I recently got to spend the last day and night of my epic birthday trip to Turkey in Istanbul, one of my favorite cities of all time. And since I was only going to be in town one night, I decided that a hotel made more sense than having to get checked into an apartment, paying cleaning fees, and all that.
I knew I wanted to stay in the Beyoğlu neighborhood (the historic European side), and specifically between Galata Bridge and Galata Tower—this is close enough for easy walking over to Sultanahmet and not insane amounts of hills. And after sorting through the handful of options my travel planner found for me, I ended up choosing Hotel DeCamondo.
And Y’ALL…it’s an absolute delight.
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The history of Hotel Decamondo
One thing I had no idea of when I booked was the cool history of this building, and the Camondo family in general. The woman who took me to my room gave me a brief history while we walked and I was blown away. The building used to be the home of the Camondo family, I believe in the late 1800s. It was considered a work of art, built in the neoclassical style and very symmetrical.
The Camondo family were Ashkenazi Jews originally from Spain (but fled in 1492), spent some time in Venice, and then established their new lives in Constantinople in the 1700s. They became very prominent bankers and philanthropists in Istanbul for a couple centuries, and championed the arts and education as well.
The hotel website does a great and thorough job of outlining the family’s history and the role they played in Istanbul for many years, if you want to learn more…I recommend it, it’s fascinating!
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My sweaty self (from dragging my luggage 5 minutes uphill because my taxi driver abandoned me) was greeted with such a warm welcome, and they offered to take me to the rooftop bar for a welcome drink. I sat and sipped my cold rosé and soaked in the view on a gorgeous early fall day.
I didn’t make it to the rooftop at night (it was my intention, just lost steam), but it would make a great place for drinks or a late night.
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When the lady from the front desk came back to take me to my room, she surprised me with a suite upgrade—I’d mentioned I was in town for my birthday (and it was my actual birthday), and since the suite happened to be open they gave it to me. It was so unexpected but just a lovely example of the service at Hotel DeCamondo.
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They’d even taken the time to bring me up some local chocolates and a sweet little birthday note. It’s little touches like these that make the stay here extra special…even if it’s just a bellboy who goes out of his way to make a restaurant recommendation or get a cab for you.
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The suite was insanely roomy, to the point I felt kind of bad just being one person in there. The bed was heavenly, the best I stayed on in Turkey. I enjoyed the decor overall, a nice combination of cozy and modern, but with nods to the history of the building. And the rug in the main bedroom was HEAVEN—if I could figure out where it was from, I’d buy one!!!
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The hotel itself was really beautiful inside, with some cool round stained glass windows, circular staircases, mod black and white tiles, and more. I don’t know much about the neoclassical style, but I absolutely loved the decor overall—like someone pulled it out of my head!
The location was also super convenient for anything I wanted to do. I could take a staircase and just a short walk down and be at Galata Bridge (and then cross over to Sultanahmet), or it was a short walk up to Galata Tower, or slightly longer on to Istiklal Street and then Taksim Square. I highly recommend this area, and really enjoyed exploring the great coffee scene here on my last morning.
So in case it’s not clear, I loved my brief stay at Hotel DeCamondo and would highly recommend it. I booked it through Booking.com, and for the night I stayed it was 71 euros…which honestly seemed like a steal for the quality of service and caliber of hotel.
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