I write this review from the perspective of someone whose family has run a resort hotel for over 40 years.
My husband and I just visited Turkey where we enjoyed the famed Turkish hospitality throughout our travels with one exception: the Side Hotel and Pension in Istanbul, which was unfortunately recommended by a friend who lives in Istanbul
On the plus side, the hotel is clean, reasonably priced and has an extremely convenient location. Breakfast is served on a lovely terrace with a city view. We would never stay there again, however, because the hotel operators provide poor service.
First, it was extremely difficult to make a reservation. In a city where there are many good English speakers in the tourism industy, the hotel clerks do not speak competent English (despite the fact that the hotel clientele is virtually all English speakers). They refused to take a reservation over the phone or over the internet. They wanted us to fax the reservation, but their fax machine was either broken or shut off for many hours each . I was finally able to make a reservation upon my fifth attempt to fax their reservation form to them. This process took three days.
Secondly, the hotel refuses to accept credit cards for payment. Although they informed us of this policy when we checked in, we were so jet-lagged that we forgot. We almost missed our flight because my husband had to run out and find an ATM machine, which was not close by, to obtain cash.
Thirdly, the day clerk, who was one of the laziest human beings I have encoutered, refused to help us with directions, information about laundry faciltiies or transportation. He referred us to the night clerks, who I had to ask FIVE TIMES to order a cab for us to the airport. They demanded immediate payment before they would do so.
Fourth, the clerks never remembered to give us a wake-up call even after we explained we had lost our travel alarm clock. We understood the reason on the day when we checked out when we had to shake the clerk from a deep sleep so he could unlock the front door so we could leave for the airport.
In short, even though we were paying hotel rates, the Side Hotel provided us with pension service.
I heartily recommend that you consider staying at one of the other nearby hotels.
July 7, 2008
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- Also Known As:
- Side Hotel Istanbul