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Reviewed 19 August 2012

When I was looking for accommodation in Istanbul I read so many excellent reviews about Saban and his hotel/apartments, but having experienced his hospitality first hand, everything I read was an understatement! From the very first time I contacted him Saban was sooooooooooooo helpful....above and beyond the call of duty! Via e-mail he sent me photos, patiently and courteously answered question after question and even, ultimately, offered to buy tickets for us for our overnight bus from Istanbul to Athens, which he paid for with his own money!! If he had not done this we would not have been able to plan the rest of our Interail trip round Europe, so he saved our holiday!!! We looked forward with anticipation to our first visit to Istanbul re-assured, by our regular contact with him, that we were going to be safe and well looked after on our arrival, and we weren't disappointed! We arrived at the hotel at about 7.00am after a long overnight journey and the very friendly and helpful hotel staff looked after our bags for us until we could get into the apartment at 11.00. It was perfect for us and Saban was the most unassuming, chilled-out, relaxed and pleasant host you could ever meet! Thank you Saban....we will be back!!

Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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Thank triciatyclaear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2012

My husband & I stayed in basement apartment for 10 days after touring Turkey for two weeks. It absolutely met all our needs & more. So close to the wonderful Hippodrome & Sultanahmet Park where we had many an icecream watching the goings on. Also a lovely walk to the Grand Bazaar (abt 15 min) & down through the many interesting shop filled streets to the Spice Bazaar & Eminonu. Saban & his two cleaning ladies were always so friendly & helpful we couldn't have wished for a better place to stay.

Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Onahau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2012

My wife and i have stayed with Saban at Ekim Apartments twice now and would recommend him to anyone staying in Istanbul. Especially if you want to stay in Sultamnhamet and be close to all the historical sights,mosques,Hippodrome, and Grand Bazzar.
His hospitality and helpful nature is excellent. His knowledge of where to go and sights to see and obliging nature are so helpful.
The apartments are well provided,kitchen equiped with everything you will need,clean, tidy, and near to all,restaurants,shopping for groceries and all requirements.
The tramway is only short walk away,well worth using.
Airport transfers are provided by Saban.
Thank you Saban for our wonderful stays.

Date of stay: November 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
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Thank Mahanga1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2012

My husband and I visited Turkey in may (22-29)... After much vacillating back and forth about where to stay, we finally picked Ekim Apart Hotel ($78/€65/night)-and we're so glad we did! Saban was do courteous.. Always ready to answer our seemingly endless questions.. And oh-so-helpful!! The apartment is located a hop-skip-and jump away from the hippodrome square-and other historic monuments..and Quite close to the tramway too.. 
If you have never been to Istanbul before-be aware that-even tho tourist sights are all close to each other-they are all quite large-and you will have quite a bit of walking to do to get from one to another.. So my advice is., wear comfortable walking shoes!! (I didn't and my feet really cried!)- come nightfall, all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep.. Very exhausting.
Now to the hotel itself- since it is an apartment-it is fully equipped with a cooking range, refrigerator,  microwave and other essentials (plates, glasses, silverware, etc)... You would ideally have to buy your own groceries and cook in-house- which works out cheaper-ESP for families with children that have varying dietary needs (There is a small grocery and general purpose store just up the road)... However, my husband and I were on vacation and there was no way I was going to be cooking-so we just ate out... The rooms are quite small to be honest-but not in a way that leaves you feeling claustrophobic... We stayed at the obelisk apartment which is the top floor-the view was beautiful-but kind of obstructed by  another building that kind of blocks half the view of the sea-but the other half, honestly is very pretty.. So we glad we picked that room.. Also the seagulls took some getting used to-I kept waking up the first night thinking there were mice or cats right outside our window!! -but I can put that down to extreme tiredness..and my mind playing games.:P.. 
The cleaning lady was also wonderful! The first couple of days we missed her-but one day we decided to stay in and she came in-she doesn't speak too much English-but she was wonderful-she cleans all the 5 rooms in this particular apartment-not sure if she does other apartments too-(how she'd have the time I don't know!).. But they were spotless when we got back home in the evening.. 
We initially booked our trip through hotels.com, but I just called Saban and said we wanted to book the rooms through him... Which is exactly what we did.. He gives you a free pick up the first day.. And we needed to use the drop off service multiple times after that.. Which Saban organized for us-he's always just a whatsapp MSG away at any time of the day!! (my husband and I didnt buy a local sim card to use in turkey-our smart phones were more than enough-there are lots of places that will give you the wireless password as long as you dine at their establishment-but in emergencies, this can be a trifle inconvenient-you will really wish you had a phone (we had an episode- where my husband left his sunglasses in cappadocia-and trying to coordinate their retrieval was a nightmare-BUT-Saban and the friendly locals really helped us out and we finally got them back!!:)...but that's another story altogether!) ...
We had a wonderful wonderful trip in istanbul-and I would definitely go back to Istanbul and stay at Ekim because we had such a wonderful and pleasant first time stay there .. The locals are SOO wonderful-evn if they don't know the language they will try their hardest to help you out with smiles.. Nods... hand gestures and some may even pull up a Turkish to English google translator!!(yes-this happened to us!)... 
All in all..I would highly recommend Ekim apart hotel-it is small-but comfortable-and I'm sure if you're going to a beautiful city like Istanbul-you're definitely not going to be spending the whole day in your room!! 

PS: if you pay for your trip in dollars/euro, make sure you convert the cost of a trip to the airport (or wherever-which is usually in TL) to dollars-because we forgot to and we overpaid for those.. That's ok because it was an honest mistake (we were in a hurry to settle..)...  Plus Saban is a GEM!

Date of stay: May 2012
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Thank jan35h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2012

I'll only refer to the Basilica app. situated on the basement of the building, where we spent our 5 nights in Istanbul.From the begining I must say that I had been very pleasently surprised by the great communication and helpfull attitude of Saban, when I requested the reservation.He proved to be a serious and reliable young man till the end.The room is downstairs, in a small building with 2 or 3 floors, in a quiet area with small villas and narrow streets.At the end of this street, there's a Chineese restaurant on the corner,and going to the right, 5 min. walk you'll get to a large and specious square where both the Blue Mosque and the Hagyia Sofia are (on the other side of the park).5 min more and you'll reach the Sultanahmet tram station, Line 1, which leads to the Spice Bazar, Galata Bridge (where the fish sandwiches are), going forward, the Galata Tower, the ferriboats station for the Princess islands and the Dolmabahce Palace.When getting the tram for this destination,make sure to be written L1,red line, otherwise it may take you somewhere else (just in case, there's no problem, get out, stay in the same station and wait for the next one indicating L1).
From this address you may reach on feet, within max. 10 min, the Hypodrome, the a.m. mosques, the Basilica Cistern, the Grand Bazar and also the large area of restaurants around there.
The prayers in the mosques can not be avoided even thou you come with ear plugs cause they have speakers everywhere in the city. Anyway, it's only 2 times in the evening and you'll get used to.Takes few minutes only.
Returning to the room, this was large enough for the three of us, with one double bed and an extendable sofa for our daughter. The bed and pillows very confortable.It had everything we needed and wished for, a table, LCD with sattelite channels, dvd, a little kitchinett, a small bath, airconditioning, fredge, wireless and free parking for the car.The ratio offer/price was quite fair compared to the hotels' offers in the area.We had been almost close to make the reservation in Pierre Loti but they couldn't guarantee the parking which is a real problem in Istanbul, in such particular touristic area.
I'll let the pictures speek for themselves.As for the city, it diserves to be widely explored cause it has a special charm.
When we got for the first time in Greece, the guides told us they have good and bad news for us: good : we've finaly reached the sunny Greece, bad: the Gods have cursed us all, every tourist passing on this land, to irrevocably fall in love with its beuty and return again and again some day. Well, the Turks have also got such Gods for sure, so be aware!.There is something about that can not be explained.So come to Istanbul and enjoy.

Room tip: no comment
Date of stay: June 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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1  Thank ama73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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