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Hotel in Istanbul

Hi I am planning a trip to Istanbul in late December to spend the New Year...Can someone give me a name of a hotel to stay that is reasonable and safe? I plan on traveling December 28. Also, the best places to see because we are only staying in Istanbul. THanks
Bobbie

Posted by
5694 posts

First item of business is to purchase Rick's book on Istanbul. He has hotel recommends within as well as simple explanations of all "the best places to see." Fascinating city.
Hope you enjoy it.

Posted by
3009 posts

We liked Hotel Sultan Hill - a great location near the Blue Mosque. Helpful staff! The hotel is safe and clean. I'd also recommend the Rick Steves' Istanbul book!

Posted by
31 posts

I stayed at the Hotel Dara (www.hotelDara.com) very close to blue mosque but yet far enough that it was quiet. Reasonable prices and lovely views from terrace. Breakfast included. Next to a much smaller mosque so you hear the calls to prayer, but there are a ton of mosques and you'll hear them anyway. The owner was very friendly. Tiny elevator to take up luggage, otherwise we just used the steps. I would stay there again if I go back.

Posted by
12 posts

I stayed at the Pera Rose Hotel per the recommendation of a friend who frequently travels to Istanbul for business. It's located in Beyoglu, just a couple blocks from ?stiklâl Caddesi and not far from the Galata Tower and Taksim Square. The hotel is clean and the beds are comfortable and there is a pretty good breakfast. I called and booked directly with the hotel. Ask if there are any specials or discounts.

Posted by
281 posts

If you are planning a stay of 3 nights or longer most hotels will offer you free airport pickup. When you
decide on a hotel, ask before making your reservation.

Posted by
3696 posts

I was just there this summer and stayed at the Old City Viva (per referral from this site) and it was great. Reasonable rates, not fancy, great breakfast and location was on the main drag between the Blue Mosque, Topkapi area and the Spice Market. Lots of mosques close so call to prayer was always heard. View of the Bosphorous right out the window and shops and restaurants all around. I did have the hotel arrange the airport pickup and I think it was $25 or so.
I would stay there again. It was a good value and great location.

Posted by
2 posts

DO NOT book Cordial Guest House I was just there and to make a long story short, my room had fleas and then charged me for the privlage of being woken up at 4AM with bites! It was the worst hotel experience bar none. However I have had a wonderful experience at the Antique Hotel. It's a gem and very reasonably priced. The rooms are crisp, clean, and look to be recently redecorated. The front desk staff couldn't be nicer or more helpful and the breakfasts are amazing everything from western items like cereal/eggs to traditional Turkish breakfast items like cheese and cucumbers served over this fluffly bread. And the view from the breakfast area is absoutlely breathtaking. It's this 300 degree view of the Bosphorus straight and it has to be one of the nicest in the city. Anyway this hotel saved Istanbul for me! One of my other friends is also staying in the Hotel Sultan Hill and she likes it really well (though even she admits my view is better and I'm paying considerably less)! Hope this helps!
Nicole

Posted by
106 posts

just returned from Turkey yesterday. We really enjoyed our stay at the Sari Konak hotel in the Old Town (Sultanahmet). It had a PERFECT location.......right near the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, but on a quiet street so we had no issues with noise from restaurants or bars. It also had a great rooftop terrace and a good breakfast. Recommend it highly..... Best Places to see:
Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque Chora Church (worth the tram ride/metro ride out to the suburbs).....really stunning byzantine mosaics.......if you go there, the walls of Constantinople are literally a 5-6 minute walk Grand Bazaar/Spice Market/Galata bridge........start at the grand bazaar, the spice market is only about a 10 minute walk from there (downhill), and the spice market dumps you out onto a square smack in front of the Galata bridge, also it dumps you out right beside a very good restaurant called Hamdi.... I was resally disappointed in the Topkapi palace and wouldn't bother with it. I heard the Dolmabahce palace is nice but it was closed when we were there. Istiklal street is something you can skip - it's just a pedestrian shopping street The archeological museum was interesting (cuneiform tables, etc) we did not take a cruise on the Bosphorus so I cannot comment on that. enjoy your trip

Posted by
2023 posts

We are researching hotels for our May trip to Istanbul. Looking for a nice hotel that is 100 euros or less that is quiet. Am a bit concerned about the five am prayer calls. Had that experience once and it was unsettling at that hour and it was impossible to go back to sleep. A poster commented on Topkapi being a disappointing visit. Please explain. Has anyone stayed at Hotel Artefes? It is described as being blissfully quiet in Lonely Planet Istanbul book.

Posted by
3696 posts

Amazing how we all have such a different experience with the same thing. I loved the Topkapi Palace, but I am a photographer, so sometimes tend to see things a bit different than other people. I was not looking for a ton of historical information, simply some beauty. I was actually photographing a high school senior from the US who was having me do her senior portraits in Istanbul and I absolutely loved the backgrounds that the Topkapi Palace offered. We were also there with some people who lived in Istanbul Turkish, not Americans) so we had a wonderful day. And I thought it was quite beautiful. Hotel I stayed at was Old City Viva... reasonable and central location on the main street between Blue Mosque and Spice Market... about half way in between.
Loved Istanbul and would return again.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks to all of you that has given me advice and things to do in Turkey...really was appreciated. When I return back I will give you all feedback on my trip. Thanks again.
Bobbie

Posted by
1437 posts

What I enjoyed most of the Topkapi Palace was the additional fee tour of the Harem -- not to be missed.

Posted by
106 posts

a lot of the TOpkapi palace was closed when we were there......harem included. So perhaps what you all liked is what was closed off to me. I agree, though, it does have great backgrounds for photos - we saw a wedding party being photographed there.

Posted by
2788 posts

Hotel Sutton Hill - stayed there last year - liked it enough to stay there when we get back to Istanbul - found it in RS Istanbul Guide Book - description in the book said to mention that you found it in his book and get a discount which we did and when checking in they asked to see our book and we got a discount for an already fair price. Great location, breakfast, staff, and roof top viewing area. We always travel with ear plugs in Europe every summer so the calls to prayer did not bother us at all there.

Posted by
207 posts

Just returned: Used Hotel Sultan Hill, perfect location, great staff, clean, comfortable and safe and a 15% discount if you book with the info that you have a RS guidebook. Cost us less than 80 Euros per night (we stayed five nights) We used their shuttle service to and from the Airport, not inexpensive but we felt it was well worth the 25 Euros for up to four of us (two in our case). Short walks to Palace, Sultanahmat Tram stop, Hagia Sophia, Cistern and in the back yard of the Blue Mosque.

Posted by
1205 posts

We recently returned from 23 days in Turkey and spent 7 days in Istanbul at Hotel Sur. It is down the hill from the Blue Mosque and Doy Doy Restaurant on a quiet street and has convenient walking to most major sights. If you get a back room you will be near the train tracks so be aware. We had free airport pickup and paid about 20 lira for a van back to the airport. The hotel was clean and comfortable and the owner and staff were very kind and helpful. The breakfast was great, with a view of the Sea of Marmara. Some sights I didn't see mentioned are Yeni Camii, Rustem Pasa Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque. The Sirkeci Train Station (last stop of the Orient Express) was pretty interesting. The Bosphorous Cruise and climbing the hill to Yoros Castle was also worthwhile. We also went to the Princes' Island of Buyukada which was just ok for us. We also enjoyed Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi, Chora Church and Walls of Constantine, and the Spice Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar was just too much for us.

Posted by
358 posts

Just returned after spending 8 days in Istanbul with a RS tour. The tour stayed at the Obelisk hotel which was a nice hotel. Breakfast was on the top floor with great views of the Bosphorus, Haggia Sophia and especially the Blue Mosque. I could not get wifi in my room on the 3rd floor and had to come down into the lobby. The hotel Suri Konak is right across the street. The big decision is to either stay in the old district or across the bridge in the new district. The major problem with the old district is the annoying store owners and street vendors trying to get you into their stores. There was one store in the old town where the owner let you look at his ceramics/rugs without saying a word. Thus this is where I bought some ceramic goods.

Posted by
687 posts

We were on an RS Turkey tour in September and while in Istanbul stayed at the Hotel Sumengen (http://www.sumengenhotel.com). It was straight down the hill from the Blue Mosque and near restaurants, etc. Others have already told you the best places to see and have covered that pretty well. Happy travels.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi, Bobbie, are You still looking? There's a good BW hotel in the heart of the old town - The President. We stay here 2-3 times per year in the last six years. The hotel has a lot of rooms. Great breakfast in the panorama restaurant. A swimming pool (not big, but ok), gym, sauna and hottub - sometimes we got free use of the last two. (And a must for first time visitor - the famouse show in the bar below.) The guests are mainly from Spain, USA and England. Walking distance (200-300 m) to Grand Bazar...Free Wifi (slow) in the rooms and better Internet on the PC in the business center.
Wish you find the best hotel for you and have a great time in Istanbul.

Posted by
452 posts

We are in the Arcadia Hotel right now and it's reasonable value and just minutes from all the traditional Old Istanbul tourist spots. There is a tram stop at the end of the street which made strip to Taksim St in New Istanbul an easy trip. RS recommends RAMI's to eat at, which we did last night. A bit pricey but very, very satisfying especially the house Turkish White Wine. Have not been here since 85 and find the return visit to be very nice.

Posted by
1010 posts

We stayed at the Intercontinental Istanbul. Our Tauck tour booked us there. It was a very lovely hotel. Both our tour director and the hotel staff recommeneded that you always take the taxis in front of your hotel. Don't flag one off the street. Four different peple on our tour had terrible expereiences with getting cabs over by the Grand Bazaar. We had one bad experience. Some of the taxi drivers in Turkey are very dishonest.

Posted by
1010 posts

I just realized this question was dated last year. I'm sorry I responded to it at such a late date.

Posted by
1010 posts

Hello. We were in Istanbul last September. We were with a Tauck tour group. We stayed at the Ceylan Intercontinental Hotel in Istanbul. We stayed there for three nights with the tour group and another two nights on our own. In our opinion, it was the best part of our trip to Istanbul. Beware of taxis in Istanbul. Both the hotel conceirge and our tour director told us to only get taxis in front of the hotel. Always have your hotel call the taxi for you. Don't get one off the street. Two different couples had real issues getting taxis back to the hotel from the Grand Bazaar. The taxi drivers there can be real cheats.