As part of Marriott Bonvoy's portfolio of over 30 hotel brands, and situated in the heart of Istanbul's historic peninsula, Sanasaryan Han, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Istanbul, now offers "comfortable" lodging services.

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The hotel's operators set out with the goal of offering experiences that create unique memories at Sanasaryan Han, located in an enchanting part of Istanbul where East meets West and which has witnessed the city's captivating history.

Philipp Weghmann, Vice President of The Luxury Collection, expressed, "We are thrilled to introduce Istanbul, recognized as an international hub for both trade and culture, to The Luxury Collection. Sanasaryan Han, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Istanbul, reflects the spirit of this historic city and represents the adventurous spirit of travelers worldwide."

Constructed in 1895, this neoclassical building seamlessly blends the city's splendor with Istanbul's cultural heritage. Designed by the Ottoman architect Hovsep Aznavur and commissioned by Migirdiç Sanasaryan, the inn is within walking distance to cultural attractions like the Egyptian Bazaar, Grand Bazaar, Sultanahmet Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Karaköy district.

Today, catering to diverse tastes, 'The Library Bar,' adorned with an exclusive library area consisting of rare antique books and photographs of Istanbul, draws inspiration from the largest library of the time at Sanasaryan College. Handmade ceramic replicas of diplomas awarded to graduates from the college in Erzurum, ceramic parchments, select custom paintings, and contemporary art installations are also on display.

The ‘Momentum’ exhibition by Harun Doğan, a Turkish artist residing in Switzerland, features monochromatic photographs reflecting the city's timeless allure, appealing to emotions.

With its elegant design features, including 6 suites and 57 rooms framed by large neoclassical arched windows offering views of Istanbul, Sanasaryan Han, a Luxury Collection, brings a luxury experience to its guests. Marble bathrooms inspired by Turkish hammams, headboards with Ottoman turquoise and black motifs, and handmade copper accessories nod to traditional Turkish customs. Guest rooms feature Istanbul postcards by Harun Doğan and a custom-designed seal set, adding a nostalgic touch to contemporary Istanbul rituals.

The hotel's rooms offer a unique experience with copper tea sets carefully prepared by 'Tea Masters,' aromatic teas specially blended for Sanasaryan Han inspired by roses from the Egyptian Bazaar and Topkapı Palace garden, served in traditional thin-waisted glasses.

The hotel introduces guests to Türkiye's rich culinary culture through Sini Restaurant and The Library Bar, reflecting the original presentations of local cuisine.

The dark legacy of past experiences

The building served as the Istanbul Police Headquarters for a long time starting from 1935, where "guests" hosted here were indelibly marked by the scars of "torture."

Among the "guests" described as "coffins" by Sabahattin Ali were notable figures such as Aziz Nesin, Nazım Hikmet, Vedat Türkali, Ece Ayhan, Atilla İlhan, Alparslan Türkeş, Nihal Atsız, Mihri Belli, Nuri İyem, Ahmed Arif, İlhan Selçuk, Ruhi Su and Sabahattin Ali, alongside many others who were not famous.

According to the testimony of those hosted at the time, guests at "Sansaryan Han" were detained in cells. Sabahattin Ali recounts, "those who lie here are deprived of sleep, hungry, and thirsty. Only six out of 35 cells have a small window; the rest lack even air. Many of us were subjected to the torture of being held in a coffin."

The "coffins," marking a "dark period" in many people's lives, were demolished in 1947, though Sanasaryan Han's function continued for some time.

The building's history

The building, known as "Sansaryan Han" derives its name from Mıgırdiç Sanasaryan. The historic inn was constructed in 1895 by architect Hovsep Aznavour, who also built the Bulgarian Church in Istanbul's Balat district. According to the publication "The City that Remembers" Mıgırdiç Sanasaryan purchased the inn from Çerkez İsmailpaşazade İhsan Bey for 19,000 Ottoman gold coins.

Mıgırdiç Sanasaryan, a merchant, acquired the inn to fund the Sanasaryan School in Erzurum, which he opened to contribute to the education of Armenian orphans, through the Sanasaryan Foundation established in 1901. The property's deed in the Armenian Patriarchate records dates back to 1909. However, the school was closed, and the inn was confiscated following the events of 1915.

The ownership of Sanasaryan Han has been the subject of prolonged property disputes. The case reached the Constitutional Court. Eventually, the General Directorate of Foundations leased Sanasaryan Han for twenty years, and the new operators took over the inn to operate it as a hotel.

Editor: Haber Merkezi