Soho House, Istanbul

Soho House, Istanbul

Houses in London,
, Berlin,

West Hollywood
, Chicago
and Miami,
Soho House Istanbul is the
thirteenth in the brood, and the antithesis of a denied, overlooked
younger sibling.

Situated in the Genoese (later European) Quarter in Istanbul’s
Beyoglu district, the area contains a number of notable edifices.
Soho House fills one of them; the 19th-century Palazzo Corpi,
former home of powerful Genoese shipbuilder Ignazio Corpi and once
the location of the US Embassy.

Travelling to Istanbul as part of Cities Without Houses – a new
type of membership opening up the Soho
community to people who live in cities that don’t yet
have a club – was an impassable opportunity. A Soho House sleepover
in the former Constantinople is as enchanting (and perhaps elitist)
as its sounds. Connecting with other House members (predominantly
Parisians) on this particular trip made for a raucous weekend of
debauchery, some 7AM cardio and a little education.

Over the course of a weekend, which included a morning row down
the Golden Horn, an illuminating luncheon with interior decorator
Serdar Gülgün and a boozy boat cruise on the Bosphorus, we ate,
drank, napped, worked and played – just as we would at home (if
home were a hedonic and hauntingly beautiful 19th-century


Adjacent to the clubhouse, bedrooms are located in the glass
building and annex. Ranging from “tiny” to “the playroom”, 87 rooms
include 17 mezzanine rooms and one apartment. With distinctive
Ottoman influences, each is fitted with sumptuous headboards,
oversized beds and carved armoires. The bathrooms are equally
impressive, dominated by Carrera marble flooring and colourful


Located in the glass building, The Allis serves a simple menu of
light breakfast options for hotel guests. At the weekend, choose
from the buffet but Monday through Friday it’s a la carte – we’d
order the granola and baked eggs all day errr’day if we could. Open
to public with outdoor seating available, it’s a great spot for a
quick bite or a working coffee, while they also offer mezze lunch
and afternoon tea.

How about lunch and dinner?

Hedged in the courtyard between the glass building and the club
house you’ll find good old Cecconi’s. Serving a mix of handmade
pasta, cicchetti and dishes from northern Italy, the setup is
modern romanticism – which we’re defining as the perfect ratio of
olive trees clad in fairy lights and whitewashed furniture to
punchy flavours and graphic interiors. Visit on Sunday for FEAST –
a brunch buffet that will help you work out your hangover cravings
one pizza slice, cake serving and cheeseboard at a time.

For dinner, the first-floor terrace’s new restaurant, Naavah, is
our favourite spot. Serving an evening menu inspired by the
flavours and spices of the Middle East with a local twist, the
restaurant originated at Soho House West Hollywood and channels a
distinctly LA
vibe. Dine at sunset under an overhang clad with Edison bulbs as
the sky turns an effusive pink.

Is there a bar?

The Embassy Club is a great late-night bar on the second floor –
DJs mix most Fridays and Saturdays and live music sets are a
mainstay. For something a little less committal, the ground floor
club bar is a pleasant spot for cocktails while reclining in a
velveteen shell-shaped armchair. With wall paintings depicting
Greek mythological scenes, it’s one of those “just one more drink”

Within a short distance you’ll find…

The Pera Palace Hotel is one door up from Soho House Istanbul
and certainly worth a look-in. The hotel was the project of Georges
Nagelmackers, the Belgian entrepreneur who linked Paris and
Constantinople with the Orient Express. Its guests have included
Agatha Christie, who supposedly wrote Murder on the Orient Express
in room 411.

For those in search of shopping away from the Grand Bazaar,
Istiklal Avenue (Istanbul’s main shopping street) is a short walk
away. Pick up boxes of Turkish delight, order some hot clams street
side and take in the percussive sounds of ice-cream scoopers as
their long-handle ladles knock against the edges of the drum.

Things you should know

If you’ve got emails to catch up on, the Club Games Room is a
handy workspace by day (and a ping-pong room at night). There’s
also a gym fully equipped with free weights, resistance and cardio
machines, as well as a boxing ring and studio spaces hosting
classes from pilates and yoga to circuits. If you’re in need of
TLC, the club’s male and female steam rooms and saunas will help
you unwind post flight, then choose a spa treatment at Cowshed
Relax or pop by one of six mani-pedi stations. For the men, try a
Turkish shave from Neville grooming.