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“Great roof terrace, quite and cozy, great staff!”
Review of Agora Life Hotel

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Agora Life Hotel
Ranked #55 of 1,148 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
“Great roof terrace, quite and cozy, great staff!”
Reviewed 24 August 2014 via mobile

Stayed for 3 nights together with my wife.
Exellent location in Sultanhemet, close to major tourist attractions. Located on a quite street away from the main road. Extremely friendly and professional staff, exellent services. Magnificient view over Aya Sophia and other parts of Istanbul from the hotel roof terrace on the 6th floor - spend many hours here. No doubt this a very good choice if you're looking for a smaller intime hotel with a very good location!
Thanks for taking such good care of us, hope to see you again...soon.
Best,
Mattias Walan

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Mattias W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
agoralife, Manager at Agora Life Hotel, responded to this review, 25 August 2014
Dear Mattias W,

We would like to thank you for you kind words shared on Trip Advisor concerning your recent stay at Agora Life Hotel, Istanbul.

We are thrilled to learn that you had a fabulous experience in our hotel.Be sure that your kind words are passed on to all those concerned who will be so pleased.
We are looking forward to seeing you in soon future.

Warm regards,

Kadir Cikan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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San Francisco
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2014

The Agora Life Hotel is boutique hotel in a great location for sightseeing and has excellent service. The staff was really pleasant and accommodating. I am accustomed to staying in more upscale properties, so I was a little shocked when I arrived and found that it was much smaller than I imagined and the area looked a bit run down at nighttime, when we arrived.I felt better the next day in daylight. I think the property has about 5 floors including the roof top terrace. The roof top terrace is exquisite. It is very tastefully done and the view is incomparable. You look out over the Bosphorus, Topaki Palace and Aya Sofia. I am from San Francisco and the view has similarities to viewing San Francisco as you cross from Marin to San Francisco. Stunning. We would put our breakfast on a tray each morning and eat up on the terrace. There are some cons. The breakfast room is subterranean and is a little depressing. Also, the quality of the rooms are a little uneven and I feel like the website does not make the disparity in the rooms clear. I paid extra to have a deluxe room with a view of the Bosphorus or Aya Sofia to celebrate my 50th birthday. Instead, when we arrived at 3:00 a.m., they gave us a double/twin room with no appreciable view and said they were fully committed and couldn't move us until the next day. Worse, the night manager insisted that he had put me in a comparable deluxe room. I was really close to tears; I was so disappointed. The night manager had terrible customer service skills and I nearly blew a gasket. We were put in a room on the 2nd floor that you could barely turn around in, was suffocating and had no charm whatsoever. Personally, I would suggest not staying in this hotel below the 3rd floor, unless you don't care about the type of room you have and you get a really reasonable price. Fortunately, the manager swept in the next day and managed to tame one of the most irate patrons he had likely ever encountered - me. He moved us into the deluxe room as soon as it was ready. He seemed to put a rush on the new room being cleaned so we could move. He provided us with beautiful, fresh fruit plates each afternoon and shared with us invaluable advice for restaurants and sightseeing. He even offered to upgrade us for a night to the suite with sea view (which you should definitely do if it is affordable) without any additional charge. He has excellent people skills. We declined as the deluxe room with a view of the Bosphorus was fine and it would be too much of a hassle to move. The new room was still sort of average, but the view is exquisite. The room itself was very clean, nicely appointed, safe that works and a modern bathroom (shower only). Frankly, I would not recommend staying anywhere in Istanbul without a view of the Bosporus if you can afford it. However, if you cannot afford it, the roof top terrace is steps away and you can enjoy the amazing view there. The breakfast is adequate, but it did not really suit my tastes. I have to admit, I really like an American breakfast and American or European pastries. However, it is plentiful and authentic (fruit, bread, yogurt, cheese, meats, vegetables, juice, coffee, tea...) However, I really like a nice fluffy pastry and some pancakes. They will make you an omelet, which are good. They never had orange juice, which was disappointing. The surrounding area looks fine in the day light. It is a very old part of the city, so at night it only looks old, not historic. The hotel is walking distance to all of the major attractions in the area. It is nice to be able to walk back to the hotel mid-day and take a break and refresh. The hotel arranged for car service to and from the airport. I was a little upset when we arrived at 1:00 a.m.+ and the car service manager at the airport was juggling multiple guests going to different locations. Each party is sent in a private, very clean and nice van to the hotel, but we had to wait at least 45 minutes and at 1:00 a.m. +, we were in no mood to wait around. However, the ride back was fine. The driver was early and gave me a rose. The manager did not charge us for either ride given the circumstances of our arrival. I thought that was very professional. All in all, I would recommend the Agora Life Hotel and I would stay there again (in a deluxe room or better :-) The service, location and view are excellent. However, if you are looking for a truly luxury boutique property by US standards, this is not the place.

Other things to recommend in Istanbul:

1. You must stay in Istanbul for at least 1 week. Istanbul is huge and amazing. Even one week really isn't enough.
2. I highly recommend going to a hamam (bath house). There is one that is around the corner from Agora Life, but I wouldn't recommend it. I highly recommend Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam. It is exquisite. Pamper yourself. Get the whole works. I also saw teenage girls with their mothers. It is wonderful!
3. Take the ferry over to the Asian side of Istanbul. Check out Baget Caddesi (Bagdad Street) - it is a section that is a cross between Miami Beach and Beverly Hills with upscale shops and restaurants. Eat on the roof top terrace at Paris Café. They are famous for their meat dishes (either chicken or beef) drowned in their special sauce. I wasn't convinced with their sauce, but the location and view can't be beat.
4. I highly recommend 5 Kat restaurant in the Beyoglu district (not far from Taksim Square (sort of like Times Square Area - a bit gritty - but lots of clubs and restaurants). Restaurant 5 Kat is in a neighborhood. When you pull up in your cab, you will think you are at a Victorian in San Francisco. However, you take an elevator up inside and there is this fabulous restaurant. Our hotel manager later told me that this is considered a "gay" place. It was hip and trendy. Loved it. Walked over to Taksim Square area afterwards. A little gritty, but tons of people out and didn't feel uncomfortable at all. Please note, the taxi drivers will try to rip you off late at night when you are on the way back. It cost us 18Turkish Lira to get over there and they wanted 30 to get back. We talked them down to 25.
5. If you like shopping, put aside at least a day, if not two to explore the Grand Bazaar. It is amazing. I am told there are 4000 shops in this labyrinth of a shopping emporium. I am going to have to return to Istanbul - just to spend time at the Grand Bazaar. Fabulous painted pottery, rugs, glass work, gold, bags...antiques...
6. Do get a private walking tour of the area to bring Istanbul alive. It is really an enchanting and historical place. The manager set us up with Pervin Uslu (pervin at pervinuslu dot com). She has lived in the States and speaks perfect English. She was a great guide. However, please note, you have to be really clear about what you want to do and what you don't want to do. Every guide in every country I have gone to want to steer you to the carpet maker or the pottery maker or whatever other vendor. She will take you to a carpet maker who will try to convince you to buy carpets, unless you insist that she does not. The place she took us to was lovely and the rugs were fabulous (Istanbul Handicraft Center on Nuruosmaniye Caddesi, No 42). I would have bought a dozen of them if I could afford them). Also, she will steer you to a restaurant of her choosing unless you establish in advance you want to go somewhere specific. I wanted to go somewhere specific, which clearly annoyed her. I always invite and pay for our guides meal.
7. I highly recommend eating at Khorasani Restaurant on Ticarethane Sokak. Very close to the hotel. Excellent outdoor dining. Excellent food. Good priced. Excellent service. It is on a nicer street than some of the other restaurants closer to the mosques. We ate there more than once.
8. We also ate at Amedros Café & Restaurant. The food was good, but I didn't like the location or service as much.
9. Best ice cream ever at the Kmaras Ottoman Ice Cream stand located in front of the Aya Sofya. Be ready for the show :-)
10. Go, go, go to Istanbul. I would not hesitate. I can't believe I waited so long to go. It is a marvelous city. There is so much to do. The service was excellent. The people were friendly. We felt safe. The prices were better than other western European cities. It is really special. Enjoy.

Room Tip: Stay in a room on the 3rd floor above. Bosphorus view or Bosphorus view and AyaSofya view. If you ca...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sftraveler94102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
agoralife, Manager at Agora Life Hotel, responded to this review, 25 August 2014
Dear sftraveler94102,

Thank you for sharing your comments on Trip Advisor.

We do apologize if your experience at Agora Life Hotel, Istanbul did not fully satisfied you, and be assured that your concerns have been passed on.
Our ongoing effort for amelioration is a key element for providing excellent guest service at any time.
Please, do not hesitate to let us know of your next visit in Istanbul as it would be for us a great opportunity to provide best service and room.

With Kind regards,

Kadir Cikan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

What a very pleasant surprise on our first visit to the City of Istanbul. The Agora LIfe Hotel is beautifully situated with magnificent views over Sultanahmet and the Bosphorus from a magnificent rooftop terrace. The hotel is easy walking distance to Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern, Aya Sofia, The Blue Mosque and close to train, tram services and countless restaurants. The boutique rooms are well appointed with comfortable bedding and bathroom. Breakfast is an outstanding daily experience with a vast variety of local side dishes on which to base your daily needs. The rooftop terrace has a real "wow" factor to it whether you are having breakfast or having a cold beverage at the end of the day. The magnificent views over the busy Bosphorus to the new city and over the old city are a fantastic memory that I will keep forever. The true stars of the Agora LIfe Hotel are however the people who work it - Kadir, Issa, Emrah, Cerhan to name but a few from the front of house - are outstanding. We have traveled a lot around the world but I have to say this boutique hotel in Instanbul has the best customer service I have ever encountered. I cannot recommend them highly enough!!

Room Tip: Higher the level the better the view from the room (4 floors - 16 rooms).
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bulachiefroy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
agoralife, Manager at Agora Life Hotel, responded to this review, 25 August 2014
Dear bulachiefroy,

Dear Guest,
Thank you for choosing to stay at Agora Life Hotel, Istanbul.
Our colleagues are indeed always available to help guests make the most of their stay by offering a wealth of options and, of course, their first hand expertise.
I am very glad you could feel the strong commitment of all our staff.Allow me to thank you on behalf of whole team and on my own for your time and kind words.

We truly hope to see you back soon at our property.



Sincere regards,

Kadir Cikan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cherryhill
1 review
Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

This is the first time I've ever taken some time to write a review but this place definitely deserves it! 5 stars isn't enough! From the moment I emailed them asking for information until the second I stepped foot out of there it was outstanding service! My husband and I decided to go to Istanbul for our honeymoon so as we were looking for hotels we found this place online. The hotel is a small 5 floor hotel the fifth floor is the terrace with a miraculous view you're overlooking the mosque and istanbul skyline. We were originally supposed to stay in a regular single room for 5 days and were given the bosphorous suite as a gift for part of our honeymoon. The man who checked us in, isa, by far the most hospitable man we've ever met! He helped us out in everything! My husband and I even made a joke about it every time we ask each other something were like let's ask isa, he literally gave us the best suggestions for food, touring, site seeing anything just ask isa! He made our stay all the much better! The staff is so sweet and always there if you need anything they definitely made our honeymoon a memory we won't ever forget. We will definitely have to come back here in the future thank you agora life hotel for making our honeymoon such an incredible experience!
-Hana & Majde

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Hsaed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
agoralife, Manager at Agora Life Hotel, responded to this review, 11 August 2014
Dear Hsaed,

Thank you for taking the time to post such a positive review of your stay at Agora Life Hotel, Istanbul...

There is nothing better than hearing a guest has gone away with great memories of their stay.
We are all so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your room, the location and our city.

We believe that a personalized experience is of upmost importance and so are thrilled to read that you appreciated this from our dedicated team, particularly from Isa...

I have passed on your encouraging feedback and really do hope that you will come back to Istanbul and stay with us again soon.

Warm regards,

Kadir Cikan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 August 2014

We stayed at the Agora Life Istanbul for 3 nights on the way through onto Australia.A very comfortable and friendly boutique hotel in a great central location.Staff were very friendly and helpful.Rooms were clean and had nice views.It was a great experience and would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms on higher levels off better views.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joanna E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
agoralife, Manager at Agora Life Hotel, responded to this review, 11 August 2014
Dear Joanna E,


Thank you for posting such a rewarding comment regarding your recent stay at Agora Life Hotel, Istanbul.It is without a doubt always our goal to make your stay with us as amazing and memorable as possible and all the staff take very much to heart your declaration.
I am very glad that your own experience met these expectations,. Thank you very much for this very kind comment, we appreciate your time and we do look forward to your return among us.

Best regards,

Kadir Cikan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

We got a free upgrade to a suite for two days with a Bosphorus view and it was a wonderful surprise. It had a small attached terrace with a breathtaking view. The room that we got afterwards seemed smaller after the suite and it had no/partial view of Bosphorus. The room and bathroom was clean. The breakfast was good but it would have been even more amazing if it was served on the terrace. The hotel is in the heart of Sultanahmet so all the places to visit are within walking distance.

The staff is the best part of the hotel. Erican was the most helpful of all.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sumair T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

There are many hotels in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, but of those that I've sampled Agora Life is, hands down, the best. The rooms are clean but generally average (seemingly a theme in the mid-tier Sultanahmet hotels). But the rooftop terrace, looking out over Haghia Sofia and Topkapi Palace, makes everything else matter less. Serenity amid chaos.

I also have to explicitly commend the staff. My (now) wife and I stayed there in the lead up to our wedding in Istanbul at another hotel. We had family and friends with us and organized a cocktail for guests on a Saturday night before the main event. The Agora staff went out of their way to make everything perfect - cannot say enough about them! Also we had at least 5 guests who lost luggage en route to Istanbul (thanks British Airways...) and the folks at the front desk worked tirelessly to locate and get the bags delivered - something that the 'nicer' hotel that we stayed at after Agora didn't do nearly as well.

In summary, definitely recommend Agora.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank talesofaturkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
agoralife, Manager at Agora Life Hotel, responded to this review, 9 August 2014
Dear talesofaturkey,


Thank you very much for this stunning review you took the time to write on your recent visit at our terrace in Agora Life Hotel, Istanbul..
I am delighted to read that you enjoyed the hotel terrace . Thank you also for taking the time to underline the service you received from our dedicated team.

We look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back to Istanbul for another great experience.

Kindest Regards,

Kadir Cikan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Agora Life Hotel

Property: Agora Life Hotel
Address: Cagaloglu Hamam Sokak No:6, Istanbul 34110, Turkey
Phone Number:
Region: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #55 of 1,148 Hotels in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Agora Life Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just a 5-minute walk from Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, this boutique hotel offers modern accommodation with free wireless internet access, free breakfast and a lovely rooftop terrace. In the heart of Sultanahmet, Agora Life Hotel offers an ideal location for guests who want easy access to Istanbul's most historic sites. Each of the rooms is tastefully decorated and has contemporary wooden floors. They feature LCD TV and laptop-size safeboxes. Thoughtful touches also include bathrobe, slippers and a work desk. Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is just 10 minutes' walk away. There are also excellent public transport links close to Agora Life Hotel, providing easy access to the rest of Istanbul. ... more   less 
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