We stayed at Hotel Sapphire in Istanbul for two days, en route to Rome in March. Our selection of this hotel was based on the ratings of the hotel in TripAdvisor, its vicinity to the sights to see in the old city and, of course, the budget. I am happy to say without any reservation that we had rightly selected this hotel on all these points.
The hotel had arranged a free pick-up from the International airport, saving us about 40 Liras. When we reached the hotel, there was a sweet welcome cold drink, a Turkish Sherbet, waiting for us. The room was very clean, with artistic furniture and the breakfast quite delicious. The hotel staff, especially one Mr. Halil- Musa- Deniz, was friendly and efficient and arranged for us Bosporus Cruise and, later, a visit to famous Hamm near the hotel. I recommend all visitors to Istanbul not to miss out on either of these two attractions.
The hotel is a walking distance from the famous Ayasofya. We were mesmerized as much by the stunning architecture and mosaics of Ayasofya as by its history. Built initially by a Christian Emperor as a basilica, it was further nurtured by Ottoman emperors. Such respect for other religion and architecture should be exemplary for all in the present times.
Apart from the historic monuments which we enjoyed visiting, we found a walk through the city sides quite refreshing. On a street right opposite the Blue Mosque, we made friends with one calligrapher – reputed locally, it seems, as Professor Sinan, Jr after the famous architect Sinan who had designed Ayasofya and the underground Cistern. It was a memorable experience to watch his hand dance artistically over a paper and paint calligraphy in Ottoman style.
Given an opportunity, I would like to visit Istanbul again. And again, I would stay at the same Hotel Sapphire. No doubt about it!
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- Also Known As:
- Sapphire Hotel Istanbul