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“A perfect place to enjoy and discover Istanbul!”

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Side Hotel and Pension
Ranked #323 of 1,160 Hotels in Istanbul
Reviewed January 16, 2008

I have been several times in this hotel and I always desire to come back. It has a perfect combination of location-quality-price that make this hotel a key to discover and enjoy the ancient part of the city. The rooms are clean and quite. The service is very friendly... I will never forget the breakfast in summer, when you can stay at the terrace and enjoy spectacular views of the Sultanhamet mosque, the Aya Sophia museum and the Marmara Sea.
Unforgetable!

  • Stayed: March 2006, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Hboricua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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290 - 296 of 407 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2008

The Side is in Sultanahamet district, a few minutes from Aya Sophia, the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. This is *the* area for hotels and hostels, so a lot of the restaurants and nightlife establishments are geared to tourists. The Side's location means that you can get to many
of the big tourist attractions in Istanbul very easily, but you might not see other sides to the city if you stay in the area all the time.

Excellent value, particularly out of season. Rooms start at 23 euros per night, without a shower. Our 'with shower' room wasn't much more, Note for those on a very tight budget: if I stayed again, I would be quite happy to share a bathroom as they were so clean, and never seemed to be in use!

The building is divided into hotel and pension. The hotel rooms are rather more expensive, but I didn't actually see how the rooms compared. The pictures on the excellent Side website gave an accurate idea of how our room looked, so it is worth checking those.

One word of warning: not all the pension rooms are quite so good. I specifically requested a room on a high floor with plenty of light, because of I had heard not all the rooms had windows. I got just what I wanted, though the rooms all seem very small, but i did see another (even smaller ) pension room in passing: a three-bed room with a tiny window.

The pension rooms are very simply and tastefully decorated, with a comfortable decorative-iron bed. It was quite small, however, with limited wardrobe space and very few drawers, but that didn't diminish its overall charm. This is a clean comfortable place and exceptional value so my quiblles are very small. The bathroom was roomy and really
clean - loads of hot water. The view was over old Turkish houses in a quiet street to the posh Four Seasons hotel at the end.

Downstairs there is a narrow communal area with two computers for checking emails (small extra cost) free tea, and a little library. The
desk staff are mostly friendly and helpful.

The breakfast room is on the pretty roof terrace - views over the minarets. The Turkish breakfast was included in the price and excellent - very healthy - with tomatoes, cucumber, olives, very fresh
bread, little cheese triangle, boiled egg and jam. This could come as a shock to an 'eggs and bacon' person, I suppose! I got to like this kind of breakfast so much we sometimes make it back home. Very friendly service.

During the summer, people bring tea or beer up to the pretty roof terrace and sit out. We were here in the winter and watched snow fall to the sound of the muezzin on Christmas day.

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank spincat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2007

we stayed here for 4 nights in one of the basement apartments. it was clean and had windows that opened so we were pretty happy. its supposed self catering facilities were one electric hotplate with two elements and a limited amount of equipment but was adequate for the basic food we prepared.the parts of it that we saw were beautifully presented. the older guys who run it were really helpful, the younger ones much less so but could be bothered when pressed for information. breakfast was fresh and filling and always served with a smile in the enclosed area on the roof. the only drawback was their recommendation of a travel agent next door - beware.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank midlife_trip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2007

We booked an apartment. Sounds good doesn't it, but in reality we'd have slit our wrists had we stayed there longer (3 nights before we escaped the horror of Turkey). Man the room was depressing.

GOOD STUFF
* apartment was spacious & relatively clean
* had a separate lounge area to watch TV
* had good overhead lighting (to make up for the dungeon feel and dark dark room no doubt)
* breakfast was on a pleasant terrace
* it had a FRIDGE (magnificent asset when the weather is hot)
* good location in Sultanahmet
* reasonably priced for Istanbul

NOT SO GOOD STUFF
* below ground location so incredibly dark & unappealing
* thin towels, no bathmat, no hand towels
* the whole bathroom got wet when you showered - the Turks have this bizarre habit of putting the toilet right next to the shower with nothing to separate them- hence EVERYTHING gets a thorough dousing, so only two towels is a huge annoyance
* darned noisy (due to being below ground and the yowling of the muezzin)
* kitchen didn't have a tea towel, kettle or glasses & only one sad little mug
* hotel doesn't take credit cards for payment - only cash which was a nuisance as we were about to leave the country and had precious little cash left
* usual unfriendly disinterested (male as always) staff
* breakfast was dead ordinary - and gee it'd be nice if the folk serving would smile and be pleasant
* really dubious safety on the electricity points/plugs in the apartment
* fan in room didn't work; and the loo leaked (a common problem shared with many across Turkey)
* last but not least, the transfer we booked from the airport took three times longer than normal due to a lot of stuffing around on the
driver's behalf (it's a long story) - we were seriously cheesed off about this. It's as if they think our time is not precious and we can
be stuffed around because they want to scam someone else. I cannot begin to tell you how angry I was about this and it did have an impact on my impression of the hotel because they booked it for us.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ducktalk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2007

I think it is important to point out, that this is a budget hotel. Even a guest staying in the Hotel portion as opposed to the Pension option, should be aware of this fact.

The location is superb, as many people have noted. If your time in Istanbul is short, this is a good area.

Upon checking into the hotel, a gentleman behind the counter said, "are you late." On behalf, of British Airways, we apologize, I wanted to say. Not exactly Turkish Hospitality at its best.

We were given one of the "nicest rooms" according to front desk agent. It was on the third floor, so a bit of a hike with luggage and no elevator. The room was painted in a nice blue color but other that that it had the feel of a college dorm room. The beds were as hard as the floor with a skimpy pillow and sheets and thick as paper. The room was air conditioned, which was nice. The bathroom was small and the shower was adequate.

The complimentary breakfast on the terrace was below expectations. Olives, bread, juices and coffee and tea. Also tomatoes. It was served on a lovely terrace with amazing views of the Sultanhamet area.

I actually found myself, dreading this hotel, upon returning from touring Istanbul. Perhaps it was that so many guide books recommend this hotel. We met about 6 employees of the Side hotel. With the exception of a very friendly housekeeper, none of them were particularly friendly.

When considering this hotel, be aware this is a budget hotel with a good rate in a great area. You will be disppointed if you expect any more than this.

  • Stayed: October 2007
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5  Thank Matt89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2007

We stayed in the Side pension twice during our stay in Turkey. The service was not always the most prompt, but it's a busy place. Certain staff members were not as friendly (some people jusy have a different sense of humour), but others were great. The decor is very nice and bright, and the view of the water, Aya Sofya, and BLue Mosque were great. I don't think this place is exactly a secret, but it seems to be for good reason.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mr_Cee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2007

We were in Istanbul a few weeks ago and chose the Side Hotel for our stay there, after some friends had recommended it to us. The location is brilliant (behind the Blue Mosque, and close to the Aya Sofya a Topkapi Palace) and the service quite good. The rooms are medium sized, clean and quiet. We asked for a room with AC but actually didn't use it much since the weather was cooler than we expected. Breakfast is traditional turkish and good (loved those olives), and is served on the terrace which has fantastic views.

For our photos of the hotel please see here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/taniaho/tags/sidehotel/

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank tania73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Side Hotel and Pension

Address: Utangac Sok. No 20/22, Istanbul 34122, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#85 Best Value Hotel in Istanbul
#168 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#197 Family Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: $35 - $66 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet, this hotel is a 4-minute walk from Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. It offers guestrooms with free WiFi and air conditioning and flat TV. Side Hotel features a delightful rooftop terrace with views over the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia , the Blue Mosqueand Bosphorus . It is ideally located just 250 m from the Marmara Sea. Guests can enjoy a breakfast in the morning, served with an extensive variety of both Western and Turkish items. Free tea service is also available throughout the day. The Side hotel is situated 1.5 km from the Grand Bazaar. Old Istanbul‘s shopping, dining and entertainment districts are only a minute walk from the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Side Hotel Istanbul

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