Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı
Lonely Planet review for Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı
Reopened in 2011 after a meticulous restoration, this twin hamam is now offering the most luxurious traditional bath experience in the Old City. Designed by Sinan between 1556 and 1557, it was built just across the road from Aya Sofya by order of Süleyman the Magnificent and named in honour of his wife Hürrem Sultan, commonly known as Roxelana.
The building's three-year, US$13 million restoration was closely monitored by heritage authorities and the end result is wonderful, retaining Sinan's austere design but endowing it with an understated modern luxury. There are separate baths for males and females, both with a handsome soğukluk (entrance vestibule) surrounded by wooden change cubicles. Though relatively expensive, treatments are expert and the surrounds are exceptionally clean. The basic 35-minute treatment costs €70 and includes a scrub and soap massage; olive-oil soap and your personal kese (coarse cloth mitten) are included in the price. In warm weather, a cafe and restaurant operate on the outdoor terrace .