We wanted our last day in Istanbul to be special, so we headed over for a late lunch to the Four Seasons Sultanahmet in the heart of the old city. Located a stone’s throw from the 17th century Blue Mosque and a short walk from the grand bazaar, the site was on our list of places to visit since Conde Naste Traveler had done a write-up on how a former Turkish prison had been converted into this luxury hotel.
From the moment we approached the yellow colored facade of the hotel, each of us was trying to envision what the place might have looked like as a prison. We imagined prisoners looking out of the window into the inner courtyard, visualized them exercising in the central area, and of course saw the stark environment that must have prevailed in place of the perfectly landscaped space with an abundance of perfect topiary and blooms.
After walking through the absolutely stunning property, we settled on dining at the Season’s Restaurant. It felt ostentatious to have three people attending to our needs, but the service was discreet, yet efficient. We ordered the Selection Turkish Mezze Plate, Homemade Ricotta Ravioli – Pine Nut, Dry Fig, Braised Eggplant and Red Currants, Sage Sauce and the Red Lentil Soup – Yoghurt and Crispy Pita Bread. Every dish was fresh, but lacked flavor. We were taken aback that a property with access to some of the freshest ingredients could disappoint. The dessert with ice-cream and an assortment of turkish sweets was mediocre as well. We had tasted better in less grander surroundings.
As we finished paying for a pretty pricey lunch, the big question was, would we do it again? And the answer was YES….. the hotel is a must do visit, albeit the next time, we will settle for coffee or drinks.
To read more about the Four Seasons Sultanahmet, click here.