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“Very good value, lovely people”

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Side Hotel and Pension
Ranked #324 of 1,140 Hotels in Istanbul
Washington State
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very good value, lovely people”
Reviewed April 7, 2012

We stayed here for four nights in early April. The hotel's location is great; on a relatively quiet street, but in the heart of the tourist Sultanahmet quarter, within 1 block of major sights and tourist-y wants like travel agents, cash machines, food, etc. We booked the first night in a single for the first arrivee, but due to snafus at the airport, they upgraded her to the triple that we were to use for the rest of the stay for no extra charge. We added two nights to the original booking, no problem. They sent a shuttle to the airport in the middle of the night, no problem.

Nb: the hotel charges in Euros, and requires cash. There's a cash machine 1 block away.

Breakfast is minimal, but OK, a little monotonous. The deck view at breakfast is fabulous from outside, inside is a little stuffy. The room was functional, clean, and had some charming touches; double-glazed windows reduced any street noise (not eliminated - apparently reserving a room in the back helps). Be aware there's no elevator, so if you have a basement room and you're heading for breakfast, you've got four flights of stairs ahead of you.

The staff are lovely, especially the maids. They insisted on carrying luggage, helped us getting settled in our rooms, going the extra mile with breakfast when we moved up to the top deck and smiling and being pleasant with every encounter. The owner was helpful and friendly, especially when we were introduced by a long-time patron of the hotel that we'd met at breakfast.

Overall, we'd definitely return next time we're in Istanbul, should we have the fortune to return. Can't be beat for the price for a hotel in the most touristy section of the city.

Room Tip: Mixed reviews on the basement flat, some liked, some didn't, laid out more like a railroad flat.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bobagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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405 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
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English first
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2012

We stayed at the Side Pension for 5 nights. The rooms were super clean and comfortable.
The Location is prime- 2 minutes from Hagia Sophia, 5 mins to the Blue Mosque, 5 mins to the tram station.
The staff were always friendly and helpful.
to sum it up: for the price they offer, this is probably the best deal in town. lots of hotels in its vicinity charge much more. they might have bigger rooms or somthing like that- but what does it matter when in Istanbul? who wants to stay in the room anyway...?
Highly reccomended!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Eyalm16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2012

For our 4 night-stay in Istanbul, we decided to spend 3 nights in a more budget friendly hotel and splurge out a bit for our last one. Side Hotel and Pension falls into the first category but did not disappoint one single bit.

The location is perfect. Really, perfect. Just consider that the Four Seasons is this hotels neighbor and that should be enough. If it's not, let me just say that Haghia Sophia and the Blue Mosque are 2-3 minutes away on foot (unless you walk EXTREMELY slowly), easy to find, in the heart of Sultanahmet. The two aforementioned sights are visible from the hotel's terrace, but not to their full size so better enjoy the joys of the terrace in its own merit and then chill by the benches in the Sultanahmet square for the best view of the two you can possibly have.

We stayed at a pension room with its own bathroom for 50 euros a night. The room had street view (which we found rather charming, since it's a calm street and it gives the room some flavor) and it was very clean. The windows were protected by metal bars which offered a feeling of safety without hindering the view.

There is free tea (3 flavours no less!) at all times and also free wifi.

The breakfast did not have the glamour of a big buffet, but if you ask me, I'd say it gives the feeling of eating in someone's home; you get what is more or less a standard turkish breakfast, i.e. a hard boiled egg, tomato and cucumber slices, some olives, 4 bread slices, butter, jam and cream cheese. There is also tea, coffee, milk and hot cocoa. All this is included in the room price - for some extra turkish liras you can order a turkish coffee (a personal favorite) or an omelette (though not as rich as the photo at the hotel may suggest, it was tasty but slightly overpriced). We did see breakfasting neighbors taking breakfast additions out of their bags and that's an excellent idea since, nice as it may be, after 3 (or more) days it became slightly repetitive.

Overall, worry not, there are SO many places where you can get delicious food that breakfast should be the least of your worries.

Staff - friendly and helpful. They can arrange cheap airport transfer, but I would still go for public transportation (tram + metro) - the closest tram station is Sultanahmet and it's about 6 minutes on foot (and that if you are carrying lugage). Takes approx. 50 minutes (no traffic danger) and will always be cheaper than any taxi/shuttle. Unless of course you succumbed to all those offers of buying carpets at the Closed Market (Kapali Carsi) in which case a shuttle would indeed be more comfortable.

And, as a final note, our last night "fancier" hotel which was 3 times the price of "Side" was not 3 times better - which goes to say that "Side" has indeed very very good value for money.

If you decide to go there, have an excellent time and know that I will be jealous of you!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Arapimou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
148 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2012

Room was clean comfortable but with limited views - who really cares that much when the hotel was so close to the central attractions and the open air top of the building has such spectacular views and chairs to enjoy it from !
Breakfast cold plate was satisfactory.
Staff were helpful.
Overall, you can beat price and position.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank melbournian1950s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
2 reviews
Reviewed March 20, 2012

I stayed at this pension during the Istanbul Boat show and was very happy with it. Simple and spotless. Location was excellent, can see the Blue Mosque out the window and the Sopia Hagia off the terrace. Staff were very helpfull with arranging nice cheap airport transfers. I will be returning any time I come to Istanbul.

Room Tip: No lift so ask for a low room if you can't do stairs
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BrissieDeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Varazdin, Croatia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2012

As most people already said, it it located in the old part of Istanbul, called the Sultanahmet. We Stayed for 4 days, in double rooms without bathroom in the Pansion(the cheapest category they have, 40€ for the room per day).
The rooms are basic, meaning they have two beds, and a table. But as we were walking all day long we didn't need anything more than a bed. Beds are comfy, and it's very quiet, so they have great sleep quality.
Everything is clean, you could says spotless, and the common bathrooms were cleaned a few times a day.
Breakfest, as many others have pointed out is a weakness, but there are good restaurants near (Meat House, Ziya Baba, and one whose name I don't remember)
There is lobby, where you can make instant tea (for free), or just sit around.
The staff are helpful, they know English well enough to help you.
The have free wifi, and 2 computers in the lobby, but you have to pays to use them.
When you check out you can leave you bags in the luggage room until you have to depart which helped us, because we were leaving at 10 PM.

All in all, a very pleasent experience, and if I visit Instanbul again, I'll be back.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cosmicfriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2012

Traditional Turkish architecture is highlighted with gingerbread. This hotel is a class example. The price is low. It is clean, neat and the rooms are large.
Location, location location, here you are in the very middle of Istanbul. And for breakfast, the roof terrace gives visual control of the Bospheros.

Room Tip: All floors are walk-up.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gfdenton
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

Property: Side Hotel and Pension
Address: Utangac Sok. No 20, Istanbul 34400, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#169 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#199 Family Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 50
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Side Hotel Istanbul

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