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“Poor Service at Clean, Well-Located Hotel”

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Side Hotel and Pension
Ranked #324 of 1,140 Hotels in Istanbul
San Francisco
1 review
“Poor Service at Clean, Well-Located Hotel”
Reviewed July 7, 2008

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.

Rosanna Russell
San Francisco
July 7, 2008

  • Liked — clean and well-located
  • Disliked — poor services
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rosannasf2000
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
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Oregon
2 reviews
Reviewed July 6, 2008

we were told that this place was great, and I'm sure it used to be. The breakfast was poor, the room was never below 28 degrees, and the front desk staff was often rude. They refused to take credit cards, which wasn't confirmed upon making our reservations.

Wouldn't stay here again. Too bad, as the chamber maids were very sweet and friendly, and the hostel itself is beautiful.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — price and service
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank aec977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 6, 2008

The pension room was very clean and spotless, although very basic. My single room was spacious, light and reasonably quite.
I stayed in the pension for one night when I first arrived in Istanbul. I was asked to pay upfront in euro, which I thought was a bit odd, and ended up paying more in Lira with their exchange rate since I didn't have euros. Then I returned after traveling in Turkey for 2 weeks. The receptionist just said coldly, " Yes, I remembered you." It came as a shock after getting used to the Turkish hospitality I faced elsewhere. All the staff at the reception have pocker faces. On the other hand, the staff serving breakfast were more friendly (one remembered me!!)
There are a lot of good choices in Sultanahmet if location is a prime concern. If you only care about cleanness then Side is pretty good. However, after staying in other Turkish hotels (or in Turkey in general), I feel staying in a more personable place makes a trip much more memorable.

  • Liked — big and very clean rooms
  • Disliked — Frontdesk staff
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank CA_supergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2008

My boyfriend and i stayed here at the beginning of May. We had a room at the front of the hotel with a shared bathroom.

It is excellent value for it's proximity to the tourist attractions in Sultanahmet.

Sharing a bathroom was not a problem at all everything was beutifully clean and the staff were helpful.

Breakfast on the terrace was great.

  • Liked — Location
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mortib01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wodonga
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 16, 2008

The pension room was great- clean, bright and tastefully decorated. Value for money at the Side if you can overlook, or even better avoid the rude staff. I witnessed them abusing and threatening clients who were very meek and mild. Just bullies really. Never book nights and then decide that you want to leave early. This seemed to be the subject of some battles. They deduct from your credit card and there is not a thing you can do about it.

  • Liked — room
  • Disliked — service desk
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank angonga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 3, 2008

Booked here before and after a trip - room was basic but spotless. Brekky on the upstairs terrace was traditionally turkish - cucumber, tomatoes, olives & 1/2 bread loaf & tea was really yum - staff up here are nice & friendly. As for reception, depending on who you get & what time of day it is rude and not very unhelpful. Close to sights - blue mosque & aya sofia around the corner so expect a morning wake up prayer call at 5am.

  • Liked — location, cleanliness, rooftop brekky,
  • Disliked — reception staff rude & unfriendly & lacking in manners
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Chooklotto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
2 reviews
Reviewed April 26, 2008

We stayed at the Side Pension for 4 nights. The location is great, rooms are okay for the price and the breakfast was nice. The reception was terrible and not that friendly. I would ask for information and help and the 3 different men who worked reception were grouchy and annoyed when you asked them a question. And don't get them to pick you up at the airport, they over charge you even though they say that the taxi overcharges, The cost of a taxi is so much cheaper!

I would only stay at this place because of location and price but if you have a bit more money to spend, I recommend staying somewhere else with a more friendly reception.

Stayed March 2008
Helpful?
Thank coeccc
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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