I promise that the best place to relax, have a twilight cocktail, and soak in the awe-inspiring sights of Istanbul is the rooftop of the Four Seasons at Sultanahmet. The hotel itself is a gem in that its suites include a century-old neoclassical Turkish prison. This is a must when visiting this great city.
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Just a casual afternoon snack
The service, location and neoclassical beauty of the Four Seasons at Sultanahmet is unparalleled. And to think the hotel was originally built as a prison in 1918 and houses prisoners for much of the 20th century!
If you're a guest, expect decadent afternoon sweets like these macarons and chocolates brought to your room each day. Talk about spoiling your supper!
Once Istanbul’s notorious prison, a lavish conversion in 1996 transformed this site, set amid the squiggle of lanes that radiate behind the colossal competing domes of the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, into the city’s landmark Four Seasons Sultanahmet. Prior prisoners wouldn’t recognize their old sleeping digs now. Built in 1918, the hotel’s ornate neoclassical architecture has been finely restored, while the enclosed exercise yard is now a courtyard garden where guests escape the hustle of the historic quarter amid oodles of hush. Classically designed rooms are awash with light blue and green hues and subtly scattered with Turkish textiles and motifs.
On a hot summer’s day, cool off with cocktails overlooking the old city’s minarets on the rooftop A’Ya Lounge. Eagle-eyed history fans can hunt for the 1938 graffiti left by a former inmate on a pillar near the courtyard. Being neighbors with the Hagia Sophia has extra benefits. The Four Seasons’ Extraordinary Experiences service offers a privileged chance to explore Emperor Justinian’s greatest achievement without the crowds, on an after-dark tour of the Hagia Sophia.