Amongst the hotels I’ve had the opportunity, and the good luck, to stay at, I retain a particular fondness for the Walton Hotels Galata. This building, nearly a hundred years old, is located in the heart of the historic Galata district. A superb renovation in very contemporary taste does not at all detract from its historic charm; quite the reverse, in fact. If you prefer boutique hotels to the major chains; if you feel like relaxing in an ambiance that is fashionable, cosy and peaceful; and if you appreciate the warm, authentic welcome of a family-run hotel, don’t hesitate to spend time at the Walton Hotels Galata.
The hotel is a stone’s throw from some of Istanbul’s tourist attractions such as İstiklal Avenue, the most famous street in Istanbul; Taksim Square; and the Galata Tower and bridge. The surrounding district is brimming with restaurants, boutiques with local products, cafes and art galleries. From the hotel, you can walk to the brand-new cruise ship terminal, Galataport; or walk in the Mall, where ultra-contemporary design offers countless opportunities for shopping , and where cultural events are on offer all year round.
The term ‘family hotel’ certainly applies to the Walton Hotels Galata, because it is run by a family; a family of art-lovers whose influence and attention to detail are evident everywhere in the twenty-seven rooms and in the common areas, which are decorated with striking oil paintings on canvas. The rooms, in shades of grey picked out with blue, have all the comforts you would expect for your stay: Television, sitting area, coffee machine, electric kettle and toilet articles. Everything is irreproachably clean.
Whether it’s to dine, to have breakfast, or simply to drink a glass of wine in the evening, the top floor, in fact the roof of the hotel, is a great venue. There is a magnificent view over the Galata Tower, the Golden Horn and the historic centre of Istanbul. The cuisine is both Turkish and international, and I very much enjoyed the house recipes. As for the breakfasts, they are as generous and varied as they are delicious. I have lovely memories of this stay, in particular thanks to the warm and kindly welcome of the family that runs the hotel, three young women as talented as they are likeable.