As you walk down Serdar-i Ekrem. Galala’s most buzzing street, it’s more than likely that you’ll walk right past Le Fumoir, which has no sign and is neatly tucked behind wrought-iron doors and purple velvet curtains. But this new addition is something that all Francophiles should watch out for. Open since Fall 2011, Le Fumoir is the restaurant, bar and lobby of the Georges Hotel. Much like its owner Alex Varlik, the venue is very charming and specializes in French home-cooking. Although the menu is narrow, it is tilled with classics like onion soup, boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, entrecôte, sea bass tartar, and salad with camembert and coriander. The wine list is packed with selections from France. Although it’s pricey, the food at Le Fumoir is well worth the splurge, as everything is made from the highest quality ingredients. Le Fumoir is ideal for lunch or dinner, or just for drinks at the champagne bar. It has already become an Istanbul favorite, so be sure to make reservations in advance.
THIS HOTEL IS CERTAINLY AIMED AT A STYLISH AND IN-THE-KNOW CLIENTELE
While the convenience of apartment hotels is very appealing to some, for others a vacation means not having to lift a finger. For these visitors. Galata also offers a number of hotels. Located on the trendiest street just steps away from the historic Galata Tower is the Georges Hotel. With no sign out front and shaded windows, this hotel is certainly aimed at a stylish and in-the-know clientele. There is no reception as such; instead you enter past the hotel’s Le Fumoir restaurant and proceed to the historical building that contains the hotel.
BECAUSE THESE ARE SMALL HOTELS, YOU ARE LIKELY TO GET ATTENTIVE ONE-ON-ONE SERVICE
There are a total of 20 rooms, including a number of adjacent family rooms. All of the rooms in this boutique hotel feature wooden parquet floors, high ceilings, sleek furniture, and a spacious and airy feel. Despite the historical building and architectural details, the rooms nevertheless feel very modern thanks to the range of amenities. Many of the rooms also feature balconies and stunning views of the Bosphorus and Golden Horn. The hotel also offers a number of personalized services, such as private yoga sessions and breakfast served in guests’ rooms.