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Conveniently located in the Çukurcuma antiques district, off Istiklal Caddesi, this relatively new 39-room hotel is in a meticulously restored century-old building designed by Turkey’s distinguished late-Ottoman/early-Republic architect Kemaleddin Bey, though in more classical mode than usual. The rooms have every conceivable comfort – including a special air-filtration system, heated floors, luxury bedding, and a pillow menu. The cafe which serves delicious home-style meals all day.
THE CORINNE HOTEL
A writer’s view, by Pat Yale
For those who like to be in the thick of things, few İstanbul hotels could be handier than the lovely Corinne. Step out of the front door and you’ll find yourself on the main road through Çukurcuma, an area known for its antique shops and dainty cafes. Turn left and strike uphill for five minutes and you’ll be on İstiklal Caddesi, a super-busy pedestrianised thoroughfare lined with restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and cinemas.
The Corinne is a wonderful conversion of an apartment block designed by Kemaleddin Bey, the moustachoied, late Ottoman-era architect featured on the back of the twenty-lira note. Behind its intriguing name there also lurks a story, that of Madame Corinne, a pianist who lived a few streets away in Sadri Alışık Sokak and was a friend of and correspondent with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Despite all this history the hotel is very much of the moment, with a bistro-style restaurant and bar occupying what were the ground-floor rooms at the front and a small art gallery at the back. The original marble staircase survives but lifts whiz guests up to spacious modern rooms offering every comfort, especially for those who enjoy a Jacuzzi in their bathroom. Inevitably, the suites scoop the most space, enough to have their Jacuzzis installed in hot-tub like decking in separate bathrooms with underfloor heating. The décor is stylish but discreet; no over-the-top Ottomania here. This being a new hotel there are plenty of electric sockets for all the new gadgets without which we can no longer travel.
Breakfast is part-served, part serve-yourself. In summer the tables spill out onto a street-facing deck; in winter there’s a cosy corner of the room with sofas round a fireplace. The choice of comestibles is excellent. Your eggs will be served to perfection.
Pat Yale is a writer and journalist based in Cappadocia. She is the co-author of Istanbul – The Ultimate Guide and winner of the 2015 Ancient and Modern Prize for her ongoing project to explore Turkey in the footsteps of Gertrude Bell.
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