Rooms Galata: two historic buildings on a Beyoğluhillside a short walk from Tünel Square and the Galata Tower, restored by an architect and artist?
Wow! Great milieu for enjoying Beyoğlu, its historic neighborhoods, antiques shops, chic boutiques, cafés, restaurants, bars, music clubs, and especially its modern art museums and galleries.
Down the hill from İstiklal Caddesi behind the huge Russian Consulate-General on Kumbaracı Yokuşu (map), Rooms Galata has 16 artistically-designed and -decorated rooms, 8 of them with balconies and/or small kitchenettes.
One of the buildings was a furniture shop in the 19th-century, as shown by its name painted on the façade in the Latin, Greek and Armenian alphabets, painstakingly uncovered and preserved.
All the comforts, of course: central heating, individually-controlled air-conditioning, flat-screen digital cable TVs, small modern bathrooms with showers and amenities (even washcloths and drain plugs—rarely found in Turkish hotels), well-designed lighting, good art and décor.
And thoughtful touches: traditional handmade Turkish peştemal towels, heated towel racks and bathroom floors, a big bottle of pure spring water provided daily (you’d be surprised how few hotels do this!), umbrellas in your room for that occasional shower.
The kitchen, with a few small dining tables, is available for guests’ use at any time, and equipped with coffee- and tea-making supplies and utensils, and a constant supply of simit, the delicious Turkish sesame-seed rolls. As the hotel does not provide breakfast, this is where you can make your own simple morning starter if you don’t want to make it in your room, or head out to a nearby café. (Here’s where to have breakfast on İstiklal Caddesi.)
Grocery shops and a bakery within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel can provide fruit, cereal, yogurt and other breakfast and meal supplies.
Rooms Galata’s living room/lounge has mood lighting, interesting art, shelves of art books, magazines and event guides, and cool jazz playing softly.
There’s a small ground-floor outdoor terrace open to the sky, though enclosed by high old stone walls.
The small open-air roof terrace affords spectacular views of the Bosphorus, the Asian suburbs, the mouth of the Golden Horn, and the cityscape, with a few benches where you can bring a drink, or just your camera, or your thoughts.
The location is convenient: a 5-minute walk uphill to İstiklal Caddesi, Tünel Square and major restaurant areas; a 5-minute walk along picturesque back streets to the Galata Tower; and a 5-minute walk downhill to an excellent hamam, several avant-garde art galleries, the exhibits of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, and the Tophane stop of the highly-useful Bağcılar-Kabataş tram. From the tram stop it’s only a few minutes walk to the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.
How to Find It: click here to download and print a map to hand to your taxi driver so there’s no confusion. Kumbaracı Yokuşu, the street in front of the hotel, is narrow, one-lane, one-way, with no place to park. Traffic is light except on Saturday evenings.
When you contact Rooms Galata, please mention TTP. Here’s why. Here’s how: when making your reservation here, look for the “How did you find us?” dropdown menu on the reservations form. Choose “Turkey Travel Planner,” and you’ll receive a free gift of lokum (Turkish Delight) when you check in to the hotel. Be sure to ask for it!
When you contact Rooms Galata, please mention TurkeyTravelPlanner.com. Here’s why…
Şahkulu Mahallesi, Kumbaracı Yokuşu No. 37,
near Camcı Feyzi Sokak (map)
Tel: +90 (212) 293 3186
Fax: +90 (212) 293 3178
Mobile: +90 (530) 763 4921
—by Tom Brosnahan
Beyoğlu Cafés, Bars & Restaurants