It’s a delight to be ‘jailed’ in luxury, especially when the place in question is the Four Seasons Hotel, Sultanahmet, in the spirited city of Istanbul. It’s not for nothing that this hotel has been lauded over the years for its legendary service and luxurious ambience.
The hotel building was originally built to serve as a prison between 1918-1919, and housed dissidents, famous artists, political figures and novelists. Its strongest asset is its fascinating history: a tangible reminder of the role it played during the Ottoman era. Today, this “intimate retreat” blends modernity with ancient tradition, transforming the space into a sanctuary of calm and comfort.
The three-storey, neo-classical building wraps around a landscaped, courtyard garden – formerly the prisoners’ exercise yard – and lies in the shadow of some of the city’s most impressive historical monuments. If your main goal is to see the historic sites of Istanbul, such as the Topkapi Palace, Haghia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, among others, then the Four Seasons Sultanahmet is the most convenient base.