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Hayriye Hanim Konagi (HHK) Hotel 3.5

Istanbul, Turkey

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Renovated Ottoman house
  • 15-minute walk to the Grand Bazaar
  • Chic outdoor pool with Bosphorus and rooftop views
  • Romantically decorated, air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen TVs
  • Bright rooftop restaurant that looks onto the pool
  • Free Turkish buffet breakfast
  • Turkish hammam with sauna and massages
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free parking

Cons

  • Thin walls in the rooms
  • Surrounding neighborhood is a bit dilapidated

Bottom Line

The Hayriye Hanim Konagi (HHK) hotel is a charming, affordable, three-and-a-half pearl hotel in an 1850 Ottoman abode that was renovated in 2011, located by the water in Istanbul's historic Sirkeci district. The hotel is in the old Ottoman part of town and is surrounded by ancient buildings and steep roads. The hotel has 21 rooms spread over three floors, each decorated in a romantic, ornate style. On the roof, there's an outdoor pool, and the traditional Turkish hammam is especially popular. The restaurant serves a free Turkish breakfast each morning, and traditional meals throughout the day. Guests return again and again for the affordable rates, romantic decor (even the economy room has an atmospheric chandelier), and panoramic views from the rooftop.

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Scene

Ornate and atmospheric, with Ottoman-style period features and gilded trim

The HHK is a hotel that’s been sprinkled with a little magic. Outside, it’s a quaint Ottoman house from the 19th century, with a smart, gray slatted-wood exterior. Inside, Ottoman-themed modern furnishings and gold-trimmed rooms make the place feel out of another era. The decor is bright, much of it white, with the aforementioned ubiquitous gold highlighting ceiling cornices and door frames. Even the radiators have ornate detailing. Creaky winding stairs lead up to the rooms. The hotel has a modern and airy feel with wooden floors and the elegant furnishings all have a historic Ottoman aesthetic twist. Traditional art hangs on the walls, and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. The rooftop pool and restaurant -- the main common areas -- are sleeker and more modern, with the restaurant's wall of windows opening on the marble-tiled pool deck. The hotel is popular with solo travelers and couples, but the modestly sized rooms and thin walls might be a turn-off for families.

Location

In a historic neighborhood close to the Galata Bridge and walking distance to the Grand Bazaar

The HHK is located on a cobbled street at the top of a steep hill, within walking distance of the Old Town and Galata Bridge. The immediate neighborhood is filled with historic buildings, many of which are still atmospherically dilapidated. The Grand Bazaar is a 15-minute stroll away, and it takes five minutes on foot to reach Suleymaniye mosque -- one of the largest mosques in the city and an impressive sight. The hotel is a little further away from the Blue Mosque -- about 10 minutes in a taxi. The underground Basilica Cistern is worth the 25-minute amble from the lobby door. It's a place to get a cool respite from the Turkish sunshine and is home to art installations and music performances. Airport transportation can be arranged for a fee.

Rooms

Small but romantic, with ornate furnishings and hand-painted trim

Rooms in the HHK hotel are petite but well-equipped, outfitted with the ornate, European-style wardrobes, beds and chairs that were fashionable in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire. The wall-to-wall red carpeting stands out against the bright white walls and cream-and-gold furnishings. Beds look regal with dramatic cream-and gold-headboards topped with ornate swirls, and have orthopedic mattresses with pillow menus and luxury linens. Bathrooms are spotlessly clean with rainfall showerheads and traditional Turkish sinks. The Presidential Suite has its own hammam and huge marble shower room, and a separate living room to boot. All rooms have a flat-screen TV, hammam toiletries, minibar, bathrobes, and free Wi-Fi. Higher-floor rooms have views of the bridges and across the water. There's little street noise to be heard, as the hotel is high up on a hill, but walls in the old building are thin.

Features

A traditional hammam with a sauna and massages, free breakfast buffet, rooftop pool, and restaurant

The stand-out feature of the HHK hotel is the beautiful hammam, which is marble with blue mosaics, and has ornate taps and bowls. There are a few damp patches on the roof which could do with a lick of paint, however. The traditional Turkish bath clogs are a lovely perk, making the experience especially authentic. The sauna stirs up a good heat, and the outdoor rooftop pool is well-maintained and chic, benefitting from exceptional views across the city and the Bosphorus. The on-site restaurant is plainer in decor than the rest of the hotel, but has a lovely view of the pool and the city beyond; a free Turkish breakfast buffet is served each morning. There are tastier places in the surrounding area to eat other meals, however. There are also free parking and free Wi-Fi, and babysitting services are available.

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Address

Demirtas Mah.Hayriye Hanim Sok.No:19., Suleymaniye, Istanbul 34116, Turkey

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