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Basileus Hotel
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Reviews (1,869)
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All reviewsblue mosqueturkeymade to order omeletsturkish coffeegrand bazaarwithin walking distancehome away from homeminute walkno elevatorold citymajor attractionssmall hotelhagia sophiastreet noiseyogurtairport pickupwonderful city
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Reviewed 17 October 2011

I stayed with my sister at the Basileus Hotel for a week (business+vacation). The staff was all exceptionally friendly and ready to recommend various sights, restaurants and where to go for an authentic turkish experience. On my many trips, this is probably the hotel with the warmest welcome that I have experienced!
We arrived well after midnight and were sent straight to the room with check-in formalities postponed until the following morning. There is no elevator but our luggage was brought up to the room for us and down again for our departure.
The hotel is an extremely good value for the price and the staff even encouraged us to change our booking after arrival when they found out that we would only be two in a triple room due to a fellow traveller having to drop out unexpectedly. We still had the same room but at a slightly lower price. I found this an exceptional guesture as hotels generally want to earn as much as possible.
The room was big enough, clean and newly done up. The bathroom had a jacuzzi bathtub with a shower, the temperature of the water was a bit tricky to control but that was not a major issue. AC was very poweful. With the windows closed there is very little street noise, although the street has a busy traffic during the day and there are three mosques nearby that regularly call for prayer. The beds are very firm, which suited my sister but I personally prefer a not so firm mattress.
Breakfast buffet had plenty of choices with both a turkish and an international twist. Every morning we were offered freshly made omelets. We enjoyed the local choices for bread, cheese, olives, tomatoes, fresh and dried fruit, nuts and different types of fruit juices.
There is no restaurant at the Basileus Hotel but the Tarihi Cesme restaurant across the street is a great choice for a friendly local restaurant with good food and reasonable prices.
The lobby has a computer with internet for guests to use and there is plenty of magazines to check out and tourist information brochures. WIFI in our room was very weak so we used the lobby computer instead.
The hotel has a good location for the major sights in the old part of Istanbul. We experienced first hand the terrible traffic in Istanbul when going to the Hilton in Nisantasi quarter for work related events. I would recommend to anyone that mainly will be focusing on the old part of town to stay in a hotel there, as travelling relatively short distances by car in Istanbul can take a very long time, especially during rush hour. We asked the hotel to arrange transfer between Ataturk airport and the Basileus, mainly because of our late arrival. I would recommend this option. In Istanbul there can be streets with the same or similar name in more that one part of town, so keeping the street address and phone number of the hotel with you is essential. The taxi driver will then be able to phone the hotel asking for directions if he's unsure of the location.
One final tip would be to print out a Google map of the areas that you will be spending time in as hotel maps aren't detailed enough. This will save you a lot of time trying to find your way through the small streets in the older parts of Istanbul. But when you get lost, we found out that local people are always willing to help you out :)

Room Tip: There is not elevator so guests with problems climbing stairs should consider this. The WIFI signal is also very weak on the top floor.
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank bjorgk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2011

My girlfriend and I stayed 6 nights at Basileus Hotel, and had an almost perfect stay. This was due in large part to the outstanding hospitality, service and knowledge of the Basileus Hotel staff . Immediately upon entry, we were treated like long-lost friends. Muharrem, Yusuf and Eko are some of the friendliest and most enjoyable people we have ever met during our years of travel. Their pride in Istanbul, their willingness to share was top-notch. I highly recommend Basileus for its convenient location, clean hotel, and generous 'family' environment.

*Location*
Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, central to many sites. Great for walkers!
~ 5-7 minutes walk to Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
~ 7-9 minutes walk to Tram station.
~ 20 minutes walk to Grand Bazaar.
Multiple restaurants within walking distance, many w/views of Blue Mosque.

*Hotel Cleaniness*
Well-maintained and comfortable lobby.
Clean, simply decorated room. We had a double bed.
Good AC, when needed.
Shower water, a little weak.

*Breakfast*
Nice selection of breads, fruits, yogurts, juices, teas.
Includes choice of omelette, turkish coffee.

*Staff*
Outstanding, one of the most hospitable people we've met. Very kind.
Personable, sat down and spoke to us for a good 20 minutes when we first arrived to get to know us, talk to us about Istanbul, help us organize our days. Conversed with us everyday, w/sincere interest in what we did, what we enjoyed, how else they can help.
Fun, showed us turkish coffee cup reading.

Thank you again Basileus. Sofia and I had a fantastic time. We're only sorry that we couldn't stay longer. We look forward to our next trip one day.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank atwoodexplores
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2011

Although the concierge was very helpful, the room was fine, and the buffet breakfast was excellent, Basileus Hotel has two problems. First, there is no elevator, but they will very kindly take your bags up and down for you. I am over 60 and have a bad knee, so the two floor climb was uncomfortable for me. Secondly, not one of the 3 taxi drivers we used could find the hotel even using the map provided on their business card! If we stay there again we will just get dropped off at the Blue Mosque and walked back from there.
The room was nice enough and very clean, but the walls seemed a little thin (or we were just unlucky enough to room next to a man who started each day by coughing up a lung!). They are doing some renovation and making this hotel a gem in the middle of Sultanhamet.
The Basileus recommended restaurant across the street, Cesme, was fabulous and very inexpensive!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank sbwil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2011

We stayed at Basileus in October and found it to be one of our best stays amongst years of travel. Right from helping us checking us in, way early, to getting us a taxi for departure, Mr Yusuf was par excellence. He was extremely warm and helpful. He personally guided us for shopping (carpets), Bosphorous cruise and the important sights. Which by the way, are all a beautiful 'shopping and eating' walking distance from this hotel.
The hotel itself is located in a very pretty locality. The interior of the lobby is very ornate and opulently done up, with a bunch of good magazines to read. The room (triple) was very aesthetically decorated, very clean with huge full walled windows covered with pretty sheers and small balconies overlooking the street. Bright and airy. The bathroom was very very clean too with a jacuzzi bath tub. The wi-fi is free in the rooms with a computer in the lobby.

The breakfast was a good spread, cereal, milk, coffee, juices, eggs made to order, breads, cheese, a variety of berries and fruits and more. (The 4, 5 delicious varieties of berries that we tasted here, we bought for our home form the spice market!). We were offered breakfast on the day we reached, even though we were late yet very early for the check in. A very warm gesture on the hotel's behalf.
For the reasonable price we paid, it was a steal. I would most certainly recommend this hotel with the most courteous and hospitable host. Thank you very much Mr Yusuf. We loved your hotel and Istanbul!

Room Tip: Room 301, a corner room had 2 full walled windows and 2 small balconies, thus making it bright and airy.
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank JammyIndia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2011

We stayed 5 nights in Basileus Hotel. It’s a small, pleasant hotel in the Sultanahmet neighbourhood. Excellent location. The Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) is about a 7 or 8 minute walk. The Sultanahmet tramway stop is about an 8 minute walk too. The Grand Bazaar isn’t very far either. In fact, for the average stroller most of the big tourist magnets, up to Galata bridge and lower Beyoglu, are at walking distance. The sympathetic managers, Muharrem and Mehmet, and their people are 100% dedicated to the guests. Mehmet and Muharrem are extremely kind, intelligent guys who know a lot about the city and its history. Just ask them for the secrets and places (e.g., to eat or party) that are not mentioned in the standard touristic guides. The breakfast buffet is very good, with lots of choice. Several times we had an omelette with cheese and fresh green pepper, which is prepared to order. There are fruits, figs, lovely big raisins, thick yoghurt, some pastry, Turkish pizza, homemade-like jams, several sorts of (Turkish) bread, cheeses, slices cold meats etc. etc. Our room, at the backside, was not very big but perfect for us. The first night we slept with the up-and-over door opened, which was not a good idea: at 5 or 5.30 in the morning, muezzins start their (beautiful!) calls to prayer. With the door closed however, and the airco on, the room was totally quiet. Warm lighting. The beds in our room were very (!) firm. The shower’s water pressure was too low, besides that the bathroom was OK. Nice detail: there was a locker in the room, although it was not anchored to the cupboard or wall (yet). In the room we had wireless internet, which actually worked perfectly (not something that goes without saying in many hotels). The few drinks we took from the minibar were not charged. Minibar prices are probably not mentioned because they are so low (perhaps 1 Turkish lira for a bottle of water and 2 lira for a Diet Coke, or something like that, the same prices as in the little grocery shops next to the hotel).

Some things we liked a lot in the close neighbourhood of the hotel:
- The Kucuk Ayasofya Camii, also known as the “Small Haghia Sophia”, built in 527 as a Christian church and rebuilt into a mosque in 1500. The tea garden next to this mosque is pure heaven. We had tea there (price: 1 TL) almost every night. About a 3 minute walk from the hotel.
- Tamara restaurant in Kucuk Ayasophia Caddesi (Street). Very decent food, but especially a perfect roof terrace, with stunning views on the Blue Mosque, Asia and the Sea of Marmara. Never-to-be-forgotten… About a 4 to 5 minute walk from the hotel. Also have a fresh pomegranate juice there (5 TL). In fact, have a fresh pomegranate juice each day (everywhere to be found in the Istanbul streets).
- Sokollu Mehmet Pasa Camii. We found this mosque, built by the great architect Sinan, perhaps the most beautiful mosque we visited. Intimate and totally in balance. About a 4 to 5 minute walk from the hotel.

Tip: buy an istanbulkart at the bus station near Galata bridge (just one card, since you can travel with more persons on it). The card costst 7 TL, you charge it at an istanbulkart machine, and you just scan it when you enter the tram, bus or ferry boat (one scan for each person). With the card, one ride costs 1,75 TL (instead of 2 TL), and after a change you pay just 1 TL (instead of 2 TL) – welcome bonus, but its mainly the convenience that makes the card very worthwhile. The alternative is buying jetons (2 TL each).

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nederlandse_toerist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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