Istanbul’s hipster, shopping, and nightlife scenes nearby
Pleasant blend of contemporary and historical design in guest rooms
Some units have balconies or terraces
Restaurant that serves classic Turkish dishes
Impressive breakfast spread with Turkish and continental favorites
On-site spa with hammam, massages, and beauty treatments
Lovely outdoor cafe and back garden
Private parking, bicycle rental, and airport shuttle (for a fee)
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Located outside the main tourist district
Situated on a steep slope; difficult walk to public transit
No on-site fitness room
Wi-Fi can be spotty
No elevators; some narrow spiral staircases
Although it may lack a certain polish or uniform design sense, this eclectic four-pearl hotel built in the 18th century impresses on many levels -- particularly in character. There's a virtual treasure trove of original art, antique furniture, handmade textiles, and various historical knick-knacks strewn throughout the common areas and in the 16 guest rooms, suites, and apartments. The on-site spa, hammam, garden, cafe, and restaurant add several more layers of frosting to the already savory cake, while the location in the Çukurcuma provides distance from the tourist hurricane in Sultanahmet and proximity to Istanbul’s hipster, shopping, and nightlife scenes in and around nearby Istiklal Street. For equal quirk, but major sights nearby, check into the Kybele Hotel, just steps from the Hagia Sofia in Sultanahmet.
A playful design with oodles of original art and historical details
The eclectic ambiance and decor of the lushly decorated common areas transmits a certain buzz to the clientele of couples, friends, and families. Throughout the reception area, restaurant, garden, and cafe is a slew of original paintings, grandfather clocks and other antique furniture, colorful handmade rugs, and even traditional costumes on mannequin torsos. Added verve can be drawn from the rustic outdoor cafe in the green back garden, and the on-site spa and hammam provides more space to relax, offering massages and beauty treatments. Guests linger over the breakfast, which features classic homemade Turkish dishes and receives high marks across the board.
Hillside neighborhood outside main tourist district, but close to sights
North of the Golden Horn, the long, and occasionally steep slope of the Çukurcuma neighborhood was home to Levantines, Armenians, Greeks, Italians, and others in the days of the Ottoman Empire, creating a similar polyglot of architecture. The Faik Pasha Hotels sits at the heart of this, just under the backside of the prestigious Galatasaray high school and near the atmospheric and stepped “French Street,” stuffed with some of Istanbul’s coziest cafes and restaurants. A six-minute walk uphill puts you in the center of Istiklal Street, the hub of all Istanbul’s shopping and nightlife districts. Walk roughly the same distance downhill and connect to one of the city’s main tramlines, which then connects to multiple subway and funicular stops, as well as to ferries traversing the Bosphorus.
Two-minute walk to French Street
Three-minute walk to Museum of Innocence
11-minute walk to Taksim Square
16-minute walk to Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
17-minute walk to Galata Tower
20 minutes to Spice Bazaar via public transit
23 minutes to Dolmabahçe Palace via public transit
26 minutes to Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern via public transit
27 minutes to Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque via public transit
Bright and quirky design paired with ample amenities
The ample quirk of the Faik Pasha filters through to its 16 air-conditioned rooms, suites, and apartments. Each is individually designed, with wood floors and an assortment of original art. Layouts differ too, often according to the historical contours of the 18th-century building. All rooms come with extra-long orthopedic double beds, multiple pillow choices, flat-screen TVs, and Blu-ray players, plus minibars, Nespresso machines, kettles, and tea, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms are similarly styled, with occasional hand-hammered metal basin sinks to accompany the ceramic tile walls and floors, hairdryers, and walk-in rainfall showers. Bed linens and towels are washed and ironed with organic products daily. Upgrading to suites or apartments can add glass chandeliers, kitchenettes, bathtubs, balconies and/or terraces.
A solid lineup of modern amenities, including an impressive breakfast and spa
In the amenity department, Faik Pasha earns its four-pearl rating. It starts with a luxurious full Turkish and continental breakfast, stocked with organic fruits and vegetables, olives, cheeses, pastries, and homemade jams, not to mention a chef to cook up hot menemen, the delicious Turkish version of scrambled eggs. Other classics, including the Turkish ravioli, mantı, are also served throughout the day. Special diet menus are available upon request. The spa, with hammam (couples and singles only), massages, and beauty treatments is another bonus, though there's no on-site fitness center. For an additional charge, guests can take advantage babysitting services, bicycle rental, shoeshine, ironing, dry cleaning, photocopying, and parking in a secured garage, and staff can arrange airport transfer for a fee. Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas, but it can be spotty. Travelers with limited mobility should be aware that the hotel lacks an elevator and that there are a few spiral staircases.
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