Me, my wife and two children (3 and 9) stayed for 30 Dec 2009-03Jan 2010. We've booked family room for 4 pers. Hotel located 15-20 mins away (walking with two children :) from the Agya Sophia or 10 mins away (again, with children :) from the fish market and restaurants. If you go without children, you can save half of that time :).
The hotel is located in the very city center, but slightly away from the nightlife, so it's quiet there. Actually, I didn't mention any nightlife in Istanbul, comparing to what I've seen in the beach resorts in other Turkish cities.
It took us two days walking around to understand the best ways of walking tours (from the hotel), so the city is very simple and easy to find everything you want to. We've been in Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet), Agya Sofia, Cistern, Archeological Museum and the Palace near it (sorry, forgot the name), Spice market, Grand market and of course boat tour around the city. Everything - walking from/to the hotel, so you don't need to take a taxi or tram. I would recommend to go there in the mornings (9-11), because later you will stand in a long queue).
The hotel had arranged transfer from Atatyrk airport (as I understand, the price is the same, as for the taxi, but it's always pleasant, when you see somebody waiting in the airport with your name :) The flight was 1,5 hours late, but we've still been met by the driver :).
4 mins way from the hotel there is a small park with fountain and children playground. As well as small supermarket (no alcohol, even beer!) and police station.
The hotel has a free WiFi and internet >1gb.
Would I like to stay at this hotel again? Yes, sure.
P.S. the breakfast is on the beautiful terrace (in winter - with big panoramic windows, cool view - you can eat and see the gulf full of ships :), but on the 5th floor with no lift.
P.S.2. In Turkey you cannot smoke inside the restaurants, but you CAN do it: outside (all of them have tables outside) and on the 2nd floor (if exist). 1st floor inside always non-smoking. By the way, the hotel is non-smoking too. I had an ashtray near the door to the room (the entrance was from the yard, private).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Saruhan Hotel is a yellow stone house run by a Turkish family; this is the only hotel in Istanbul decorated with stone and wood together. It is located in the heart of the open air museum Istanbul, in the historical Sultanahmet area. It is ideal for visiting by foot the oldest and the most important Byzantine and Ottoman monuments of Istanbul. It is constructed of smoothly hewn yellow, pink and beige stone from Cappadocia and unbelievable quality of wood work like an ottoman wooden house. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Saruhan Hotel Istanbul