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Dara Hotel Istanbul
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Reviews (509)
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All reviewsblue mosquemarmara seaaya sophiasultanahmet areabreakfast is servedrooms are cleanexcellent locationboiled eggsdouble bedby footi highly recommend this hotelold townsmall hotelturkeywonderful hotelterraceroof
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Reviewed June 25, 2010

This was our first stop on a 20-day trip to Turkiye. We had confirmed it after much searching through the portals of 'tripadvisor' and were we glad we did. The hotel was small and extremely personal. Our room although small and the bathsroom even tinier, everything was spotlessly clean. The window, with lovely red geraniums in window boxes, opened out onto the street, overlooking a mosque across the street. Haluk at the reception, is an absolute gem. The entire staff was warm but he just went that extra mile to make us feel at home...from chatting with us and regaling us with stories about local life, to directing us on where to go, suggesting ways to spend a romantic evening, to providing us with a local converter that would fit our gadgets and keep the batteries charged, he just took care of it all.
The hotel being located in the old historic part of Istanbul, was within walking distance to the Blue Mosque, The Grand Bazaar and to reastaurants catering to different pallettes and budgets.
The breakfast was excellent, with a variety of fresh and dry fruit, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, cheeses, yogurt and breads all served on the terrace, lined with geraniums and with a view of the sea in the distance.
The only drawback, as we saw it, was the hotels proximity to the Mosque which ensured an early morning wake up call with the extremely loud 'call to prayer'. Sleeping in was simply out of the question.
We considered ourselves extremely lucky to have chanced upon this hotel to which we will definitly return if we ever get a chance to go back to Istanbul.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shylafit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2010

Great hotel - service excellent, breakfast food very good, exceptional value.
Location in old town great but only downside is the calling to prayer at 5 a.m. in the morning that can be heard in the hotel. As the call to prayer is from every mosque this issue is probably common in many locations in Istanbul and only lasts ten minutes so after the first night was not an issue.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank JonGoHols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2010

Before commenting on the hotel in detail mI should say that I travelled to Istanbul alone on 12tha April for a 5 day break while my wife went with girl friends to Florida. Due back on 17th April I suddenly found myself wrapped up in the Iceland volcano crisis and was unable to get a flight out of Istanbul until 22nd. Hotel Dara found me a room for the additional period and were absolutly brilliant in helping me resolve any problems I had. Internet access was freely available for me maintain contact with evryone. When my phone started to lose its charge the Manager sent out to another hotel to get me a phone charger that would fit. I was made to feel absolutely at home with tea/ coffee and extra meals provided without any thought of ever charging me extra. The room rate was kept at the same rate as my original booking thro Expedia. I thoroughly commend Erhan and all his staff for their service.

Pick up from the airport was organised by the hotel which was v. helpful.

The hotel was very clean and tidy. Rooms are are not big but that is the nature of buildings in the old part of the town. Bathrooms very modren and ewell equipped with toiletries provided. Breakfast buffet on the roof terrace was great and provided by Semra who was lovely.

Location was perfect for all the recommended sights in the old town. Public transport by tram was very efficient and cheap - 1.5 Lira per trip regardless of distance. But the way to see Istanbul is by foot - the maze of cobbled streets provide a wide variety of sights smells and colours which need to be explored. It is pretty hilly so you need to pace yourself.

Main things to see:
Blue mosque - magnificent sight especially lt up at night. Free entry
Hagia Sofya - 20 Lira worth seeing
Topkapi Palace - 55 Lira for access all parts and audio guide - allow at least half day - v.v.v. crowded!
Spice Market - amazing colours and smells
Grand Bazaar- ablsolute rabbit warren of stalls. No bargains and you need to haggle hard.
Gelata Tower - 10 lira for sights over the whole city
Dolmabahce Palace 20 Lira for guide tour - better than Topkapi
Bosphorous Cruise - dont take the tourist trips! Get the public ferry rom the booth at the foot of Gelata Bridge for 25 Lira return. Departs 10.35 - get there 40 mins early if you want a good seat for photos! 90 mins to final stop on the Asian side at the mouth of the Black Sea. Three hours to eat at one of the fish reatsurants or to climbe up the steep hill to the ruined castle where I had a picnic. Return ferry leaves 3.00 for 90 min trip back.

Great city for a 5/6 day trip. Hotel Dara very good value at 55 Euros B&B. I hope to return with my wife and would undoubtedly stay at the Dara again.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank Nick-Wokingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2010

First time to Istanbul and our hotel was perfect for what we wanted which was a good value that was safe and near all the attractions. Reasonable walk to the metro stop, quiet but very safe street, excellent breakfast, very responsive staff, I had a broken shower which was fixed immediately and a cable problem also fixed on the spot. Wish there were more English TV stations, also lack of closets bugged my partner, but not me. 5a.m. call to prayer outside our window was an irritant, but part of the experience. Really good value, it was nice to have one place in Istanbul where I didn't feel constantly hustled. Got good airport pickup and return.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank hsmukler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2010

We booked this hotel through hotels.com and only needed one night as we were just back to Istanbul before flying home. The staff was professional and treated us very well even though we just had the least expensive room they have. Room was very good--all updated with a wonderful modern bathroom and new bed and linens. Room was very small but this is common in Istanbul and we have encountered that before. Everything worked in this room which is something we have often not encountered in Istanbul. It is a great location near all the old stuff and the breakfast is very wonderful--a buffet on the rooftop including lots of good eats and a view!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank oregonflower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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