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Azade Hotel or Sirkeci Hotel Mansion?

Hello all,

I will be in Istanbul two days prior to my RS tour of Turkey in April 2019 and am searching for places to stay pre and post tour. I have read EXCELLENT (current) reviews about the Sirkeci Hotel Mansion (and their customer service seems to be spot-on - a hotel representative has responded to my questions immediately and in great detail), but not many reviews (positive) about the Azade Hotel (the tour hotel).

If anyone out there has stayed in either of these hotels, I would appreciate hearing your experience (OR if you have had a positive experience in another hotel, I would love to hear about this too).

Thank you in advance,

Patti

Posted by
5552 posts

I understand your wanting to stay near the tour hotel on your pre-tour stay. But post-tour I recommend that you stay across the Golden Horn, near Taskim Square. It seemed more real as opposed to Sultanhamet area where most tourists stay. We stayed in both areas. We did enjoy our hotel in the more tourist oriented side, Hotel Neorion though. Exceptional, welcoming staff. Rooftop cocktail hour. Just preferred the other area much more and will stay there when/if we return.

Posted by
2232 posts

Patti, I stayed in the Azade Hotel on the RS Turkey Tour this past May, and also, by coincidence on my own in 1999, when it was called the Obelisk and affiliated with Best Western. It was fine, although not special IMHO. Had a lovely view from the top floor (breakfast room) and was just a few blocks from various major sites, including the Blue Mosque and Haja Sofia. However, I was in Istanbul for a few nights before the tour this year, and stayed then in another hotel where I have stayed before, and I love it! That is the Regie Ottoman Hotel in Sirkeci, about mid-way between Sultanamet and the Galata Bridge (easily walkable to both), and very near the Spice Bazaar. It is a beautiful old building, with generally large and extremely comfortable rooms, beds and bathrooms, very friendly lobby staff, and an abundant, diverse and delicious buffet breakfast. Of course, staying away from the tour hotel means you need to take the time to change hotels on the day the tour begins. It's good that you will be in Istanbul for some time before the tour begins, because the tour spends little time in Istanbul, and I found that time somewhat rushed, to fit in many stops. Even more nights before or after the tour would be better, to really explore this fascinating city.

Posted by
41 posts

Hi Suki,

Thank you for your reply. I have heard wonderful things about the Neorion Hotel (all the adjectives that you have described!) - thank you for the recommendation. In addition to your positive experience at Neorion, may I ask which was the other hotel that you liked?

I appreciate your assistance.

Patti

Posted by
41 posts

Hi Larry,

Thank you for your response to my post (and your honest opinion). I have read mixed reviews of the Azade Hotel, but what I'm finding is more of the reviews are leaning toward opinions that are "not special" as you put it.

Thank you for the recommending the Regie Ottoman. I will definitely check this property out. I will have a couple of days to explore prior to the tour, and then I'll fly from Izmir back to Istanbul and have most of Saturday in Istanbul before I fly back to Los Angeles.

I would love to hear more of your recent experience on this tour. Please feel free to send me a private message. May I please send you a private message/email as I have a few questions. Thank you.

Again, thank you Larry for the hotel recommendation.

Best,

Patti

Posted by
13904 posts

I stayed at the Azade on the RS tour 4-5 years ago. I found it awkward. From the street, there's a winding staircase down to the lobby. The elevator was antiquated, very small and very slow. When I arrived, they tried to give me a room in the annex - walk through the lobby and up to the courtyard, then across the courtyard and up a flight of stairs. I refused - even before we got to the room. They found me a nice room in the main building, with a bit of a view to boot. I stayed in another hotel for several days before the tour and loved it - unfortunately it is undergoing renovations and closed now. I thought the hotel staff were friendly but not particularly helpful with sightseeing and such.

Posted by
41 posts

Good morning Chani,

Thank you for your response to my post (wow, not a terribly welcoming experience). I have emailed the Azade Hotel three times (to date) inquiring about my upcoming (pre and post stay) and NEVER received one response from the hotel representatives. That did it for me. If a business cannot respond to an inquiry, than I will assume that the majority of their customer service is going to go down hill from there. The ONLY hotels that have responded to any of my inquiries regarding their properties (very kind, personable email) to date: Neorion Hotel (Thanks Suki!) and the Sirkeci Hotel Mansion. I will probably stay in one or the other for my pre and post tour stay in Istanbul.

By the way, I was in Tel-Aviv (all over Israel) last summer on holiday and visiting family. My second (and hopefully NOT my final visit) visit to Israel - I had the BEST time!

Again, thank you Chani for your honest post (and if there is anything that you'd like to share re: tour of Turkey, please send me a private message - thank you!).

Shana Tova!

Patti

Posted by
13904 posts

Hi Patti,

And I was in LA this summer, though only for a week. . . . the week with the horrible heat wave right after July 4.

Spend as much time as possible in Istanbul before/after the tour. It's a fascinating city with lots to see and enjoy. The tour was excellent and the balloon ride was worth the money. I know it was a lot , but the memory is better without that number :-) I think everyone on my tour flew back to Istanbul from Izmir the morning the tour ended.

If you have any specific questions, PM me.

Posted by
41 posts

Hi Chani,

I will certainly take you up on your offer to PM you any questions I may have regarding my tour in April.

Best,

Patti