A Weekend at The Stay Boulevard Nisantasi, Istanbul


Written by Charlie Cooksey

I’d never been to Istanbul before, though, for my birthday weekend, I had the chance to spend a long weekend of 4 nights in this captivating city. A quick trip that will take around 4 hours via a direct flight from Bahrain, makes for a very easy getaway for a long weekend.

Despite a short flight, my mid-January trip to Istanbul was far colder than the weather I’d departed in Bahrain, a delightful change of pace. I made the most of the cold frosty mornings with a long walk exploring the winding streets and roads of Nisantasi. I was surprised at just how large Istanbul is as a city, if you visit for a long weekend, or even a week, good luck thinking you’ll get to see most of the city during that time. I was lucky to have a few friends who knew the city well and gave me recommendations on places to go, areas to explore, places to shop and restaurants to check out. Istanbul has a vibe unlike anything else with old bazaars tucked between modern business districts.

I was a guest of the newest boutique hotel from “The Stay” brand of hotels in Turkey, the location on Nisantasi Boulevard. My stay at The Stay (haha) was such a pleasure that my only disappointment was the end of the trip and having to check out and head back home. It is a beautiful, boutique and homely hotel that offered exceptional service from the moment I arrived with the kind doormen helping me with my bags and opening the big entrance hotel doors.

The Stay Brand

The Stay brand puts a major emphasis on art intertwining with life, hence the reason it curates collections of masters and young Turkish artists alike. All of the properties under this collection are unique in their own way. Nisantasi Boulevard is purely exquisite, a landmark on this lit-up slice of the boulevard. The other properties including the Bebek, Ortakoy, and Alcati all shine with modern and stylish designs that pay homage to the history and heritage of their surrounding neighbourhoods.

The Stay Hotels also has another distinction beyond its design and seamless incorporation into the local landscape. It became the first carbon-neutral independent hotel group in Turkey in 2022. Additionally, the brand takes practical steps to use green and sustainable processes and products in every location.

Prime Location

Speaking of location, The Stay Boulevard Nisantasi is an adept merger of culture, food, and fashion. It places you directly in the heart of Istanbul’s best shopping district, combining European ambience with a cosy neighbourhood vibe. This smart slice of the area makes it easy to walk to Bosphorus and access transportation to the most famous landmarks: Dolmabahçe Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Avenue, Sultanahmet historical district, and Golden Horn. If your pleasure is shopping and dining, you really won’t need to go very far to explore your options.

Excellence in Dining

In fact, The Stay Boulevard Nisantasi does dining so well, that I was inclined to enjoy their Italian restaurant, Marcello, located on the top floor, twice during my stay. The authentic Italian cuisine served here by Executive Chef Luigi Mariconda is nothing short of masterful, bringing all the best regional flavours in one open kitchen concept.

Watching the pizza preparation was entrancing, and the Limoncello, a homemade bright citrus-flavoured recipe passed down from generation, was the perfect palate cleanser. As someone who enjoys tasting a variety of things while visiting other lands, it is virtually unheard of for me to dine at the same establishment twice. However, the Focaccia tipo Recco is unlike anything you’ve tasted, especially if you’ve had focaccia before, and it will change your perception of this Italian bread.

Property Amenities and Rooms

All told, The Stay Boulevard Nisantasi features 82 rooms that create a hipster’s paradise within the city while creating the ultimate hideaway. The rooms and suites boast terraces with excellent views and feature marble bathrooms and walk-in closets. With this sweep of luxury, it still provides a cosy, inviting feeling for guests. I certainly felt comfortable during my birthday trip, and along with the excellent service, it was an all the more special occasion.

While there is much to explore in the area, a stop at the patisserie on the ground floor is a nice way to start the day with freshly baked bread and Turkish treats that will invite you in the doors by way of aroma. This location also features a spa and wellness centre, complete with a gym, indoor pool, Pilates studio, Turkish hammam, sauna, and therapy rooms.

This was the first time I had travelled abroad for my birthday in many years. It’s not usually something I do for my birthday, and, if I say so myself – I considered my birthday weekend to be a great success, which I greatly attribute to my stay at The Stay Boulevard Nisantasi and all the wonders Istanbul has to offer.

The current starting price for The Stay Boulevard Nisantasi is EUR  300 / BHD 123 per night, including breakfast.

For more information on The Stay Hotels visit: www.thestay.com.tr