If the Emine Sultan hotel was JUST the main property (and not the suites), I would have given it a higher rating. We stayed there for three nights and had a great stay. The young guy and young woman who work the front desk were helpful and warm. Our email exchanges before our stay were prompt and attentive. Upon arrival, we were forewarned by our TripAdvisor community that the room would be small. So, we were prepared for that but the room was nicer than we had imagined. They are decorated in way that is welcoming and comfortable. We stayed on the 1st floor and enjoyed it! AND the breakfast is delicious. It's especially beautiful to eat on the top floor with a view of the city. The benefit of staying at Emine over other nearby hotels is that they have an upper level room that is covered to protect from the cold in winter.
We enjoyed our stay so much that we decided to go back there after leaving Istanbul for a couple of days and spring for a suite...but that's when things got bad.
Upon arrival, we were told that our room was at the OTHER location. I had read about this on TripAdvisor and forgot to request a room at the main hotel. It's a bit of a distance and I didn't like the idea of walking that far for breakfast. But we braved it and made our way over to the 'suites' in a taxi that the hotel arranged which was really nice of them. We were soooo disappointed when we walked into our room. The bathroom stank so bad- it was as if somebody had used a dirty, moldy mop all over the floors and walls and then closed the door and turned the heat up. Then, we opened the closet and there was a pair of men's pants crumpled on the shelf. The room was huge and the bed was one of those cool round beds. It looks great in the pictures. But when you're there, it's more like a room by the hour gone bad. So, we walked back downstairs, called the main hotel and said we didn't want to stay there and asked if they had any other rooms. We had to make our own way back (no more taxi provided by the hotel) with numerous bags. But at least they said they had a room similar to the one we stayed in during our first trip. And that's when things got ugly...
Upon our return, the front desk guy was annoyed with us. I get it. It's annoying when people want to change rooms. But, this is the hotel industry and that's part of the business. So, when I asked about the rate of the new room, he replied that we would have to pay the same amount as the suite. I responded "I don't think we should pay $20 more than we paid three nights ago for the same room. You can't charge us the same price as the suite for a much smaller room." He responded "I can and you will pay it." Whaaaat? After I explained to him how ludicrous it was, he offered for us to stay in the room and they would tell us the rate the following morning. Ummm really?
Okay, so the conversation went from there and just got worse. Finally, I said we didn't want any room and that we were leaving. His response? "Whether you stay or don't stay, I will charge you for the first night bc of your last-minute cancellation." When I explained that we weren't cancelling, that we were leaving bc the rooms we were offered were unacceptable, he wouldn't let it go. We left.
Luckily, they must have come to their senses bc I was not in fact charged. I think someone realized it would be illegal to charge my cc without my authorization. So I appreciate and am very grateful that it ended with some level professionalism!
Moral of the story:
(1) If you want to stay at Emine, confirm that your room is in the main building. Staying there is worth it! Despite my poor rating, the main location is great. I just had to average out the two buildings.
(2) Do NOT stay in the suites. Soooooo not worth it. You pay more and get less. Too many other choices around.
(3) Don't back down if someone is trying to bully you into paying for something that you don't want.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Emine Sultan Hotel, Located in the old city of Istanbul, small boutique hotel that has only 10 rooms, we have very nice see view in our Terrace and some of our rooms, our hotel is max. 10 Minutes away from Historical Places by walking. We have open buffet Breakfast with special Turkish homemade cookies etc. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Emine Sultan
- Emine Sultan Istanbul