Hotel Sumahan on the Water

Istanbul, Turkey

A village of wooden houses, fish restaurants and seaside promenades, Hotel Sumahan is just outside Çengelköy. This is part of the city that still preserves its air of an authentic Bosphorus neighorhood and easily one of the most scenic, yet strangely overlooked, parts of Istanbul. The Bosphorus reaches its zenith during late spring, when the Judas trees burst alight with deep-pink blooming flowers that engulf the shores of the strait. Built in the mid-nineteenth century to produce “suma” the unadulterated spirit used to make raki, Hotel Sumahan sits on the very edge of the Bosphorus Straits. Separating Europe from Asia and linking the cold waters of the Black Sea to the warm waters of the Aegean, The Bosphorus feeds the heart and spirit of the city. Uniquely, the property itself has remained in the hands of its original family, Turkish-American owner-architects Nedret and Mark Butler, who have transformed it into an unlikely family heirloom. Utilising the properties of light and water, the rooms differ at every time and season, colours and moods shifting with the tides. There is a choice of suites and bedrooms, each with its own personality and most with fire places. A variety of decor options including wood and marble or steel and brick help Hotel Sumahan set the standard in restoration architecture and interior design.

Hotel guide


  • 11 deluxe rooms and 10 suites, most with fireplaces most offer direct views over the Bosphorus
  • Twin level suites have their own Bosphorus-side garden
  • All equipped with Minibar, Safety Box, TV, Telephone, wireless internet, air conditioning, radio, dvd player, bathroom amenities, hairdryer, bathrobe, slippers
  • Wellness centre with hammam spa, massages and exercise room
  • Meeting room facilities and library
  • Complimentary transfer across the Bosphorus

Our favourite

  • Whether you're with the whole family or not, the family loft suites come with space to spare. Two levels, a living room with a fireplace and doors that open onto the garden and two bathrooms.

Wine & Dine

  • Sumahan's restaurant, Tapasuma, offers a twist on contemporary Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine and an entirely unmatched view
  • Waterfront Terrace Restaurant with sea side terrace serving lunch, dinner and beverages


  • Smart but leisurely


  • Double rooms from € 175 / day breakfast not included

Local guide

Lovely Restaurants

  • 360 istanbul rooftop restaurant-bar, city's trendiest spot Istiklal caddesi misir apt k:8, beyoglu, (00 90 212 251 1042)
  • körfez one of the city’s best seafood restaurants körfez caddesi 78 (+90 (0)216 413 4314)
  • Changa most glamourous restaurants, turkish ingredients, siraselviler caddesi 47, taksim, (00 90 212 251 7064)

Coolest Bars & Clubs

  • 360 Istanbul rooftop restaurant-bar, city's trendiest spot, Istiklal caddesi misir apt k:8, Beyoglu, (00 90 212 251 1042)

Best Boutiques

  • Bilstore nice selection of clothes, accessories & books, Kanyon avm b1, 185 büyüdere caddesi, levent
  • Cashmere in love all in pure cashmere, menswear available 16/7 küçük bebek caddesi, bebek
  • Paristexas rare collections of vivienne westwood, chloé & co 4b camekan sokak, galata

Don't miss

  • Istanbul modern is the city's latest architectural icon. The gallery offers exhibitions of modern Turkish art

How to get there

  • Fly to Atatürk International or Sabiha Gökçen International, expect a 30 minute taxi drive from both airports
  • Or you can take a 30 minute taxi ride to Kabatas, on the European side of the Bosphorus where the hotel's free weather launch is available