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“Fantastic Base for Your Adventure!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Senatus Hotel

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Senatus Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Akbiyik Caddesi No 40 | Sultanahmet, Istanbul 34122, Turkey   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #56 of 928 Hotels in Istanbul
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Fantastic Base for Your Adventure!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

Great value - in general, Turkey is a very affordable destination but this hotel was by far one of the best bangs for our buck. We booked the Imperator room (#407 - which is on the top floor) and we were not disappointed. Very spacious with lots of cupboard space and room to move around - it felt truly luxurious after spending 4 days in a shoe box in London, England. The hotel is a small boutique one - still feels new and is kept very clean. The free WiFi was reliable, which always helps if you find yourself needing to do a bit of work while on vacation.

Selchuk, at the front desk, was very helpful with restaurant and entertainment recommendations. (BTW, if you are from Canada, he is a fan of Leonard Cohen.) He was readily available to assist with directions and setting up transportation to/from the airport (50 euros, roundtrip). We would recommend this as the taxi drivers in Istanbul are supposedly notorious for ripping off foreign tourists. (Tip according to Selchuk for taxis if you want to take one - look for an official "station logo"...it's painted on the side door of the cab, along with the car number.) We avoided taking cabs and instead opted to walk and/or take the tram (the latter option being very economical - about 3 lira for a one way trip...the Sultanahmet stop is about 5 mins from the hotel and there is a kiosk to buy tokens there. They gave us a tramway map at the front desk - the tram is modern, clean and very easy to use...stops are announced in advance and there are multiple lines servicing different districts.)

As for the hotel environs, it's a bustling area with many other hotels and restaurants. There are a number of mini-marts on the street where you can buy bottled water and other groceries. It is a vibrant area so it's not whisper quiet but we had no issues with street noise. We couldn't have picked a better area to stay in for our first trip to Istanbul. There are so many exotic sights and sounds - it was all so wondrous.

In case you are wondering, this hotel (and the general Sultanahmet area) is a world away from the unrest that transpired in Taksim Square - it wasn't an issue during our trip. (Note, you can also take the tram to the European part of Istanbul.)

As mentioned by other reviewers, the Senatus is in an ideal location with the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, etc. no more than a 10 min walk from the hotel. We must have passed the Blue Mosque at least a half dozen times during our 4 day stay at the hotel - a breathtaking sight in the evening. (For attractions, we noticed that they have one day, or two days in the case of Dolmabahce palace, that they are closed. Also, note that there is something called a Museum Pass that gets you access to a bunch of places - had we known about this, we definitely would have bought it as it nets out to the same if you visit 2-3 places AND you avoid what can be very long lines! There seem to be two options, with the more expensive one giving you admission to more places - do some research and save yourself from having to wait in line ups.)

The Grand Bazaar and Spice Market (Egyptian Bazaar) are also within walking distance from the hotel (about 25 mins and 40 mins, respectively, at a moderate pace).

The one thing about Sultanahmet is that people are relentless at attempting to get you into their restaurant or store, buy their wares, or join their tours (as they accost you on the street). Be polite and decline - but be prepared to be cajoled, implored, mercilessly entreated...you get the idea.

Finally - the BEST Turkish delight can be found at Cigdem (on the main road, Divan Yolu, near the Starbucks). A local recommended this place to me as the place where she buys from when bringing gifts. We're savouring the last of the most awesome delight we've ever tasted and are wishing we had more!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, 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.
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424 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Japanese first
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

Senatus Hotel is the best value hotel in the Sultanahmet area.

Besides its convenient location in the Sultanahmet area (and all the advantages that it brings), this hotel probably features the largest rooms of all the boutique hotels in the Sultanahmet area. We were blown away by our corner room which boasted décor reminiscent of the Four Seasons, a picture window and a recessed area with 2 smaller windows. We enjoyed lots of storage space, there were 2 cupboards in our room, something that I do not remember in any of the other hotels that I have stayed in (especially in Europe when space only comes at a hefty price). We got to enjoy all this for a fraction of what we would have paid had we stayed at the Four Seasons itself, a mere stone’s throw away.

The only downside was the breakfast. In line with previous reviews, breakfast was disappointing. There were too few hot dishes and insufficient choice of cold items. The fruit juice was particularly bad. However, this was more than made up for by the friendly waiter and pet cat.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

I recently traveled to Istanbul with a large party. We all stayed at the Senatus Hotel. The hotel is small and located right in the heart of everything. Within walking distance to major sites, shopping and restaurants. We received a friendly greeting, easy check in and had a really adorable and comfortable room. We were pleasantly surprised since we didn't know what to expect. They did an outstanding job handling our large group. The restaurant provides breakfast, but we really enjoyed dining at dinner time. Thank you to the staff for providing a pleasant experience.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

Cosy, clean and chic hotel in the heart of Istanbul (old city). We could walk to all the key attractions in the city. Very friendly, attentive staff - we changed our itinerary last minute to fly to Cappadocia in the middle of our stay, and they accommodated us by holding our luggage safely and making sure we had a room when we got back. Only potential issue is that some of the rooms can be small, but I would attribute that to the area. The decor and cleanliness clearly compensates for it! Would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to stay in the old city.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Warrinton
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

Brilliant location and walking distance of all local attractions and huge choice of local restaurants in the quirky old town of Istanbul. We stayed on the fourth floor at the front of the hotel which we recommended by other travellers. No real noise issues apart from a wedding party that travelled through the street honking horns at midnight. Didn't really bother us. Nice decoration and clean. Restaurant staff were very friendly in the evening and provided good service. The breakfast was disappointing with a small selection of continental meats. cheeses, egg and fruit. Poor quality fruit juice. Much better breakfasts at other restaurants in the area. Overall a good stay. Need more fresh, quality choices for breakfast to improve review.,

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Warrington, UK
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

Totally agree with the comments on location - could not be better. Room was clean, nice furnishings, spacious for a city-centre hotel. But breakfast was, frankly, rubbish - hardly any fruit, some omelette that had sat there for ages, and all tasted a bit odd. And for our evening meal (we only ate there once) we ordered a beef stew and rice, and the rice was SO salty it was inedible - and this wasn't down to my tastebuds as this wasn't the case at other places we ate at. The staff, as mentioned here, were (mainly) great.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

We had a short but great stay at the Senatus. We only stayed one night before starting a cruise and we were already familiar with Sultanahmet. We enjoyed the room, the location, the breakfast, and the courtesy and friendliness of the staff. They even allowed us late checkout. The location was perfect for our needs; Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome are very close and an easy walk up to see them one last time. We walked up to the Grand Bazaar in the morning to take care of our souvenir needs. The street the hotel is on is a well established cafe/restaurant/hotel street with a mixture that even includes youth hostels and bars with nargilehs, too much fun!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Senatus Hotel

Address: Akbiyik Caddesi No 40 | Sultanahmet, Istanbul 34122, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Istanbul
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #56 of 928 Hotels in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Senatus Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 22 guest rooms in our small and boutique hotel have been designed with your comfort in mind. Our finely detailed spacious rooms offer superbly comfortable beds and efficiently modern bathrooms. We take pride in our fine furnishings and we are happy to offer our guests internet access and writing facilities in the rooms. We have created an ambiance of calm and tranquility in our rooms where you would be happy to relax and plan your excursions, use your laptop or simply contact your friends. ... more   less 
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