168 Muallim Nacı Caddesi
Tel: 90 212 287 1024
It may not look like much from the outside—a white facade behind a skimpy porte cochère—but on the inside, where it counts, Les Ottomans is a well-executed fantasy. This mansion-turned-hotel sits just a few feet from the Bosphorus, and each of the 12 huge suites is a high-Orientalist dreamworld of deep-pile carpets, red glass lanterns, and luxurious swags of embroidered silk drapery. Best of all are the windows, which open fully with the touch of a button, letting in the sound of lapping waves and inviting you to perch on the sill and dangle your legs while eating the blini and caviar that greet each guest's arrival. The discreet staff, while short on English, are sweetly well-intentioned, as is the personal chambermaid who stands sentry outside your room and straightens it upon each departure. The lavish Caudalie Spa, with its stepped hot tub, and the elegant dining room, Club Ottomans, make staying in all the more decadent. If there's one shortcoming, it's the location, a 40-minute car ride from the old city of Sultanahmet.