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“One of our best times in Istanbul” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam

Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam
Cankurtaran Mahallesi Ayasofya Meydani No:2, Istanbul 34122, Turkey
+90 212 517 3535
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Ranked #71 of 543 Activities in Istanbul
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Owner description: The Historical and Luxurious Art of BathingHistorical and Architectural Features“I hope that until the end of days, good hearted friends who take a look at what I have made, when they will perceive the seriousness and the spirit of my effort, can have a fair view and can invoke my name to pray for me.” Mimar Sinan, ArchitectThe Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam in Istanbul was designed and built by Mimar Sinan, the chief Ottoman architect. It was built at the request of Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana), the wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century. It was built where the ancient public baths of Zeuxippus used to stand, between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. The area is also particularly significant as the site where the Temple of Zeus once stood.
Montclair, New Jersey
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“One of our best times in Istanbul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

My husband and I both went for a traditional bath and massage. It wasn't cheap (100 Euro each) but it was a wonderful experience. The treatments are given in a beautiful 16th century building which has been in continuous use as a Hamam since it was built. It consisted of being thoroughly exfoliated, bathed with suds while lying on a warm marble platform, thoroughly shampooed and rinsed, and then massaged ( the massage was pretty standard but very good). The woman who bathed me didn't speak any English but that didn't matter. You have to be fairly comfortable with nudity as you are naked in front of other women (there are separate sections for men and women). My husband was nervous about being handled so intimately by another man but he also found it enormously relaxing and a wonderful experience.

Visited August 2013
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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Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Ayasofya Haseki Restaurant & Café”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

Ayasofya Haseki Restaurant & Café is not recommended in terms of its food & beverage. I can recommend the take-away ice cream (though there is great inconsistency in terms of the service crew) which is presented well and is physically demanding work on the servers who are clearly doing their best in the Summer heat to meet customers' expectations.

I didn't try the hammam facility and so I cannot comment on all the services being sold. This review relates only to the restaurant and café and I can assert that it is a very amateur set up with either incompetent or absent management. Notably poor service in terms of missing items from the order and ignoring customers for as much as 15 minutes after which time customers give up and walk away unserved. For whatever reason, the waiters aren't engaged and have a markedly negative attitude, have zero hospitality skills (acknowledging new customers, smiling, welcoming, attentiveness, accommodating families etc.) and no care for generating revenue for this outlet. In the span of 15 minutes I watched two occupied tables go unserved and walk away without receiving attention (even a glance from a waiter, let alone "Merhaba/Hello"). On their walking out the waiter turned away his gaze so as not to acknowledge them and went on busy doing nothing. The shade from the sun, prime location, beautiful surroundings, and ambience of this restaurant offer massive potential to generate big revenue, but they're not engaging their waiting staff for whatever reason. I'm sure they're losing a considerable volume of business by failing to keep and serve customers and at the height of the busy lunch period in mid August. The restaurant looked 35% full, if that, and all the neighbouring outlets were full which tells you a lot.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

Felt like a queen. This facility is beautiful. I had a package that included a body clay pack, scrub, bubble massage and oil massage- it was wonderful. My therapist lead me through the individual hammam steps, it was relaxing and most enjoyable.
Marble benches are lovely and warm, and my therapist was very skilful.

I was given a wrap to walk around, and at the end I was packed in big fluffy towels to relax with hibiscus tea.
It was like being transported back to ancient times. No hard sell on products that you would encounter in a European Spa - just a wonderful afternoon.
Take time you should have about 2 hours to spare at least. The best thing after a full day sightseeing.
Whatever you do, don't miss this unique experience.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, NC
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

This is something everyone should do at least one time in their life. The facility is beautiful! My attendant patiently led me through all the glorious steps of the hamam experience. It was relaxing and enjoyable. Go for a package that includes a massage. You won't be sorry! My husband, who thought he would not enjoy this, said he wished he could go once a week! Fun for the whole family.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
haifa
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great expearance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Really enjoyed. Felt like sultana:). Spoiled, comfortable. Didn't want to leave... You don't need any special dress to come there, anything to bring with you. You come as you come and you leave like just after your dressing room at home, not like after sauna or sth like that.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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