I finally made it to Istanbul, Turkey. This trip was supposed to happen back in May 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic spread like wildfire and turned the globe upside down, I had to cancel the trip and this was shelved temporarily to a “sometime to revisit and rebook”. I’m glad to visit this beautiful, vibrant metropolis that is an amalgamation of contrasts – ancient and modern; European and Asian. It’s ancient since we are speaking of the Ottoman Empire that started in the 14th century with its rich and complex history, religions, architectural styles, and various civilizations and people that were taken over by this massive empire. European and Asian is that the city is divided by the Bosphorus that the city to the west of that strait is considered the European side and to the east is the Asian side.
Going back to historical meets modern themes, The Bank Hotel Istanbul is one of the those boutique hotels that is thoroughly modern regarding service and its beautiful facilities but it was originally a 19th century eclectic architectural style building. When this hotel was getting built they maintained the original details of this building. The hotel is actually two buildings: the Sümerbank Building that was built in 1867 and once home to Credit General Ottoman and community center of the Neve Shalom congregation.
The Bank Hotel Istanbul has a total of 62 rooms that are designed to reflect its historical past, including 9 suites, one of which is a penthouse with a magnificent view of historical peninsula and the Golden Horn.
When I checked in very early to this hotel around 7:00 AM, I did not think that my room was ready at all. I was thinking of just leave my luggage with the bellhop and I can head out for breakfast and sightseeing for the day. However, the hotel receptionist who was very sweet offered me and my guests who were traveling with me, espressos and insisted that we wait 15 minutes for the room. So we waited as requested and I’m genuinely surprised the room that I had and the staff did it within that timeframe.
I stayed at the Deluxe Twin Room for two nights. This room that has very high ceilings and a separate alcove bedroom which was a very good thing to have especially if you have two people traveling with you. The all-marble bathroom was luxurious and I liked their choice of bathroom toiletries from the French brand L’Occitane. My bed was firm and very comfortable.
Breakfast was included in my stay. They were overall very good, especially their made to order egg dishes like the classic Turkish scrambled eggs with tomatoes dish called menemen. They do also cook the familiar omelettes and a few other dishes.
The Bank Hotel Istanbul is located just across the bridge from the historical district, a 5 minute walk away from Karakoy for street food, 5 minutes from busy Galata, and 10 min walk from Cihangir and its hip cool bars. It’s also close to public transportation especially the tram that makes it convenient to go around the city.
I really enjoyed my stay at the Bank Hotel Istanbul for its great location and proximity to the tourist destinations, the wonderful service and the room is excellent.
I had dinner at this hotel’s rooftop restaurant called Serica Restaurant and that post will be up next.