This old Ottoman house has become a delightful bed and breakfast in the Kumcapi area of the Golden Horn, within walking distance of all the major antiquities of Istanbul. The décor is definitely old world, with wonderful Venetian glass chandeliers, painted wood ceilings and ornate furniture. It is easy to see an opulence that existed 100 years ago. This was my first trip to Istanbul, but hopefully not my last and I couldn’t imagine staying anywhere but at the Hotel Turkuaz. The staff, led by Maria, is extremely friendly and helpful, running errands to meet the needs of their guests if necessary. If a guest needs a reservation for a performance of the Dervishes or a ride on a Bosporus cruise, Maria makes all the arrangements and takes your payment, you only need to show up at your appointed location with your confirmation number and you are in your seat! I became quite attached to the rose jam served with breakfast each morning and they went out and purchased three large jars for us to bring back home, so I wouldn’t be totally deprived of my Turkish experience. While on the subject of breakfast, which comes with the price of the room, if someone walks away hungry, it’s their own fault! Fresh tomatoes, thick yoghurt, slices of French bread, cereal, granola, fruit, juice, milk and the afore mentioned jam were augmented by eggs cooked to taste, all washed down by endless cups of tea or coffee, and elegantly presented each morning by the staff. We stayed for over two weeks and I never tired of our Turkish brekkie. While other reviewers have mentioned how close the hotel is to the major sites on Sultanahmet, they left out that the walk is part of the adventure. One strolls up the hill through real Turkish neighborhoods, past delightful restaurants and little markets where one can buy a bottle of Diet Coke or Raki for your evening on the terrace. There is never a need for a cab or bus, just two feet and a willingness to explore another culture. We developed a relationship with several of the shopkeepers and restaurant managers as we walked back and forth between our Turkish home and the Hippodrome. And before someone says something about the energy of young people, I celebrated my 60th birthday at Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque! You can easily walk to Topkapi, the Grand Bazaar or the Yeni Camii from the hotel. In the evening, sit on the terrace and watch the children play in the park across the street, or people walk along the Sea of Marmara against the sunset, a perfect ending to the day. Some reviewers have mentioned the water problems, but in the end, those kind of come with an old building and ultimately add to the adventure. With a little adjustment to our schedule, we were able to accommodate showers for two people after wandering through Istanbul. And about the cats, well, we discovered on our first walk that Istanbul is a city of cats! I’ve never seen so many wandering the streets as are in Istanbul and I’m not sure they can be avoided. Several of the cats at the hotel are “resident cats” that have been vetted and we quite enjoyed our visits with Maniak, Rosa and Juana. As you walk through Istanbul, you will see many of the corners and doorways have cat food and water for the stray animals in the neighborhood, the cats at the hotel are healthy and were a delightful part of our Turkish experience. If you want to truly encounter a wonderful part of old Istanbul and avoid the “tourist” experience of chain hotels, Hotel Turkuaz of Istanbul will absolutely fit the bill!
No elevators, so be prepared to walk up the stairs.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.