My wife and I stayed at TomTom Suites at the end of January 2011. Overall, this is a very comfortable, spacious and stylish hotel. Our suite was very clean with little to no wear. Bed was comfortable, although a bit hard for my preference. A selection of bed pillows are provided. The all marble bathroom was gorgeous, complete with a Philippe Starck whirlpool tub, 2 sinks, and a separate shower. Beautiful wood floors, attractive art work, lamps and decorations rounded out the remainder of the suite.
Given the above, I can recommend TomTom suites. However, the following should be noted:
1) Hotel is located in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. If you are only coming to Istanbul only for a few days, most of the major tourist sites are located on the other side of the Golden Horn (ie - Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace). It would be about a 30 min walk or so. There is a taxi rank just up the street, and a cab ride is less than 10 TL. The problem seems to be getting back as even taxis with meters seem to charge several times as much on the other side of the Golden Horn. Most taxi drivers do not know the city well, and even providing them with a map some dropped us off several blocks from the hotel.
2) The Beyoğlu district is fairly hilly. There is a very steep hill from the Hotel up to the main street.
3) There are few recommended restaurants in the area. If you review the top restaurants in Trip Advisor, they are mostly all located on the other side of the Golden Horn.
4) The Hotel appears to have recently changed their in house restaurant. The "Bistro" as indicated on their website appeared to be all but closed. The Terrace Bar upstairs has been changed to a modern/contemporary restaurant. We ate there once, and the food was decent, but the portions were small. After a long day exploring Istanbul, this wouldn't be my first choice for a filling meal. The Hotel needs a more accessible restaurant.
5) Room service is poor. Menu is extremely limited - caesar salad, hamburgers, and a few other items. We called room service one night and asked what the hamburger came with and was told that it didn't come with anything. When it was delivered, it came with fries. Also, we asked if anything could be ordered that was not on the room service menu - we were told if we wanted something else to come to the restaurant. That would defeat the purpose of room service! Other hotels such as the W will gladly accommodate such requests.
6) Breakfast Buffet is extremely limited. Although they can make eggs, omelets on request, there are no other hot items. Mostly cereal, bread, some cheese and cold cuts.
7) Area directly around hotel is run down. There is an empty lot next door. Next to that there are a series of abandoned buildings, some with collapsed roofs etc. Not sure how safe the area is or not, but the front desk told us not to carry much cash with us when we go out! (although this is sound advice for any large city, it is not exactly reassuring for the hotel to mention this to you as soon as you check in).
8) The street the Hotel is on is blocked by security for the Italian embassy, so you can't catch a cab outside the hotel and cab drivers can't drop you off out front.
9) There is a school located right across the street that I believe is associated with the Italian embassy there. Every morning around 7:30 to 8am the area outside turns into a school yard with children yelling. It didn't bother me personally, but if you are a light sleeper this could be an issue.
10) I would say generally hotel staff seemed friendly. However, they do need additional training. The front desk had recommended a local historic hamam and even provided a brochure. The brochure gave the impression that it was high end but it turned out to be anything but. The women hamam attendants were old, rude and continually yelled at my wife in Turkish. The attendant rubbed my wife's neck so hard she experienced a large abrasive cut. When we brought this to the attention of the front desk at checkout, no apology was offered.
After reading the reviews about this hamam on trip advisor (wish we had done so before my wife went!), it is rated extremely poorly. It doesn't seem like the hotel vets any of their recommendations.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tomtom Suites, The Old Franciscan House is an authentic Istanbul building whose posture reflects the social history of Pera from 1850’s to recent. Throughout its history, this building was home for French nuns and some well-known Levantine families. Now it is ready to host its new guests with its "unique" service policy and a new design, pairing modern comfort with historical background. Tomtom Suites, The Old Franciscan House has 20 suites, a terrace offering a panoramic view of old town and a nostalgic outlook. It tells the story of an over 100 years old building with a stylish language, but without loosing the essence of the story. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tomtom Hotel Istanbul