This small hotel – run by the friendly Akbaryrak family and found just up the road from the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque – distinguishes itself from the myriad of other small Istanbul hotels by its charming weirdness. The bright turquoise, yellow and purple exterior colour scheme sets the tone and is best observed, glass of tea in-hand, from the leafy hotel garden. Inside and throughout the hotel hang thousands of coloured-glass Turkish lamps, which can be found in any of the bazaars, the high point of a decidedly maximalist interior design, with armchairs, sofas and antiques of various periods all vying for attention. A small, very red, pink and ornate lounge area with original late 19th-century features is particularly eye-catching. The Kybele’s 16 rooms are moderately-sized, but they have lovely en-suite bathrooms and plenty of coloured lighting.