By Dian Hasan | July 26, 2009
The stunning Sumahan on the Water is located in Çengelköy, a district of the Asian coast of Istanbul in which there is a real air of the Bosporus. The architects Nedret and Mark Butler transformed a unique family heirloom – a former complex of elegant homes in which one of the typically Ottoman spirits was distilled – into an intimate, chic and comfortable hotel facing the sea.
Sumahan on the Water has 18 rooms whose interior design, as a result of the contrast of historical elements and modern pieces, succeeds in transmitting the decadent and at the same time pioneering air of the city of Istanbul.
And not just any water either; Sumahan on the Water sits on the Asian bank of the Bosphorus, in an upscale residential neighborhood full of vacation homes, looking across the strait at the city skyline over on the European side of Istanbul. The unobstructed view is what it’s all about — the hotel sits right up against the water’s edge, with terraces peering over, and the upper-level guest rooms look out through tall picture windows at the strait and Istanbul’s own version of Golden Gate Bridge ~ the Bosphorus Bridge.
Sumahan on the Water’s 20 rooms and suites, all lining the Bosphorus side of the house, are airy, wide-open, exposed to the light, and decked out in crisp minimalist lines and neutral colors. Many come with fireplaces, useful for those cozy winter nights, and all come with luxurious marble bathrooms. They’re the sort of rooms you could imagine holing up in quite comfortably, and have proven popular with honeymooners and anyone in search of a romantic escape.
Two restaurants cater to Sumahan’s guests; one serves local seafood, the other Turkish and international fare on a terrace by the water, backed by that astonishing view. And when you need to get out, you’ll find the Bosphorus Bridge easily accessible by car — or travel the old-fashioned way, on a launch across the water.