Stunning Georges Hotel opens in Galata Area

International Herald Tribune, 25 November 2011 
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Stunning Georges Hotel opens in Galata Area
By Mina Ercel

Istanbul (Dunya) – Istanbul has become one of the most fashionable and exotic destinations to visit. In the past few years, in addition to tourists just visiting sights and experiencing the Grand Bazaar, a refined crowd of guests have been attracted, coming in just for weekends for the city’s bustling entertainment, nightlife and arts exhibitions. While many sophisticated boutique hotels have been springing up, the addition of Georges Hotel Galata is gradually enabling Istanbul and its central area to become even more attractive. With 21 rooms, this hidden gem is located near the Galata Tower. The rooms and suites are distinguishably furnished and many have fantastic views of the Golden Horn and old city.

Built in seven months, Georges Hotel was established by copartners Alex Varlik and Kerim Kamhi. The son of a Turkish artist growing up in France, Mr. Varlik moved back to Istanbul in 2006 after studying law at Sorbonne University and working as a lawyer for several years in Paris. In 2007, he became the founding partner of The House Hotels and later decided to create a new concept hotel with his business partner Kerim Kamhi. The George Hotel Galata is the first of their boutique hotel projects to open up in Istanbul; next year another George will be established in Sultanahmet followed by a third one on Beyoglu’s Istiklal Street. The partners also plans to expand overseas to Brazil.

Georges’ restaurant Le Fumoir (which is rather discrete and does not even have a sign on the door) is at the entrance of the Hotel. With high New York-style An deco ceilings, original exposed brick waits, Turkish craftmanship in every detail and a cozy atmosphere this restaurants’ menu is composed of French country food “terroir” dishes concentrating on authentic yet simple French rural food and wine. Some of the noteworthy dishes on the limited menu is the Smoked Salmon (brought from US and Scandinavia, but smoked locally); George’s signature French braise of chicken Coq au Vin; and the well-known French Beef Bourguignon To top it all off, do not miss LaDuree’s selection of pastas and ice cream flavors. The fine selected wine and champagne menu is relatively reasonably priced compared to the high fares paid for Istanbul alcohol.

Yoga sessions by State of Yoga: After running around the city, one of the best means to relax and detoxify is by taking a yoga class offered here at the George. The “State of Yoga” offers private in-room sessions or open classes Saturdays mornings an 1:30 by experienced yoga teaches Sandrine Kamhi and Alexis Kiresepi. On December 3, an exciting “Yoga Decadence” Workshop will be held offering chocolate paring along by a powerful yoga class.
Call in advance for booking and reservations.

Georges Hotel Galata and Restaurant Le Fumoir de Georges
Serdar-i Ekrem Sokak No: 24
Galata, Beyoglu.
Istanbul