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“5 star comfort at 3 Star prices”

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The Empress Theodora Hotel
Ranked #93 of 1,100 Istanbul B&B and Inns
Reviewed May 11, 2011

Located in the heart of Sulatanahmet, and easy walk to two tram lines, this hotel is a gem. Breakfasts are always fresh fruit, 3 kinds of olives, tomatoes, cereals, fresh fruit, coffee and juice and pastries. When compared to a 5 star hotel I stayed in earlier on my trip this was a far better fare.
The room has outlets for the computer, cell phone, coffee maker and hair dryer and you don't have to move the furniture to find them.
Arif of Roadrunner Travel, has planned this hotel well and it is affordable at 60 Euro per room including breakfast and wireless internet that actually works!
Views of Galata from the breakfast terrace and the mosques.
The in room refrigerator and mini-bar is accessible for storing your groceries and fruit and fresh water bottles are provided daily at no charge.

Room Tip: We had a second floor room. No elevators.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Harlan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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97 - 103 of 191 reviews

Reviewed May 6, 2011

We booked rooms in this hotel because all the Tripadvisor reviews - up to that point -were very good. I'm glad we did as it was excellent value for money. The hotel's website quoted 70 euros for a single room; then we were told 60 euros when we booked which compared very well with other hotels. But when we were there the manager gave us an extra discount because of the offer on their website. We stayed for 5 nights and paid 54 euros per night per double room for single occupancy. You can have the weekday discount OR free transfer from Ataturk airport (we came into the other airport so didn't use it) OR a bus pass. I don't know how long this offer lasts and I wonder if the price will go up in the summer.
I'm surprised at the last two reviews, especially the one that said: "The breakfast's were OK - nothing special but were fine for a light continental." Hmm, one morning I counted 52 separate items on the breakfast buffet - including 14 different types of homebaked breads, rolls and cakes (my favourite was the sugared walnut bread), 4 types of cheese, meat slices, hot frankfurters, stuffed peppers, tomatoes, yogurt, honey, olives, strawberries, fruit salad, dried fruits, etc. As well as the boiled eggs on the buffet, they offered fresh omelettes or other eggs made to order. Not what I'd call "a light continental". On a couple of mornings it was warm enough to have breakfast outside on the open part of the roof terrace which was a real treat.
We ate so much for breakfast that we never needed lunch - which makes it even better value.
We were given two good size rooms at the front. Great view of the illuminated 240-year-old Zeynep Sultan mosque opposite.
However, the noise of the trams under my window was a problem for me. My friend had the room next door but the noise didn't disturb her much. They offered to change my room but because of the previous review about the building work at the back (posted just a few days before I arrived) I didn't take up their offer at first. But on the third day I moved to another room (overlooking an untidy area next door). It was very quiet and I slept soundly for the next three nights. There was no building work when we were there.
My first impression of the bedroom was that it was a bit gloomy, but I soon realised that it was just that the lighting wasn't brilliant. In fact, on closer inspection I could see that it was freshly decorated with rather expensive-looking wallpaper. Big wardrobe (but only four hangers). Excellent showers - I'd like one like that in my place! Nice large bath towels. The bedrooms and bathrooms - and in fact the whole hotel - were spotlessly clean.
The staff were very pleasant and helpful and a little shy. I didn't get the impression that they were on commission - (see previous review).
We loved the location of the hotel, just a short walk from the main sights: Blue Mosque, Haghia Sophia, Topkapi, Basilica Cistern, as well as the Gulhane Park (a must on a Sunday afternoon), Sogukcesme Sokagli with the painted wooden houses etc. Close enough to pop back for a loo stop or a change of clothes.
Also, it was five minutes' walk from the dozens of restaurants in and around Divanyolu Caddesi (choose one with a terrace overlooking the Blue Mosque at night - breathtaking).
And, of course, the hotel is next to the tramline - and a minute's walk from the tram stop.
All in all, excellent - but if you're a light sleeper you'll need to ask for a quiet room.

Room Tip: Make sure you ask for a quiet room when booking
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  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank JudyLEdgware
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2011

Although the location was convenient, the service was not hospitable. The front desk personnel only recommend locations that they receive a commission from, and REFUSE to mention or recommend other places. I wanted to buy a leather jacket and the front desk would not verify an address I had written down. A taxi driver advised me of a district that specialized in leather goods at reasonable prices and also gave me the address. I wanted to verify the address with the front desk staff and they told me that they only knew of the store next door that sold jackets. I could not believe the service, and I would strongly recommend not staying at this hotel. There is a plethora of hotels and hostels nearby, situated in vibrant neighborhoods with plenty of restaurants. Unfortunately, I do not know the district name; however, it is the area with all of the hostels about 10 minutes away by foot.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with friends
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4  Thank traveller19060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2011

We were booked to stay here for 5 nights through Intrepid Travel as part of an Istanbul Comfort City Break, but only ended up staying for 2 nights before deciding to move hotels. On arrival the staff were friendly, and throughout our stay they did try to resolve our issues and be approachable, but the fact remained that we had paid far too much considering the quality of the rooms and facilities at the hotel. Our room on the 1st night was at the front, and had a broken bed (the matress was literally bowed in the middle), and was therefore extremely uncomfortable. The room also had poor double glazing, so the noise from the tram (which is literally under the window) was awful. On the plus side the bathrooms were lovely and the rooms were spotless.

We moved to a room at the back on the second night as we only managed to get a few hours sleep, but the bed was still really hard and uncomfortable (I weigh 10 stone 3 and was getting numb arms and legs when I lay in one position for too long). The room didn't have the problems with noise from the tram, but did have noise from the building site next door - with work going on until 3 in the morning (we ended up having to go outside and ask the builders to stop). Again the room was spotless and the bathroom was lovely - just a shame we could not sleep! The breakfast's were OK - nothing special but were fine for a light continental.

My main problem with this hotel is the cost in comparison to the rooms. We paid £84 per night to stay at this hotel, and it really is not worth it. We moved hotels on our thrid night and paid the exact same price for a beautiful boutique hotel that did not even compare! The difference between the two was startling and made us really quite angry that the Empress can charge these prices for what is esentially a clean 2 star.

If your looking for (an expensive) 2 star hotel thats clean and central, and you can sleep on a brick with lots of noise then it's OK, but as a 'Comfort' option it was terrible! Very dissapointed....

Room Tip: Don't do it! Better hotels nearby!
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AlexOLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2011

HI.,,I stay in this hotel for a few days in a standard double room,,,the location is great,near to many attractions,restaurants,and tram line(GULHANE STATION),the breakfast was good,although one day there was no coffee and the buffet was not ready on time,,the staff is friendly,the room was clean and nice,may be you will have little problems to storage your luggage,,close space in the shower for a regular person but hot water all the time,and too much noise from the aircondition,the noise from tram was not problem,,
i beleive this hotel was value for money

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ikaria-sunset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2011

Perfect location, just meters away from the Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque. Nice sized rooms with TV & a minibar.
Highlight was the breakfast with a lovely rooftop area with good views.
Recommended.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank Andrew_White
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2010

Location near everything. Walk to anything and close to tram line. Nice staff.

Stayed: October 2010, traveled solo
1  Thank moosenp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Empress Theodora Hotel

Address: Cankurtaran Mahallesi Alemdar Caddesi No:16 | Sultanahmet-Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #93 of 1,100 B&Bs / Inns in Istanbul
Price Range: $27 - $110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Empress Theodora Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
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