I chose Urban Suites partly because of the rooftop terrace, which was wonderful indeed. Too bad the hotel's website and other listings fail to mention that the only way to reach it from the first floor rooms is by walking up several flights--there is no elevator access. Once I made the climb only to discover that the terrace, which is advertised as available 24/7, was locked. Big disappointment.
Before arriving, I emailed Urban Suites for directions and received instructions that started with "When you come Taksim you have to walk to German Hospital..." When I arrived at Taksim, I saw at least four streets leading off Taksim Square and no sign for German Hospital, so I took a taxi. The poor taxi driver had to phone the property four times before receiving adequate directions--though I learned later the property is only a few blocks from Taksim. Why all the trouble?
Because of a series of problems and misunderstandings during my stay, I wanted to see my final bill ahead of time rather than wait for my 4am departure--not a good time of day for handling money matters! Although I was assured it would be ready for me, I had to phone several times before finally receiving a bill--which was, as I had feared, incorrect. It took several tries to finally reach the price that had been agreed upon months earlier. I was not allowed to pay in advance, which was bewildering. When I finally did pay at 4am and asked for a receipt for my cash payment, I was refused.
Others have mentioned the small room size, which, to me, was a minor problem compared to the other headaches. (The only place to put belongings is in the standard-issue hotel style armoire.)
I emailed the above complaints to the owner before writing this review. He was eager to make amends and offered me two very generous choices. I accepted one of them--and never heard from him again. We had been in contact everyday and I had been impressed by his unparalleled commitment to customer service, but it has now been several weeks and I have not received a reply, despite several inquiries. In fact, I was worried that something might be wrong until I came to this site and saw that he has been responding to his happier clientele.
I fell in love with Istanbul and will be returning within a few months, but I will not be staying at Urban Suites. Even if the owner finally remembers me and belatedly offers to make good on his promise, I have no reason to trust him anymore.
I stayed at two other hotels while traveling in Istanbul and Cappadocia. Thanks to them, I know what Turkish hospitality is really like. And it's not what I got before, during or after my stay at Urban Suites.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Urban Suites Istanbul offers an authentic Istanbul experience along with the urban temptations of the Cihangir district,famous for its gourmet tastes and entertaining night life. 7 of our open-plan luxury suites feel more like loft apartments than standard hotel rooms. All suites are minimum 40 square meters and designed in an art deco-modern style for your ultimate pleasure.Every conceivable comfort has been considered. High fixed-end accessories and marble bathroom, hardwood floors, queen-size bed, a living room setting with a huge sofa and in-room kitchenettes equipped with espresso machines create a luxury loft vibe. You can enjoy a unique panaromic view of the Bosphorus whether in your room or on the terrace along with wine and friends. ... more less
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