My husband and I have just returned from a short break in Istanbul and had 3 very enjoyable nights at the Hotel Sapphire.
On booking the hotel I was contacted and informed of the free shuttle service the hotel provides from the airport. which was a real bonus! It was free just the one way, but only 7 euros per person for the return journey.
On arrival at the hotel ( we were dropped on the adjacent road as the hotel is on a pedestrianised street, which meant a 2 minute walk! ) We were greeted by a lovely young man from the front desk who promptly fetched us a drink and some Turkish delight, which was a lovely gesture. We were also given little Turkish eye pins for good luck..so thoughtful of the hotel.
Check in was straightforward, and carried out sat in the grand entrance lobby, the young gentleman showed us a map of where the hotel was and where in proximity the main attractions of Istanbul were. We were also given information about the leisure facilities and restaurant times..all very comprehensive.
Our room was on the 3rd floor, and while compact in size, the opulence of the room more than made up for it. The bathroom was well stocked with toiletries and plenty of towels and slippers.
Tea and coffee making facilities were provided as was a mini bar which for once was not extortionately priced as most hotels prices for their mini bar contents are truly ridiculous.
Our double sized bed was comfortable and the room had the option of air conditioning.
A free safe was handy and the TV was great.
Breakfast at the hotel was good with plenty of choice but if you like a full English this isn't on the menu! However there was an omelette station and fried eggs to order.
The hotel is very central in the old town and all the main tourist attractions are within walking distance. Also the hotel is surrounded by excellent restaurants the majority of which were very reasonable. The main street outside the hotel after dark is very pretty with twinking lights. The area is also very safe. One street down is a main road with plenty of touristy shops which leads to the banks of the river and the Galeta bridge. The views from the middle of this bridge are stunning both the skylines of the old town and the new town were beautiful.
We visited the main attractions, but had the most fun in the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, where all the shop keepers are game for a bit of friendly bartering! We came away with lots of bargains ( or so we hoped!!! )
Istanbul is an amazingly diverse capital, one which I would recommend to anyone. What my husband and I particularly liked was the lack of rowdy youngsters, the old town is certainly a place for a more mature clientele and a very international one too.
Our last evening after a full day of walking and sightseeing we made use of the hotels leisure facilities and enjoyed a sauna and a refreshing dip in the pool.
On departure we were presented with gifts of Turkish delight and a set of apple tea with cups/saucers and spoons which again was a wonderfully kind gesture.
Even before arriving home I received a lovely email from the hotel manager ensuring we had enjoyed our stay and would be welcomed back anytime at a discounted price.
Collectively all these thoughtful little gestures makes this hotel an exceptional place to stay. I can certainly understand why it consistently rates highly with guests. When I return to Istanbul I would not consider staying anywhere else.
Well done Hotel Sapphire- keep up your excellent work!
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- Also Known As:
- Sapphire Hotel Istanbul