T+L Reports: Istanbul's New Boutique Hotel
To convert a 19th-century Istanbul distillery into a boutique hotel, architects Mark and Nedret Butler looked to the Bosporus for inspiration. At their 18-room Sumahan on the Water, the most intoxicating thing now is the view: palaces, skyscrapers, Hagia Sophia, and, of course, that sparkling strait. European starlets keep a low profile in the residential-style lobby, with its steel crossbeams, high ceilings, and glowing fireplace. Sea and sky, framed by picture windows, blend into the blues and grays of the guest suites; the fluffy beds are positioned on platforms to enhance the vistas. The restaurant serves Turkish dishes, with seafood plucked from the Black Sea; at its dockside tables you can watch boats sailing beneath the Bosporus Bridge. Should you feel like joining them, the concierge can arrange a sunset jaunt aboard the Sumahan I, the hotel's wooden launch, where you'll float along to the sound of the evening call to prayers. Sumahan on the Water, 51 Kuleli Caddesi, Çengelköy; 90-216/422-8000; www.sumahan.com; doubles from $195.