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The Sirkeci Mansion – A Small Hotel that Packs a Punch

May 3, 2014 Headline News, Hotel Feature No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59We have spent the last five days in Istanbul staying at the Sirkeci Mansion Hotel, situated just near one of the gates to Gulhane Park, a short walk to the Topkapi Palace, and a (very) slightly longer walk to Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

In other words it is well located. It is also a very comfortable, well run, small hotel that really does offer the traveller a great experience. The staff are attentive and friendly, the rooms light, airy and well set up and the whole place operates with an air of relaxed calm and quiet efficiency.Galatea Tower

I spent half an hour yesterday with Omer Faruk Boyaci (just call me Faruk), the owner of the property and the boss of the Sirkeci Group of hotels and restaurants. I asked him what was his key to running a successful hotel business.

“You have to be happy with what you do” – was his answer. “We are,” he added “we have great guests, we are proud of our guests and we believe we offer a unique product that those guests like, are happy to talk about and pleased to come back to.” Faruk, who has
no formal working office, preferring to spend his day working directly with his team on the job, clearly has great enthusiasm and a clear vision about the future and the direction of his business.

The group currently has a total of 5 hotels and two restaurants, all in the Sirkeci area of Istanbul, but it is in the process of being split The Blue Mosquebetween Faruk and his brother who, in Faruk’s words, does not have quite the same vision as he does; which will leave Faruk’s
Group with two hotels and two restaurants. Over the next twelve or so months they will add two more properties in Istanbul, still in the Sirkeci area. Faruk is also looking to expand beyond the Turkish borders and is actively considering properties in London,
Florence and Rome amongst other locations.

The Sirkeci Mansion which is seven years old welcomes guests from mainly OECD countries, but get’s lots of Aussies as well as a good mix of American, Canadian and British visitors. For his sins Faruk is also President of the Turkish Small Hotels Group,
which has 300+ members in 34 different regions of Turkey. He defines a small hotel as one with 50 rooms or less, offering a much Spice Marketmore personalised sort of service, which is exactly what you get at Sirkeci Mansion.

Faruk tells me that his customers come to him mainly from word of mouth, with the word being spread by platforms like Trip Adviser; Lonely Planet and other Travel Publications and sites. He works with his staff, in an almost academy type atmosphere, training them in sustainable tourism and helping them develop principals that will sustain them in their future careers.

“We work on a big heart philosophy” he tells me “we focus on local programs and products and work with local people so that we deliver guest satisfaction and a great local experience”. He again concludes with – “We are very happy with what we do”!

Written by : Peter Watson

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