Mystery of 'the Bosphorus box' solved

Mystery of 'the Bosphorus box' solved

Fatma Aksu - ISTANBUL
Mystery of the Bosphorus box solved

Turkish Airlines’ catering company Do&Co is working on the restoration of two Bosphorus waterfront mansions to build an exclusive seven-star hotel.

Turkey’s flagship carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) is renovating two waterfront Ottoman houses to establish a seven-star hotel along the Bosphorus, where it will host its most distinguished passengers, as part of efforts to consolidate Istanbul’s position as a flight hub.

The luxury hotel located in Istanbul’s waterside neighborhood Ortaköy is planned to serve VIP customers when it is completed next year.

Do&Co, a catering company, 50 percent of which is owned by THY, have rented the waterfront houses - named the Fehime Sultan Yalısı and Hatice Sultan Yalısı - for 25 years in return for 125 million Turkish Liras.

Since burning down in 2002, the Fehime Sultan Yalısı, which served as a primary school for 33 years, has been used as a car park, while the Hatice Sultan Yalısı used to be a swimming facility for the Istanbul Swimming Club. Do&Co began renting te Hatice Sultan Yalısı in 2006.

Singapore-based company Aman Resorts International had offered $150 million for two mansions, but the Culture and Tourism Ministry did not approve the sale. The ministry only gave permission for the restoration and renting out of the assets.

Delicate work

A total of 350 people, including architects, restaurateurs, stone dressers, carpenters and painters have contributed to the renovation, which is estimated to have cost up to 100 million liras. The well-established Turkish restoration company Gürsoy Group is managing the work.

Customers who stay in the "sultan rooms," which will have all of the privileges of King Suites, will be transported to their hotels by boat from the airport.