How would you describe Karaköy Rooms in a nutshell?
Karaköy Rooms is a small boutique hotel in the heart of Istanbul. It’s simple, bright, and with furniture from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
What was your inspiration to open Karaköy Rooms as a small boutique hotel?
We have had our restaurant here for over 13 years. I used to live in the same building on the 4th floor and our office was on the 2nd. When all of the floors in the building happened to become available, we decided to rent the whole building to expand the business to a boutique hotel.
The building is about 100 years old and was in a very bad condition and needed renovation. It was literally falling apart.
To you personally, what is so special about Karaköy Rooms?
I like meeting the holiday guests and taking care of them during breakfast. It’s not like being in a hotel, it’s like being at home taking care of my guests.
What would be a typical Turkish food experience?
Eating meze is a very typical traditional Turkish experience. You don’t order for yourself but you share everything on the table. The food is put in the middle and you eat it with your hands. It’s something holiday guests wouldn’t know, so we show them at our restaurant.
How to drink is also important. It’s a kind of ritual or ceremony. If you order Turkish coffee, for example, you can’t put sugar in afterwards and stir your coffee. Another example is eating olives at breakfast. It is very unusual for many Europeans, but it is typical for Turkish breakfasts.
Looking back, what has been your biggest reward about running a small boutique hotel?
The feedback coming from our holiday guests about Karaköy Rooms and our team has really made us very happy. Guests keep sending their friends and relatives. Those recommendations are very rewarding. We also get very good ratings, so we are going in the right direction. That makes me very happy.