Galata Antique Hotel, Pera, Istanbul, Turkey
Located in Istanbul’s bohemian Tunel Meydani area, the 22 room Galata Antique Hotel is just a short walk from the Taksim – Beyoglu (Istanbul’s SoHo), which is renowned for its art, history, culture and social scene.The property was designed by renowned architect Alexander Vallaury and built in the early 19th century as a mansion for a French Levantine family. The imposing neo-renaissance style building has been brought up to date with bold interior design and furnishings throughout, while carefully selected antiques hark back to its roots.
To mark this new collaboration and to welcome the team at Galata Antique Hotel on board, HotelBrain interviews Mrs Arguc Doygou, one of the owner of Galata Antique Hotel….
Mrs Doygou, tell us a few things about you and how you got involved with the hoteling?
I was born and raised in Istanbul, studied Business Administration at Istanbul University. On my senior year at college, in 2000, I was not sure on my skills but I was very enthusiastic on starting a new business. At that time an opportunity came up. A family property, hotel, was about to be sold. The building was in bad condition and needed a whole renovation. Together with my sister Ebru and also help from our father we decided to run the hotel and started Galata Antique Hotel.At that time it was considered as a bold move because the hotel needed a big sum of investment, Turkey was in economic crisis, tourism was in crisis because of 9/11, we were inexperienced in the field and the area was not suitable for hotels for the time being. But all that time we believed in what we do and challenges made us stronger.
Which different “face” of Istanbul will the visitor discover and/or experience at Galata Antique Hotel?
Pera area has played a significant role in history of Istanbul and known as the heart of the city with its dynamism, diversity and complexity. In my opinion it is the most evolving district in Istanbul. It is enriched by multiple cultures starting from the beginning of 18th century. During centuries the residents of Pera, like Levantine families, White Russians who escaped from the revolution, foreign minorities, Turkey’s most significant artists, writers and poets bring the essence of their culture, character to the area.
The visitors of Galata Antique Hotel will have the feel the history by staying in a genuine Pera mansion, since it’s one of the first stone buildings constructed in Pera and used as a home for a French Levantine family for more than 60 years. The architect of the building, Alexander Vallaury, was also a Levantine living in Istanbul, who received many awards for his work from both the French and Ottoman governments including the French Légion d’Honneur. Continuing the family tradition with Turkish hospitality we welcome our guests with utmost care and try to fulfill their every need. Being located at the end of lively Istiklal Street and on the crossroads of public transportations makes the perfect starting point to explore the city.
The philosophy of Galata Antique’s hospitality in three words.
Sincerity, Nostalgia, Style.
Why did you decide to work with HotelBrain and what do you expect from this collaboration?
I really admired the business model of HotelBrain when I first heard. It was nothing like I have been introduced in Turkey before. It seemed practical, effective, straightforward and taking on responsibilities. The sincere and friendly approach of Mr. Umut Kircan and Mr. Nikos Balos also impressed us and had an important role when making the decision. Family business brings a nice touch to tourism industry but also facing many problems that needs attention. It has been 12th year in the business for us and we could use a professional help and a continuous auditing in order to raise our standards, services while using hotel assets on the maximum level. Together with a passionate team like HotelBrain’s I believe we will achieve our goals and make the perfect blend.
What are your dreams about Galata Antique Hotel in the near future?
I want guests who stay at Galata Antique Hotel to have a unique and unforgettable experience. Working life is not getting easy, a lot of tension, stress going on and the importance of vacations is getting higher. To exceed expectations and have a special place in the guests’ recollections would be my dream as a hotelier.
Which is your favorite hotel around the world and why?
I cannot name one I guess. Hotels which continue a tradition or have a historical background are the ones attract me most. I enjoy staying in family owned small hotels and as well as Savoy Hotel in London where I dream about the history and get inspired.