We had originally booked to stay at Arasta in May this year, but due to a family emergency, had to cancel at the last minute. Mr. Tahsin very kindly offered to adjust the cancellation charges if we came later. When we did go end of September, true to his word, he gave us a discount that covered most of the cancellation charges.
Now to the hotel itself – the location is absolutely out of the world, just across the street from the Blue Mosque, step out and you are in the Arasta Bazaar, with all the tourist attractions within 5 minutes walk. We spent 5 nights there, 2 in a room with a view of The Blue Mosque and 3 facing the Sea of Marmara and both had spectacular views. The room across the mosque has a balcony, a perfect place for a morning cuppa and an evening drink. The ‘Honeymoon Room’ is really tiny, but the view of the Sea of Marmara is equally spectacular, and it was great to sit around and watch the giant cruise ships sail past.
The rooms were extremely clean, it was the kind of hotel you could look into the dark corners being quite sure you wouldn’t see anything unseemly. The staff were cheerful at all times, and Tahsin was always ready to help with suggestions of what to do and where to eat.
The breakfast, a reasonably hearty fare of fruits, eggs, bread & cold cuts, was on the terrace with views of the Blue Mosque and a little further along the road Aya Sofia, a great way to start the day.
Now the down side – in one room, the TV didn’t work, in the other the intercom didn’t, which meant 4 floors down and back up again if you wanted anything. The internet worked fitfully, more off that on in the room with the mosque view, and not at all in the honeymoon room. And there were other little irritants, like no pegs to hang your clothes, just one electric socket, so charging batteries & cell phones was a bit of a hassle. And the plywood staircase up to the terrace did seem slightly rickety and a bit of a fire hazard.
But despite these irritants, I would give the place 4 stars, would definitely stay there again if I was in Istanbul, and have no hesitation in recommending it, though I suggest you pick a room with a view, since that is certainly the USP of Arasta Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Arasta Boutique Hotel has 10 rooms , 3 standard double room, 2 family suite rooms with magnificent view with St. Sophie and Blue Mosque views and 3 standard double room with views of Hagia Sophie and Blue Mosque,1 double room with balcony and view of Marmara Sea and 1 Deluxe double room located terrace with the views of maramara sea and Princess Islands. . Each rooms is fully equipped with modern private bathroom, hair dryer, remote control T.V. The rooftop sitting and also breakfast room is a cosy place in winter with view of St Sophie, Blue Mosque and Marmara Sea under snow. In summer you'll be out on the terrace enjoying uninterrupted views of the Blue Mosque or the Sea of Marmara. ... more less
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