great service and helpful when trying to find local restaurants etc - not a lot of tourists in this area , restaurants we tried had a couple of english speakers who were very helpful in choosing our meals and wine (local beer was ok to) - definitely try the local cafe's within walking distance really enjoyed our fish sandwich (balik ekmek) and turkish tea (cay , chah-yee). Ok back to the hotel - rooms and amenities are good and the hotel Hamam is worth making the time for all in all a great spot to stay in Istanbul.

Room Tip: I would suggest an upper level room , we had suite just above the restaurant which could be a littl...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Muzz&Krissy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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141 - 147 of 384 reviews

Reviewed October 27, 2012

The Sumahan is just as beautiful, sleek and modern as the photos would lead you to believe. ALL the rooms appear to face the Bosphorus so unless you need a suite or you are promised a room with a fireplace there is no need to spend more to get a view. Breakfast on the terrace in the morning, or a drink on the terrace late at night, the view is always terrific and the boats go up and down non stop and the bridge has an all night light show.

The staff at reception are very helpful, the breakfast is pleasant although nothing out of the ordinary except for the divine yoghurt which I expect comes from Kanlica nearby. We did not try the restaurant for dinner or use the spa.

The big issue is transportation. We specifically chose to be on the Asian side as we had already visited the European side previously. However, we did want to cross over sometimes. The boat transfer provided by the hotel only runs at very limited and specific times (3 times in the morning and 2 times in the evening) and must be booked at least an hour ahead. Hardly spontaneous and hardly convenient for a mid day trip. Taxis are available at the hotel, but a lot of taxis on the European side are not keen to cross over, especially if there is a lot of bridge traffic, to make the return trip. There are public boats but they require a taxi or tram to connect on each side and there are private taxi boats but they are very expensive. Some people love the hotel transfer boat experience though so just decide what kind of experience you want.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LondonPetunia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

After 3 great days in the old city district of Sultanahmet on the European side it was a very different experience to arrive in the waterside tranquility of SOTW on the Asian side. It's a fairly long cab ride from the historic centre even though the Sumahan doesn't seem to be that far from the Bosphurus Bridge. Our room was very nice with a great view over the garden to the water. We had a late lunch at an outside table on the terrace and the service and food was great. We booked the 6.30pm complimentary launch to Kabatas on the European side and the 7.30pm return. We were making the most of the opportunity for a Bosphurus cruise and we were not disappointed. On the way you pass under the Bosphurus Bridge and cruise past the Ciragan and Dolmabahce Palaces. If you want to go into Sultanahmet you can either get a cab or take the cheaper and easier way by tram. When you get off the launch just go left and you'll see the tram stop of Kabatas about 50 metres away. Just buy tokens from the machine with coins or a 10 or 20 TL note (change given in coins so a 10 is best) and put your token in the barrier gate and off you go as far as the tram will take you. We just went for a walk to the nearby Dolmabahce Palace and had a tea watching the boats go by. The 7.30pm return trip was spectacular with buildings beautifully lit and a great light show on the Bosphurus Bridge. We arrived back in time for a very romantic dinner on the terrace which had very stylish gas heaters to take away the chill of the late October evening - fabulous food, nice wine and excellent and friendly service. A very pleasant and peaceful one night stay; but more than 2 nights, if you were here as a tourist you might find frustrating as getting to the sites on the European side can be time- consuming and expensive if you are going to rely on taxis. For us 1 night here was perfect as we were flying out of Sabiha Gokcen airport on the Asian side, a 70TL taxi ride away. SOTW is a very nice laid-back, contemporary hotel with good facilities and we enjoyed our short stay here.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank yungkara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

The waterfront location that Sumahan promises in the photos is as good as it looks. Each room overlooks the Bosphorus - it's the sort of outlook that you'll never grow tired of, whether it's the calm first thing in the morning, the ferries and boats throughout the day, or watching the sunset behind the bridge, glass of wine in hand.

The outside of the building is striking, a converted raki distillery. Out the front is a little jetty, where the hotel runs a complimentary boat service a few times each day, to get to European shore and back. It's a really useful service, as well as being great fun, and in combination with the public ferries, if you get a little organised you really don't need taxis to and from the European side during the maddening (and elongated) rush hour.

A fantastic view can overcome a lot of things, but not quite everything. The rooms (we saw two) are a little tired, and the bathrooms don't hit that elusive fifth star. While we were there, the hotel's highly regarded Kordon restaurant was being renovated, so it was closed, which was a little disappointing as it's meant to be one of Istanbul's finest. I suspect the improvement program will eventually extend throughout the hotel, so maybe check on the status of the works before signing up.

Breakfast also was underwhelming - the extent of the buffet selections wasn't great, and you had to pay extra to get upgraded to warm delicacies like sausages and eggs.

Overall, recommended for its wonderful views and for some peace away from the busier tourist areas, but held back by a couple of things.

Room Tip: There are three junior suites. One of them only has two windows - it's not in the photos. Ask...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ozbanker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

This is an exceptional hotel across the water from the tourist sites and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

With an inital hesitation of staying so far away from the old city, I am glad this was our final choice, as the hotel ferry across the water is comfortable and efficient and became our own bosphorus cruise every day with the ferry landing at the entrance of the main tram line to all the sights.

Rooms and service are exceptional and the hotel retaurant good. it was a pleasure to return every day away from the hustle and bustle of a manic city.

The views and exceptional and you get an idea of how important the river is with the volume of water traffic, which due to good double glazing does not intrude. Rememeber to look out onto the main suspension bridge that becomes a light show every hour.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ChiragCaoeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Yes, the situation of the Sumahan is fantastic. Yes, the view from the rooms are amazing. Yes, the dining terrace is right next to the water so you can eat your meals and watch the world go by in boats. This is all wonderfully enjoyable but the style of management and service just lets the place down, which is very frustrating. The hotel provides a boat service across the Bosphorus to take guests closer to the main city attractions (the Sumahan is about 40 mins out) which leaves at 10am and I would suggest you take breakfast at 8.30am to make sure you didn't miss it! There was always 3 or 4 necessary items missing from your breaksfast table which would take the staff ages to replace after asking, if you could attract their attention in the first place. A glass of water took 10 minutes and the buffet choice was very limited. We stayed for 4 nights and I was hoping to have figs for breakfast but after asking politely but being told none available (in Turkey where we have to import them from!) my husband had to buy them from a fruit stand which was about 25 meters from the front door!! The rooms, whilst furnished well with modern pieces and having those wonderful river views are looking tired and the bathrooms would benefit from a good deep clean. This hotel could be so easily improved with just a few simple touches and better staff training.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Mrs-WT-London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

this is a fabulous small boutique hotel located ON the Bosporus -- so you can sit and enjoy a meal or a glass of wine with an open view of the water... the food was excellent, the staff so very nice and helpful and good at their jobs... the rooms are modern, comfortable with views of the river and the European side. a very romantic place -- just fabulous i thought!!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank jamie t
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

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:
#83 Spa Hotel in Istanbul
#90 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#157 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: $186 - $366 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sumahan on the Water 5*
Number of rooms: 20
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Also Known As:
Sumahan On The Water Hotel Istanbul
Sumahan On The Water Istanbul

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