The House Hotel Galatasaray, Istanbul, Turkey $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
From the people who oversee Istanbul's ever-expanding locations of the modish House Café comes the House Hotel, which opened in summer 2010. This property's location, on a dilapidated residential street, is not pretty, but it's at the edge of Çukurcuma and Tophane, two of Istanbul's fastest-developing neighborhoods. Design group Autoban converted a 19th-century apartment building into a luxury modern space without compromising the original elegance of the enormous heavy doors, high molded ceilings, and wide marble staircase (beware—there is no elevator). At the same time, the renovation incorporated some daring modern touches, such as an in-room shower pod and hexagonally perforated ceiling panels in the corridors. The 20 rooms have minimalist chandeliers and whiter-than-white walls to make up for the lack of light most of them receive. The cheap seats are the mini suites located in the basement, while the prize spaces are the attic rooms on the top floor. Request number 19 for a view of the Galata Tower, and angle for front-facing rooms if you're sensitive to noise (the hotel backs up onto a café's garden). Two other properties by the same group are located in the upmarket neighborhood of Ni şanta şı and on the banks of the Bosphorus in the scenic village of Ortaküy.—Vanessa Able
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