Hypnos Design Hotel
What We Love
- All rooms are individually designed and feature French or sit-out balconies
- Authentic Turkish dishes are served at the hip Eon café
- Free WiFi
What To Know
- Hagia Sofia, Topkap? Palace and the Blue Mosque are all within a five-minute walk
- An intimate escape with just 11 rooms
- Rooms are compact but characterful
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
In Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district, the Hypnos Design Hotel is an eclectic 11-room boutique with views of the magnificent Hagia Sofia and the Bosphorus. The comfortable rooms vary in size and they all feature a petite French or larger sit-out balcony. Each has been carefully designed around a different theme. Think gold, brass and copper fittings against dramatically dark walls in the Ottoman room, folksy patterns and contrasting colors in the Gypsy room, and full-on movie star opulence in the Glamour room. Fill up on Turkish breakfast specialties at the ground-floor Eon café and head out to explore the nearby attractions; Topkapı Palace and the Blue Mosque are both a 10-minute walk away. Return for dinner or cocktails at the Eon café, an intimate candlelit dining room. Remember to book a table; this place is small and beautiful, and it can get lively in the evenings.
In the Area
The Hypnos Design Hotel is in the busy Sultanahmet district, surrounded by the Byzantine city walls. Step outside and plunge into thousands of years of history. The area has plenty of restaurants, and it’s just a stroll to the Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. A source of deep relaxation in the form of the Cagaloglu Hamam, an authentic Turkish bathhouse, is just minutes away. Hop on the tram at Gülhane station for a trip along the famous peninsula.
How to Get There
We had 5 nights here and had 2 rooms - each room was differently themed. So clean and comfortable. Staff very polite, great choice for breakfast which was fresh and very tasty. In a fantastic location just by metro stop and 10 minute walk away from main attractions. Would recommend this hotel.
From a tourist's point of view the biggest advantage of this hotel is its location: it's within easy walking distance of many of Istanbul's biggest attractions (Aya Sofiya, Topkapı, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern) and has the Gülhane tram stop right at the end of its street, barely a minute's stroll away, to take you slightly further afield (the Grand Bazaar in one direction, over the bridge to Beyoğlu in the other). It's also surrounded by a wealth of cafés, bars, restaurants and shops. This does mean late-night noise, but plenty of choice.
Another attraction is its intimacy: with just 11 rooms spread out over five floors, it's never crowded (except when more than three people want to use the lift, which is rather cosy - and one side of which is see-through, so be sure to watch the wall as it glides past for the surprising details it reveals). It also means the friendly staff have time to interact with and help the guests. Like us, you'll probably be shown to your room on arrival and find that any questions you have will be happily answered.
We were in room 99 on the 4th floor - the Passion suite, according to the sign next to the door - whose colour scheme is predominantly red and black. It wouldn't have been my first choice, but there are some interesting design touches, such as the main light with its mesmerising, how-does-it-do-that? 3D effect. (Similar chromatic delights are promised in the shower, but refused to work for me - see below.) The room is spacious, albeit with some slightly awkward angles, and lots of storage. Comfortable bed as well, although anyone looking for a duvet may be flummoxed at first by the thin blanket that's the only covering you're provided with.
Of the usual hotel accoutrements, here you have tea/coffee making facilities, an easy-to-use safe and a minibar with very reasonable prices by Western standards, although everything in it is available at half the already reduced price from the stores on the surrounding streets. There's also a TV and radio. Unfortunately, presumably due to the density of competing networks, the WiFi is next to useless - we resorted to buying a prepaid SIM with 9 GB of data for Ł140 (ca €20) and it worked perfectly. We also found that neither of our bedside table lamps were working, but hanging on the door behind the Do Not Disturb sign was another on which you could tick off a list of things that needed fixing in your room. I wasn't sure whether this was a bad sign (do things need fixing that often in this hotel?!) or a good one ("Got a problem? We'll sort it out!") until they were promptly fixed while we were out on our first full day.
The shower lighting never was, alas. With this being the case, it might be an idea for them not to advertise the feature with a prominent card on the bathroom shelf. They might also want to address the lighting in the bathroom generally, as it's not great, and the mirror both there and just outside above the dresser are both set so that anyone taller than about 5'5" has to stoop to see themselves. Other [minor] annoyances are that the left-hand bedside table only has one power point, so you can either use the lamp or recharge something, but not both, and that the right-hand sliding door onto the half-balcony opens from the left, behind the armchair and table.
Breakfast is served in the small but charming restaurant on the ground floor. Due to its size there's no buffet: rather you order a la carte and it's prepared for you. The menu is impressively long, with a choice encompassing toasted sandwiches, fresh fruit with yoghurt, muesli and of course eggs (done a variety of ways), plus teas, coffees and juices. There's also a big, traditional Turkish breakfast. Order as little or as much as you like - it's all included in the price. Service is quick and professional and the food is great.
Overall, for an establishment which earned the title of Europe's best design hotel just five years ago, it's looking a bit frayed at the edges (and not just the bath towels) - it's not bad by any means, but with marks here and there, not scrupulously clean and some pieces of furniture having seen better days. Breakfast and the personalised feel to the service go a long way to make up for any shortcomings, however, and on the whole we were happy with our stay.
Located in one of the busiest tourist areas.
One minute walk to the tram which takes you to the main attractions.Lots of restaurants nearby.Small cosy room for you to come and rest after a tired day of sightseeing.
5 star for the staff ..