THE HOUSE HOTEL BOSPHORUS
WHAT YOU’LL FIND JUST OUTSIDE: The hotel’s sleek and shiny “House Boat,” which is at guests’ disposal for tours of the Bosphorus, twilight spins along the river banks or––if the infamous Istanbul traffic is really getting to you––an alternative route to Atatürk Airport.
DESIGN NOTES: Once the home of 19th-century Armenian architect Simon Balyan, this waterside property looks like a large, finely carved ivory box. The interior is the work of hip local design firm Autoban, who’ve combined high European luxury with modish minimalism and the odd Ottoman-inspired flourish.
IDEAL GUEST: A vacationer with a penchant for the boutique hotel experience (and who is eager to avoid the big chain options in the tourist-congested streets of Sultanahmet), or simply one who knows what a relaxing evening (and sun-splashed morning) on the banks of the Bosphorus is worth.
BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT: The airy Bosphorus Lounge Bar, whose far end has a wall-size window, allowing guests to watch the barges and liners drifting up and down the channel while sipping a sweet, citrusy Bosphorus Blue cocktail. Life doesn’t get much better than that.