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Hotels in Istanbul

Hotels in Sultanahmet,Istanbul

Hotel Neorion, Istanbul, Turkey

Hotel in Kumkapi, Istanbul

Neorion Hotel Staff,
Istanbul, Turkey

The neighborhood of Sultanahmet (Old Town) is where most people want to stay and it is easy to see why. It is full of small hotels, cafes and restaurants, some interesting shops, and is within walking distance of the main sites of Istanbul, namely Agia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, and the Basilica Cistern to name a few. You can also easily walk to the Grand Bazaar and catch the tram to just about everywhere else. The hotels are mostly old mansions, similar to B&Bs with the exception of the Four Seasons which used to be a prison, (though don't let that scare you away because it is a very nice hotel) and a few others.

For my money though the best area to stay in is Sirkeci which is a neighborhood that just a few years ago you would not have wanted to pass through at night, much less stay there. But that was before the Sirkici Group got together and turned this area of car parts stores and riff-raff, into a neighborhood of nice restaurants, beautiful hotels, and bars and cafes with a sprinkling of tourist shops. What makes it a better area to stay in is that it is even more centrally located than Sultanahmet. You are the same distance from the main sites and you are even closer to the Spice Market, New Mosque, historic Sirkici Railway Station, the Eminonu ferry port, the Galata Bridge, and even Beyoglu is within striking distance on foot.

Recommended Hotels in Sirkeci Istanbul

Hotel NeorionThe Hotel Neorion is one of, if not the best hotel I have ever stayed at, of any category in any country. A terrific location in the heart of Sirkeci is just one of the many selling points. More importantly is the quality of the hotel and the care of the staff of young professionals. Hotel staff are perfectly happy to sit down with you in the lobby and talk for a half an hour or more about what you should see, how to get there, where to eat, what to eat and answer any question you have about Istanbul or Turkey. The rooms were modern, the showers exceptional, the beds large and very comfortable and as long as you don't make the mistake of hanging a Do Not Disturb sign on the door as I did one day by accident, you can go out for a walk and come back to a room that is spotless no matter how you left it. The buffet breakfast is served from 7am to 11 and is healthy and extensive and if you eat late enough you won't need to eat again until dinner. Pastries, cheese pies, eggs, bacon and sausage (beef-remember this is a Moslem country), yogurt, fresh and dried fruits and nuts, honey from a real honeycomb, a dozen different kinds of bread, granola.... and on and on. During the afternoon they serve free mezedes(snacks) from the buffet table and from 6 to 7pm free wine on the roof where there is a spectacular view of the Golden Horn. You get a free transfer either to or from the airport. In the basement of the hotel is a swimming pool, a hammam (two actually), a jacuzzi, sauna, and a masseuse as well as a children's pool and free wireless throughout the hotel and a free computer to use in the lobby for those without ipads and laptops. So this is the hotel I recommend you stay at and you can click here for more photos, information or to book it.

If they are full try these other Sirkeci hotels....

Sirkeci Konak Hotel, IstanbulSirkeci Konak Hotel is one of the most important hotels in Istanbul and is owned by the same group who own the Hotel Neorion. The word "Konak" is defined as a large mansion house which is generally used as an official residence in Turkey and the former Ottoman Empire. Sirkeci Konak has a swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and a traditional Turkish bath and rooms have a view of the Gulhane Park. Rooms are comfortable, beautiful actually, and boast traditional hanging lamps and beds with ornate wood carvings. Each one has a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. The staff is the same kind of well trained, personable professionals you will find at other hotels of the Sirkeci Group. In 2011 it was listed by Traveler's Choice as one of the Top 25 Hotels in Europe and the Top 10 for service. Upstairs is the excellent Neyzade Restaurant and the hotel also has a swimming pool, Turkish bath and a sauna as well as free wireless. click here for more photos, information or to book it.

Hotel Orient Express, Istanbul, TurkeyThe Hotel Orient Express, also in the neighborhood is a midrange hotel with much of the same amenities as the above hotels, though a little cheaper. The hotel has has totally 54 rooms all decorated traditionally, and a panoramic terrace restaurant on the roof, an Ottoman Restaurant downstairs, an indoor swimming pool and western style bar. The hotel has fee wireless and satellite TV too. Each is air conditioned and equipped with a minibar. Room service is available. It has an indoor pool, and a rooftop terrace with picturesque views of Topkapi Palace. Mediterranean cuisine and views of the Bosphorus and Saint Sophia in its on-site restaurant, Imbat Restaurant and drinks and a relaxing atmosphere can be found at the hotelís bar. The car rental service and tour desk can benefit those organizing local excursions. Orient Express Hotel offers a 24-hour front desk as well. click here for more photos, information or to book it.

Hotel Erboy, Istanbul, TurkeyThe 3-star Hotel Erboy has Erboy Hotel features a terrace restaurant with panoramic city views and complimentary breakfast made from fresh, local ingredients. Located 5 minutes walk from Topkapi, it has an airport shuttle. Erboyís rooms are non-smoking and feature large windows, some of which overlook the Bosphorus. All air conditioned rooms have satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom with amenities. Pasazade Restaurant, the ground floor restaurant, is themed after 19th Century Ottoman architecture. It serves regional delicacies and drinks such as Raki and plays traditional Turkish music. Hotel Erboy is 5 minutesí walk from Grand Bazaar and Gulhane Park. Hagia Sophia is 985 ft away. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk and its staff can help with currency exchange and car rentals. The hotel can organize tours to nearby attractions. click here for more photos, information or to book it.

Hotel Ilkay, istanbul, TurkeyThe Sirkeci group's hotel for budget travelers is the economical Hotel Ilkay which has 60 rooms with bathroom, direct dial telephone, hair dryer and TV. The hotel has specially decorated western bar, the famous Red River Pub and an indoor restaurant. Its air conditioned rooms are equipped with satellite TV. Facilities include a 24-hour front desk, a tour desk, and car rental. The rooms at Ilkay Hotel are decorated with wooden furniture and carpeted floors. All rooms have a private bathroom. Some rooms have a sitting area. The restaurant serves local Turkish dishes as well as international cuisine. Guests can enjoy a refreshing drink in the Red River Pub, which is decorated with original posters and pictures of classical Western movies. Free Wi-Fi is available in the hotelís public areas. Hotel Ilkayís tour desk can help arrange trips to Istanbulís main attractions almost all of which are within easy walking distance. click here for more photos, information or to book it.

Click here to Search Hotels in Sultanahamet or see Istanbul Hotels

I also highly recommend using a knowlegable travel agency like Fantasy Travel who can book hotels and arrange tours of the city as well as excursions outside the city. They can also book holidays that combine Turkey with Greece and the Greek Islands

Return to Matt's Istanbul Index