I walked into Chora Guesthouse while I was in Istanbul and bought two nights -- ended up staying for six. The owner speaks excellent English and was very friendly, as well as accommodating to changes in my plans. The place is kept very clean, and in fact is reminiscent of a hotel in that regard, but with a more personal flair. The WiFi was excellent and the breakfast far better in both quality and quantity than I expected. I found the price to be quite reasonable, but obviously that is a very subjective view and depends heavily on one's own budget. The only thing keeping me from giving this a full five marks is that there is no kitchen for cooking, though there is a pleasant eating area with facilities for tea/coffee. Oh, and it has an excellent view of the water and the Asian side of Istanbul across the way. I would definitely stay here again.
As a side note, this is a relatively quiet place, which was perfect for me. If you are looking for a party base, this probably is not a good fit for you (but fortunately Istanbul also has tons of party hostels).
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