LOCATION: The hotel is located a few minutes away from the Osmanbey metro station. Although not positioned on the main road, the hotel is located close to all the essentials you may require: restaurant options for quick snacks or casual dining (Pehlivan Restaurant definitely recommended), supermarkets. groceries, bakeries etc. Taksim square is just 10 minutes away by foot.
NOTE: The main road from the hotel entrance is only about 50m away, but the path to the road is on a steep incline and can be quite exhausting climbing up - you would have to stop at the top to catch your breath. There is a small set of staircase opposite the entrance (which most people might not notice initially) which eases the climb or the descent.
LOBBY: The lobby is a small area located near the entrance. It can be a little cramped at times, especially if you are carrying shopping bags and have to manage to push a stroller for your little one. It does however serve the purpose of checking-in and checking-out the guests with minimum efforts.
ELEVATOR: The elevator is a very tight squeeze. We just about managed to squeeze inside the elevator (myself, the missus, baby and baby stroller). If there is a lot of luggage, it will definitely require multiple trips.
CHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT: Check-in was absolutely hassle free. Since we had booked online and had requested for transportation from the airport, they were expecting us and after them having scanned our passports, they informed us of any important information that we may require and we were quickly lead to our rooms.
STAFF: This has to be amongst the friendliest and most helpful staff that we have come across during our travels, and we have visited quite a few countries in the last few years. The men at the reception, the nice and sweet mama cooking us breakfast every morning and the rest of the staff in the hotel - never without a smile. Sila (hope I have spelt his name right) is a young man who's enthusiasm and energy really impressed us all. The day that we checked in, we were given a room on the 5th floor. Sila escorted us to the elevator, pressed the button for our floor, and since the elevator was full, told us he would meet us upstairs. The elevator door closed and opened after a minute, and we see Sila standing outside. We thought that the elevator had not moved, but in actuality, Sila ran up the stairs to the 5th floor and was there to greet us when the elevator door opened. Impressive! Definitely the best customer service we have received in a long time.
ROOMS: We had booked the Superior Suite, mainly because it had a jacuzzi. Unfortunately, due to the weather and our schedule, we never managed to utilize it. The room is spacious with a large bed, a sofa-cum-bed, wardrobe, electronic safe, an electric cooking stove top, refrigerator, dining table, television and a conventional oven (this is NOT a microwave oven). The room did not have an iron, but could be arranged on request. The rooms are very clean with unique decor. Our two year old really enjoyed the space and was very happy running around the room - not cramped or claustrophobic. The windows opened to a reasonable view of the city. The room was equipped with energy saving lights - which was both good and bad. Good because it was good for the environment - bad because the lights were not too bright - slightly brighter lights would be called for. The double bed was large and comfortable - peaceful sleep almost guaranteed. Only complaint was that the mattress was two mattresses combined as opposed to a single mattress on the bed.
BATHROOM: The bathroom is spacious, has a hair dryer and a shower or jacuzzi (depending on your selection of room). Soap and shampoo was available at all times. Once again, like the room, the lighting in the bathroom was energy efficient and was quite dull - again brighter lights would have been convenient, but not necessary, as we managed to adjust.
DINING: The breakfast hall is large and spacious. The breakfast buffet was reasonable. A large variety of cheese, vegetables, eggs to order, sausage rolls, cold cuts, coffee, selection of herbal and regular tea, breakfast cereals, bread etc. was available. Most options available were healthy and vegans or vegetarians would not be disappointed.
INTERNET: Wi-Fi within the room was free and allowed multiple devices to connect at the same time. Signal and strength was excellent.
TOURS: The hotel can book all your tour requirements at very competitive prices. We were not aware of this and had already booked the tours online prior to arriving at the hotel. Our next visit, we would definitely book the tours directly though the hotel.
OVERALL: The price was reasonable, the rooms excellent and the staff incredible. Location is convenient and the area lively.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Harbiye Residence is located at the heart of the Istanbul city, one side close by just 5 minutes walking distance to the most famous Taksim Square and Istiklal Street which includes the most famous Pedestrian Street of Istanbul with lots of shopping places, art galleries, restaurants, pubs and bars. On other side has 5 minutes walking distance to the center of modern Istanbul, Nisantasi district which includes most popular high quality entertainment, shopping, national and international brands within walking distance also subway and Lutfu Kirdar (Istanbul) Congres Center.The comfortable and friendly atmosphere makes it a warm living place than a luxury hotel. Our friendly and experienced staff is ready to welcome you with simplicity and peace in your business and leisure travels in Istanbul. ... more less
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