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stay at The Hôtel Les Ottomans is an extraordinary experience. Located in
Istanbul just 35 kilometres form Atatürk International Airport on the
European side of the Bosphorus, the property is a revelation. A long line of
celebrities and VIPs frequent the hotel and the sense of escapism must be a big
contributor to the hotel’s appeal. It not only feels as though you are getting away
from the clamours of everyday life, it also feels like you are being transported to
another time altogether!
The hotel was previously an 18th-century mansion. One of the most prestigious of
its era, it was known as ‘Muhsinzade Mehmet Pasha Mansion’ and the extensive
grounds included remains from the time of Ahmet III and exquisite fountains and
gardens that were considered the finest examples of Ottoman style water
There later came a sad hiatus in the building’s history where it fell into disrepair,
but thankfully it was saved from decrepitude and restored to its former glory by the
lovely proprietress, Ahu Aysal, and her family. The Hôtel Les Ottomans is once
again a beacon of luxury and sophistication on the shores of the Bosphorus.
The exterior design has remained faithful to its past incarnation and the interior has
been reimagined, evoking a journey from the past through to the present. What is
striking here is that no concessions have been given to modern whimsical trends or
fleeting contemporary design. The whole interior reconstruction and refurnishing
has been executed in timeless, classical style, that does not feel old fashioned at all,
but certainly opulent and refined.
The hotel is also distinct in that it is one of the few luxurious boutique hotels in the
world certified as a ‘Feng Shui’ Hotel. Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice
used to orient buildings in an auspicious manner, and Ahu Aysal has studied this
art and applied it to the entire configuration of the hotel. Although I couldn’t profess
to knowing how ‘good’ Feng Shui should feel, I can say that the hotel had a very
light and restful ambience.
There are ten suites in the hotel, with two excellent restaurants, Su Yani and Yali,
plus two very refined bars and a stunning outdoor pool with its own bar and food
service. Add to this an intoxicating vinotherapy spa and you have all you need for
an amazing break in old world luxury.
Hôtel LesOttomans