After buying and converting a former textile atelier in Istanbul’s popular Nisantasi district into Gallery Residence & Boutique Hotel, Yes Hotels Turkey has bought another textile atelier on the same street and converted it into the Jazz Hotel Istanbul in less than 150 days.
Both boutique luxury hotels take art as inspiration for their concepts. Gallery Residence & Boutique Hotel’s 21 suites were named and decorated after painters such as Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso, whereas Jazz Hotel Istanbul’s 12 rooms are named and decorated after world-famous jazz artists, including Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
“As a family of architects, we just cannot distance ourselves from art,” says Yalcin Saglikova, president of Yes Hotels Turkey.
As for Yes Hotels Turkey’s decision to open its second hotel in Nisantasi as well, Saglikova says, “Nisantasi is the face of modern Istanbul with trendy shops, cafes and restaurants. Besides, Lutfi Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC) is here and the metro station provides easy access to the rest of Istanbul.”
Adds Saglikova: “Until recently, Nisantasi was popular among elite locals, yet unknown to most tourists. We want travelers to discover that Istanbul has more to offer than the Grand Bazaar and the old town,” adds Saglikova. “Seeing our guests at Gallery Residence & Boutique Hotel enjoy Nisantasi greatly, we decided to expand here.”
In addition to naming rooms after famous jazz artists, Yes Hotels Turkey decorated each room in the Jazz Hotel Istanbul’s with the corresponding artist’s prints and posters. Each room features an original LP by the artist on its door and when a guest opens the room’s door, he or she is welcomed by that artist’s music. Each room has an individual music broadcast playing only the corresponding artist’s music, with the channel available for listening to 24 hours a day.
Guests can borrow jazz books, CDs and DVDs from the hotel’s library and enjoy them in their rooms or the lobby. Besides using musical instruments, accessories and figurines to decorate the lobby, Jazz Hotel Istanbul also has decor touches such as music-themed clocks, ash trays, candle sticks, soaps, napkins and cookie molds. Even the hotel staff’s ties, pins and aprons are based on the theme of music. The hotel also sells music-themed gifts in the lobby.
Each room in the Jazz Hotel Istanbul has an LCD television, a DVD/CD player, an all-in-one printer, satellite TV and radio channels, a laptop safe, a mini-bar, a kettle, an iron and a rain shower. Some rooms have walk-in closets. Breakfast, Wi-Fi and PlayStation 3 rentals are complimentary.
“We aim to please the jazz-enthusiast and promote jazz to the non-enthusiast, while offering a luxurious accommodation in a vibrant district,” says Saglikova. “Our concept sparked great interest. We have guests asking to stay at specific artists’ rooms. We have teenagers betting whether the LPs on the doors are real or not and then asking us.
“This seemed like an odd question at first, but these kids think music is mp3 files downloaded on the internet. Even the CD is out of fashion for them, which makes the LP a sort of an antique. Collecting these LPs with special covers and booklets reminded us of the days when music was more than waves in the air. Our guests seem to appreciate the legacy of jazz and enjoy our concept.”
After running a 112-room 4-star hotel in Istanbul for 15 years, the Saglikova family sold it to a Spanish chain and entered the boutique hotel market with their new brand, Yes Hotels Turkey. Since April 2006, Gallery Residence & Boutique Hotel has been serving short- and long-term stay guests with 21 deluxe suites that have fully equipped kitchens.
In June 2010, the group opened Jazz Hotel Istanbul. Both hotels were converted from old textile ateliers in only 5 months. The group is led by Yalcin Saglikova, an architect with 44 years of experience whose works include the Istanbul World Trade Center and the renovation of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce building.