Interesting buildings to see in Istanbul

In this post, I’d like to talk about the general architecture on display in Istanbul and how stunning it is in both its diversity and proclivity. The historical impact of so many cultures mingling in the city cannot be overstated and create an incredible mix of ancient Greek and Roman buildings with middle-aged Byzantine and Ottoman religious buildings and modern Turkish architecture.

The Ancients

Probably the most interesting part of the city is the historic peninsula, the most ancient part of the city. Still standing here is the Column of Constantine, built by Emperor Constantine as a tribute to Constantinople being named Nova Roma and the Roman Empire extending far to the east of Rome. This column was rumored to hold parts of the True Cross within it. Atop this column was once a statue of Constantine dressed as Apollo, though this was blown down by strong winds in the 12th century.

Still standing are also parts of the Walls of Constantinople, which started to be built under the reign of Constantine and was completed in the 5th century by Theodosius 2nd, the Byzantine emperor at the time, to protect the city from invasion. The Hippodrome of Constantinople, which was built in the image of the Circus Maximus in Rome. The Serpentine Column, built as a tribute to Apollo for allowing victory against the Persians in 479 BC, various Aqueducts, the Column of the Goths and the Milion.

The middle-ages

During the middle-ages, Istanbul is much like Cyprus, in that so many cultures traded with, invaded and entered the area, that each of them left their own unique mark.

Probably the most important and beautiful building from this time period is the Hagia Sophia. Rebuilt 3 times until its current incarnation, it is a beautiful cathedral built around 535. This became the largest cathedral built for another thousand years, until the Seville Cathedral in 1575, while the Renaissance was in full bloom.

Other important buildings are the Stoudios Monastery, built in 462, the Hagia Irene, the palace of Porphrygenitus, the Chora Church, the Galata Tower, Leander’s Tower and Palazzo Del Comune.

The Ottoman Turk age

After the Ottomans conquered the city in 1453, ending the Byzantine Empire, and by proxy, the Roman empire, which had lasted 1,500 years. This is also commonly marked as the end of the middle ages.

When the Ottomans conquered the city, Sultan Mehmet 2nd made sure to keep most of the important religious buildings intact and largely untouched. This is because he needed to place his own contingent into these buildings as the new religious leaders in order to appease his troops and keep his kingdom and armies together without rebelling. Constantinople, then being renamed Istanbul, became the new capital of the Ottoman Empire, and remained so until 1922, when the country became the republic of Turkey.

After conquering the city, Mehmet even started a large regeneration and construction plan throughout the city, constructing buildings such as the Fatih Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, the Yedikule Castle, the Grand Bazaar, the Eyup Sultan Mosque and many other mosques.

Over the years, eventually gothic and european influences started to take hold in the architecture of the city, creating a situation where Neo-gothic mosques stood next to Islamic style cathedrals, and wooden Ottoman Turk dwellings.

The city is a real melting pot of different cultures and this really plays out in the architecture of the area and reminds one much of Cyprus, particularly Paphos.

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul

The next hotel we will be looking at on Hotels of Istanbul is the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul. The Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul is part of the Four Seasons hotel franchise that is world famous and in many places around the world. The Four Season Hotel Istanbul is – as they describe it – a one of a kind luxury hotel that is placed in Istanbul’s oldest district. By that, you can guarantee that the hotel is in the same location as many of hotels that we have looked at here in this blog. Just like the rest of hotels we have taken a look at here in this blog, the hotel itself is situated next to many of Istanbul’s famous and oldest landmarks such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia.

One of my issues with Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul is that it suffers from the same serious issue that some of the other hotels we looked at suffer. The website for the hotel is shockingly subpar, being just a page on the Four Seasons website overall. That makes it not only difficult to navigate throughout the website, but it also makes it different to use the website efficiently. We are in a day and age where selling yourself online is incredibly important for everyone, and you do not have to be experienced to take advantage of the benefits the internet brings both businesses and customers. But being very lazy with your website design and ensuring that it would be difficult for those who would otherwise book the hotel.

Brick and Data buildings

Within the digital age that we live in, half of what sells your products or services are your website and your web presence. Just as a building that is constructed beautifully is attracting and alluring to help you to sell your product, the same is said for a website as it is your online building. And although the building itself is very attractive and I will discuss that more, I must say that if your online presence and website build is ugly, then everyone will think that the product or service that you provide is just as ugly.

I want to talk a bit about the architectural build and design of the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul itself. The building is definitely one of the best constructions in the entirety of the Istanbul selection of hotels and it is by far the best building that I have had the pleasure to see. The building itself is built to be a huge white mansion, almost resembling the wings of the white house. They also build a giant fountain placed in front of the entrance of the Four Seasons Hotel, and they also have a smaller fountain at the back of the hotel. It is also built on the waterfront of the city, to allow for the most scenic of views to be seen away from the landmarks. A giant white building, it is one that will definitely stand the test of time.

I also want to say a big thank you to a group of builders in Manchester company Manchester Loft Converters, as they have provided the insight to all of the architectural reviews within this blog. I hope you guys enjoyed todays blog and enjoy future posts too!

Hotel Neorion

Here at Hotels of Istanbul, the importance of quality hotels in terms of both the service and amenities that they provide and the architecture of the building itself is really important to us. Over the past few weeks we have been able to review and identify many hotels within Istanbul that are both good and bad, and today we will be looking at Neorion Hotel. The hotel itself is named after one of the grand Byzantium ports of the past, and the hotel holds an overall amount of 30 guest rooms. They offer a variety of additions to the guests themselves such as a Turkish bath, cultural library, a sauna, swimming pool and even what they class as museum quality decorations. They also sell their lobby as a living room that people are able to relax inside as opposed to a lobby strictly for access.

The room types that they offer are the same as the majority of hotels in the Istanbul area. What I really love about the Hotel Neorion is some of the features that are included within the hotel. Each guest room as the same amenities for the most part, but the beauty goes beyond that. Each room has a wooden finish to both the floors and the panels on the wall, and it makes the room come to life and at the same time, offering a relaxing atmosphere. Each room also has what I believe to be a print of a large painting hanging above the bed of every room. The large art hanging over the beds of the guests is actually what makes the room really come to life, and it is both striking and sharp.

The rooms the hotel offers

They offer a single room which is for one guest, providing a TV and a double bed. This is a room that is designed for a single guest and it more than fits enough for what the guests will need. Twin rooms come with the same features, but instead have two single beds as opposed to one double. They also offer a family room which houses 4 single beds as opposed to the 2 single beds others may need, and the last room that they offer is the Deluxe room. The difference between the Deluxe room and the others are the ottoman in the corner, but the room itself is larger and holds a balcony also.

The last thing that I want to talk about on my blog post in regards to Neorion is the building itself. The architecture and design of the Neorion is what sets it apart both from the hotels that we have already reviewed in Istanbul but also the hotels we have yet to. The building follows the same basic principle as the rest, with a long thin building that stands tall above the other surrounding buildings. What makes the building really stand out however is the arches that surround the windows. They are blue tiled arches that make the building come to life.

If you have enjoyed the post today and can’t want to hear more about the Hotels of Istanbul, stay tuned or comment now and let me know what you think! We have spoken about many other hotels and will continue to do so to give you the information you need to know!

Mercure Hotel Istanbul Taksim

Here at Hotels of Istanbul, we regularly feature some of the best hotels in the city of Istanbul by both the services and rooms that they offer, and the architecture and the building itself. The hotel that we will be looking at today is the Mercure Hotel Istanbul Taksim, which is named after the square it is built around. The city itself is quite a marvellous one, and if you have read any of the previous blog posts from the last few days you will know just some of the landmarks and places of attention in Istanbul. The Mercure hotel is surprisingly the first hotel that we have looked at so far which doesn’t have its building located in the same road. What Mercure Istanbul sells itself on is how close it is to other attractions such as Istikal Street, the Bosphorus and other attractions.

One thing that does bother me right off the bat for this hotel is the lack of website that it has. Because Mercure itself is a hotel chain, it has hotels all around the world. Istanbul is just one of the hotels that is under the Mercure chain, and because chain likes to do things their own way, we see a lack of a valid or useful website for the Mercure Istanbul hotel. When we discuss buildings and the architecture, one of the things that we always ensure to note is the build itself.

The building must be built on strong foundations, and it must serve to do everything that it provides. The bedrooms must be fully fitted, and the kitchens must be correctly fitted. The showers and the toilets have to work and there must be running water. There needs to be electricity running though out the building. The same can be said for the architecture of a website, and quite frankly the Mercure Hotel Istanbul really lets us down in this aspect. The website is so informal and uninviting that if you are looking for a hotel and you stumble across this one online, nothing of the site itself screams welcoming, and instead screams to stay away.

The Building’s Architecture

What I do want to say is that the building itself looks beautiful. If you have ever seen one of the Las Vegas hotels, or the old 70’s and 80’s hotels from Miami, you will see the inspiration behind this building. I actually am in love with the design of the buildings architecture. It is in essence a large square block and does not try to be innovative in shape, but both the large white walls mixed with the black balcony dividers are such an attractive and sexy look that it is hard to not find the building itself to be beautiful.

One of the things that the website designer of Mercure should have had in mind is the beauty of the Mercure Istanbul compared to the ugly sight that is the website. When you look at both you can see on one hand, a modern marvel and a building that is both sleek and sexy, and with the other a modern tragedy that needs to be reconciled before the hotel itself can be considered seriously by consumers who use the internet for information.

White House Hotel Istanbul

At Hotels of Istanbul, we are dedicated to bringing you the best of the hotels in Istanbul from the room and what they offer, to the design of the hotels themselves. The next hotel we will be looking at in this blog is the White House Hotel Istanbul. Just as the previous hotels that we have looked at, the White House Hotel Istanbul is located at the heart of the city of Istanbul, and the same as the other hotels is within walking distance to the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, the Hippodrome and many others.

I believe that all three hotels are situated on the same peninsula (and probably next to each other!), with all of their main selling points being that they are a walk away from the famous landmarks of the city itself. They pride themselves on being so close to the landmarks of the city itself, and any other endless historical sites and attractions that surround themselves.

This is also the first of the hotels that I have reviewed that have discussed the architecture of the building itself. The hotel believes that the architecture is both the perfect mix between the east and the west, and it also offers cultural characteristics that you would expect to find within the city itself.

They also say that the façade of the hotel itself is also designed to match the Roman architectural concepts of the past, and the interior of the hotel itself to offer a classical concept that is meant to resemble the Ottoman architecture of the past.

Comparisons

When looking at the exterior of the hotel myself, there are a few things that I can’t help myself to mention. Firstly, it looks like a replica of the first hotel that we reviewed on this blog in the World Heritage Hotel Istanbul. It is a 4 floored, relatively slim building that is white bricked and stands relatively tall. However, the second similarity is with the Hotel Amira.

Just like the Hotel Amira Istanbul, the White House Hotel Istanbul uses large pink lights to brighten up the hotel to make it stand out more from the crowd, making it easier to see. I’m not sure how I feel about the similarities of the hotels, but I also assume that these buildings were not made with hotels being their end goal. Either way, the hotels do indeed stand out and the White House Hotel Istanbul does well in mixing classical features with newer, modern additions.

Something else to note about the hotel is the use of a roof garden. Like the Hotel Amira, the White House Hotel Istanbul offers a roof garden that I believe to be designed to be a restaurant as opposed to a relaxation area.

The roof garden itself is mostly covered up by a roof (which defeats the purpose), and there is a small area on the furthest side that is exposed to the air. I don’t agree with this design concept, as it doesn’t make use of what a roof garden really is. But the design of the garden and the additions to it are very attractive.

If you enjoyed todays blog post, please comment down below and check out some of the blog posts we have made in the past and will make in the future!

Hotel Amira Istanbul

The next site that we will be looking at today on Hotels of Istanbul is the Hotel Amira Istanbul. The Hotel Amira Istanbul is a hotel that is situated at the heart of the capital city. One of the main selling points of the hotel is that it is situated next to a lot of the older landmarks of the city such as the Hagia Sophia. Just like the previous hotel that was discussed (The World Heritage Hotel) it is also close to the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and many other attractions. The Hotel Amira Istanbul also announces itself as a boutique hotel, and they offer a total of 32 different rooms within the hotel.

Hotel Amira Istanbul

Within the 32 rooms some of the attractions of the hotel is the visco mattresses that they offer, as well as handmade ceiling paintings and even high-tech amenities within the hotel. They also pronounce themselves to have all types of things such as a world famous cordial guest service and a complimentary buffet breakfast. Other things are a business corner that features an iMac for customers to use, free wifi access (but does not specify if this is all around the hotel or just in a certain spot or place), and even a wellness centre that has a massage service, sauna, gym and even a jacuzzi.

The actual building itself is quite a conservative marvel of a building really. It almost has two different designs when looking at the top and bottom halves. The bottom half of the hotel has almost a San Francisco home type of style to it which is a very popular building type within the world these days, as it is a very appealing and attractive look. The second half of the hotel looks a bit of a different building. It seems more of a hotel vibe, with large pink lights to light the walls of the building to make it stand out from the rest of the buildings along the area. It is also built within a slope so the building almost looks like it is submerging within the ground.

The top half of the building also looks very attractive for a hotel. With white painted walls and large glass doors for balcony’s, they also feature a small black game within each of the hotels window doors to keep children and others safe. At the top of the building (on the top of the roof) they also boast a jacuzzi, and a seating area for those to enjoy the summer sun or the evenings breeze when needing to cool down. These are semi circled chairs that just looking at seem really cosy, comfortable and quite relaxing. The roof itself also acts as a bar and a drinking area and because of the way the building is designed, it also allows easy roof access as well as a large space to relax in the evening.

The hotel also overlooks the sea surrounding Istanbul, and the Hotel Amira of Istanbul looks like a very attractive hotel to stay just by looking at, let alone visiting. It seems like a very attractive hotel and a very cost and homely hotel for all to use and visit. I hope you have enjoyed last night’s blog post and I hope todays has been just as informative. We enjoy looking at the hotels of Istanbul and hopefully you’ll enjoy tomorrows blog just as much!

World Heritage Hotel Istanbul

The first hotel in Istanbul we will be looking at today is the World Heritage Hotel. The World Heritage Hotel in Istanbul is a newly constructed building that was placed at the heart of the Old City, and the main feature is that it is only seconds away from some of the city’s biggest attractions such as the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar and Islamic Art Museum. There are many other attractions and tourist sites within the area too such as the Little Hagia Sofia. This is the main selling point for the Hotel as the location is possibly the best in the city in terms of tourist sites for visitors.

The second main attraction and unique selling point (USP) for the hotel is that it is their mission to make you feel comfortable and at home. They feel that as a hotel it is their responsibility to ensure that their valued guests not only feel comfortable but also feel at ease around their environment and surroundings during their stay. They claim to take great care and provide world class hospitality through their friendly and helpful staff. One of the main things about this hotel is that the amount of rooms is very small compared to relative hotels in the area. They offer a total of 10 standard rooms, 6 “superior” rooms, 2 triple rooms and 2 ground floor rooms for families. In total, that is a relatively small number of rooms for hotels in Istanbul and they are competing with hotels that can provide many more rooms to many more customers, meaning that the high-quality customer service will be the main standout feature for anyone that is staying inside the hotel.

As a hotel, they have also won a number of awards. One of the awards that they have won is the Certificate of Excellence in 2015 by Trip Advisor, and then winning that same award in 2016. They also won the Traveller’s choice award 2016 from trip advisor too. As awards go, these are great ones to win to attract potential customers into your hotel. Trip Advisor is considered a really great aggregate review site for hotels and countries, so they have done well to win those awards.

Now we want to take a look at some of the hotels available rooms that they offer to customers. The standard single room offers a double bed which is suitable for 1 guest, and the room size is a total of 17 square metres. They offer a variety of amenities such as Air Conditioning, Bathroom, Cable Channels, City View, Flat Screen TV, Hairdryers, Minibar, Linen and more. The second room that we will describe is the superior double or twin room, which is for a total of 2 guests and has a room size of 22 metres squared. In terms of amenities however, they offer the same as the standard double room. I believe that in general, it is relatively the same room with a little bit of added size and to be advertised for two as opposed to a lone traveller.

The next toom that we want to look at is the economy quadruple room, which as you could probably tell by the name is designed for a group of 4. They offer 2 single beds and 1 double bed in a room the size of 29 metres squared. While they offer the same basic amenities as the other hotels rooms, they do have a few added features such as free toiletries, a wake-up service, satellite channels and even soundproofing. This is a room that is clearly designed for some that may stay up later than most and families.

In total, the hotel itself looks and seems really nice. The hotel in terms of its architecture is really nice, and the building itself is designed by a great architect. If you have enjoyed todays blog post or any of the other recent posts we have made, please let me know as your comments are always welcome!