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Golden Horn Sultanahmet Hotel 4.0

Istanbul, Turkey

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Review Summary

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  • Elegant, Ottoman-style decor
  • Rooftop restaurant and terrace with Hagia Sophia views
  • Within walking distance of Sultanahmet's top sights
  • Free welcome drink and Turkish delight on arrival
  • Free tea-time treats in the lobby at certain hours
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free parking
  • Small fitness center
  • Computer in lobby for guest use


  • No liquor license
  • Small bathrooms
  • Overwrought decor can feel stuffy

Bottom Line

An upscale Ottoman-inspired hotel, the Golden Horn Sultanahmet Hotel is in the heart of Sultanahmet, Istanbul's oldest neighborhood, where most of the city's historical sights are located. The building itself is imposing, set next to a park on a quiet cobbled, tree-lined street. It’s a traditional hotel with a grand and classic interior and inclusions like an impressive breakfast buffet, welcome drink with Turkish Delights, afternoon tea with pastries and cakes, and Wi-Fi. All of the Old City's top attractions are also within walking distance. The Sari Konak hotel, a 10-minute walk away, has cheaper rates and the same panoramic views from the rooftop.

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Elegant and opulent, with Ottoman-inspired period decor and rooftop views

The atmosphere inside the Golden Horn Sultanahmet Hotel's elegant lobby is simultaneously bustling and relaxed, buzzing with business people rushing through, guests queuing up for check-in under the ornate chandelier, and small groups sipping tea or typing on laptops while lounging on the delicate period furniture clustered around carved wooden tables. Tasseled curtains adorn curved windows, wood-paneled walls feel stately, and accents include antique urns, a grandfather clock, and a gold-painted ceiling. Even though the hotel was built in 1999, the style evokes a sense of a bygone era with its marble tile work and columns, Ottoman carpets, and gilded chandeliers. The experience only falters in the decor at the rooftop terrace restaurant, but, there, the panoramic rooftop and Bosphorus views more than make up for it. The Golden Horn Sultanahmet is a good choice for families and couples who are looking for a quiet and relaxed setting in which to experience the ancient wonders of Istanbul's most scenic neighborhood.


On a quiet park, off the main thoroughfare, and walking distance to the Blue Mosque.

The Golden Horn Sultanahmet Hotel is located in the heart of the historic Sultanahmet district, Istanbul's most ancient area. The hotel faces a breezy little park, and is surrounded by sights. It's a five-minute walk to the Blue Mosque, and a 10-minute walk to the Hagia Sofia, a massive church-turned-mosque-turned museum that dates back to the year 537. The city's most unexpectedly romantic attraction, the Basilica Cistern is also a 10-minute walk away. With a plethora of ancient sites -- as well as bars, restaurants, and bazaars -- Sultanahmet is one of the top locations in Istanbul for tourists.


Classically decorated in an Ottoman-inspired style, with floor-to-ceiling windows, many with balconies and some with views of the Blue Mosque

There are Standard rooms all the way up to Deluxe Triple, and some have balconies with breathtaking views of the Blue Mosque and the sea. 

All rooms at the Golden Horn Sultanahmet Hotel are classically decorated with red carpets that have Ottoman patterns, velvet tasseled curtains, gilded mirrors, and a color palette of reds, golds, and browns -- all of which is meant to evoke the decadence of the Ottoman era. The effect is a combination of romantic and elegant, although the ornate decor can feel a bit stuffy. Large windows give good light, and recessed lighting in the ceiling gives off an ambient glow. Accent pieces include traditional telephones and crystal chandelier lampshades. Some rooms have furnished balconies with views of the Blue Mosque and the Bosphorus. Bathrooms are on the small side, even in the Sultan Suite, and rooms in general tend to be compact. All rooms have air-conditioning, a minibar, flat-screen TV, coffee-making facilities, and views over the garden or park. Bathrooms have walk-in stall showers, for the most part, and the tilework varies between looking dated and modern, depending upon the room.


Free breakfast, fitness center, rooftop terrace restaurant with panoramic views, free Wi-Fi

The fitness room at the Golden Horn Sultanahmet Hotel has no natural light and the floor is a bold orange color, but is a good size and has a nice range of equipment. The restaurant looks a little dated, perhaps because of the heavy carpets and frilly tables, and the big "no-smoking" sign on the wall is an eyesore, but a free breakfast is served each morning and the adjoining rooftop terrace is quite pleasant, with views of the Blue Mosque and the sea. There's no swimming pool or sauna, but there is a conference center and meeting rooms. There are computers in the lobby for guests to use, and both Wi-Fi and parking are free. Airport transfers can be arranged for a fee.

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