The hippest newcomer to the hospitality scene in Istanbul in 2015, Soho House Istanbul was also its most anticipated. The property consists of two buildings: a strikingly modern glass-and-concrete, purpose-built annexe – which houses many (of the 87 rooms – and a renovated grand 19th century palace with a remarkable history. Legend has it that, in 1907, American diplomat John Leishman bought the Palazzo Corpi, as it was then known, for 28,000 Ottoman gold liras (the equivalent of $US2.5m today) to house the US Embassy, wrongly assuming the US government would cover the cost. When the government declined to reimburse him, he threw a large party in Washington DC: wine flowed and poker ensued. Leishman challenged officials to play for the building: if they won, he’d pay. If he won, they’d reimburse him. The gamble paid off and Palazzo Corpi became a US government-owned property simply because of a poker game. Soho House Istanbul also has exemplary spa and gym run by the UK-based wellbeing company Cowshed, as well as cool bars and restaurants. This is a haven for creative souls with impeccable taste.
In Beyoğlu, on the majestic Istiklal Street, you’ll discover shops, eateries and the leading contemporary Turkish art galleries and institutions. As night falls, particularly in the Tunel district, bistros, cocktail bars and burger joints mingle with traditional Turkish meyhanes. Hip crowds of young professional Turks sway to jazz, electronica and Balkan groove while traditional-suited musicians wind their way from table to table, instruments and drums in hand, all blending to create the vibrant cacophonic glory that is Istanbul at night.
Soho House Istanbul
Evliya Çelebi Mahallesi Meşrutiyet Cad. No:56. Beyoğlu
+90 212 377 71 00