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Review: Georges Hotel Galata in Istanbul


The Georges Hotel Galata may be in Istanbul, but its sensibility lies farther west, from its croissants to its Champagne bar to sea views that draw guests like British fashion designers. Constructed in the 1860s as an apartment building, it was renovated in late 2011, adding a modern glass elevator, rooftop bar and custom furnishings.


The cobbled street of trendy Turkish dress shops and hipster coffeehouses leads to the landmark Galata Tower just 300 feet from the hotel’s doorstep. There’s no sign outside the hotel, an effort to give it an in-the-know vibe compared with the city’s loudly touted tourist offerings. A short uphill walk takes you to the Tunel night life district and Istiklal Caddesi, the pedestrian shopping avenue that leads to Taksim Square. A 20-minute downhill walk gets you to the Istanbul Modern art museum.

The Room

There’s no front desk here, so a handsome man in a well-tailored suit greets you, dossier in hand, to show you to your room. Except in our case. Instead of being taken to the deluxe sea view room (with views of the Old City and beyond) that we had booked, we were led one flight down to a room with a view of a building. Oops. A call downstairs told us that the room we’d reserved was still occupied by a party that had extended its stay and could not be asked to leave. After repeated apologies from the staff and an offer of a 20-euro discount off the rate of a less-expensive room and a bottle of Champagne, we agreed to a room on the second floor with a partial Old City view.

It was spacious, with hardwood parquet floors, high ceilings, brass lighting fixtures and a large, inviting bed furnished with white linens and a goose-down duvet.

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