Editors' Picks

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Contemporary, historic, intimate

Tevkifhane Sokak No 1., Sultanahmet Eminonu, Istanbul 34110

(90) 212-638-8200

See Website

At a Glance

The 65-room Four Seasons continues to be the most prestigious address in the Old City.

Indagare Loves

  • The prime location, steps from the famous sights of Istanbul’s Old City
  • The rooftop terrace with views of the Hagia Sophia and the Sea of Marmara
  • The serene garden courtyard, which serves as an oasis from the chaos of the Old City


Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet reopened in 2022 after a head to toe refurbishment of its rooms, lobby, dining spaces and spa. Goddard Littlefair, the London-based luxury interior design house, led the renovations of this formerly traditional hotel, transforming it into a contemporary jewel in the most ancient part of Istanbul. The charming, yellow facade remains unchanged, and beautiful tile work, arches and domes, as well as marble pillars—all showcasing Turkish Neoclassical architecture of the early 1900s—can be seen throughout the common spaces.

It’s hard to believe that a century ago the building was originally the notoriously harsh Sultanahmet prison. These days, the world’s most sophisticated travelers gladly pay to be holed up here.

The hotel's popular rooftop bar, Süreyya, boasts incredible views of the Sea of Marmara in the distance, and in closer proximity, the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, the latter of which is particularly spectacular when lit up at night. Plus, while breaking ground for an addition during the recent renovation, construction workers unearthed ancient ruins of a Byzantine palace. The site has since been protected, and Süreyya (as well as some of the guest rooms!) looks directly over the archaeological site. There is really no better place for a sunset cocktail and small bite in the Old City.

The bar on property, Lingo Lingo, is located in the lobby, adjacent to a private dining area offering mezze (which can be used for private events). AVLU, the property's main restaurant, serves Anatolian cuisine and local produce by Turkish Executive Chef Özgür Üstün. At AVLU, guests will linger over breakfast, lunch and dinner in the central courtyard of the hotel, surrounded by a garden of fragrant flowers; the restaurant, made almost entirely of glass, is in its center. Tasting local Turkish sweets is a must and can be done in the lobby patisserie, La Pistache Patisserie.

The 65 luxurious guest rooms and suites are bright, contemporary and spacious, especially for Sultanahmet where most hotel rooms are small and cramped. The best are on the fourth floor, as all of them have terraces, many with superb views of the Hagia Sophia. While the lower-level accommodations aren’t sun-drenched (this was a prison, after all), they have views of neighboring cobblestone streets or the hotel’s courtyard. The service is high-touch and the staff members are friendly without being obtrusive. There is really only one complaint the hotel receives: that there is no pool, but guests are welcome to use the facilities at the Four Seasons' Bosphorus property. A complimentary shuttle runs regularly between both properties, and if you wish to avoid the traffic within Istanbul, a water taxi shuttle is also available. While guests must go offsite for a pool, moments of relaxation can be found at the property's small but stunning onsite Kurna Spa. Open daily, the Kurna Spa offers a number of luxurious services like hammam rituals, massages and facial and body treatments.

Who Should Stay

Those who want an intimate, historical and contemporary hotel near the major sites in the Old City and do not need a pool directly on property.

Written by Gisela Williams

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