Perhaps we were spoiled at the previous hotel during our stay, I'm just not sure, but if I hadn't booked a non-refundable 5 night stay, I would have gone elsewhere. First let me tell you what I found good about this hotel
1) It is a small but elegant hotel. The entryway and lobby areas are bright and spacious. The rooms were kept clean by a very friendly maid staff
2) The staff, for the most part, are friendly and helpful - to a point. I wonder if it is not that the hotel is a business-type hotel and are more used to calling taxis than to helping someone underestand how to get a bus card to travel in the area. This is just one example.
3) The breakfasts are very well appointed with the typical Turkish breakfast fare - cheeses, tomatoes, cucumbers, breads, olives. There are also eggs, sausages (I don't eat them so can't speak to the 'sausage-ness' of them), french fries, cereals, yogurt, orange juice - all in all a delightful selection.
4) It is across the street from the Otogar (Bus Stop). This makes it very convenient when you are travelling by bus.
What were the challenges?
We began in Room 306, a small, but functional room with a bit of balcony - we stayed one night in this room. When we first arrived, it had a very heavily perfumed smell, so much so that we opened the door to air it out. We then left for a few hours. When we returned, we realized that the room smelled so badly of sewer gas that I had to close the bathroom door so as to be able to breathe. Due to this, I was unable to brush my teeth or shower, it was so horrible. In the morning, when we informed the front desk about this, they sent someone who again sprayed air freshener. We were eventually moved to Room 314 - a much smaller room with a very small area that you might call a balcony. This room didn't smell so bad so we decided to stay. Well, actually, we didn't really have an option. It was Room 306 or Room 314 or leave and lose our money :(
It is very far from the City Center, relatively speaking. We could walk to City Center in an hour but it is not good walk. We took a taxi on the first day and paid 20TL - much more than we wanted to spend for transportation each way, each day. We were able to get bus passes and then travel by bus after that just by knowing that we needed to go to Helkevi or Otogar :) Plan to spend at least 15 minutes on the bus each way.
This last 'peeve' is just a personal one. On our reservation page, it listed that were were to be met with a fruit basket and drinks - neither of which ever materialized. I prefer not to ask for amenities such as these and think that if gestures such as this are part of the repertoire of an establishment, they will be offered without any reminder. This small lack was brought even more to my attention on one day when I went to the lobby to work. Being brighter and more spacious, it felt better to work there than to sit in my little cramped room.
There was a gentleman there dressed in a tee shirt and jeans who was evidently much more used to being catered to during his stay. It seemed that all the hotel staff were recruited just to do his bidding - standing by him, taking tea and snacks to him, etc. All during this time, not one member of the staff addressed me, even though at this point I had been in the hotel for 3 days. At some point in time, the gentleman left. After about 15 minutes, one of the men at the front desk called over to me and asked politely if I would like a cup of tea. This was a very nice gesture and I appreciated it.
I don't know what other hotels of this price range are like but, if and when I return to Izmit, I will stay elsewhere.
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- Also Known As:
- Balturk Hotel Izmit, Turkey - Kocaeli