Istanbul’s smartest shopping street, Abdi Ipekçi Caddesi, has a suitably chic designer hotel, hidden away above a shop (Prada), where you have breakfast in the uber-chic library-dining-reception space. A younger sister of the elegant House Cafés, House Hotels bring together high luxury and attention to every detail with Autoban’s cutting-edge design.
A writer’s view, by Andrew Finkel
Before Istanbul discovered shopping malls, it had Nişantaşı, a neighbourhood of elegant stores, high-price doctors, as well as apartment blocks whose residents took no prisoners when it came to demanding the freshest, choicest, plumpest from the local shopkeepers. That little old lady about to buy her artichokes will be far more demanding than the shoppers at Kenzo or DKNY next door. This is the neighbourhood where the House Café chain was born and the natural setting for its hard-edged Manhattan-chic hotel. It’s easy to find, right next to Prada and up a flight of stairs to a library-club room that eschews that hotel lobby feel. Autoban are the designers and the comfy beds have a wrap-around cosy feel. The bathrooms have slightly less marble than the Parthenon. The fitness centre might not be the grandest in the world but you can run in place, overlooking Istanbul’s conference valley, the convention complex where, among others, the IMF met. Outside is the buzz of the nearest Istanbul’s Upper East Side. Inside, you can put you your feet.