Stayed on the Pension side, with bathroom, for six nights in June/July 2012. After reading the reviews on Trip Advisor, I was excited to finally arrive and experience Istanbul. The Side Hotel completely blew me away. The location is absolutely flawless - right next to the Four Seasons, just around the corner from all the major tourist attractions of Sultanahmet; whilst Sultanahmet has a reputation for housing all the cheap hostels and backpackers, this place totally bucks the trend with a slightly older, more mature crowd. It's located on a lovely quiet street, yet the busy, more touristy streets with restaurants/bars/live dancing etc are just around the corner if you wish to partake. The rooftop terrace took my breath away when I went up for the first time - absolutely incredible views that must be seen to be believed.
My room was spotless and functional; yes, basic, but had everything I needed. Free WiFi throughout the building and on the terrace. Staff were always warm and friendly, even letting me check in when I arrived at about 9am. No air conditioning, but being on the ground floor I always had a nice breeze through the window and a pedestal fan. Breakfast was delicious - not completely filling for a 20 year old guy, but enough to get you going before purchasing a couple of pastries from street vendors around town. Yes the call to prayer is loud, but it's so atmospheric to be sitting on the roof at twilight, sipping a beer, watching the Blue Mosque illuminate as the call echoes around the city. It only woke me early one morning, but I got a few more hours sleep afterwards - I was so exhausted from all my exploring the other days that I slept right through it.
Istanbul is an absolutely amazing city and the Turkish are so incredibly friendly. My six nights here were definitely the highlight of my trip and made my experience of Istanbul just that much better. Cannot recommend strongly enough and cannot wait to return soon!
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- Also Known As:
- Side Hotel Istanbul