Like many of the reviewers of the Hotel Han, I was drawn by the price and seemingly good value all around of the hotel. I needed a decent place to stay for about 10 nights while attending a conference + istanbul biennale and had neither the budget nor the desire to stay in the 'official' business-type hotel being offered by the conference. As someone who has to travel relatively often to a wide range of destinations, I can no longer take 'Hilton-style' hotels anymore with their typically hermetically sealed rooms, antiseptic hallways, invariably droning HVAC, expensive add-on internet and grab-bag 'international' buffet breakfasts. The Hotel Han has none of this - in fact I was incredibly delighted to discover that my room (301, on the top floor, great little rooftop corner balcony) had NO TV, NO mini-bar but instead a fridge I could use as I like, AND free wireless internet! What a change from other hotels that give you 100 channels of satellite TV for free, but charge you 20+ euro/day for internet access! Admittedly, on the top floor where I was the internet reach was not great - and unfortunately did not make it out to the balcony. If so (and maybe the owners will get another router up to the top floor) the place would have been heaven, and i would have spent most of my time out on it, overlooking Sultanhamet and getting some work done! As a result I had to use a corner of the bed to get at the signal, as the room was too small for a table/chair. I usually ended up downstairs in the dining lounge, which was a great space overlooking the street, and where the signal was best.
In general the hotel was great - obviously run with pride and genuine friendliness, absolutely clean with seemingly recently renovated bathrooms. Everything (stairs, walls, fixtures) were slightly crooked, befitting an older house in an ancient city, and decorated with a refreshingly unique but entirely fitting and unassuming style (the photographs online actually tell it like it is!). The bed was firm, clean, comfortable and took up most of the space in the room (if you are more than one person travelling, you may want to try to get a slightly larger room!). The management were wonderful, even though some details revealed the mild bumps that make up the difference in price/service between Han and other typically higher category hotels were somewhat aggravating. To be precise, and so meant simply as a point of mild caution … the promised and confirmed pick-up at the airport 'with name sign' (25 euro) did not exist. After searching the throngs of name signs at the arrivals area, I finally called the hotel and they found someone to pick me up. The exercise (at around midnight) took about 45 minutes and cost me a couple of unnecessary international mobile phone calls to the hotel. Also, given that I was staying for 10 days, I had asked if the hotel had either a laundry service or if they could recommend one to me. They told me that they can get the laundry done no problem, and i dropped my clothes off on a Saturday morning expecting to get it back that same evening. No. And no clothes yet on Sunday, not even in the evening. Monday morning … still no clothes! After much phoning the management finally got my laundry back ca. 11.00 am on Monday … unwashed!!! This, was not good. But again, I think the hotel was genuinely embarrassed by this, and hopefully will not let it happen again.
The BBQ House restaurant on the street level and below the hotel, which is somehow connected to Han was very good - nothing outrageously exceptional, but i did eat some very nice grilled delights there and brought some of my colleagues to eat there as well. I found the prices a touch higher than they should have been (by comparison a fairly top class restaurant with an amazing garden we visited a few times in Beyoglu, which did have better and a wider selection of interesting turkish food was about the same price). But I guess Sultanhamet, being tourist central is pricier for restaurants than other parts of Istanbul. One of the things that made the hotel quite nice as well was that, despite having restaurant out on the street, the street it's on was fairly low key, and just tucked around the corner from the tourist frenzy. So sleeping with window open was a treat … and surprisingly quiet. And the breakfast ... simple, super and authentic!
Yes, I would definitely stay here again … it felt like home.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- All our rooms have been decoreted with intense care by modeling Turkish traditional homes with susani , special design chandeliers, quality wooden furniture and also with air conditioner and mini-bar. High speed free wireless internet connection is available at all rooms. Major public transportation centers in order to reach allover Istanbul and Turkey such as tram station , bus stop, central train station and boat docks are all in walking distance from our Hotel.Hotel is located on one of the main streets of Sultanahmet named Yerebatan street, it is about 50 meters away to Basilica Cistern. ... more less
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