If you want to be around the Sultanahmet area, and the price is right--like when I booked several months ago, not what I now see on TA--consider this hotel.
The road where the hotel is located, Akbiyik Street, is/was apparently a backpacker's alley. You will see many young people pulling their luggage along the road and there a few places with the label "hostel" emblazoned across them. MS, Senatus next door, Byzantiium across the road, are one of several hotels along the stretch. At the end of the road where the hotel is located, there is a taxi-stand, which makes things convenient. Although I'm puzzled why 9 of 10 taxi drivers did not know the street.
So on the one hand, this means that there are a lot of shops and facilities catering to tourists. There is a laundry shop down the road opposite the taxi stand. There are a couple of tour companies on and around Akbiyik. Even a Turkish bath. There is a range of restaurants. The Balikçi Sabahattin is right and down the road from the hotel. Up the hill towards Sultanahmet are ATMs that can give you your cash in euros and US dollars.
On the other hand, it can get busy till pretty late. So if you do book a hotel along the strip, be sure the window is double-glazed. The windows of Millenium Suites apparently are.
Also on the same other hand, do not expect much by way of facilities. MS has no gym (not even an elevator), no pool, no shop, just a restaurant. Reception doubles as the tour booking desk.
There are only seven rooms in the entire hotel. In my book, a small hotel does not automatically a boutique hotel make. But it does make for a friendly atmosphere. Breakfast can be tailored to your taste albeit up to a point. It's very pleasant to sit on the patio for breakfast.
The room I had was not particularly large although I gather from friends who dropped by that it was large by Istanbul standards. It is not, however, a room to spend an extended period of time at work unless you can work on a square wheeled ottoman (there, wanted to use the word in talking about a place in Istanbul).
MS has comfortable slippers. Bathroom amenities are sufficient. The bathroom is a a little tight but comfortable. Water pressure is good. The shower stall's doors are water-tight. A small snag is the lack of a hook on the back of the door.
Service is the highlight of the hotel. Staff generally go out of the way to get you what you want? No bread? They walk to a bakery nearby to get it for you. No plums? They borrow from a restaurant. Twice. Booking a tour? No problem.
If the price fits, go for it. You may expect friendly service but nothing by way of facilities. And when going by taxi, stop at the Byzantium hotel because the MS signage is small and my car missed the hotel. Twice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hospitality is one of the cornerstones of the Turkish way of life. Turkish people are the most gracious and generous hosts as a result of their natural instincts. Every individual feels bound to honor his guest in the best possible manner. They will open their houses to every guest with a smiling face and with all their sincerity give the best seat and cook the best food for their guest. Turkish. people are very understanding about foreigners' different customs and they try to communicate in order to help visitors according to their code of hospitality.The owner's of Senatus Suites goal is to show the traditional turkish hospitality to their guests in the manner of described briefly above in their guest rooms. You are always wellcome at our property with our main principle of "whatever religion you are from, whichever country you come from, whatever language you speak, you are 'God's Guest' ," ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Millennium Hotel Istanbul