For Anyone Seeking an Authentic Istanbul Lifestyle in Istanbul!
“If Istanbul had been properly preserved, what would we have today?”
With a spectacular view of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the two colossal monuments of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture in the heart of the historic peninsula, Armada Hotel has been asking itself this very question ever since its founding in 1994. The answers to this question have shaped what Armada Hotel stands for today. Armada delights anyone searching for true Istanbul culture by resurrecting the lifestyle that makes Istanbul the great city that it is and adapting it to our time.
One of the characteristics that set Armada apart more than anything else is not its peerless view from the Terrace, or its décor, or the sumptuous Istanbul cuisine, it is the people of Armada who make all of this possible. Most of these individuals have been working at Armada since it was first founded and they look out and care for guests without ever being conspicuous because they want them to leave with happy memories and come back.
In recent years, the building’s infrastructure has been refurbished with modern technology, its décor has been updated and now the question is “How can you take advantage of Armada Hotel?” Just like anyone else looking for Istanbul in Istanbul! By dropping in for dinner, by holding your meetings at Armada and by choosing Armada for your accommodations…
What does Armada offer?
Armada features two Istanbul-style restaurants (indoor and outdoor) – the “Armada Terrace” and the multi-purpose “Armada Salon” for special meetings. It includes five meeting rooms, two bars (“Radio Bar/Guest Lounge“and the ”Terrace Bar” in the summer), “Fountain Café” and 108 rooms, two of which are equipped for wheelchairs.
There is also the “Business Center” and the Covered Parking Garage.
Traditional on-going Activities: Every Monday Milonga – Tango Turkish night, an opportunity to engage in healthy sports walking or jogging along the Sea of Marmara on the seashore road, Istanbul Fast-Breaking Banquets (seasonal), Jazz Nights, Turkish Fasıl Nights Club, Celebrations of the Republic on land and sea every October 29th…
Armada not only contributes to the promotion of Istanbul in terms of culture with projects such as the “Hıdrellez Festivals at Ahırkapı” and “Eminönü Walking Paths” and the civil society work that it has pioneered, but it is also restoring the reputation of Ahırkapı, the historic quarter in which it is located, not to mention the fact that protecting the natural environment is also on its agenda with the “Green Hotels” movement.
Armada was constructed in the heart of the old Istanbul peninsula surrounded by the historic city walls in the Sultanahmet quarter, where, at one time, Admiral Barbarossa Hayrettin Pasha had houses built for his sailors in the 16th century, and when these burned down, row houses were built in their place. Therefore, Armada was designed based on old photographs of these houses remaining faithful to the exterior architecture. Today’s comfort and yesteryear’s atmosphere were combined and reinterpreted through both interior and exterior décor.
The first project designs for “Armada”, which was pioneered by Kasım Zoto, were executed by architect Haydar Karabey and Murat Sümen. Construction began after the project languished in bureaucratic red¬-tape for six years and was directed by Mehmet Ata Tansuğ. Gürel Yontan was in charge of decoration. Armada was completed in 16 months and its presence immediately created a distinctive atmosphere in Ahırkapı. Armada succeeded in establishing a positive impression with the public through uninterrupted communications projects and subsequently influenced the immediate vicinity so that numerous buildings in the quarter were repaired and brought back to life. Armada Hotel literally served as a civil model of the “social complex” (külliye), which played such an important role in old Turkish urban culture with new, distinctive establishments like Balıkçı Sabahattin, and even the Panayır Café in Darphane, as well as Ahırkapı Pastries and Alafranga Restaurant, (two establishment which today serve as “Giritli Restaurant”)…
The Armada Sera (today’s “Indoor Terrace”), as well as the Reis and Levent meeting rooms were added to the existing structure due to the operational requirements of the hotel between 1995 and 1999. In 2009, the building, equipment, infrastructure and interior decoration were all renovated.
Armada Corporate Culture
- If the city of Istanbul and its cultural and historic treasures had been properly preserved, what we would have today?
- Which of these can we resurrect today at Armada?
- How can we combine these with modern comfort in the best possible way without blindingly imitating the past?
- How can we preserve and pass these on to future generations?
The implementation of the answers sought and found to these questions in the second half of the 20th century, when almost everything characteristic of Istanbul was on the verge of disappearing in terms of both architecture and its culture of life, resulted in the emergence of the “Armada Concept”. Cem Boyner expressed this best when he said in reference to Armada Hotel in an interview on Istanbul in 1995, “I have not seen it yet, but it seems to me that Armada is an honorable revolt against the trashing of tradition. It is much more than just a hotel. It is a concept.”
At one time, the Sultanahmet quarter was the “center of the world” and now it is remembered as an important stopping point in the life of “hippies” of the ‘60s. Yet, restoring the former reputation of the quarter and Istanbul in general to its rightful place in world history and tourism is one of the most important aspects of Armada corporate culture.