Interview conducted by DHA part 1

Interview about a design hotel

Retired lawyer Meral Demir revives history with the hotel she opened on March 2013. Which is in one of Istanbul’s oldest neighbourhood, Cukurcuma.

Having four small 18th century buildings restored, the contents of Meral Demir’s hotel are all antique works of art – except the TVs and other modern equipment.

From the door keys, the telephones, chandeliers, to the dinnerware – everything is a collection of antiques from Istanbul’s neighbourhoods, chosen meticulously in the span of two years.

Restored true to its original form, the hotel is regularly a host to auctions and art events.


 The opening process of Faik Pasha Suites

Stating that the second-degree Historical Building was restored and decorated in accordance with its original plan and structural technique.

Demir explains the process of opening the hotel: “Our guests both enjoy purchasing different objects from the auctions we organize and also taking part in our dance events. Tango instructors among our guests spontaneously clear up a dance floor space and start dancing to tango music. We gave a break during the summer but during other seasons, we have jazz recitals and brunches every weekend.

What do our guests like?

Our guests enjoy the homely, comfortable setting and the delicious variety of food choices we have. Once they have visited, our guests never forget us. Because there is positive energy here, there are deep-rooted friendships and my devotion to this beautiful neighbourhood.” Explaining how the hotel has gained the affection of people who appreciate the old and the historic, Demir describes how they have merged the old with new technology, “we also have 3D TVs with a keyboard and internet access. All our rooms are in the same style but decorated with a different theme,”

What is a Design Hotel meaning? What is your hotel’s design?

To design a hotel is not only about the interior design, but it’s also a subject of an atmosphere and concept design. I have planned this hotel, during my travels and hotel experiences all over the world. But most importantly I designed this hotel’s atmospheres and the story during my last 40 years. I believed in that design and wanted to create a hotel which has a message to say. The neighbourhood history and the residents are the richest sources of this story. If you ask me, this is the meaning of designing a hotel and cafe.
Summoning for the boutique hotels in Cukurcuma and Beyoglu to be given more value and protection, Demir states, “Some guests will come to Faik Pasha Cafe  and just sit the whole day, spend their time by  drinking their coffee, connecting to the internet and working.” I don’t mind if they don’t eat anything really, they can sit all day here; as long as they get the chance to indulge in the atmosphere and the spirit of the place.

“THIS  HOTEL IS A PLACE OF TOLERANCE AND LOVE FOR HUMANITY.”Explaining how Cukurcuma and her hotel are close with kindness and compassion, Demir adds, “Here, in these buildings, as the Ottoman subjects Greeks, Armenians, Levantines and Muslims all lived together in peace. I wish this spirit had  lived forever in Istanbul and all over the world

Because a multi-religious, multicultural atmosphere brings with it both tolerance and love for humanity Beyoglu is an area where daily life continues and Turkish culture blended with Europe is experienced.

Feel like a resident, not a hotel guest

Our hotel is a place where even our foreign guests can experience daily life as a resident of the neighbourhood, a place where the love, labour and tolerant are blended together,” says Demir.


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