We just got back from a short weekend break in the Hotel Sultanhan in Istanbul and I had to write a short review to express what a great time we had, and to thank the staff!
Istanbul is a beautiful city – made all the more beautiful when the sun is shining and the sky is blue – lovely!
The hotel is perfectly situated right in the middle of the city, walking distance to the big mosques and the Grand Bazaar, but down a slightly quieter side street, so you feel like you're away from the crowds! Not far from the hotel is a tram stop, which is great and very useful if you're going a bit further away, and it was close to lots of shops and lovely restaurants. The hotel rooms are large and well appointed. We were on the first floor at the front of the hotel and the bed was comfy and large, and the balcony was nice as well –although we didn’t really use it as we were out and about so much.
The view from the rooftop restaurant was amazing, and although we didn’t eat there in the evening, the breakfast was very tasty, lots of fresh fruit, cereals and pastries as well as a few hot food options too (frankfurters and smiley faces and other bits!). We also went up there for drinks one afternoon, and sitting outside looking over Istanbul was really lovely.
The week before we arrived, it wasn’t very warm in Istanbul, but while we were there the temperature was between 25 and 30oC. every day which was lovely, although I don’t think the air conditioning in the hotel rooms worked properly, so it was very hot at night. After one sleepless night of heat, we decided to sleep with the balcony door open in the hope of getting some cool air into the room, and it was much better – although it was very noisy (not to mention the call to prayers at 5am). Hopefully in the summertime the hotel switches the air conditioning on properly, so it makes the rooms a bit more bearable! (this is why I’ve marked “sleep quality” quite low). Aside from the air conditioning (which is probably not a problem in the summer when it’s really needed) there was just one small issue. We booked a twin room, but were told that there weren’t any free so we were put in a double room instead (with a kind size bed – but only a double duvet – which thankfully we didn’t need to use!), not a particular problem, and certainly not significant enough for us to cause a fuss by asking to move rooms, but it wasn’t ideal, especially as it was hot
The staff were without a doubt the best thing about the hotel – they were so friendly and amazing and really went out of their way to help. Really well done to them all, especially the reception staff who always kept us laughing and were full of great local tips! Thanks!
If I ever go back to Istanbul (I’m sure I will at some point in the future!) I will stay at this hotel again and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others! Fantastic.
General recommendations for Istanbul:
I recommend getting an Istanbul card, which you can top up and use pay as you go (It’s a bit like an Oyster Card in London, except that you can use it for more than one person at a time) The trams are really cheap, and definitely worth experiencing!!
Be careful when crossing the roads – the trams go quite fast and they do not stop. Watch where you’re walking – we saw a couple of near misses while we were there, crossing the road is sometimes a bit like crossing the train tracks, so be careful, especially when you’re with small children!!
It’s quite obvious , but HAGGLE HAGGLE HAGGLE over everything in shops!! All prices start a lot higher and there is always room to negotiate down –especially in the Grand Bazaar! We actually found that some of the small shops near the hotel were cheaper than the bazaar itself, so don’t forget to visit these for all your little bits and pieces!
Don’t try to go to the Mosques on a Saturday morning as we did.. the queue was MASSIVE so we left again! When we went back on Tuesday it was empty and we walked straight in. If you have to go at the weekend, try to go as late as possible in the evening to avoid the queues.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.