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6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

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Brooklyn NY`
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6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

—Be a Houseguest not a Hotel Guest

I’ve recently returned from Istanbul where my husband and I stayed at the self-catering apartments, Sultanhamet Suites. I was a bit concerned due to a barrage of diatribes on several websites by one unhappy customer, but something about the tone and content told me that the author was----er---- well, I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

So we decided to give it a shot and it was the best decision of our trip.

I am not exaggerating when I say that our stay at Sultanhamet Suites played as big a role as the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Underground Cistern and the wonderful people of Istanbul in making our trip the mesmerizing, fantastic holiday that it was.

Sultanhamet Suites is actually in the adjoining neighborhood of Kadirga. Lonely Planet calls the area a place to just put your guidebook down and stroll around. It is working class with wonderful, incredibly delicious, unbelievably inexpensive cafes owned by warm, friendly owners. There are stores everywhere to buy cheese, nuts, milk, coffee, which was perfect for us as we love to have a cup of coffee before getting dressed and venturing out. We stayed for a week and it was great to have enough room that we could read in the evening, be in a separate part of the apartment from each other, cook a little, etc. Or to put it a different way, my husband and I never fought because we had enough room to spread out.

Sultanhamet Suites is only a ten minute walk to the Blue Mosque, no further than from other parts of Sultanhamet, and perhaps a 12 minute walk to the tram. But, oh those ten minutes. When in Sultanhamet we are accosted by touts, shopkeepers “guessing our nationality,” and begging us to come to their stores. This is only mildly annoying, esp. in light of how wonderful the people of Turkey are. In Kadirga, however, where we are just as much tourists as we were in Sultanhamet, we are left alone.

The diatriber (?) complains that there is no full time staff. This is true as it is a self-catering apartment, not a hotel, but I can say that the wonderful owners, Joy and Aylin, made themselves 10 times more available to us than any self-catering apartment I have ever stayed in, either in the US or in Europe. They were extremely generous with their time and made great suggestions for restaurants, trips, shopping, museums, etc. They left a phone with their cell numbers in case of a problem. Their English was excellent, and they listened carefully to us and made suggestions accordingly. We felt more like houseguests than hotel guests, and it was great.

Make no mistake. Staying at Sultanhamet Suites is not like staying in a hotel in Sultanhamet. You are in your own, large apartment, taking care of yourself. For us, that was ideal. We actually stayed in two of the four apartments. The top floor had an outdoor balcony with views of the Marmara. However, we actually preferred the qst floor apartment because it was so large. Besides, it was freezing cold, so we wouldn't have spent much time on the balcony anyway!

As Nigel Tufnel in SPINAL TAP would say “I’d give it an eleven.”

Perrysburg, Ohio
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1. Re: 6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

Hi Mhughu,

I'm glad you enjoyed your stay at Sultanahmet Suites and your visit to Istanbul. Thanks for the detailed review of the property, as I'm sure it will be very helpful to future visitors. (By the way, "Spinal Tap" is one of my top five favorite movies...I have to watch it every few years or so when I need a good laugh!)

Jo

Chicago
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2. Re: 6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

Mhughu,

I am glad that you had a good stay at this apartment. Meanwhile, I was a little astonished that you wrote this:

>author was----er---- well, I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

I don’t know if you are trying to make another controversy here, but if you are trying to paint a distorted picture, then I feel I must write again, especially given that fact that the owners of this apartment still keeps posting a comment, like yours, all over the web: “we are nice, the author is not normal”, “she is a very erroneous and only one single person had a problem with Sultanahmetsuites That means she is says lie ….” etc., etc.

I reiterate that all the reviews and comments you have read reflect the reality of what happened at Sultanahmet Suites and things done by the owner and his wife. You sound you were treated ultra-nicely. Good for you! I am glad to hear that. But that doesn’t change the fact that the owner acted in a very different way against my friend and me, and we were yelled at, harassed and intimidated, and then repeatedly threatened by him and his wife after I wrote a review on tripadvisor. Namely, if you had no problems at Sultanahmetsuies, it doesn’t mean that others did not face terrible attitude and serious troubles at the same apartment.

As a person who had rather unfortunate experiences, I feel compelled to report the facts and warn other tourists. If someone experiences similar troubles, then my review should not have been effective. But, if someone happens to have a nice stay, like you, I am glad because my review should have reminded the owners to treat everyone with respect and even ultra-nicely at this time to make the past reviews sound incorrect. They now should know what would happen if they harass guests again. But if they corrected their attitudes in whatever way, I feel relieved.

Mysteriously enough, threads to praise Sultanahmetsuites started to crop up in this Istanbul forum. I believe there are 3 threads in this forum now, including yours. Is this a coincidence? Isn’t it very strange to see 3 similar comments posted in such a short period of time for a tiny apartment with only 4 rooms, when other much bigger hotels have no such comments posted at all. Is this a comeback of the deluge of rave reviews posted for Sultanahmetsuites from Oct-Nov 2007? The Sultanahmetsuites review site no longer accepts reviews? This makes everyone puzzled.

Meanwhile, this is what I responded to one of those 3 similar threads about Sultanahmetsuites:

After reading the comment posted here, I am relieved that this person had a fortunate stay, didn’t experience problems and troubles with this apartment.

It is good that the apartment made some improvement: according to what’s written here, although there is no telephone in the room, people can now use the office phone during office hours. The internet is fixed at last. Towels and bedspread are changed more often. While it will be extremely hard to install a lift, the next problem to be worked on should be to hire permanent staff. When guests are left alone at the apartment, it is not just inconvenient. It is very risky, and is dangerous and could even be fatal once something happens, whether it be day or night. Every accommodation should do risk management for various abnormalities, ranging from something stopping working in the room, a power failure, or a fire, to someone breaking into the apartment, and things like that.

Hopefully my little feedback and kind and useful remarks from other forum participants, such as Busy-retired and alaskaitaly, have worked so far and will continue to work as deterrence of the past incident. On the other hand, I don’t know if the owner will not repeat what he did to us to other people, based on the fact that there is no remorse or apology expressed so far. So, I would like to suggest that, in case you somehow decide to stay here, you make sure you book NOT directly but through a third party, like a travel agency or a booking site – desirably a reliable local agency. This will become your “casualty insurance”. Namely, you will be armed and protected with some party to help you in case of a serious dispute, etc. But I keep my fingers crossed, hoping this apartment will eventually learn at least some lessons from the past mistakes, and that we will never hear yet another report of a similar incident.

Ruhr Area, Germany
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3. Re: 6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

I don´t´want to involve into this thread anyway, I have never stood at Sultanahmets Suites.

My question is a common one.

I´m a bit astonished that it is so very important for many people to have an all around care even at night.

We have often rent a house, villa, flat or an apartment in several countries, especially when we travelled with our children to Denmark, Bretagne, Corse, , and more often than not we were quite alone, with just a telephon number or adress. And often without a telephon in the house.

I thought that it is usual if you rent a private accomodation.

Another affair is an apartment hotel, there you will probably have the full service of an hotel.

Mount Dora, Florida
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4. Re: 6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

Our favorite type of property while traveling is also to rent a private villa. We do that all of the time when we take our family to Disney World. We look for those type of accommodations where ever we travel. Since we often spend a month or more in a single destination we like the flexibility of a larger apartment, and like the person who started this thread, we tend to be more peaceful if we have a bit more space.

Generally we enjoy the sensation that we are living in our destination city, rather than just visiting. An apartment or villa permit us to maintain this fantasy.

When we rent a private property we understand that we are on our own; although we have never stayed anyplace in a private property that was the size of Istanbul. Most of the time we end up in the Residence Inn or Homewood Suites, which provide a small food preparation area and a separate living and sleeping area. These properties are like tiny apartments, but are technically hotels. We use these properties in cities especially.

So, Monika, I guess my answer to your question is that in some places we feel more secure on our own than in other places. It is probably not critical for me, but I worry a little about overnight problems in places where I do not speak the language.

The concept of Sultanahmet Suites is very appealing to us, and if my heart did not belong to the Apricot I would probably pursue a longer-term reservation with the property more seriously.

However, I find it quite unusual that we have so many posters praising this very tiny property, particularly from posters with little history with TA. I am certainly not questioning the authenticity of this post. I just find it a bit strange as if these reviews are being solicited or generated by some motivation other than just the sharing of good news.

I certainly do not want to start another unpleasant thread about this property. I am more inclined to now investigate it myself for a few nights the next time I am in Istanbul, unless one of our forum regulars beats me to it. I am always interested in a place to stay that receives a rating of eleven.

London, United...
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5. Re: 6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

dear Patara,

you have raised a point here I have been noticing about the postings about Sultanahmet Suites - and you say it so well I will quote you;

"I´m a bit astonished that it is so very important for many people to have an all around care even at night".

That bit has always astonished me too! I don't want to sound flippant - but I am concerned now, here in London there is only me and the cat... should I get a janitor - in case the lights go out?

As Mhughu says in this post the SSuites are "a self-catering apartment not a hotel" so who ever would expect otherwise?

I think it seems strange that - after all that s*** (Please feel free to fill in the asterisks...!) that went on at the end of last year, that suddenly we have people praising the place.

But there again, had I read all that going on when I was booking up last November - I would quite rightly have been worried (as neither side came out at all well IMHO - In My Honest Opinion!), and imagine I would have wanted to post my genuine opinion about the place upon my return. And it strikes me that it sounds like a very nice place if you want a self-catering apartment.

taiwan
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6. Re: 6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

Hello, busy-retired,

I am very surprised reading your post stated:"However, I find it quite unusual that we have so many posters praising this very tiny property, particularly from posters with little history with TA. I am certainly not questioning the authenticity of this post. I just find it a bit strange as if these reviews are being solicited or generated by some motivation other than just the sharing of good news."

Yes, I am new to TA but I visted TA quite often for several years. My husband and I both enjoyed traveling. It's time for me to write feedback from our trip to share my experience.

I respect your opionion but please do not question my good intention to share the true experience about staying in Sultanhamet Suites although you said you were not questioning but you did. Especially, when someone actually stayed in this tiny property for 5 nights just for cooking food in Chinese way. I am a true believer to say the truth to avoid the trouble.

Don't forget that it takes two to Tangle, nobody knew what's really happened in the beginning.

I am glad that you decide to investigate yourself by staying in this tiny property next trip to Istanbul, then you will have your own true experience.

For your information, our Europe trip began Dec.26,2007 and ended Jan.24,2008. Jan.8-13,2008 visited Istanbul.

Taipei-Hongkong-Paris-Madrid-Granada-Seville-Madrid-Barcelona-Rome-Istanbul-Rome-Florence-Rome-Madrid-Paris-Hongkong-Taipei.

Chicago
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7. Re: 6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

Whether it's Sultanahmet Suites or a hotel, people have really good experiences and pretty bad experiences. Clearly, some liked this property, while others didn't. BOTH POSITIONS ARE VALID.

And no one's post should be attacked or denigrated if/when the remarks contradict one's own experience! Pullease.

taiwan
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45 posts
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8. Re: 6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

Hello Globe2,

Istanbul is big enough for all kinds opinion and warm enough for the new comer.

Everyone comes to Istanbul forums share the love for Istanbul.

We should have open mind. Viva Istanbul!

Happy Chinese New Year!

London, United...
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9. Re: 6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

Oh please, no more posts about Sultanahmet Suites :-(((

Let's talk about Istanbul.

Kozano

10. Re: 6 stars for Sultanhamet Suites

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