Image courtesy of: Ottoman Hotel Imperial
Handan Küçük from the Ottoman Hotel Imperial was kind enough to spare us some of her time and discuss what she likes about Istanbul and what she would recommend her visitors to do when in the city. Ottoman Hotel Imperial is a sophisticated and elite hotel in the middle of Sultanahmet, within the proximity of all of the major monuments (such as Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome). Decorated in warm colors and in a modern Ottoman style, the Hotel welcomes visitors from all around the world. We asked Ms. Küçük (the chief of the Hotel’s Customer Relations team) a couple of questions. You’ll find her responses below, which include places we had not heard about before, as well as solid recommendations on how to get to, attend or explore a place.
Ms. Küçük was born in 1984 in Istanbul. She graduated with a diploma in the philology of foreign languages from the Çağlayan High School and commenced her university studies in tourism management at Süleyman Demirel University here in Istanbul. After graduating, she started working at the front office as a receptionist in the Taksim Gezi Hotel. Ms. Küçük experienced different service-providing positions, such as service provider, operator, management trainee and banquet organizer throughout her career before becoming the chief of concierge services at the Ottoman Hotel Imperial.
We thank her again for answering our brief questions for our readers and move ahead with her answers.
1. Where do you send visitors when they want to have a drink in the neighborhood of your hotel?
We usually recommend The North Shield Bar at Gülhane, across from the Gülhane Park. It has a cozy atmosphere and we have seen that tourists, as well as our customers, usually like to watch sports games there whilst having a drink.
Comment from the author: The North Shield Bars are indeed classic within the list of pubs in Turkey. You will find one of those most of the time inside the departures terminals at the airports around the country.
4. Guy’s night?
I would recommend 5.Kat (fifth Floor) Restaurant near Sıraselviler Street in Cihangir. It has a unique view of Bosphorus. Any other bar or place around the Istiklal Street would also be fine.
5. Where can people go for a good local vibe?
“Hodja Pasha Cultural Center” (Hoca Paşa Kültür Merkezi) features interesting and traditional shows such as Anatolian Fire Dances (Anadolu Ateşi Dansları) for 50 TRY per person on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights. On other nights there are Dervish shows. Our visitors usually enjoy these shows and find them culturally enhancing.
6. Where do you like to go out?
I like very much restaurants around the Istiklal Street. With its wonderful view of the city and the Bosphorus, Leb-i Derya is one of my favorite places. Another one is Kallavi.
Keep in mind that Ottoman Hotel Imperial also has a nice restaurant called Matbah that features classic Ottoman cuisine. Upon request, the managers may also be able to organize cooking workshops for both visitors and non-visitors of the hotel.