Istanbul's special hotels offer character, specifically Ottoman character. Some were built during the Ottoman Empire, others have been restored to the character of that era, still others strive for an Ottoman ambience. All are smaller than the standard 4- and 5-star luxury hotels, with fewer staff whom you'll get to know more easily. Each has a special charm or advantage.
Location is an
If you stay in Sultanahmet, you'll be
only steps from Istanbul's major sights,
including Ayasofya, the Hippodrome, and Topkapi
Palace, but you may not get a swimming pool or
If you stay in Beyoglu, especially Taksim
Square, you're close to shopping and nightlife,
and only a 15-minute taxi ride from Sultanahmet.
Your hotel will probably offer a swimming pool
and Bosphorus views.
If you stay on the Bosphorus shore, you
may have both these features, but there may be
few shops or attractions near your hotel and
you'll probably spend an hour or more each day
getting around by taxi.