A Hidden gem in Istanbul
We spent 7 nights at Saruhan Hotel and -like everything in Istanbul- it was a sum of contrasts, . It is like a mini retreat just by the sea, minutes away from a crowded tourist zone. Panoramic view, immaculately clean, spacious rooms decorated with understated simple elegance, turned the room to a mini retreat.
I had been told that the place was noisy because of the trains that pass by frequently, but the windows had been renovated and with extra insulation, it was quite enough to meditate. I wish there were a meditation mat.
Also, a couple of chairs and a small table-in the room- for little extra comfort would be nice.
Turkish Breakfast is served in the terrace over viewing the sea and the city.
Located by Marmara sea it is just a 10 minute walk away from the Blue Masque and the tram that gets you to where the action is.
If you rather just stay away from the loud crowd, you may walk along the coast in peace and quiet all the way around the city wall for hours, and enjoy the sights of the sea, ships, and fishermen; or turn to the streets and in the matter of few minutes you are back to the exciting sites and exotic shops.
If I had to point to only one strong reason to recommend Saruhan hotel at this point would be the friendly and capable staff. Melahat Turk the resident manager, and her husband Harun Turk -who was not even an employee in the hotel- actually went out of their way to help save my pictures when I almost lost them and it took awful lot of their time. Every other staff, were all friendly, supportive and helpful.
And, if you visited Saruhan remember to use the bookshelf in the lobby! Great information about turkey in several languages, plus travelers' dictionaries, and help yourself to the information cards; really useful. Boutique hotel, Fantastic helpful staff, peace and quiet, panoramic view of both city and Marmara sea, dawn bedding, spotless cleanliness, Spacious rooms and bathrooms.
The points are in comparison to what you get in small hotels in Istanbul.