Set on a busy street just off Beyoğlu’s main drag, the hotel is ideally suited for nightlife, shopping, dining, and people watching, though traffic and party-goers can be a source of a fair amount of noise.
With their heavy furniture, bright red rugs, and ornately patterned wallpaper, curtains, and bedspreads in red or gold hues, the 54 rooms are anything but subtly decorated, but they’re comfortable enough with character to spare. The newly renovated rooms have less raffish charm, but they do have A/C and Jacuzzi tubs.
With its grand old lobby and three bars, the Büyük Londra (as it’s known in Turkish) offers plenty of places to soak in the atmosphere.
Eating and drinking
The summer-only terrace bar and two old-fashioned indoor bars are popular with locals as well as guests. There’s also a not-particularly notable restaurant, where the very skippable breakfast buffet is served.
The service is inconsistent, with some staff bordering on surly and others charming and helpful.
Who stays there
With its famous guests including Ernest Hemingway and, more recently, top Turkish-German director Fatih Akin, the hotel is a magnet for artists and writers.
I suggest avoiding the cheapest economy rooms, which are small and dark.
- Culture vultures
- Celebrity spotting
- People watching
Pros & Cons
- Good bars
- Lots of atmosphere
- Central location
- Street noise a problem
- Rooms can be small and worn