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“Would I recommend it to a friend? Probably not.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Dara Hotel Istanbul

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Dara Hotel Istanbul
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kucuk ayasofya Mahallesi Su Terazisi Sok. No:25 Sultanahmet, Fatih, Istanbul 34122, Turkey   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #243 of 979 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Would I recommend it to a friend? Probably not.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I rarely give poor reviews and am a bit sceptical of other low ratings when I read them.

But with the Dara Hotel I felt the acid test was whether I would return and whether I would recommend it to a friend. On both counts I would have to say “no”.

When we arrived we were put in tiny room – maybe 6 foot by 10, with no cupboard or wardrobe, which appeared very dingy and sad. We did ask to be moved and we were taken to another hotel round the corner for the night, after which we go a slightly larger room back at the Dara first thing next morning.

This was good service on their behalf. But after a day’s travel and weeks of planning you shouldn’t really have to start off by complaining.

Our new room was also pretty small. I couldn’t get the bed away from the radiator which turned itself on in the middle of the night – so I did get a little cooked because the knob did not work.

There is a mosque right opposite so the muezzin loudspeakers are very loud.

Breakfast is a bit weird. The Dara has a very multinational clientele so the buffet tends to be slanted towards salads and meze. However, I was able to have coffee, ham, cheese, jam and cake which suited me very well.

The staff are all friendly – though really this is what you expect of hotel staff.

It’s in a good location being only three minutes away from the Blue Mosque and walkable to all the other sights. There are a number of restaurants in the immediate vicinity and the whole of Sultanahmet can be reached on foot from the hotel.

In hindsight I think I should have spent a little more and gone upmarket. At the end of the day your choice may depend on budget and the Dara might suit you, but I was left feeling that a little extra might have got us something just a little less rudimentary.

- - - - A Note on Istanbul Taxis - - - -
.
There has been some discussion on TripAdvisor about Istanbul taxis. Our first taxi from the airport had no meter and we had set off before the negotiations started. After an argument about a 100 lira fare we demanded to be returned to the airport. After further argument we shook off this driver and retrieved our luggage.

The second taxi agreed a fare of 60 lira. He dropped us in the middle of Sultanahmet, in the middle of the night saying our hotel was around the corner. It wasn’t. It took about 45 minutes of walking around with suitcases to find our hotel.

So, statistically unlucky to get two crooks in a row? Or an endemic problem. I will let you decide, dear reader….

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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391 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bucharest, Romania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Everytime when I come in Istanbul, i stay in my heart's hotel, where i feel like in my family...Hotel is very good, in a special location near the St, Sofia and neat the Blue Mosque, near the Marmara Sea, whom panorama I can see every morning at breakfast and every evening , from the marvellous terrace of the hotel... The breakfast is very rich and delicious, the staff is wonderful and helpful all the time. I recommend this very nice and very clean hotel to all the tourists , from all my heart.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We stayed here for a few nights on a sight seeing trip and we had chosen the hotel because of its location. We were not at all disappointed as the hotel was a few minutes from the main sights and a number of traditional restaurants. It involves a hundred yards up a steep street, a right turn down for a few yards and there is the blue mosque right in front of you! (That said, Istanbul is not necessarily the place for those with mobility problems as there are many hills and deep drops off poor pavements.)
We had booked a triple room which had a double bed and two singles, a dressing table, a wardrobe containing a free safe and two bedside cupboards and a sofa. Our room seemed much bigger than others I saw around the hotel. Some certainly looked on the 'cosy' side and I was glad we paid the extra. Our bathroom had a fairly new suite and was light and clean. The shower suffered from low pressure at times, but the water was always hot and it was possible to have an adequate shower. Soap and shampoo was provided.There was a TV in the room with mainly Turkish channels, though we did find an English news channel. I noticed that some people had written about hard beds in the reviews, but we did not find that this was an issue. Our room overlooked a mosque and we were woken by the calls to prayer at first, but we quickly got used to it and it didn't bother us. The rooms have thin walls and it was noisy at times with some people slamming doors rather a lot. If you can't tolerate this sort of thing, think carefully before booking here.
Breakfast was served at the top of the hotel with an outside terrace complete with a view over the river. (There is a lift, but there are still some stairs to climb.) It was a buffet affair of mostly cold dishes - salads, cold meat, boiled eggs, cheese, olives, melon, oranges, cereals, bread, cake, coffee and tea. We had assumed that drinks would be served on the terrace in the evenings, but this was not the case.
The staff were very friendly and were regularly asking if we had everything we needed. Sukru was very helpful in arranging a taxi to the airport. (50-60) lira (less than £15). The hotel can also arrange cheap shared transfers on request. They seemed very happy to provide advice and information.
If you stay here, expect a clean basic room, no frills, a functional breakfast, some noise, a very convenient location, free WiFi, some stairs and great staff. It is not fancy, but neither is it charging fancy prices. We got what we paid for.

Room Tip: Triple rooms are much bigger and not a lot more expensive.
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We came to Istanbul for a city break and therefore wanted a hotel which was close to the main sites.

On arrival at the hotel we were greeted by friendly staff who took time to mark on a map for us the main sites - most of which were very close to our hotel. It took less than five minutes to walk to the Blue Mosque and there were plenty of restaurants serving traditional Turkish food nearby. Throughout our stay the staff were helpful; in particular when arranging transport back to the airport. The staff really couldn't do enough for us and are an asset to this hotel.

We booked a triple room which meant we had a double bed and two singles. The room was of a good size and everything was very clean. Our room was very close to a Mosque and on the first couple of mornings we were woken by the call to prayer. We didn't mind this - it is a Muslim country after all. The negative with the rooms is that the walls were thin so you could hear people slamming doors from above or televisions next door. If you are a light sleeper this may not suit!

The bathroom had a bath and shower in the bath. It was very clean and plenty of shampoo, soap and towels were provided. There was always a puddle on the floor after taking a shower but we couldn't work out why! There is satellite T.V however we found very few English channels.

The hotel advertises as having a roof top terrace. The terrace has a lovely view of the Mamara Sea and it is picturesque place to eat breakfast. For cooler days there is also inside seating. The terrace is for breakfast only. We thought this would be somewhere for drinks in the evening however this was not the case. There is a restaurant next door however, with an equally nice view where you could go for drinks. There is a nearby shop and I don't think there is anything to stop you buying drinks there and taking them up to the terrace.

The breakfast was very much continental with cold meats, salad and bread. The tea and coffee were ok. Investing in a few more coffee cups may be an idea when the mugs ran out there were small glasses to drink from (not the Turkish tea kind of glass). Whilst we had bread and fruit we saw a lot of people really tucking into the salads and meats. Unfortunately there was no toaster.

If you have trouble with mobility beware that the lift goes to the third floor leaving a set of stairs to climb to reach breakfast. The lift is also tiny! I think it would just fit a wheelchair. Also on the other side of the hotel there is no lift so if stairs are an issue be sure to request a room on the side of the hotel with the lift. The area around the hotel is also hilly.

Overall we had a really good stay at Dara hotel. Its location is fantastic being so close to the major sites and a taxi from the airport costs around 60 Turkish Lira. The hotel isn't super luxurious but has all that you need and I would recommend staying here!

Stayed April 2015, traveled with friends
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Constanta, Romania
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I have stayed at the Dara Hotel in the past many times so I know its location and the quality of the rooms and of the services and of the staff. I came back every few months with great pleasure in this very beautiful hotel from historical area of Sultanahmet. I like this boutique hotel so clean so coquette where you can to feel like in a big family with the very helpful staff, with very delicious turkish breakfast offered at the terrace of the roof , very elegant with a splendid panorama to the Marmara Sea. I'll come back every time in this wonderful hotel and i'll recommend to all the tourists who want to spend a dream holiday.

Room Tip: Almost all the rooms have a wonderful panorama to the sea.
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I have stayed at the Dara Hotel in the past so know its location and the quality of the rooms. This is why I chose it for my one night stay in Istanbul and why I prepaid for the room with an internet booking service.
Unfortunately, on my arrival at the Dara I was told all the rooms had been sold to other customers except for one room which had leaking pipes. This meant - even though I had prepaid for the Dara - I was forced to stay at another hotel which they own which is several blocks away - the Emir 8.
It was impossible to sleep at the Emir 8 due to a weird electrical whining noise from the building across the street which repeated every 60 seconds or so. In the morning, I had to return to the Dara for the breakfast and to check out. I became completely lost and spent 45 minutes or so hauling my luggage up and down the streets of the neighbourhood trying to find the Dara. Hardly a holiday!
When one prepays for a room at a particular hotel, that room should be provided. In this case, I did not receive the room and the service I paid for. I am seeking a refund.

Stayed March 2015, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hoteldara, Director of Sales at Dara Hotel Istanbul, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Dear Valued Guest,

I am sorry to be informed that you had a disturbance accommodation in our hotel.
It was sadness for us to have a last minute technical problem and took you another building of our hotel.
It was second time you made reservation to our hotel and we could not host you comfortable. I accept the hotel’s mistake. In order to compansete the hotel’s mistake, I have already refunded half of the total price.
I am also sad that you still seek full refund for your stay. We could not host you in our building but we made you stay another place and offered you breakfast.
Your reservation was for 1 day and I refunded half of your accommodation price. We will be glad to host you in our hotel another time and will be pleased if you delete this review.
I have already done what I could do for you. Please delete this injustice review and let us chance to host you in our hotel another time.

Best Regards,
OSMAN YASAR
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015

We stayed for two nights and it was a pleasant stay.The room was very basic, nothing special. Quite small too, they couldn't fit the bedside table next to the bed. But we had huge windows. Bathroom was small too, only a standing shower which did not drain the water fast enough and water pressure was quite low. Service was excellent, the front desk was very helpful. Everything was clean and neat, sufficient for a bed and breakfast. Breakfast was basic too, some dishes were too salty. They have a small elevator too. All in all it was just a pleasant stay.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dara Hotel Istanbul

Address: Kucuk ayasofya Mahallesi Su Terazisi Sok. No:25 Sultanahmet, Fatih, Istanbul 34122, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Istanbul
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #243 of 979 Hotels in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Dara Hotel Istanbul 3*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Dara is located at the heart of the Old City in Istanbul. Historically, the building was once used as a sweet Ottoman mansion, which was renovated as a Hotel in 2009. Hotel Dara has 50 seat capacity with a rooftop restaurant. Along with a team of professional staff, it offers a great opportunity for its guests to have their rich breakfast while enjoying the mystical view of the Marmara Sea and the beautiful Sokollu Mehmet Pasa Mosque. ... more   less 
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