Bustling bazaars, cute cafés, hipster boutiques and excellent restaurants are only a few reasons why everyone visiting Istanbul needs to explore Kadıköy on the Asian side of the city. So, how about spending the night here?
Separated from Europe by the Bosporus Strait, Kadıköy is Istanbul’s gateway to Asia. Although most travellers only ferry over on a day trip from Eminönü on the historical peninsula or Karaköy in Beyoğlu, those who spend a little longer in the city’s Anatolian quarter are rewarded with a trove of markets, galleries, bars, parks and restaurants. Immerse yourself in the Asian side of Istanbul at one of these hotels in Kadıköy.
Wyndham Grand Istanbul Kalamis Marina Hotel
Wyndham Grand Istanbul Kalamis Marina Hotel offers sea, city or marina views | Courtesy of Wyndham Grand Istanbul Kalamis Marina Hotel / Hotels.com
Welcome to the most luxurious place to stay in Istanbul’s Asian half. En route to the Princes’ Islands across the road from the glitzy Kalamış Marina, this Wyndham property lives up to every one of its five stars thanks to a pair of massive pools – one on the roof, the other in the garden – as well as the full-service Blue Harmony Spa, well-equipped fitness centre and the seven upscale dining options, including the laid-back Jigger Roof Bar. Many of the 210 rooms boast lavish mirrors, quirky carpets, extravagant wallpaper and lofty vistas over the Sea of Marmara.
The cream-coloured exterior, pots of purple flowers and bistro-style tables and chairs perched on the footpath out front make this property feel like a piece of Paris imported to Asia. Step inside, however, and the Istanbul Life Hotel shows far less restraint in the design of its sparkly marble lobby and 30 rooms brimming with patterned pillows, framed artworks and feature lighting. Situated only two blocks from the Kadıköy waterfront, Istanbul Life dishes up a breakfast buffet in its atmospheric timber-roofed dining room, plus tea and snacks in the shady garden bar.
This boutique hotel opened its doors in 2016, squeezing 12 modern rooms into a slender terrace house. You’ll find Kuzen Otel on a cobblestone pedestrian street just south of the ferry terminal, where bars, cafés and restaurants spill onto the pavement. It’s the perfect place to explore the foodie culture that makes the Asian side of the city worth visiting. However, you might never feel like eating out due to the array of dining options at the hotel itself. Tuck into breakfast in the garden, and nibble on some meze at the Kuzen Meyhane. Then sink a few pints at Kuzen Beer Café, a lively pub that always has a game of football on the TV.
Riva’s Moda is billed as a business hotel, but the design of its 12 spacious suites could have been lifted straight out of a trendy boutique property. The ultra-contemporary rooms showcase chic, muted furnishings, a statement print hanging above the bed and large windows looking out over the water or the gardens below. A couple of blocks from the Fenerbahçe football club’s revered Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium and a stroll from the cafés, shops and galleries of Bağdat Avenue, Riva’s Moda also comprises the upscale Violin Restaurant and Say Hello Brasserie.
Only a five-minute walk from the ferry port in the heart of Kadıköy, this historic wooden building has become one of the district’s most modern boutique guest houses. The seven snug rooms enjoy high ceilings, dim lighting and wooden shutters that make you feel like you’re nestled away in some alpine cabin. Many of the rooms look down on the property’s cosy walled courtyard with a fireplace crackling in the winter months. Belizia’s biggest selling point, however, is its price – it’s perfect for budget travellers.
The Hilton brand is a byword for quality, and its Kadıköy instalment is no exception. You can’t miss this shimmery 12-storey skyscraper as your ferry chugs into the port, soaring over the Marmara seashore in the trendy Moda neighbourhood. From the moment you receive a warm chocolate-chip cookie at check-in, this DoubleTree hotel exudes Hilton’s trademark quality, which also extends throughout its traditional hammam, full-service spa, the glam Doubles Restaurant and the jaw-dropping HOOD rooftop bar and pool. The five-star rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows that frame panoramic ocean views.
Occupying a glistening skyscraper towering over the Kozyatağı metro station, this five-star hotel is much more homely than the business district that surrounds it. ByOtell features three classy restaurants – Bistro Gülizar, Kehribar and Edward’s Cafe & Restaurant. It also has a serene spa and the 2,500-square-metre Byofit health club, where guests can enjoy a scrub-foam massage in a Turkish bath and limber up with a pilates class. The 182 rooms are bright, traditional and good value – book the presidential suite for a little extra luxury.
Kadıköy’s oldest licensed hotel is still going strong almost half a century after it welcomed its first guests in 1972. My Dora is one of the most eco-friendly places to stay on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, having been awarded Turkey’s Greening Hotels certification for its bevvy of green features that recycle waste, conserve energy and save water. This budget-friendly hotel, which has 39 simple and modern rooms, also helps save travellers a few lire.