I stayed at the ARES hotel (Istanbul) in Oct/ Nov 11, I meant to share this review sometime back but didn’t find time, here goes:
1. My first disappointment was that the taxi cannot go till the hotel as there is no pathway, stops about 150 meters away and had to call the hotel with the help of the taxi driver (who was very helpful) and told us the way to get there. It was quite a walk with the luggage.
2. Second disappointment was that though I had 2 bookings from bookings.com as I changed my dates and the rates had changed, only the 1st booking for 1 night stay was what they confirmed. The other booking to continue my stay for another 2 nights wasn't considered by the hotel even though it was a confirmed paid booking. Then the hotel staff at the reception said they are fully booked so not sure if he can accommodate us and said that if he cannot they will refund the booking amount (as the rates had gone up by then).
3. At the time of booking I had specifically requested for a room with bospherous view or street view, sadly I was given a room with a view which had a view of the wall of an adjoining building about 2.5 feet away so the balcony was locked and room was pitch dark throughout the day without room lights. When I requested for a room change the manager said they are fully booked but realized this wasn’t true as other guests checked in later that day as well as the next day and I saw their rooms were with a good view….guess they had paid a higher rate. The bathroom was tiny and with no ventilation it was stinking from the drain and this bad odour spread to the room. I couldn’t even open the window/balcony for some ventilation as it didn’t have any.
4. Breakfast is below average, well can’t really call it breakfast itself. Just a boiled egg, slices of bread, butter & jam. Fruit juice, tea or coffee, other than the tea others are horrible and or poor quality concentrate based juice diluted with water. Not sure of the Turkish coffee but the regular one was bad. The staff were very un-friendly and fairly rude not bothered, all they cared was banging this set plate on the table you would sit and not bother coming back even to check. I had to walk up a couple of times to ask for sugar, get the tea hot etc. There were cockroaches/ bugs on the sofa of the next table and a lady sitting there suddenly sprang up and shrieked, that’s when I got to see what it was. The hotel/restaurant staff were not bothered and no apology.
5. As per my booking internet was included in the rate but in the 3 days I was there they kept giving me wrong passwords for their wifi so I could not connect from the room of the restaurant. When I took the laptop to them to show it they would say its your laptop so it must be a problem with your laptop. I check with 3 people from the hotel owner/manger/staff and all 3 wrote different passwords and gave it. I just gave-up and used the wifi from the restaurant opposite the Ares hotel (DUBB) the staff and food at DUBB is great. I loved the place and the wifi was a bonus.
6. I needed airport transfer and day 3 of my stay from the hotel to Sabiha Gokcen the hotel staff quoted 100 euros but as I was roaming the streets I found a travel agency that was doing mini van transfers at 10 or 15 euros per person. So obviously I went with and don’t regret it. It was pretty good. The hotel manager was very rude from the time he got to know about it. He actually was planning to send me in a similar mini van and was charging a lot more 50 eurp pp. After that he started ignoring me and would not respond correctly if I asked him for directions or which way I need to walk/go towards to reach a place – he would give answers like there are many ways you can go right or left so I stopped asking him anything for his stupidity. There are whole lot of people on the streets who are very helpful and will help you.
7. I had requested a late check-out 2 hours after the check-out time at the time of booking and this was confirmed by the hotel. I spoke to the owner as well and he was okay with it. On my last day at the hotel, the hotel manager however kept asking me when I will check-out, and he started soon after I finished the lousy breakfast. And when I was checking out no one came to help with the baggage luckily there was a lift so I managed by myself.
All in all a very bad experience, I have traveled quite a bit and stayed at different hotels and to a great extent can adjust and manage ok however this kind of stood beyond acceptable levels and would like to share this bitter experience. The location however is great, it is walkable distance to Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi palace and the metro, cafés, restaurants etc. Worth avoiding this place if you have an option.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ares Hotel Istanbul is a 3 star hotel offering classically decorated, luxurious rooms right in the centre of Istanbul's old city. Staying here, you've got it all at your fingertips, since the main historical and cultural attractions are within short walking distance of the hotel, such as the Bosphorus, Topkapi Palace, Haghia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque. In fact, from the terrace of the Ares Hotel, you can enjoy panoramic views of all of the above, and more sights of Istanbul. Taking a walk around this area, you'll also find plenty of restaurants, shops, and other things to do and see. There are 21 spacious and comfortable rooms in total in this elegant hotel, with the choice between staying in a single, twin, double, or triple room. All of the rooms have private bathrooms, and you'll also find all the amenities you'll need, such as hair-dryer, safety deposit box, heating, air-conditioning, telephone, TV, and Wi-Fi Internet. Also, the list of the hotel's services include a left-luggage office, 24 hour reception, restaurant, bar/café, and a TV lounge. Finally, the icing on the cake is that your breakfast is included in the price of your stay. A private car park is also available (extra charge). ... more less
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