I recently spent 4 nights at this Hotel, on a recent visit to Istanbul. I was delighted with it and i hope the following review proves useful should you decide to visit Istanbul. I traveled with a group of 6, who stayed in 2 other Hotels around the area. I was going to stay at the Marmara in Taksim Square but i decided to stay in Sultanahmet instead.
I chose this Hotel based on two things alone, it's location and it's reputation. It was expensive compared to the vast majority of Hotels in Sultanahmet, almost double per night. This Hotel is marketed as a 4* Hotel, and a very good one. My guess is that it isn't 5* because it doesn't have a swimming pool/spa but i'm not complaining because i knew this before i booked.
I arranged for the Hotel's shuttle service to pick my brother and i from the Airport at a reasonable price of 25 Euros. The van was Air Conditioned and we didn't have to share it with anyone and took us straight to our hotel, which was about 40 minutes away (we landed at 1800 local time).
The Hotel directly overlooks the Aya Sofia from the main entrance and is a 5-10 minute walk away from the Blue Mosque. The Archeological and Topkapi museams are only 5-10 minutes away too.
It's 10 minutes away from the Golhane Tram station which takes you to Taksim square in less than 10 minutes (a change is needed at Kabatas, where you hop onto an Underground Train). At a cost of only 4 Lira each way and with the lines being colour coded like all other major Cities it was very easy to travel in and around the city from this Hotel.
Our bags were taken to our room and the Hotel receptionist gave us a warm welcome as well as giving us information to help us plan our stay, such as maps, coupons etcetera. Another staff member talked us through the city's map and explained how close everything was. They didn't ask me for credit card details, only to sign their terms and conditions, which were standard.
I have read from previous reviews that a bad room choice can ruin the stay so i asked if it would be possible to have a quiet room, and they kindly upgraded us to a Junior Suite, at no extra charge (considering i only paid for a standard twin room). I was very impressed, a clean spacious room with wooden floors and wall panels. Some good quality Turkish Delight was to be found (the stuff which melts in your mouth, not the crappy chewy stuff). The bathroom looked brand new and was very clean, and their was a wide variety of toiletries. There was a 32inch LCD TV (mixture of Arabic, English and Turkish channels) a good quality air con, a safe and a mini bar (for those of us who actually use it....).
We decided to eat at the Hotel Restaurant on the first night (the only A La Carte of it's kind in much of sultanahmet which was always full of tourists/business associates during the evening). We ordered 2 mains, 2 drinks and were given complimentary bread, starter and water, at a cost of 70 lira. You could get a 6 lira kebab down the road but we wanted to play it safe and sound the first night.. Food was very tasty, i also recommend the restaurant
The Room overlooked the Hotel's top notch A La Carte Restaurant "Matbah". This didn't bother us at all because we always came back to our Hotel after midnight and the restaurant closed at around 11.30.
the Breakfast was ok.. not that impressive to be honest. I've stayed at other 4* Hotels which served better stuff, but at least it filled you up and there was a good choice of hot/cold foods. The best thing about the breakfast? It ran from 0730-1030..
Now, 2 of my friends stayed at the 5^ Legacy Ottoman Hotel, a few minutes away. It cost the same, had a swimming pool/spa but i was very surprised it was given 5 stars because the Ottoman Imperial was genuinely far better. I would choose the Ottoman Imperial any day of the week simply because it's quiet, cleaner and the hotel guests are generally between 30-50 years meaning they're well behaved and you don't have any noisy/messy drunkards. The staff are also incredibly friendly and helpful and did all they could to make sure our stay was a pleasant one.
3 others stayed at the 4* Orka Royal, which was half the price of our hotel. It was a 15 minute walk from ours. It had a roof top terrace, a swimming pool and a gym/spa. The rooms were far from impressive though and they were constantly humid and smelt of damp.
I can confidently say that in my opinion the Ottoman Imperial is probably the best 4* Hotel in Sultanahmet and i was very pleased with my stay/choice. I'm glad i stayed here instead of Taksim because all the major historical sights are a stone's throw (or two) away and i always got a good night's sleep.
I am only mentioning these other Hotels to help give you all a better perspective and to help you choose the right Hotel. I am not Marketing a hotel so please appreciate my review for what it is. If you have any questions drop me a message.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ottoman Hotel Imperial is situated on the truly premium location in Istanbul, on an elevated position, surrounded by all the major historical and cultural sights in the heart of the old town, Sultanahmet, viewing the impressive Hagia Sophia (St.Sophia, Aya Sofya) Museum. This is absolutely the best location in Istanbul, within easy walking distance of the main monuments. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ottoman Hotel Istanbul