The Istanbul local that opened this Beyoğlu hotel in 2008 commissioned an award winning Turkish design and architecture firm, Autoban, to create the interiors. The result is a very well thought out understated, monochrome and modern-retro vibe that is undeniably stylish.
I’m definitely not the only one that thinks so, as well as numerous awards, Witt Istanbul Suites is also a member of Design Hotels, a brand that I have used a few times and I have yet to experience an anything but excellent stay in one of their hotels.
With just eighteen suites and three penthouses, there is a very intimate feel to the Witt, which is one of the things I love in a hotel.
Location: A Hotel in Beyoğlu
Witt Istanbul Suites is located in the newer side of the city, Beyoğlu, specifically in the trendy Cihangir district. It is up one hell of a steep hill (which I climbed once and never again), but the reward is in the sweeping views across the city and Bosphorus river, best experienced from the rooftop garden on top of the hotel.
Apart from that bloody hill, the area is extremely walkable with lots of bohemian cafés, excellent restaurants and eclectic boutiques very close by. The nearest tram stop is also a five minute walk down the hill (maybe get an Uber back again) and you can be in Sultanahmet in ten minutes. If you fancy a stroll through the city, the Galata Bridge is only fifteen minutes away on foot.
The location was distinctly less touristy than Sultanahmet and you felt more like you were staying in Istanbul, rather than a suburb made for visitors to the city.
Check-In & Lobby
I had a slightly less than serene arrival to Witt Istanbul Suites that you can read more about in my previous post on how we spent our time in Istanbul, but the lovely concierge poured me a wine pretty promptly and made the check in experience so easy I was chilled again (ha, I’m never chilled!) within a couple of minutes.
The staff were really quite great here, from greeting us by name daily, sorting restaurant reservations and providing a complimentary Istanbulkart (a pass to ride the city’s public transport) and city map. They were without fail super friendly and did a fab job.
The lobby is really quite stunning on arrival, with a light, airy and high ceilinged entrance hall through the glass doors and a banger of a chandelier (regular readers will know about my ongoing obsession with chandeliers). Go up the steps and the entrance hall opens up into the lobby, complete with a bar in one corner, a small library of books and DVDs in another and lots of very stylish looking seating.
They are HUGE. By far the biggest hotel room I have ever had in a city. Now I usually find that hotel rooms in cities tend to be on the smaller side of what I’m expecting, so I am not sure if this hotel is reflective of Istanbul as a whole, or we just struck lucky, but one way or the other, I was very impressed.
There are five levels of room; King, Queen Panoramic with Terrace, King Panoramic, King Panoramic with Terrace and the Penthouse. We went for the King, the entry level room, as we weren’t planning on spending that much time there and they looked rather splendid on the website.
At a whopping 45 square metres, I didn’t actually appreciate how big this was until we walked into our room and I (mistakenly) thought we’d been upgraded; it just seemed too generous to be an entry level room. The design is open plan with three “areas”; the kitchenette, living room and bedroom, partially separated by a large pillar in the middle.
If I hadn’t had just walked through the lobby and checked-in with the concierge, I would have thought I was staying in a luxury apartment; you could easily do self catering here.
The understated, contemporary-retro design of the hotel continued into the rooms, with laser cut wooden panels on the wardrobe doors and behind the bed, as well as some beautiful wooden furniture.
If I’m completely honest, while I appreciated the beauty and the thought that had clearly gone into the room interiors, on the whole it wasn’t really quite my style (although there a were a couple of elements I would love to have in my own home). However, it is relatively subtle, not in your face at all and experiencing different design styles is one of the beauties of staying in a boutique hotel. I still would have chosen to stay here over every other run of the mill, cookie cutter hotel, any day of the week.
The views from our room were something else as well, particularly at sunrise which gives a lovely pinky hue to the city. From our room we could spot both the Galata Tower and the Golden Horn, as well as Sultanahmet stretching out beyond.
The kitchenette is a stunning Marmara marble (a kind of grey/white marble quarried in Turkey) island with a stylish stainless steel and glass shelf suspended above it. On the wall behind are mirrored bricks which I would just love to incorporate into my house, but I suspect would be an absolute nightmare to keep clean!
Built into the marble island is a sink, fridge and microwave and a kettle and my hotel must have, a Nespresso machine, sit on top. A quick peek through the drawers revealed a decent selection of utensils if you are planning on whipping up your own dinner of an evening. There is a generous (chargeable) minibar as well, with full size spirits and various nibbles in case you get peckish.
The living room is spacious to say the least, with a long couch (the kind that is better admired rather than actually sat on), rocking chair and coffee table, along with a mid-size flatscreen TV hanging on the wall and a DVD player.
There is ample storage as well, with three sets of double wooden doors hiding all manner of spaces for both hanging and shelving (and a large safe).
And then there is the bed, the bit I put the most focus on during my stay, nothing makes me more irritated than a bad night’s sleep! King size and with an interesting “curved” wooden headboard, I felt like I was sleeping in some kind of futuristic pod, but it was comfy and we slept very well.
There is also an absolutely beautiful wooden writing desk near the foot of the bed with a surprisingly comfortable matching seat.
On the smaller side compared with the rest of the room, but with a huge sink in the middle and an even bigger rain shower, it was more than adequate. I had read about these amazing showers before we arrived; with six separate shower heads, it was geared up to be the best start to a morning. However, I couldn’t for the life of me get them to work!
Luckily they do have a changeable height wall shower as well (the kind that is much more conducive to not getting your hair wet if it’s not a hair wash day) that was nice and powerful and didn’t feel like showering under a colander (no one likes that).
All rooms also have individually controlled air conditioning and complimentary decent speed WiFi (available all over the hotel).
Bars & Restaurant
Witt Istanbul Suites serve breakfast only between the hours of 07:30am 11:00am, which is included in the room rate. Honestly, this worked fine for us as it isn’t like Istanbul is short on some pretty fabulous restaurants. Unless the hotel we are staying at has a particularly brilliant one, we would be unlikely to eat there anyway.
The breakfast is mostly Turkish buffet style and beautifully displayed. The bar turns into a mini egg station so you can place your orders for something hot as well. They also have a rather fabulous coffee machine back there that makes a great cappuccino (nothing worse than the first coffee of the day coming out of one of those vending machines).
The buffet itself consists of yogurts, granola, cereals, cold cuts, cheeses and a variety of breads and pastries. They also have a lovely selection of local handmade jams and honeys. Everything we had on both days was lovely and of great quality.
While we didn’t do this, it is worth noting that you can also order breakfast to your room with no additional charge. They are also happy for you to order take out to the hotel and will even have it delivered to your room! There are really not many hotels that would be so laid back about this (even if they don’t have an in house restaurant) and I thought it was a lovely touch.
Witt Istanbul Suites will, however, keep you topped up with your beverage of choice 24 hours a day, which we took them up on several times. From coffee in the lobby to wine on the rooftop garden, this Beyoğlu hotel is a great place to enjoy a drink whether you are staying there or not. I was a bit worried about their selection of wine when I first arrived as I was presented a menu with three options, “red, white or sparkling”. I thought this didn’t bode well, but the white wine was excellent and extremely reasonable, with a large glass coming to about £5. A quick lean over the bar though and I noticed they do actually have a larger selection of wine, so if you’re picky like me, just have a nosy.
Witt Istanbul Suites don’t have much in the way of general amenities (I’m talking pool spa, restaurant etc), but for what the hotel is trying to achieve, they really don’t need to. It very much is a great place to base yourself while on a city break, assuming you won’t actually be spending much time in the hotel itself.
The lack of inclusion of general amenities is reflected in the very reasonable price of this luxury hotel and you get an absolutely fantastic hotel room (which is absolutely not lacking on the amenity front) and an extremely attentive concierge who cannot do enough to help ensure you have the best time in Istanbul.
Make sure you go up to the beautiful rooftop garden that is open 08:00am to 11:00pm which is full of greenery and a herb garden. Grab a glass of wine and a blanket and watch the sun set over the city. I spent a fair amount of my two days in Istanbul hunting out the best views and I suspect this is one of them. It is also very much under the radar, we went up both mornings and evenings and only once was there one other couple up there.
Final Thoughts: A Luxury & Boutique Hotel in Beyoğlu
This luxury, boutique Beyoğlu hotel is everything I look for when selecting a a place to stay for a city break, small, local and unique and I would recommend it to anyone looking to stay in Istanbul in a heartbeat.
I have nothing bad to say about it and it really enhanced our stay in the city. One thing I do have to call out is the staff though, they are an absolute credit to the place. While I do love a beautiful hotel and the interiors are indeed exceptionally stylish here, I find it is the people who work there that can ultimately make or break your stay and I have to say, they absolutely made it!
Do not even attempt to try and park here, it just won’t work. For my advice on how to to get around the city read here.
Witt Istanbul Suites
Defterdar Yokusu No:26,
Phone: +90 212 293 15 00
Hotel rooms start from £85 per night, including breakfast. Book through Mr & Mrs Smith, one of my favourite boutique hotel booking websites, and receive a complimentary drink on arrival and a generous fresh fruit basket.