Private members’ club Soho House has been such a success in London and over the pond that European expansion was a welcome inevitability. Soho House Istanbul is the second (Berlin came first) of the group’s destinations to appear on the continent, and the renowned Soho House style has lost nothing in translation. They know a bit about grandeur in the ancient city of course, and SHI is not only the largest operation to date, it’s also one of the most opulent and storied.
Strictly speaking, Soho House Istanbul is more of a complex than a house, and the venue stretches out over four buildings. Among the highlights is the Corpi Building, which houses private club spaces, a rooftop pool, and a speakeasy known as The Embassy Club. Nick Jones and Vicky Charles, who headed up the design, had plenty to work with at the property. Built by a Genoese shipbuilder in 1873, it became the US Embassy in 1906 and thereafter the US Consulate. Restoration work on original frescoes, Carrara marble flooring and rosewood doors have helped bring the swank back in style. Part of the club’s accommodation — 28 bedrooms of it — is housed in the former consulate’s annex, while the other spaces (a restaurant, 59 further bedrooms, a gym, a 49-seat screening room) are contained within the Chancery Building and the Glass Building — both newly-constructed but blessed with the same levels of loveliness as their venerable neighbours.