Has anyone stayed in this area. We are doing the Rick Steves tour. We are arriving a few days early and were thinking of staying in the newer part of Istanbul for a couple of nights and the Sultanahmet area for 4 nights. We were looking at the Georges Hotel. Does anyone have experience with this hotel or any other in the Galata or Karakoy areas?
I have experience walking around there quite a bit. I don't know if it matters at all, but that area is quite hilly. Not every street but many side streets. If that's not an issue, I think it's a fine area to stay in especially if you're walking distance to Istiklal street. It's a nice alternative to the Old City. I'm not familiar with that hotel, as there are (seemingly) millions of them in this dense city. Definitely compare prices, including booking.com. Istanbul hotels should be very, very inexpensive, although some boutiques may charge a premium.
Thank you for your response. Thank you for the comment about being hilly but that isn't really an issue for us. We just want to know if the area is nice, safe and an enjoyable alternative or if we are better off just staying at the Rick Steve's hotel until the tour starts.
If you're coming from the new airport, I'm fairly sure the Havas shuttle can drop you off at Taksim Square which is close by. I would definitely take the opportunity to see what a different neighborhood feels like. I went to Istanbul years ago (solo travel and rented an apartment) and purposely stayed in a traditional local neighborhood without any tourists (not far from all the sights in Sultanahmet). It felt totally different than the youthful, more secular energy in the New City. It was good to see all the different "layers" of the City.
We preferred staying near Taksim Square to the Sultanahamet area, more real, less touristed.
We just returned from staying 4 nights in the Pera Palace and would highly recommend. Staff was great, nice location, near Istiklal street. We walked to dinner several nights and up to Takism square. Reasonable price for the comfort of the room and staff. Have a great trip.