The location is great, the rooms are TINY, and overall we recommend you look elsewhere. SultanAhmet neighbourhood is full of hotels, many of which look to be nicer than the Ares albeit probably a bit more expensive. Our first night (room 407) was OK, it was one at the few rooms with a view of Hagia Sophia, but be forewarned, it’s not much of a view – you see mainly the roof – and you see that over top of a very ugly next-door building. However, the Ares does have a rooftop ‘terrace’ from which you do get a decent view of Hagia Sofia (see photos for the 2 views). When we returned one week later (for 3 nights), we were put first into in room 403 overlooking the street. Room 403 is one of the rooms with a smelly toilet. Not a totally overpowering stench, but not at all nice. We were also shown another room with no view whatsoever but with an even stinkier toilet. Moreover, the toilet in room 403 is IN the shower(! see photo), which is something we have never seen outside of an RV or a small cabin cruiser. After one night, we were able to get back into room 497. The breakfast (croissant, jam, cream cheese, tomato) is nothing to write home about. The service is excellent, very friendly and very helpful. The service and the location are the best things about the hotel. One final word about the location - it is on a pedestrian-only street, so you will have to schlep your bags down the narrow street. We booked an airport pickup (from Effendi Travel services), and our (excellent) driver helped us, but I suspect a taxi driver may not be so accommodating. Also, a taxi driver may not know how to find the Ares – none of our drivers we knew where it was, and we booked them in advance! I cannot offer an opinion of taxis – we never used one, but we were very satisfied with the driver service from Effendi. It’s a similar(?) price to taxi, but a bigger, nicer car, with room for transcontinental luggage.
- 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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