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“Lovely hotel, but refuse the rooms behind reception!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Agora Life Hotel

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Agora Life Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Cagaloglu Hamam Sokak No:6 | (Old City, Sultanahmet), Istanbul 34110, Turkey   |  
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Ranked #33 of 901 hotels in Istanbul
London
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel, but refuse the rooms behind reception!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

The location of this hotel was great - right in the centre of the old city but tucked away on a quiet street. The breakfasts were good and there's a lovely terrace further up the building, with great views of the Aya Sophia and Blue Mosque. We were quite disappointed with our room, however, which was on the ground floor behind reception; it meant we were subject to the noise of all arrivals and departures and (worst of all) right next to the extremely loud air conditioning unit for the hotel. If you can avoid this room you will probably have a lovely stay. (Warning for girls travelling together, you will get a lot of attention in this part of Istanbul - nothing intimidating but you need to be firm!)

Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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687 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

The Agora Life is situated in the heart of the Old City, between the historic sights of Aya Sophia, the Blue Mosque and Hippodrome, and The Grand Bazaar. The rooms are clean and modern, but the room we were given was very small, the beds were very short, and the en suite was tiny – with not so much as a hook to hang a towel from. Also, there was a lot of noise – from the street outside coming through the windows, and from the reception (we we on the first floor and could hear every phone call, check-in/out, and coming and going) coming through the door.
That said, the location and the fifth-floor breakfast terrace made up for the bijou accommodation. Although the price is the cost of the location.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Durban, South Africa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

The Agora Life Hotel is situated right in the heart of the old city of Istanbul. This charming Boutique Hotel offers modern and comfortable rooms, superb service with friendly staff, one of the most amazing views off the top floor terrace of the Hagia Sophia, the Golden Horn and Bosporus.
The breakfast buffet offered a wide variety of Turkish and Continental items - and was simply delicious.
The staff and management was very professional, accommodating and helpful; and provided advise about what to do and see in Istanbul.
As a frequent traveler and travel journalist I highly recommend the hotel - and will definitively stay there again.
Thank you for making our visit in Istanbul so special!

Room Tip: Some rooms offer spectacular views of the Bosporus
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

We stayed here for 5 nights in early January 2012. Agora Life is a quaint little boutique hotel in old town Istanbul (Sultanahmet) -- clean and comfortable rooms with beautiful views, super helpful staff, and a good breakfast buffet with variety (ask for their turkish coffee or black tea in the morning). Rooms tend to be somewhat small in size, but that's not very unusual in the old town. The hotel is in an ideal location, within walking distance of all famous attractions. Everything was great about this little place, and to top it off, I received a beautiful scarf as a going away present on our departure day. We'll definitely return-- we fell in love with Istanbul!

Room Tip: Travel light!
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

It was a great experience to visit Istanbul and our hotel choice was excellent as well. ıt was just in the middle of historical places, yet really silent area. Our room is really clean and practical. The breakfast was enormous, not like we got in europe -not just some jam and bread-fresh orange juice, eggs as you wish etc.. The terrace view was amazing, seeing both bosphorus and Hagia Sophia. So we are really thankfull to all the staff.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012 via mobile

I only stayed 4 days at Agora .from the first day to check out everything was super clean with great and professional service.The location of the hotel is very close to historical places and the modern part of the city. I will definately be back and recommend to all of my friends.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Singapore
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

I stayed in Agora-Life for three nights in July. My travelling companions and I were looking for a place to stay in Istanbul after debarking from Crystal Serenity in Istanbul. We read reviews from various sites before proceeding to book at Agora-Life.
Firstly, my friend had been to Istanbul before and as such advised that staying at Sultanahmet was a good idea as the various attractions are within easy reach.
After reviewing a few hotels and reading the rave reviews for Agora-Life, my friend confirmed the bookings in May. We booked the suite and another normal room.
Nearing the end of our cruise, we received bad news from Agora-Life that they were double-booked for the suite and could only offer us 2 normal rooms. So when we reached the hotel, the reason behind the double booking was explained to us. They blamed it on the existing guest's extension of stay in the hotel at first but later they said it was due to a computer crash that caused the double-booking. So go figure what is what.
In any case, we had to stay the first night in the normal room and then shift to the suite for the 2nd and 3rd night. It was a hassle having to pack and unpack the toiletries, etc. But we acquiesce since we are on holiday and I guess mistakes are bound to happen.
Pros:
1) The rooms are adequate and generally clean.
2) The suite had a very pretty view of the sea and we could see Crystal Serenity docked in the distance.
3) Great location and the attractions are generally within walking distance.
The cons:
1) Not all the staff spoke English and when we checked out at 7am in the morning, we were not able to check with him if payment is again required as my friend vaguely remembered paying for the rooms in advance. But my friend still paid for the rooms and he is still in the process of checking if double payment was indeed made for the rooms.
2) We were supposed to catch a domestic flight at 9am and the transfer (free transfer from the hotel after the double-booking mistake) the hotel made for us at 7am did not appear on time. I alerted the staff at 7am to ask if the transfer was on the way to collect us and the transfer said he was told to come at 7.30am. Luckily for us, he was around the corner and we managed to leave the hotel around 7.20am and we weren't late for our flight.
3) This is not a hotel hotel. And maybe that explains why the walls and doors are so thin. Let me explain. It was very windy when we visited and the doors of the hotel were slamming so often. And we could hear doors slamming in the morning and at night even with our own doors closed. The doors were very thin. Honestly, even thinner than my doors at home. So basically you could hear who is leaving their rooms in the morning and just hear their whole conversation on what they have been doing the whole day. EVEN with their doors closed and our doors closed. So that is how I know the other guests staying in the other suite were from America.
4) Lastly, laundry. We sent our laundry for washing twice. The first time round, everything came back. The second time round, they send my friend's Zegna jeans to another suite. There were only 2 suites in the whole hotel and they managed to send it to the wrong room. Unbelievable. In any case, my friend lost his jeans. He only remembered the jeans when he was unpacking at Cappadocia. We alerted them via email 2 days after we left. They said they will mail it back to us in Singapore. But it is now Sept. No sign of it at all. So I told my friend, kiss your Zegna sayonara.
So I seriously do not understand why this hotel had such rave reviews. And mind you, this hotel isn't cheap.
I will not come back here to stay again. No way Jose.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Agora Life Hotel

Address: Cagaloglu Hamam Sokak No:6 | (Old City, Sultanahmet), Istanbul 34110, Turkey
Phone Number:
Location: Turkey > Istanbul
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 901 hotels in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Agora Life Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just a 5-minute walk from Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, this boutique hotel offers modern accommodation with free wireless internet access and breakfast included, and a lovely rooftop terrace. In the heart of Sultanahmet, Agora Life Hotel offers an ideal location for guests who want easy access to Istanbul's most historic sites. Each of the rooms is tastefully decorated and has contemporary wooden floors. They feature LCD TV and laptop-size safes. Thoughtful touches also include bathrobe and slippers and a work desk.Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is just 10 minutes' walk away. There are also excellent public transport links close to Agora Life, providing easy access to the rest of Istanbul. ... more   less 
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