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“Safe haven right next to the action in Istiklal street at Beyoglu”
Review of Rapunzel Hostel

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Rapunzel Hostel
Ranked #65 of 1,060 Istanbul B&B and Inns
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Safe haven right next to the action in Istiklal street at Beyoglu”
Reviewed August 8, 2011

I must say that this place was a breath of fresh air amidst the sensory overload that is Istiklal street and surrounding areas. I would highly recommend staying here for a couple of days if you are interested in shopping at, or visiting, Istiklal street (a very famous turkish shopping street).

I was a little in over my head in istanbul- I had a feeling that people were constantly after my money, trying to scam me all the time, and basically treating me as the obvious tourist that I was (6´2", light hair, blue eyes, spankin´ new D600 camera around my neck). All this was exacerbated by the fact that I traveled alone, and I hadn´t really done much research before I went to Istanbul. Turkey is a place where you need to do a lot of research (and ideally, have local friends), to avoid tourist traps and potentially dangerous situations.

For the first time since I got to Istanbul, I felt relaxed and welcome in Rapunzel hostel. When I arrived I was greeted by Kia, a very pleasant and friendly guy. Apparently, he had just started a few days before, but it was hard to notice, as he seemed to know the ins and outs of the business already. At night I met one of the owners, Selen, who was charming and helpful, and gave me many tips on what to do in istanbul.

The hostel is more akin to a hotel, or rather to an american college dormitory (brought back flashbacks, actually! ), than a hostel, since I don´t think that there were any rooms with a lot of people in them. Seemed like the room sizes were more around 2-4 people. The feeling of the place is a refreshingly laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. The other tenants were quiet (but friendly) when I stayed there, and seemed like they were a little older than the usual 18-year old crowd at other hostels (24-30). But I´m sure that is pretty seasonal.

The rooms are spacious, and pretty basic. At first I was worried about the noise from the streets, but the double windows do a great job of keeping the room quiet. Also, they do a great job of keeping the room extremely hot... Thankfully, each room has a large, industrial-like fan, which to me actually made it very pleasant to be in the room (I like wind). The showers are better than they look, and also worked well. The bed and pillows were comfortable, and there was a lockable locker available in the room. All in all, it´s not a luxurious place, but it´s a very cozy and friendly place, and extremely well positioned. In fact, the location at first is hard to find, and when you do it does in fact need a bit of a leap of faith.... the entrance is in a back street, up a few steps behind a coke machine. At night, (to me, at least) the streets needed a bit of getting used to, as they can be a bit intimidating if you´re not familiar with the area. It´s best to arrive during the daytime. Still, once you are at the hostel, it does feel like a safe haven- honest, friendly and fair-priced, which to me was better than when I stayed at the Marmara Pera, a few blocks up the street.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dva3d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Prague, Czech Republic
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2011

The location was good, but the hostel was a bit overpriced. There were no towel included in the price and the rooms were quite small. The lookout was nothing much and the very near minaret produced it`s prayers at late night or at very early morning.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank szombat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 252 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2011

Just returned from a five-night stay in Istanbul and stayed at the Rapunzel Hostel. I stayed in the 6-bed dorm and found it immaculately clean, and I loved how big the shower was, nearly twice the size of what I usually find in hostels! The front desk staff was extremely friendly, courteous, and helpful (one gentleman took the time to help me plan how to visit Chora Church by public transportation, and his knowledge of the city saved me an extra twenty minutes of walking). Best of all, in my opinion, was the rooftop terrace, a small but pleasant spot to enjoy a snack, and the building's security: you have to be buzzed in by the front desk, which as a young solo female traveler made me feel safe. Internet was free and worked well, and they even had a laptop for guests to use if you didn't bring your own.

There were a few things I wasn't crazy about, and unfortunately they seem like the sort of things the hostel won't really be able to change. One is that while they are close to a tram stop, in between the tram and the hostel is a huge hill, and climbing it several times a day gets old pretty quickly. The other is that, while the room I was in had a big fan, we still thought it was too hot to have the windows closed and the street the hostel is on, while small, turned out to be very noisy! I closed the windows as an experiment and the noise was blocked out to a tolerable level, but it was simply too hot to sleep that way which meant we had to deal with loud traffic all night long. In the cooler months when the fan is enough this probably wouldn't be a problem, but if I had known about it I certainly would have brought earplugs. One final note is that the hostel does take some effort to find; even armed with the map and photo they sent me in advance, I still got lost, as not all street names are marked and the photo they have doesn't show the steps up to the door, making it look different. Definitely go armed with the hostel's phone number if you're not taking a taxi (and if you do take a taxi, use the Turkish directions the hostel helpfully sends out before your trip!).

On the whole, I was quite satisfied with my stay and would stay here again on a future visit to Istanbul. I would particularly recommend this to other solo travelers willing to put up with a bit of distance and noise to stay someplace safe where you really feel that the staff is looking out for you!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Equestrian13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
asia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 4, 2011

We stayed in a twin room ensuite recently for 1 night - the worst value for money in terms of accommodation during our 2 week stay in turkey. Reasons:
(1) the twin room has no air condition (so imagine how hot it will be in summer), so we had to open the windows all day/night; (2) the hostel directly faces a hospital in a noisy side street (imagine the noise level - even during the night and early morning hours- since the windows had to be opened all the time for ventilation!); (3) the tap at the basin has NO hot water (only cold water is running); (4) towels are not for free but only for rental (unlike 2 other hostels we stayed in istanbul where they are provided FREE); (5) breakfast is not delicious and meagre in portion and comes in a standard plate (ie. 2 tiny biscuits, 3 cubes of cheese, 3 slices of tomato, 3 slices of cumumber cut horizontally, 4 olives, 2 slices of water melon, + bread); (6) brteakfast served in a crowded and small space beside the reception at the entrance; (7) thin mattress and thin piece of blanket (or is that bedsheet?); (8) no signboard on the outside of building (are the owners stinging on that as well?)
The positives are: (1) friendly and helpful counter staff; (2) clean room.
Overall, you can get much better value elsewhere for the price u pay at this hostel. The owners need to give a serious consideration for the value they are giving versus the price they charge.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank guynextdoor73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RapunzelGuesthouse, Manager at Rapunzel Hostel, responded to this review, June 5, 2011
1) Rapunzel is a hostel and never stated itself as a hotel. In all reservation websites Rapunzel is seen under hostel, guesthouse or other accommodation categories. In our website or in all the other reservation websites we never mentioned that we had air-conditioning in our rooms. As the temperature rises, we are putting our fans into the rooms again, while some of our guests still ask for blankets.
2) Rapunzel faces a hospital however its an eye-hospital only and this hospital doesn't have the crowd as the crowd of a regular hospital. We never got such a complaint before regarding this. Please check the other reviews of Rapunzel on our webpage.
3) In Rapunzel there is cold water at the basins where people wash their hands or faces and hot-cold water in the showers. We believe that no one should waste hot water to wash his or her hands while some other people are using hot water to take a shower.
4) We inform our guests before their arrival about this towel-hire subject. It’s 2 euro per towel for unlimited use during their stay. This rental fee is used for laundry service to provide our guests with real clean towels.
5) At Rapunzel, after every breakfast we encountered that most people do not eat different parts of their breakfast. In order to reduce throw away we provide enough amount from different types of refreshments (olives, tomatoes, cucumbers), if someone likes some thing very much and asks for more we provide it without hesitation.
6) Rapunzel is a very old, historical building with an age of almost 150 years in an old part of Istanbul made by bricks, instead of concrete design, which reduces the useable area especially at low levels. All buildings in this area have limited area comparing the new buildings in the other parts. Its true that we can not provide our guests huge rooms for breakfast however we used every single square centimeters to give enough comfort to our guests in common and private areas, which also makes our hostel quite cozy and social place.
7) Regarding these mattress and blanket subject we never had a complaint before. We thought that they were very comfy and suitable for people. Please check our old reviews.
8) Rapunzel is running in a very old and historical building with a age of almost 150 years. To have a sign on a historical building in Turkey, establishments need to get permission from the municipality. It’s a long process and takes some time to get this permission. Rapunzel informs its guests before their arrival about the location, outside look of the building and about how to get here and sends a detailed map. This wont be a problem soon because Rapunzel will have its sign within this week.
As a result we are so sorry that we couldn't meet the expectations of our guests, however as mentioned above we think that Rapunzel doesn't deserve such a hard and degrading review particularly if the other reviews are checked.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Accra, Ghana
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2011

This is good value in a city that is not cheap. It is an up-market backpackers hostel. We used both the dormitory and a double room. The double room is small and cosy, with good (little) ensuite bathroom. Tight stairway to get up to the rooms. Very nice little artistic touches. It was perfect for dumping our luggage and exploring Istanbul. A fabulous rooftop cafe a few metres away. A short walk to Galata Tower and lots of little shops and restaurants. A 10 minute walk to the wonderful pedestrian shopping street. A 20 minute walk, or tram ride, across the river to the Egyptian Market and then up the hill to the Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque etc. The staff were quiet but very helpful. A simple but delicious breakfast included. It's not easy to find the first time! Otherwise, we would definitely stay here again on any return to Istanbul.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank crods01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2011

Rapunzel is owned and run by three amazing and lovely people... Within minutes we felt at home and like we were staying at a friend of our best friend!!! The location is as good as it get's in Istanbul --- Galata is the place to be!
The rooms are simple but clean and all with bathrooms. The breakfast is delicious - was looking forward to it every morning!!!

Rapunzel ROCKS!!!

  • Stayed September 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OnThatRoadAgain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal, quebec
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2010

The Rapunzel is owned by three extremely friendly and helpful young turks. They all speak english and have traveled too, so it makes it easier for them to advise you on the best way to get around in and out of Istanbul. The twin bedroom we had was simple but clean, and the bathroom had hot water at all times. The location is great, central enough to be interesting, but out of the noisiest areas, so quiet at night. The front door is locked at all times, so it feels very safe.
The drawbacks: In general the decor could use some extra work, especially in the bedrooms, where the lighting is neon and not conducive to relaxing or reading. The common room is quite pretty with its brick walls, unfortunately it has no windows and is quite tiny, so one doesn't linger. The front bell rings throughout the house, so if someone arrives at 3 in the morning, you can hear it.
I stayed with a girlfriend and we felt safe and welcome.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hirondellebleue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rapunzel Hostel

Property: Rapunzel Hostel
Address: Bereketzade District Bereketzade Cami Str. No:3 Arapcami, Beyoglu, Istanbul 34420, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Beyoglu
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #65 of 1,060 B&Bs / Inns in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Rapunzel Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rapunzel Hostel is centrally located in the hip and happening area of Istanbul, "Galata" (in the Beyoglu district) offering a budget hostel next to the famous Galata Tower. Istiklal Street, with its nightlife, shopping and famous cosmopolitan atmosphere is only 5 min away;as is Tunel square, which is officially the trendiest place in Istanbul right now, with a mixture of cool cafes and bars. The old city "Sultanahmet", which holds all the principal monuments of Istanbul, is also 5 min away by tram. The nearest metro station is 2 min, tram and bus stops are 3 min walking distance away from our beloved hostel. It is a place at the heart of the city, offering you a cosy and comfortable base from which to explore the unforgettable beauty of Istanbul. ... more   less 
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