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“Ideal location and wonderful service”

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Ottoman Hotel Imperial
Ranked #120 of 1,163 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 17, 2014

We were here out of peak season so the location right behind Hagia Sophia, close to the tram line, was ideal. Our room, after requesting a change because a view is essential to me, was big enough, clean, smart and stylish although the mattress was not great. The bathroom was excellent, fab shower, and lots of little touches such as towelling robe, slippers, toiletries,fresh water each day made for a comfortable stay, The staff were all fantastic with big smiles and nothing too much trouble. The restaurant/ breakfast room has lovely views across the rooftops and although we only ate breakfast there all the food was delicious, especially the honeycomb. We were fortunate to get a very good deal for our stay but we would happily stay again at the regular price.

Room Tip: Some lower rooms have windows that look out onto a wall which I do not feel is acceptable without pr...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank wendy r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 16, 2014

We stayed in the Ottoman Imperial both at the beginning and at the end of our Turkish holiday. The location was excellent and the service was impeccable. During our first stay, our room even had its own hamam! The staff arranged taxis for us and confirmed restaurant reservations elsewhere.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank nanacake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

We spent a week in the Ottoman and the welcome from beginning to end was amazing. We especially appreciated check in at 5am!!
Thequality of the reception and service was exceptional. All the staff really happy to help.
The rooms were well appointed and tastefully decorated in Turkish style.
The hotel is perfectly situated in the Sultanahmet area and yet very peaceful. The breakfast buffet catered for everyone's tastes and set us up for very full days of siteseeing in this beautiful and varied city.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Patricia V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We loved the location of this clean and comfortable boutique hotel in the very historic area of Istanbul. The key word here is boutique. We were prepared for a small room based on that description. Our room was directly beside the elevator, not too noisy, and across from the area that all the dirty laundry bags were located, night and day, also not noisy, just unsightly. Our bathroom was up 6 steps and very small. A bit difficult to maneuver during the night. Staff was fine, chamber maids friendly. The breakfast was full of tour groups and just average. We were so close to the Hagia Sofia, we could walk everywhere we wanted. It was located
next to a nice casual restaurant right down the street that had an array of hooka pipes and great salads and pizza with friendly wait staff. I would stay here again but request a larger room.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank piriac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

My friend and I stayed for 3 nights at this hotel and we loved the location and the staff! The hotel offers free wifi which was really handy for us.

Staff: They helped us with everything possible - restaurant and taxi bookings, getting us tickets for the museums / sights online and printing them out for us, buying headscarves for us in advance so we have these ready for the Blue Mosque, arranging a free surprise birthday cake for my friend - I can go on and on! Many thanks to everyone and especially to Delara, Gamze, Rustem and Erhan :)

Location: Just perfect - You can walk to most of the "top 10" sights from the hotel. The Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) is just round the corner, and you can reach the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, the Topkapi Palace, the Archaeological Museum and the Hippodrome on foot easily (they are all within a 10 to 20 minute walking radius from the hotel). We walked to the Grand Bazaar in less than 30 minutes and the hotel was close enough for us to walk back and offload our ridiculous amount of shopping after a busy morning hackling and bantering with the friendly shop owners and salesmen at the Bazaar. Same goes for the Spice Market (Egyptian Market) the next day!

Hotel room: The room was not the biggest I have seen, but spacious enough to house two single beds, my friend and me, our luggage and our ridiculous amount of shopping. Having been to some smaller rooms in Hong Kong and London, I thought our room was fair value for the price charged, but I guess it depends on what you expect from your room and how long you plan to stay in the room during your trip. We spent most of time venturing outside so room size wasn't our priority. We had a room facing the street, but I slept like a log even with the windows opened. My friend did hear the morning prayers though, so if you need a quiet room, it may be worth asking for this in advance.

Hotel restaurant: I liked the breakfast, especially the fresh honeycomb. Only scrambled eggs and boiled eggs are on offer at the buffet table, but if you would like your eggs sunny-side up, you can ask the staff to prepare these for you at no extra cost. We also had lunch there and tried their "Ottoman cuisine" - we thought the food was great (fried wheat / rice balls were lovely and I liked their ayran (think lassi but not sweet)! The restaurant is called "Matbah" and is actually recommended as a restaurant on p.51 of the current edition of the Lonely Planet pocket guide.

Other restaurants - the hotel staff recommended a kebab restaurant called "Khorsani" (or something like that) and it was great. It is on a side street off Divanyolu Caddesi, which is the most straightforward route to take to go from the hotel to the Grand Bazaar. For dinner, again the staff made a great recommendation - the restaurant is called "Yaka Balik" and is strong on seafood. It is right under the Galata Bridge (very close to the Suleymaniye Mosque as seen on BBC4's "Byzantine"). It is not close to the hotel, but the great thing is that the restaurant offers free transport (car not bus) to and from the restaurant. So you can probably take the free transport to the restaurant for e.g. lunch and then walk over to the Suleymaniye Mosque to continue your afternoon - just ask the hotel staff for information.

Tips:
Currency - we had no problem with any of the ATMs we used and it looks like quite a few shops accept pound sterling and euros (the hotel did), though not sure about the Bazaar stores (we used liras / our cards there).

Topkapi Palace / Archaeological Museum - the Palace is at the top of the hill and the Museum is half way up. There is free transport to the Museum available at the bottom of the hill (the kind of carriers you see at golf courses), so you can take the ride to the Museum and then take a short walk to the Palace. The Museum is currently under renovation, so some parts are not open to the public...

Spice Market / Lokum (Turkish Delight) and Baklava - Hafiz Mustafa ( famous for baklava and lokum) and Haci Bekir (famous for lokum) are both round the corner from the Spice Market on. Hamidiye Caddesi and opposite each other. Hafiz Mustafa has wonderfully friendly staff and they will seal your box of baklava in plastic so they do not get stuck to your clothes in your luggage!

Souvenirs - there is a store right next to the hotel selling plates, bowls, jewellery, carpets etc which the hotel staff recommended. Great if you don't wish to carry a whole dinner service's worth of plates back from the Grand Bazaar.

Bazaars - we stuck to the "half price rule" when bargaining (politely) and it worked well for us. Quite a few of the store owners can speak Japanese (or at least "hi" and "buy / bye"). Some shops (e.g. some of the jewellery shops) will say they do not offer discount, but then you can decide whether you would like to buy from them or not. If you are not in a hurry and can be bothered, I would recommend making a note of what you like (especially jewellery) and search for them and their prices online when you are e.g. back at the hotel, so you don't end up paying loads for something you can buy for a fraction of the price on eBay / Etsy. Example: very good copy of Van Cleef & Arpels Necklace in the Arasta Bazaar selling at 750 liras but which you can get for a quarter of the price on Etsy. In the Spice Bazaar, we stuck to the pharmacies or pharmacy-looking stores where all the goods have price labels on them (but we still managed to bargain a little).

Visas - if you are travelling with a British passport, you will need a visa - good job I found out before I went and got the visa online. Would have been hilariously disastrous if my friend had to travel on her own for her birthday trip over Christmas...

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Cecilia-on-holiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

We had a most lovely room with large windows overlooking the old city. With the windows open you can hear the sounds of the city and calls to prayer. With the windows closed it was very quiet. The bathroom was spacious with an outstanding shower.
The staff were very helpful - from delivery of our bags, to arranging reservations, to assisting us with mailing home a box. Best of all though, is that the hotel is within easy walking distance of many of the city's main attractions. Breakfast was always fresh and a nice variety. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy sitting on the front deck with something cool.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Canadian_traveller78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013 via mobile

The hotel is really just next to Hagia Sophia, however as a positive surprise, it was very quiet all the time. It is almost difficult to imagine any beter location for tourists.

The hotel staff are all very polite and friendly. The restaurants the information desk recommended to us all turned out to be very good value for money. We stayed there for 7 nights, really enjoyed the breakfast every day. There are some varieties each day, lots of choices. They accepted our specisl request for fried eggs and it was very delicious.

There was some noise from the upstair floor one day, but it was not for long.

I would definitely consider this hotel again when we visit Istanbul in future.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
2  Thank Lucky7jpn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ottoman Hotel Imperial

Address: Caferiye Sok. No:6 D:1 Sultanahmet, Fatih, Istanbul 34400, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#72 Family Hotel in Istanbul
#85 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#92 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
#122 Business Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: $44 - $171 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ottoman Hotel Imperial 4*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ottoman Hotel Imperial is situated on the truly premium location in Istanbul, on an elevated position, surrounded by all the major historical and cultural sights in the heart of the old town, Sultanahmet, viewing the impressive Hagia Sophia (St.Sophia, Aya Sofya) Museum. This is absolutely the best location in Istanbul, within easy walking distance of the main monuments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ottoman Hotel Istanbul

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