View from the terrace at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet View from the terrace at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet © Four Seasons

Hotels with a view: Istanbul

These stunning hotel vistas will make your hotel stay the best part of your trip to Istanbul

The city of Istanbul has some stunning landmarks – Aya Sofya, Topkapı Palace, the Bosphorus strait and the two bridges that span it. Luckily, the topography of the city, with its hills and shorelines, allows visitors to soak in these beautiful sites from the comfort of their own hotel. We put together a list of some of the best hotels with a view so that you can be awed by Istanbul’s good looks day and night.


Four Seasons Sultanahmet


If you’re looking to soak up the old city and all of its stunning monuments, the Four Seasons Sultanahmet is the place for you. This former prison, which is just steps from the Aya Sofya, Topkapı Palace and the Blue Mosque, has been transformed into a unique luxury hotel adorned with Ottoman carpets, antiques and tapestries.

While the views from the rooms vary from the Aya Sofya to the hotel’s courtyard to the Marmara Sea, the best view can be found at the A’YA Rooftop Lounge. Located on the hotel’s rooftop, this terrace bar has a breathtaking view of the Aya Sofya and, to a slightly lesser extent, the Blue Mosque. It will give you a new appreciation for this architectural wonder that has inspired and awed for centuries.


A’jia Hotel


ajia-hotelA’jia Hotel

While it’s a bit further afield, the A’jia Hotel is a waterside retreat that will make you feel miles away from the busy downtown area. Its housed in a former Ottoman mansion, one of the many yalı (summer houses) that were built along the Bosphorus by wealthy families and dignitaries, and has an unobstructed view of the mighty Bosphorus, the strait that runs through Istanbul and marks the boundary between Europe and Asia.

There are expansive views from just about anywhere in the hotel, but the best views are from the third floor rooms that have terrace balconies overlooking the water. 


Georges Hotel Galata


georges-hotel-galataGeorges Hotel Galata

Although it has an unassuming facade, Georges Hotel Galata is one of the city’s most stylish hotels. Located a short walk from Galata Tower, this historical property has stunning views of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and even the Princes Islands on a really clear day. The best place to take in this spectacular sight is from the rooftop terrace, which houses an acclaimed restaurant and bar. Most of the rooms come with spacious balconies, from which you can enjoy views of the Bosphorus and, if you’re on a higher floor, Topkapı Palace.


Sumahan on The Water


sumahan-on-the-waterSumahan on The Water

Located on the Asian side in the unassuming neighbourhood of Çengelköy, Sumahan on The Water is a boutique hotel with an inimitable view of the First Bosphorus Bridge and, if the weather is just right, Beyoğlu and the Golden Horn in the distance. This waterside hotel was formerly an Ottoman-era distillery, and the impeccable renovation pays tribute to the building’s industrial beginnings by maintaining its high ceilings and incorporating exposed brick and stonework. You have your choice of luminous suites and bedrooms – they each have their own personality, but the uniting factor is that they all have magnificent views.


The Ritz-Carlton Hotel


ritz-carltonRitz Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton is in a privileged location: nestled into the hill behind Dolmabahçe Palace and the Beşiktaş Stadium, the hotel has a panoramic view of the Bosphorus. For rooms, you have the choice of a Bosphorus view, partial Bosphorus view or a city view, although the latter is nothing to sneeze at – these rooms looks out over Maçka Park and the area’s historical buildings.

If it’s the Bosphorus view you’re after, one of the best places to take it in is at the hotel's Bleu Lounge & Grill, which serves a Mediterranean inspired menu and also functions as the hotel’s breakfast spot. It feels incredibly luxurious to have your morning coffee while relaxing on a plush couch and watching the traffic on the Bosphorus.

1 Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
2 The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul
3 Georges Hotel Galata
4 Sumahan On The Water
5 A'jia Hotel