Category Archives: Istanbul

An oasis of wellness in the hearth of Sulthanamet

Experience an oasis of wellness in the hearth of Sulthanamet. Located just a stone’s throw from the glittering Sea of Marmara, this exceptional 5* Secret Hotel offers its guests a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of central Istanbul. The hotel is situated in the heart of the city’s historic Sulthanamet district and enables those who stay easy access to all of Istanbul’s key tourist attractions and iconic cultural landmarks. Guests can choose from spacious double en-suite rooms each fitted as standard with a flat screen LCD TV, Jacuzzi style bath, climate control, mini bar and high speed Wi-Fi connection. The hotel complex itself boasts airport shuttle services, car rental desk, 24 hour concierge and a rooftop terrace and lounge. Holidaymakers can enjoy the tranquil health club and spa which is equipped with a gym, beauty salon and Turkish bath, whilst those on business can make use of the numerous conference rooms within the business centre.

The hotel’s central location within the Sulthanamet district means that guests are only ever a short distance by foot or public transport. Arguably one of Istanbul’s most iconic historic landmarks is the imposing Hagia Sophia cathedral built during the Byzantium Empire, which now serves as a museum. Instantly recognisable due to its imposing dome, the church contains an impressive collection of holy relics and stunningly ornate gold-leaf mosaics. The former basilica’s elaborate minarets were added during the years it was used as an imperial mosque before it was secularised in 1935. The Hagia Sophia attracts millions of tourists annually and is a must-see for any tourist seeking to experience the city’s rich heritage.

Another one of Istanbul’s most famous architectural giants is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, known locally as the Blue Mosque, which is only a short walk from the hotel through Sulthanamet Square. One of the greatest examples of Ottoman architecture in the world, the mosque was previously decorated lavishly with gems and gold before it was pillaged for museums. The mosque is still open for prayer to this day and welcomes visitors to marvel at its sheer splendour and breath-taking interior.

The hotel’s location within Istanbul’s Old City means that the vast Topkapi Palace is also within easy walking distance. Home to the Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years, the sprawling Palace complex was home to 4,000 people at the height of the Ottoman Empire and includes several mosques, ancient bakeries, stables and a royal mint set amongst ornate decorative gardens and courtyards. Set picturesquely on the waterfront, the Palace offers unrivalled panoramic views over the azure Marmara Sea.

Those after some fresh air and tranquil surrounds can spend an afternoon in the Hippodrome of Constantinople, or as it is known today, Sultan Ahmed Square. Once a popular venue for horse and chariot racing during the Byzantine Empire, the hippodrome was a famous social centre and contains numerous famous monuments including the Serpent Column and the Obelisk of Thutmose III. The Square itself is lined with upmarket eateries as well as traditional Turkish restaurants serving authentic kebabs. For a cheaper selection of eateries, tourists are advised to walk or catch a bus to Taksim Square, another famous public forum which has witnessed numerous historical protests and demonstrations.