Istanbul, a vibrant city full of life, history, and great Turkish gastronomy houses one of the most luxurious Ottoman style hotels in the Levant region – AJWA Sultanahmet.
The journey to the hotel is quite an enjoyable ride, passing through large highways and greenery to wandering over the Bosphorus and then arriving at the centre of Istanbul. And as the voyage comes closer to AJWA Sultanahmet, the roads become narrower and steeper, bringing us back to the beautiful avenues of the city as it was, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
AJWA is strategically located at the heart of Istanbul a ten minute walk away from the traditional Sultanahmet Bazaar, and a few minutes away from the Ayasofya Mosque and Blue Mosque, not to mention the great variety of restaurants and snack parlours. Istanbul can get busy so AJWA’s ambiance transcended us to a level of calmness that is really needed.
The Ottoman vibe at AJWA
If your ultimate desire is to go back to the majestic Sultan life in Istanbul, AJWA Sultanahmet is the place to experience such an adventure. When we first arrived, we were welcomed warmly by the hotel team and accompanied to our Deluxe Sea View Room. We could not help but notice the creative and genuine artefacts, paintings and ornaments covering all the walls and patios with every single item having a historical significance.
Imagine yourself in a typical Ottoman castle in the master bedroom. The design, the bed, the armchairs, and the walls were shouting history and luxury at us. The spacious room looked like a live precious antique, fully equipped with all the needed luxuries of a hotel. The view of the sea together with the traditional Turkish houses and rooftops was the best way to kick-off our day with a calm and exciting glance of life.
Now the bathroom is out of this world. Let’s talk design combines traditional Ottoman ornamental ‘’iznik’’ tiles with Chinese elements. They are ideal for a bathroom arrangement of this kind with their decorative and creative golden accessories which give the bathroom a great visual appearance and style. There is also a round cast grey marble ottoman style hand washer placed on a grey marble cabinet and floor tiles with arabesque patterned copper coloured metal wall lights. The toiletries were selectively chosen, particularly the shower kit which comprised of exotic scents, all presented on a traditional Turkish tavla set (traditional Turkish backgammon).
The hotel’s restaurant is Zeferan. A traditional Ottoman restaurant where we had our daily breakfast and an exquisite Azerbaijani dinner. Zeferan looks like a royal dining court with its regal chairs, tables, shiny ornaments on the ceiling and paintings all around its walls, which create a great vibe to enjoy a meal.
The breakfast was wholesome. Starting off at the buffet with the bread, the baguettes, the wide variety of cheeses, honeycomb, hot dishes, almonds, fruits, an omelette station, you name it!
We had a full-on mix of Azerbaijani and Turkish dishes. The starters, along with the mains were served in bowls aged more than 100 years, handcrafted, and carefully painted in Azerbaijan. The table was so colourful in every aspect be it the design of the plates or the rainbow of colours formed by the humus, beetroot dip, organic yogurt and tomato crackers (a traditional healthy Turkish snack), and much more. The stuffed wine leaves with yoghurt were out of this world and reminded us a bit of the traditional Waraq Enab we have in Lebanon.
In a nutshell
This is a phenomenal hotel that made us experience an authentic Ottoman lifestyle through its walls, its food, exquisite location and tremendous hospitality.
Rates at Ajwa Hotel Sultanahmet, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, start from £193 based on two sharing.
To discover more, visit: preferredhotels.com
All imagery courtesy of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
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