Gurhan Sayar: My Istanbul

Luxpitality showcases Istanbul

Gurhan Sayar is a GM of the 5-star LAZZONI HOTEL in Istanbul. He has over a decade of experience in the hotel industry. He worked his magic on hotels Like Swissotel Istanbul & Swissotel Chicago, as well as a hotel in Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Now Mr Sayar is at the helm of LAZZONI HOTEL, the first property opened by Lazzoni – high-end contemporary furniture makers. A sleek modern hotel is an epitome of understated contemporary luxury. Where does its GM recommend his guests to go?

Perfect Istanbul Week-end is…

Taking a little trip on the Golden Horn & Bosphorus on a boat. The Golden Horn takes its name, apparently from the colour of the water at sunset, so taking an afternoon cruise is highly recommended! It is a natural harbour, shaped like a horn and surrounded by parks and promenades with ancient sites around it.

Watch out for Topkapi Palace – ostentatious residence of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years, magnificent Hagia Sophia, that was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica, an imperial mosque, and now a museum. Yes, you will find Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Spice Market, Grand Bazar and Galata Tower in every guide book, but trust me, these places are really worth seeing, they are completely unique to this world. I love wondering in Old Town among these ancient buildings and never get tired of their unique beauty.

Most impressive historic and cultural site in Istanbul is…

Hagia Sophia in the Sultanhamet area. This holly place is 1484 years old: the kings rose and fell and Hagia Sophia was still there. It is a witness of Istanbul’s almost entire history. On that site, you really can feel the energy of all three empires that were built here.

My favourite neighbourhoods are…

Emionu Sultanhamet for visiting the sites and Pera, which is the heart of Istanbul for dining and entertainment. My favourite places there are Cite de Pera (Flower Passage) , Asmali Mescit and Kiva . You should walk around Galata street near Galata tower – it has a unique atmosphere and is buzzing till late at night.

Istanbul is…

A city where irregularity is the norm, the speed of life makes you addicted to the 24-hour rush. We love the chaos of life here and for us living in the fast lane became a routine.

Istanbul awesome secret corners are…

Kavak is a great small fisherman’s village only 25 minutes away from the city centre. Balat is very Istanbul, this is where old centre used to be. You can admire many old mansions, beautifully preserved.

The place I enjoy spending time is…

On the Anatolian side it is Baghdad street and love Tarabya Yenikoy which is my favourite place. These areas are no touristy at all, the atmosphere is fantastic and the views of the Bosphorus will take your breath away.

For shopping I recommend Nisantasi with its choice of finest luxury brands and malls like Istinyepark and Zorlu.

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