I'm in the initial planning stages for a trip to Istanbul. I've never been there, but I can explain what I'm looking for. I like to stay in an area with a good mix of locals and tourist ammenities. The hotel must have excellent public transportation connections, a comfortable bed and be clean and safe, but not necessarily fancy. I will likely be there off season and I'd like to pay 80 euro or less a night if possible. I've read a bit that the Beyoglu neighborhood is handy but not touristy. Any advice? Thanks!
No, it's not on the euro, but all the information I've found lists their room rates in euros.
Many Turkish hotels quote rates in euros because historically the lira has been subject to extreme inflation, so that if you priced your rooms in lira, they would be seriously underpriced by the end of the season. Hotel owners will cheerfully take lira in cash or, assuming that they take credit cards, charge you in lira at the going rate when you check out.
The Sultanahmet district is the main area for "tourist" hotels, many of which are charming and inexpensive. Beyoglu is not so charming and not so cheap. Hotels in Sultanahmet are within easy walking distance of many of Istanbul's must-see sites. I can personally recommend the Hotel Apricot (which sold off one of their buildings, but still has a nice facility), or for a bit more, Hotel Obelisk (which is I think where Rick's tours stay) or, for a bit more than that, the extremely charming Ottoman inn Hotel Dersaadet. Other good choices--the Hotel Empress Zoe and the Hotel Sari Konak.
JER is correct about the Sultanahmet area and about the euro. I would definitely recommend staying there. FYI, "excellent public transportation connections" don't really exist in Istanbul. There is a tram line that runs through Sultanahmet that is usually packed beyond belief. We used it more as a navigation device than as an actual means of transportation. Given Istanbul's snarled traffic, especially at rush-hour, we just found it easier to walk almost everywhere from our hotel in Sultanahmet.