Even the most jaded of travelers can’t help but be struck by the contrast between the ancient city of Istanbul and the ever so modern A’jia. Here, on the Asian side of town, on the quiet eastern shore of the Bosphorus, a 19th-century governor’s mansion has been given a makeover — behind its classic Ottoman facade it’s now the very picture of contemporary city life, all glossy wood floors and sleek modern furnishings.
In fact looking just at these interiors, you’d be hard pressed to identify the setting at all; fortunately all rooms but one (oh unfortunate one) look out over the Bosphorus strait, many from private balconies. No contemporary comfort is spared, from LCD televisions with a near-infinity of channels to the deep freestanding tubs with views from the upper floors of the split-level suites.
A’jia makes the most of its location: the hotel perches rather dramatically over the waters of the strait, and dining out on the terrace at the water’s edge is something to remember. If you’re longing for the noise and clamor of the city center, then this isn’t the place for you — you’re a half hour from the old city center, and fifteen minutes from the commercial district — but for those guests who choose A’jia this seclusion is no small part of its charm.
Ahmet Rasim Pasa Yalisi, Istanbul