Celal Sultan Hotel – Istanbul, Turkey (*Ballers Only)

Sept 2008 Vacation 037 On our first trip to Turkey, money was not an object to be thought about.  We went anticipating expenditures beyond our normal activities, and planned to ball out.  The Celal Sultan was clearly a special kind of place, with it’s smallest rooms being exorbitantly priced.  That being said, Damany and I chose the penthouse.  I’m not even going to talk about what we spent on one full week…if you’re curious, you’ll find out for yourself.

With the hotel ideally located in the center of Sultanahmet, the penthouse was a no-brainer for the money we would spend there anyway.  Off of the room was a private balcony from which there was partial views of the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sofia, and Topkapi Palace.

My fondest memory of Istanbul involves sitting on this balcony listening to the beautiful melody which is the call to prayer – noting how the city seemed to be put at peace, if only just for a moment.

Sept 2008 Vacation 038The penthouse is the largest room in the hotel – and is absolutely gorgeous, with attention paid to rich details (handmade kilim on the floor, replica of a 1920s style telephone, claw-footed tub and gold accents in the bathroom) which make you feel like a baller immediately upon entering.  The sunlight that pours into the room through the balcony doors emphasizes the majestic feeling of the place as well.

Other rooms, while small, still present a rich decor for the lavish traveler – and still cost a pretty penny despite their minor size.  The staff is especially friendly (though I found this to be true of most Turks in general) and helpful – anything you need as a guest will be provided.  They can suggest for you places to dine and shop at, and if you are planning to travel further into Turkey they are able to help you setup other legs of your trip, right there in the hotel.  A travel agent was called to the lobby to help us plan our next leg – which was much easier than trying to select one from the thousands of travel professionals situated in the area.

The entire hotel is extravagantly decorated in traditional Turkish ornamentation.  Antique, vintage, and new rugs are strewn throughout – and handmade furniture details the common spaces.  There is a restaurant in the hotel which houses the only balcony, other than that attached to the penthouse, though I can’t speak on the food there as I fell in love with the restaurant next door (Sarnic Restaurant & Cafe).

Knowing that we would be returning to Istanbul for our NYC departure, we asked them to hold the belongings and purchases we did not want to carry through Greece, and reserved our penthouse suite again for the date we would return.  All of our belongings were sitting neatly in the room when we checked back in.

Sept 2008 Vacation 014

For the safety of their guests, locals are not allowed into the hotel past the lobby.  This means that if you’re visiting a Turkish friend in the area, don’t expect them to be allowed into your room.  While this policy may seem harsh to those who do have local friends, remember that it is a precaution taken with all guests so that no problems arise during visits.

While we didn’t stay the the Celal Sultan on our second visit, we definitely intend to return to ball out again (in our penthouse suite) at some point in the future.  Our first stay was so pleasurable that the Chelal Sultan will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Celal Sultan Hotel

Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi,
Salkim Sogut Sokak, No: 16, 34110
Sultanahmet, Turkey

+90 212 520 9323‎





{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Turkey's For Life March 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Wow, that looks like a lovely hotel to stay in. We’re always on the lookout for cheaper options when we’re in Istanbul but this would certainly be a good treat. Strange policy about locals not being allowed past the lobby entrance though. Not sure about that one.


Katrina March 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I agree about the locals policy. I understand that it is to protect the guests, but being that I have local friends, it’s really a nuisance. However, my balcony (yes, I consider it mine, lol) in the penthouse will hold my heart forever.


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