I have read the reviews and we stayed here in June/July so I cannot comment on any recent stays since then or reviews since then but my wife and I had such a great time that we visited this hotel 2 times on our trip, sandwiched between a visit to relatives in Izmir/Cesme. What attracted me was the location and the downstairs hammam.
I can say that some of the staff was excellent to us, such as Baran (porter) and Leita (she works in the hammam) and Farkat(works in the terrace restaurant upstairs) and Orhan (front desk) and I am forgetting the name of the dude who works the night shift at the front desk who tried to encourage me relearn my Turkish but he was pretty cool too. Price was on the high side for my budget but totally worth it.
I can comment related to some of the other reviews, however our first night at Byzantium they did not have the room available, due to an error I made upon my arrival date from the US, but offered to let us stay in a hotel right around the corner for one night (Amiril suites hotel - not that great of a place) and then for the rest of our first stay with BYzantium they upgraded us to an ocean view suite. IT was a large and beautiful seaview room, made up for our horrible night in Amiril (they were doing repairs on the central air of the room next door for some reason until 12-1 am I heard banging noises that night and was very not impressed with Amiril hotel).
We enjoyed this hotel so much that we stayed at the front end and then at the back end of our trip. However on the 2nd stay we had a standard room located on the 2nd floor, which seemed a bit smaller than the sea view, and more importantly it was right above the street so the steady stream of Mercedes busses rolling by with tourists from the cruise ships at 8 am was much more noticeable and woke me up but not my wife. The sea view room had a lovely sound of birds in the morning and was quite a different experience.
The rooftop terrace hotel is a separate entity so if you eat there you must pay on the spot. They have TV and the view is lovely, and if you go I highly recommend at least a cold Tuborg and some appetizers. The food is actually brought up from another location and it was not bad and the service and staff there were very nice, but my wife and I preferred the food at the Siva restaurant. In fact I wish to thank my friend who works in the hotel for telling me about it.
If you go to this hotel I highly recommend you check out the hammam, and ask for Leita (although the guy was good too), and tell them Levent-bey sent you! If you need any advice the guys at the front desk are great but Baran is also very friendly and has a wealth of information. In fact I was sad to leave & Baran made such an impression on me that I gave him a gift to remember us by when we left.
You can find cheaper places to stay in Istanbul, but not many have an authentic hammam inside. We used the services twice and wish we had time to use them again. Their staff was excellent (especially Leita) and my wife and I slept so good after our first session that we did not get up until late in the next afternoon.
Overall I hope to visit this hotel again next time I stay in Istanbul, Inshallah. They do offer a private transfer service but you can get it for cheaper if you do some research and call a number I am forgetting it now it has been a few months since I was there.
I recall the breakfast buffet as being very decent the sesame rolls, tomato, white cheese, tea, black olives, always filled me up and it was free but we did leave a nice tip the day before our trip ended.
The cleaning staff also did a great job in the rooms and we left some money and other items for them as a tip and on check out they actually called down to the front desk to inform them that we had forgot some things! I told Orhan-bey that we had left it for them to keep or pass on.
I noticed more homeless people this visit. I do not like to be approached by people in robes, but several times I did drop some coinage with beggars sitting on the street who I could tell really needed help. Being part Turkish I like to try and do something for the poor every visit, besides the occasional coin donation.
I take my toiletries that were unused/unopened and prepare a care package that I give to a local homeless person the night before I leave with some other things I bring with me or buy locally, such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, spare clothes/socks, deodorant, medicines, etc. I just drop the bag off as I walk by them, you don't even really need to say anything, they will be very grateful. I hope you will consider doing something like this on your next trip. especially if you are unwilling or unable to give money.
- Also Known As:
- The Byzantium Hotel
- The Byzantium Hotel And Suites
- The Byzantium Hotel Istanbul
- Byzantium Hotel Istanbul
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Byzantium Hotel is within walking distance to Topkapi Palace, St.Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodromme, Underground Cistern, Grand Covered Bazaar and many more historical sights. The terrace restaurant offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Istanbul. You will find a second home in Istanbul with The Byzantium Hotel. ... more less
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