Sultan House failed to meet expectations of an establishment that keeps getting 5-star reviews. I am very disappointed with my decision to choose this place solely on the other reviews. I should have done my homework and considered the many other better hotels in the immediate area.
Although this place is called "Hotel Sultan House," it really is not a full service hotel. It is more like a guesthouse with fewer than nine (9) rooms in the entire establishment. There's a room in the basement (yes, that's right), one right next to the lobby and dining area, and three (3) each on the second floor and third floors. I don't know who would want the room in the lobby, although this room was never available during my stay. Yunus, the hotel manager, used it for his personal room and slept in it every night that I stayed there.
When I first checked in, Yunus had me sit down on the couch in the lobby and go over the highlights and tourist areas of Istanbul. This was helpful. But then he launched into his sales pitch with the brochures of company tours, dinner shows and other tourist traps. If that wasn't enough, Yunus offered to give provide a free shuttle ride back to the airport if I paid for my stay in cash. This was a first for me. I don't know what Yunus' game was. Was he planning to not report the income to the government or maybe just personally line his pocket? Who knows. Just tacky.
The rooms are small, the bathrooms are even smaller, tiny in fact. No bathtub in the room, only a small shower. Sultan House is located on a corner and you will here everything going on outside on the street. The room lack any garbage cans, except for the tiny one in the bathroom. A request for an iron and ironing board went unfulfilled. The furnishings looked and felt cheap. But the hotel was clean. The rooms were made up in a timely manner.
Yunus seemed pleasant upon arrival and departure. During the rest of the stay in-between, he wasn't the friendliest person. I caught him chatting it up with his facebook friends a few times. Don't bother Yunus during these sessions because he just ignores you. Yunus did provide some incorrect information regarding transportation and operating hours of local tourist sites. Service was not world class. Some of his recommendations were off the mark. Yunus also advised another guest that he should go to Haydarpaşa Rail Station to catch a train to somewhere in Europe. Well, unless a rail crossing was miraculously built to connect the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, this wasn't going to happen. Yunus should have known that Haydarpaşa Station only serves rail lines to Asia. For destinations in Europe, you need to go to the famous Sirkeci Rail Terminal, the terminus for the Orient Express. Amazingly, Yunus didn't know this.
Continental breakfast was provided with the stay. It was not great, but it was not bad either. Very limited, just olives, cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, and cold cuts. Nothing substantial. Just don't rely on it to fill you up. You'll be hungry in half an hour after leaving the hotel and will need to get a simit to hold you over. I can't believe they didn't offer any simit with breakfast. This is the most traditional of Turkish breakfasts -- simit with tea. The few number of rooms and guests is probably the main factor with the limited breakfast choices.
The best thing going for Sultan House is the location. It's located minutes near the major tourist sites. But, the immediate surrounding area is not the best. Abandoned buildings are scattering around. I wanted to see the ruins, not live among it. The streets are narrow with few restaurants. There's one restaurant around the corner that Yunus recommended. But, that turned out to be an overpriced tourist trap. There's a lot of tourist vehicular traffic during the day. There are better hotels and restaurants 5 minutes away in a much better neighbor, all around Kucuk Ayasofya Rd.
The "staff" consists of 3 people - Yunus, the overnight guy and the maid. That's it. The overnight guy is nice, but he doesn't speak anything other than Turkish. So, if you ever needed anything, he had to go into the guestroom in the lobby and wake up Yunus to get assistance. During one midday break, I went back to the Sultan House for a rest. But, I found the front door locked and I couldn't enter the establishment. They probably didn't have anyone available to work the reception area and so, they lock the place up? Yunus subsequently appeared and opened the door after he heard my banging. He was probably was doing the deed on the porcelain throne. But that's no reason to bunker down the entire establishment.
This place is no oasis. It misses the mark so often, it's ridiculous. Place is run by amateurs. Do yourself a favor and stay somewhere else where you'll get better service, comfort, and experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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First of all we thank you very much for sharing your Sultan House exprinces with us. Please be sure we read your comments carefully and we will check our missing parts and mistakes if we have.
Now we will try to respond you paragraph by paragraph;
1-) Our hotel is renovated ottoman mansion originally built in 1931. Our hotel second class registered historical building. Sultanahmet area is old city center so most of the hotels has got 10-20 rooms here. just a few hotels has more rooms. This is reality of old city center because you can not touch the buildings, all of them registered structures.
Also we are publishing our exterior photos and number of rooms every web site including our web site too, there is no surprice for guests and we are not shy because we have got only 10 rooms. Yes we have got two basement and one lobby rooms but we rae marketing them under "Economic Room" and offering cheper rates from regular rooms.
Our hotel is a boutique hotel a kind of home away home. Mean we are not 4* but there is no boutique category on tripadvisor by the way we are publishing 4* but everyone can understand impossible to get 4* with 10 rooms. We beleive that we are giving 4* service and location.
2-)Mr.Yunus working with us since long time and we are satisfied his working style. During check in time we are giving information on a map about city and our location and also sightseeing places. Then we are giving the map to our guests as our present and also some sightseeing tour brochures too. This is not tourist traps, they are big legal sightseeing companies with published rates and you don't have to buy any tour. They are leaving ther brochures to us for to deliver our guests. How can you call it tourist trap?
We are alos offering free transfer in case of cash payment and this is a kind of promotion. We like cash money for day uses and also we pay some card commissions to banks and instead of this we are offering free transfer, we guess this is a good service for our guests. But you don't have to pay cash, we do accept all kind of credit cards too.
3-)Our hotel is situated at Sultanahmnet square, next to the hippodrome. Mean exit our main door and after 20 steps you are at Sultanahmet square which is the best location at old city center.
Our average room size is 25m2, some rooms are smaller and some rooms are larger. Our bath rooms has got enough size just 3 of them a little bit smaller then others. There is no garbage in the room of course but there is one at the bathroom and we are daily housekeeping it. How possible a big garbage in living room?
Sultan House opened on 04 August 2010 mean 1,5 years before. The furnitures was our choice and we like it. They are simple but usefull.
Even we don't have irining board in our rooms but we rae providing upon request, we also have got laundry and ironing service too.
4-)We don't like to write anything for your forth paragraph because it's really funny. We guess you are a little prejudiced about Mr.Yunus. He is always smilling, helpfull and kind person but it looks you dislike him because of some unknown reasons.
5-)Most of our clients like our fresh breakfast even we have got hot dishes too. Of course we have got only 10 rooms and we don't have 100 different dishes but now we are serving 35 different cold or hot foods and some of them changing every 2-3 days.
But OK after your e-mail we started to serve Turkish Simit too, we didn't know it's too important. Actually at the beganning we were serving but our guests didn't prefer it too much and we decided to stop it.
6-)There are hundreds of restaurants neighbour of us. The closest one is "Sokullu Restaurant" which is just opposite of us. You can read other reviews about this restaurant on tripadvisor too, it's a nice place with resonable prices, never you can say there a tourist trap. Also ther menu and rates on the table and no surprice for customers.
We are personelly figting with tourist traps since many years. We never call our clients as "tourist" we call them "Guest" and we always show our traditional Turkish hospitality for our Guests.
7-) Let's calculate our staff: 1- Famous Mr.Yunus, 2-Night clerk, 3-Housekeeper, 4-Chef in the kitchen, 5- My wife(she is operating there) and 6- Me (as a owner some times i am there mostly in the evenings and supporting them)
So for a property who has got only 10 rooms 6 people enough i guess. Our door open 24 hrs. but maybe it was locked for a raeson just for couple of minutes.
Our night clerk speaks english very well in anytime and anybody can call our hotel during night time and can test it.
Finally you don't complain about any extra charge, over booking, heating, hot water, electricity or hygien. You are complaining some general situations and you are really really baised. This is rent a buiding and we are not earning huge money, we like tourism and we like to be a part of Turkis hospitality.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.