The Karamanyan is a 200-year-old Timber Mansion, which was once used as a dormitory for the monks from the 18th Century Greek Orthodox Monastery set upon the hilltop opposite. The mansion was painstakingly restored and renovated in 2008 and was divided into four contemporary ‘Boutique Apartments’ over 4 levels with bespoke furniture and all its original details.
If you are looking for an Istanbul city break with a difference, or a Turkish island beach holiday with some added excitement then look no further than 'The Princes' Islands.' Turkey may be one of the UK's top holiday destinations, but Istanbul's Princes' Islands are still well off the beaten track for foreign visitors. Mostly visited only by day-trippers from Istanbul, the Princes' Islands are a world apart from the hustle and bustle of the city and yet only 45 minutes by boat to Kabatas Seaport, which is just one stop by metro to TAKSIM Square!
More about the Islands and Istanbul:
This Mansion is next to Island Museum and is a 10 minute walk to the Beach Clubs, Monastery, Village, Port and Promenade lined with cafes and fish restaurants. Only 45 minutes by fast boat to Kabatas near Taksim on the European side and 30 minutes to Bostanci on the Asian side. Combine a wonderfully relaxed experience staying in this stunning apartment on the beautiful CAR FREE Island of Heybeliada with sightseeing in Amazing Istanbul! You can enjoy the 3 beach clubs, take a private boat around the archipelago of 12 small islands and of course visit the stunning and chaotic city of Istanbul and its world famous Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazar and many, many more tourist attractions. Istanbul is a city built upon 7 mountains, across two continents with a sea running through the middle of it!!! It is a truly unique city and a top sight seeing destination. However, there is one little know tourist attraction which the Turks like to keep secret and that is the 'Princes Islands'.
Lawrence Jacomelli, Owner of The Karamanyan: “It wasn't the Turkish friends that I was working with at the time that told me about 'The Princes Islands', It was an Arab traveller that I had met out there from Dubai, he said ‘You have a week here, go to the Islands’…'It's another world'.” This beautiful old timber building is one of the tallest on the island, standing at some 60 foot. It was built in 1875 as the 'Grand Bretagne Hotel'. Later the original hotel changed ownership a number of times, before passing to mining industrialist and banker brothers Aram, Hrant and Artin Karamanyan. From 1928, when the hotel passed to their heirs, it was named the Karamanyan Hotel. In 1983 the house was split into two – separating the right side from the left. Although the two sides appear symmetrical, in fact this restored side is much larger. By the time Lawrence spotted the house in 2008 it was in a very poor state of repair, but now has been restored to its former glory.
Getting There: Easyjet fly daily from London Luton & Gatwick to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen.Turkish Airlines fly from London Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham & Dublin. British Airways fly three times daily from London Heathrow to Istanbul Ataturk. Pegasus offer regular flights from London Stansted to Sabiha Gokcen. Getting to the Islands. From Sabiha Gokcen (Asia): Ferries operate regularly from Bostanci. A taxi from the Airport to the sea port takes roughly half an hour, costing approximately 35/40TL (£15-17). The ferry crossing then takes a further 30 minutes 4TL. From Ataturk/central Istanbul (Europe): Ferries and sea buses depart from Kabatas. A taxi from the airport should take around 30/40 minutes and cost in the region of 45TL (around £20). Choose from either the sea bus (45 minutes/8TL) or the conventional ferry (1hr 10mins/4TL). The ferries are open-top with tearooms below and offer a unique insight into Istanbul of old.
Garden Flat - Sleeps 4/5 - Apartment 2
This apartment has two large double bedrooms. The kitchen/diner/lounge is open plan. The rooms are huge and have 4.5m-high ceilings. There is an enchanting corridor, which leads directly to the terraced area of the back garden. There you’ll find swings for the kids, dinning furniture, sun loungers and a BBQ. There is nature all around you and the wooden decked terrace is perfect for relaxing.
First Floor Flat - Sleeps 6 - Apartment 3
There are two main double bedrooms (one with the covered balcony) and a third smaller room with a Queen size bed.
The Apartment is 90m2 and the beautifully ornate ceilings are around 4.5m high. There are stunning sea views from the covered terrace and the master Bedroom. The lounge is drenched in sunlight and looks over the gardens and up the mountain, which is dotted with similar white timber mansions.
This apartment sleeps 6 people with its three bedrooms and spacious layout. It also benefits from the grassy part of the private garden, so you can read, bbq, relax on sun loungers etc.
Penthouse - Sleeps 4/5 - Apartment 4
The apartment has two large double bedrooms with ceiling fans. The kitchen/diner/lounge is open plan and the apartment is very light and airy because of this. There are balconies off of both of the bedrooms, which look up towards the mountainside, dotted with timber mansions amid the pine forest. At the front there is a larger balcony off the living room. At 60ft high this is one of the tallest buildings on the island and from the living room balcony the panoramic sea views and a view to the Greek Orthodox Monastery on the hilltop opposite is stunning. There is also an outside, private terrace (30m2) at ground level behind the property, which is a perfect suntrap – surrounded by trees & mansions this it is both secluded and intimate – lounge furniture, dinning furniture and BBQ is all provided.
Review #5068686 'What a treat!'
We stayed in the Karamanyan garden flat this Easter and really enjoyed our stay. The apartment is in an amazing wooden mansion on a street of wooden mansions on the undsicovered island of Heybeliada a mere 50 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul by one of the incredibly punctual and efficient ferries(less than £2 each way). We had all home comforts including comfy beds,piping hot water,central heating,wi fi,.We were cosy and warm when it rained for one day and cool when the temperature rose to 24. The caretaker Husayn was a treasure-coming immediately to sort any hiccups with the boiler. It's tastefully furnished-a real delight! I would recommend it highly as an alternative to staying in Istanbul which we visited 3 times on a breathtaking ferry ride. The other islands are certainly worth a visit-we ate a delicous seafood meal in Ali Baba's on neighbouring Buyakada- but we all agreed that Heybeliada was the jewel in the crown. The islanders were kind,helpful and welcoming as were the island's numerous dogs and cats. Thank you Lawrence and congratulations on your lovely renovation. We will be telling our friends! Sarah
Review #5129076 'Wonderful Heybeliada, authentic place to stay'
What a great way to visit Istanbul! We planned a trip with the family far, far away. Canary islands were the first options.......a lot of fuss by plane.....and at the end...are this the islands to be with every having his share of holiday-fun; culture and beach? After many different suggestions Istanbul came along our thoughts. We all became enthusiastic about Istanbul: Cultural....but crowded and no beach.... So not all the holiday-specs for everybody....till “The Princes Islands” and in particular HEYBELIADA came by; An island in the sea of Marmara with apparently a great entourage of small neighbouring islands and an appartment for rent in colonial style. That must be it.
So we booked and went along. We weren't dissapointed as we arrived. Everything was even better than expected. OK.... we had to deal with a housekeeper (Huseyn) not speaking any word other than Turkish...but by gestures and smiles we were able to understand each other. We experienced it as really being abroad. The apartment is beautiful having large rooms, very high ceilings, wonderful period details, lovely bathroom with a good rain shower and great big comfy new beds. A lot of modern European flair and detail. It is very complete with even WIFI highspeed internet-connection. The big garden offers enough shadow and even fruits growing on the trees that you can pick and eat. And if it doesn't work...just call Huseyn...just say hello...and he will be there in no time...a few gestures later it is solved.
Heybeliada is very reachable by boat. But you have to plan it carefully because not every ten minutes a boat is leaving from or to the island. More like once evry hour or so, But Always on time, never late never early-like a Swiss clock. By plane we arrived at airport Sabiah Gökcen with a very good connection by bus (E9) to the Bostancy harbour (about 45 minutes). To the centre of Istanbul (Kabatas) it was one hour by boat (directly). Or straight to Heubeliad it is 30 minutes from Bostanci by boat. Have a nice cup of tea with a snack on board, enjoy the view and this hour will be experienced much shorter than usual. And after a day of a busy Istanbul you will be shipped to your island, have a cup of tea and in no time you will be back on the islands, hop over to one of the restaurants on the boulevard.
Try also to cook at home; Turkey is offering a lot of nice foodstuff to cook and BBQ. Everything on the island is always within walkable reach. Complaints? Yes....the mosque starting the morning prayers at 5 am. Just take it as everyone does...turn around in bed and sleep on. No problem.
As for the price, well when it’s a couple on their own I guess the price is high but these apartments are huge two & three double bedrooms with private gardens, so when you a are a family or friends staying its really good value. And the building is over two hundred years old so it’s a rare opportunity to stay in a place like this. Will we return once more? For sure!...... Family R. from the Netherlands
If you are looking for an Istanbul city break with a difference, or a Turkish island beach holiday with some added excitement then look no further than the Princes' Islands. Turkey may be one of the UK's top holiday destinations, but Istanbul's Princes' Islands are still well off the beaten track for foreign visitors. Mostly visited only by day-trippers from Istanbul, the Princes' Islands are a world apart from the hustle and bustle of the city.Despite this, they are only 45 minutes by ferry from the historic sites of Istanbul. The Princes' Islands offer a choice of relaxing Turkish beach clubs so you really can have it all - a holiday combining history and culture with sea, sun sand and relaxation.The sea is clean and rich with sea life. You can often see pods of dolphins from the ferry as you travel across between the Islands and the Mainland.Connecting the Middle East with Europe, Istanbul's important sites include Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazar.
Other Activities: step back in time and play back gammon with the locals on the promenade
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