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“Wonderful”
Review of Hotel Empress Zoe

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Hotel Empress Zoe
Ranked #33 of 1,159 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 4, 2013

We stayed in the Maison Zoe Maisonette (duplex suite). It was perfect for us (4 adults). It had 2 bedrooms and a common bath with a second floor family room area with 2 separate terraces with great views. The staff was outstanding. Super helpful. Included breakfast was delicious. After a day of sightseeing it was nice to come back and have a glass of wine in their eating area. They secured our airport pickup and also secured our taxi for the return trip. Can't say enough nice things about the staff. the building has tremendous character, but don't book if can't do steps. if that isn't a bother then this is a great place and super location. safe and clean.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank travela03456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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365 - 371 of 777 reviews

Reviewed February 3, 2013

This was a lovely hotel to stay at apart from one small thing which I'll come to in a moment. We stayed in the special double room, which has a really cosy atmosphere, a terrace looking south to the Sea of Marmara, and a small bathroom with shower. It was a very comfortable room to be in, especially on cold January nights.

On arrival I was a little nervous as there were workmen and dust sheets around and a floor being mopped. I needn't have worried. There were small renovations underway, no doubt timed for when the hotel had very few guests and the evidence disappeared without trace. This also meant, sensibly, that for the first morning we were asked to identify which bits of the wide breakfast menu we wanted them to provide. On other mornings when the hotel was fuller the full spread was laid out. the breakfast was delicious - usual tomato, cheese, cucumber and olives; great pastries and bread; delicious scrambled eggs - both plain and turkish style with peppers and tomato; wonderfully creamy yoghurt with pomegranate seeds to sprinkle on top; and of course excellent coffee.

The breakfast area, which turns into an informal bar in the evening, is a series of four little rooms arranged around the kitchen area. One of these rooms has a cosy stove.

Staff (and there seem to be lots of them) were unfailingly friendly and helpful ( particularly the lovely woman in charge of breakfast and her little team).

The hotel is brilliantly located just 5 minutes walk from Agia Sofia, Topkapi and the Blue Mosque. In January there were few tourists about so it was very peaceful - the local streets are full of restaurants which I guess will be heaving in the season. Because of the hotel being on the edge of this I would think you could miss most of the sales pitches from restaurants if you didn't want to run the gauntlet of the main street.

Why not 5 circles? I would have knocked just half a point off if I could have done so on TripAdvisor for the following reason. I have a personal preference for reasonable temperatures in hotels. We found the Empress Zoe very overheated. We had a bit of a struggle getting the radiator in the room to turn down (though we managed eventually and so didn't need to get the staff to help) which caused a night of interrupted sleep and we were also more than warm at breakfast and in the public bits of the hotel. I may be being a tad unfair here, and I suspect a desire for very warm atmospheres in winter may be a Turkish characteristic as we experienced a similar issue in restaurants and other places, but it did mean Empress Zoe didn't, quite, hit the excellent button. But boy foes it come close. I'll be back.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank NCPG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Ist trip to Istanbul with my 2 kids. Rooms are truly authentic so it does not have to fake authenticity. Lovely shady private courtyard for breakfast or glass of wine. Roof top sun bathing on comfy loungers with views of old city was my teen age daughters favorite" get away from parents spot". Rooms were vintage and large, suite-like with arched doorways, wood and stone.I will go there again anytime. A block away from 4 Seasons Hotel.

Room Tip: Narrow stairs to get to upstair rooms, so not great for those with gait instability
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank uncgirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

It's the location and wonderful garden that make this hotel a little find. Although surrounded by many other hotels, b&b's and guesthouses, it stands out - thanks to its quirky interior, friendly staff and tasty breakfast. It's not on the cheap side, but worth every cent.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank MarlenP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Despite having read reviews about the nice location it wasn't until we were there that I was to truly appreciate the charm of the location. You are in the centre of the old town, round the corner from the four seasons and a short walking distance to the blue mosque that I realised that this was not only a sweet, tasteful hotel but that the location was a gem.

We stayed in the courtyard suite - very spacious and good to relax in before going out - soaking up the enchanting environment. We also enjoyed the view of the Bosphorus from the roof.

You do have a to take taxis to the newer parts of town for restaurants; but its worth it to come back to the quaintness of old town and escape into your own oasis.

I would always recommend this hotel if it hits your budget or if you want to splurge and make a weekend away something more special.

Room Tip: Courtyard suite - fabulous for couples and those wanting to relax in their room. It was large and s...
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mademoiselle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

I am at risk of simply duplicating the last few great reviews, but I still think it's worth stressing what a great place this hotel is! Let's start with the location - it is brilliant, close to all the obvious attractions and at the end of a bustling street of authentic bars and restaurants. It is right near to the mosque but as someone else said, the call to prayer simply adds to the ambience of the place. It is a lovely quiet location, with minimal traffic noise.

The room (302) was ideal for us - it was small with garden views, and also a view of the old Hamam and the sea in the distance. The whole place was wonderfully clean, and the area near the bar and where you eat breakfast had a wood fire in the evening where you could have a drink before venturing out, or simply relax in the lovely surroundings.

I was a bit worried about the mention in an earlier to the cats - however even though I'm not a big cat lover, I would just like to say that the 1 or 2 cats that belong to the hotel are lovely and again add to the place.

It is a quirky place, that has spiral staircase and steep steps so clearly not suitable for everyone, but if this isn't a problem stay there when you visit Istanbul. We will definitely stay at this hotel again - other than the Four Seasons which is about 1 minute walk away, and 5 times the cost, I don't think there is a better hotel in Istanbul.

Room Tip: 302 - small double room, very light and airy.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Janewrexham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2013

Most enchanting boutique hotel
Walking distance to most attractions
Loved the homemade breakfasts
We did find the younger receptionists quite offhand and not very friendly
A steep spiral staircase to access rooms may not appeal to many
But so very Turkish and atmospheric

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Julie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Empress Zoe

Address: Akbiyik Caddesi, No:10, Istanbul 34122, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#53 Family Hotel in Istanbul
#74 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#167 Business Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: $69 - $160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 25
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Also Known As:
Empress Zoe Hotel Istanbul

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