Retro is everywhere, you can’t escape it, more often than not it’s a half-hearted nod to the past; a token mid-century chair, or the odd vintage chandelier. Occasionally retro is achieved with flair and grace, adding much needed warmth to modernist spaces. Then, there’s the retro that is so blisteringly achieved, it puts you in a cloud of recreational opium, dresses you in frock coats and spats, hands you a Kafka novel and has you curling your moustache in approval. That’s Karaköy Rooms‘ special blend of retro, and we applaud it.
With views of the Bosphorous, this renovated century-old building has been transformed into a small 9-room hotel with poise and distinction by Turkish agency Run Architects. Its furniture, fittings and aesthetic has been picked, selected and refined to within an inch of perfection, elegance and luxury may take a backseat (just look at that kitchen) to style and authenticity; but that just adds to the charm. The real star here though is the painfully brilliant exposed copper wiring, never before have electrics looked so spectacular, it took a brave agency to put humble electrical wiring on centre stage, but it pays off with astounding class.