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“Great lower cost pension!”

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Side Hotel and Pension
Ranked #310 of 1,159 Hotels in Istanbul
Reviewed 18 June 2014 via mobile

We have stayed here twice now. It's in a fabulous location in Sultan Ahmet, about 3 minutes walk from Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Both of these iconic places are clearly visible from the rooftop terrace, as is the sea, so watching the ships passing and dolphins leaping out of the water is possible. The pension rooms are super clean and recently re-decorated. Air con is not provided in the pension, but they do provide a large pedestal fan if you want one. It's a family owned and run business. Everyone is very helpful and obliging. Breakfast is included and is served on the rooftop terrace. They don't serve alcohol here but if you want to buy your own and drink its no problem. Wifi works well. Great value in istanbul!

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank jiguma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 June 2014

I stayed here alone for one night. It's a lovely hotel in the best possible location at a great price including breakfast. I used the taxi service at 30 Euros from the airport because I knew how hard it would be to find. Once you get your bearings it's really easy to get around on public transport. I'll stay there again on my way back out next week.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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Thank TinaWa019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

I don't know what happened, since most of the other reviews are positive. I ordered the airport transfer and there was a guy holding a sign with my name, as expected (yay!). However, he realized that the driver had not yet arrived. I sat on the floor of arrivals in Ataturk airport for over an hour while waiting for the driver.

I brought it up to the hotel staff, and he didn't even apologize and said "Istanbul is busy, everyone is waiting like this". I'm fairly sure that's not true, especially because there wasn't any traffic at the time of day I arrived.

This sort of thing went on with my interactions with the staff member while checking in, asking questions, etc. Maybe this man was having a bad day, but I didn't feel welcome, I felt like an inconvenience.

I then did something very unlike myself because i've never been pushed to the edge like this before: instead of staying 4 nights like I'd planned, I left and checked into somewhere else down the road.

I don't want to flat-out say "avoid this place like the plague!" but I seem to have gotten extremely unlucky with the circumstances.

The rooms seemed all right for the time I was in there. I didn't have cell service in the room (on Avea) and no air conditioning, but a place to sleep.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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4  Thank Michelle B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We stayed in the pension side of this hotel for close to a week. The front desk staff were always friendly and accomodating. My favorite feature about the hotel was its centrality to all the top Istanbul sights and the tram (which you could essentially take to any other part of Istanbul).

Rooms
Average but clean. The cleaning lady would come in daily to clean our rooms and did a pretty good job. Nothing special to write home about but comfortable enough for a good nights sleep. There is also WiFi in the rooms so it was nice to be able to skype at home at the end of the day.

Breakfast
Great. Not too much variety but enough to keep you full till lunch while out on our sightseeing adventures. I actually like the fact that its protein heavy with eggs and lots of veggies/olives. Also love the rooftop view. We sat on the highest rooftop and got to view the water on one side and Ayasofya/Blue Mosque on the other.

Location
Fantastic! Everything was so central to us. Catching the tram for 2TL was the best when we wanted to go to other parts of Istanbul. Also the local buses were very accessible but best was just walking around and seeing the city from an everyday perspective.

Overall, I would highly recommend staying at Side Hotel and Pension cause the price is much more affordable than hotels around. Especially with the Four Seasons only about 2 doors down. You'll get the bang for your buck.

Room Tip: Rooms with a window which let the fresh breeze in.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank msfats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

This hotel was small and cosy, and the owners and staff were warm and accomodating. It is situated close to the Hagia Sophia but is located on a quiet street, very reasonably priced. We felt safe and welcomed.
The rooms were beautiful and clean and we were treated to a large wonderful breakfast on the top floor every morning. They let us use their fridge for wine, and water bottles were plentiful and cheap.
I would stay there again, really enjoyed it!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank DesireeMV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

This older style pension is a little beauty! It is literally 10 minutes from the Blue Mosque and the tram and 15 minutes from the Grand Bazaar. It is in the midst of restaurants, excellent shops of all descriptions including carpets, leather wear and ceramics.

Our room was very clean and absolutely sufficient for our needs. The breakfast was typical Turkish with plenty of tea and coffee and great cake! The view from the terrace where breakfast was served is brilliant! We really appreciated having 24 hour access to tea and coffee in the foyer and the wifi was good too.

Despite being close to all the major attractions its location is quiet due to the very narrow streets that surround it (call to prayers excluded!).

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank SherwoodsCottage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014

Spent 4 nights and the basement room we were given was massive - two double beds, sofa & en suite bathroom. We both walk with sticks but managed the first morning to climb the 3 floors (from reception level) to the roof terrace. On the 2nd & subsequent days the staff offered to bring our breakfast down to our room! All staff were VERY helpful and as we speak a little Turkish (live in North Cyprus) they appreciated our efforts! Located near the Blue Mosque and other major attractions. Also close to a tram line & the Hop on/Hop off Big Bus. Locals were very helpful in assisting us to obtain the tokens for the trams. When we went onto the trams (with our sticks) everyone leapt up & insisted we sit!! Our overall impression was that of helpfulness!

Room Tip: We had a basement room, slightly noisy from outside but not intrusive
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ali-Kathy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Side Hotel and Pension

Address: Utangac Sok. No 20/22, Istanbul 34122, Turkey
Region: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#89 Best Value Hotel in Istanbul
#168 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#197 Family Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: £30 - £55 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet, this hotel is a 4-minute walk from Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. It offers guestrooms with free WiFi and air conditioning and flat TV. Side Hotel features a delightful rooftop terrace with views over the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia , the Blue Mosqueand Bosphorus . It is ideally located just 250 m from the Marmara Sea. Guests can enjoy a breakfast in the morning, served with an extensive variety of both Western and Turkish items. Free tea service is also available throughout the day. The Side hotel is situated 1.5 km from the Grand Bazaar. Old Istanbul‘s shopping, dining and entertainment districts are only a minute walk from the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Side Hotel Istanbul

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