When the economic crisis of 2008 hit Turkey, Sema Topaloğlu‘s tenants could no longer afford the rent in her Istanbul townhouse, and moved out. Instead of looking for new tenants, Sema’s brother Murat persuaded her to turn the property into a guesthouse, and Murat knew what he was doing. Not only is the building is a 19th Century beauty, but Sema happens to be a renowned Turkish craft designer whose artistic vision guided the renovation to superb heights.
Sema now lives in the basement, and with Murat’s personal concierge service, Istanbul Lofts definitely has the personal touch. The apartments also have an exceptionally high standard of finish, and are treated to an evolving exhibition of Sema’s artisanal objects. The four levels get pricier as you go up towards the penthouse, reflecting the addition of balconies and the scope of the views available. Each is equally well-appointed though, and ideally laid out for couples visiting the city. The studios have a small kitchen, and the building is right in the heart of an artsy neighbourhood with loads to do day and night.