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“Wonderful position, fabulous staff, fair price”

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Artefes Hotel Istanbul
Ranked #152 of 1,159 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 January 2014

I would definitely recommend this hotel for a number of reasons.
1. The rate is very fair for Istanbul.
2. The rooms are simple and clean and there is reliable heating.
3. The hotel is on a side street which makes it a quiet spot to sleep at night.
4. This is a great location for single women as there are no creepy men on the streets trying to hit on women and there are a number of excellent restaurants withing 25m of the hotel.
5. At a slow walk the hotel is 8 minutes from the Hippodrome and well positioned to explore Sultanamet.

And finally, the management and staff are wonderfully helpful and also, don't forget that breakfast is delicious and served on the top floor or rooftop.

We would definitely return to the Artefes Hotel

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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115 - 121 of 485 reviews

Reviewed 5 January 2014 via mobile

Decide yourself if the price is appropriate the information below and happy travel to Istanbul

As we planned to spend in Istambul one whole week between the New years eve we were looking for a nice hotel with decent price (room/night 100EUR does not seem little ...) - no necessary saving on budget but good value for money and good location in walking distance from the heart of Sultanahmet (Aya Sofia). Artefes hotel (we purchased it as 4* tvrough booking.com but I am extremely surprised that on tripadvisor they only declare 3*) advertised over 8 out of 10 points on booking.com , was convenient by location, looked clean and declared to have very nice hamman/sauna (on the top as free service if you spend certain number of nights). Compared to other available hotels the availability of nice sauna/hamman was a deal breaker (not the fact that we might get it also as a perk - free).

This is overview of all factors to be fact-based:
• Airport pickup: free of charge if you stay >5 nights, surprisingly worked absolutely ok and was very convenient (saving 10€ which you pay for 2 persons for airport shuttle from Sultanahmet)
• Location: Sultanahmet; even though not directly on the main hotel street, still next to other hotels and literally in 5 mins reach to Hippodrom and the Blue mosque
• Room: enough spacious, with 2 windows, I was affraid of being cold but had a heater and the hotel had a regular winter bedcovers (very positive for somebody with high temperature comfort level as I am)
• Cleaness: every day nicely groomed room (not able to evaluate if the bathroom was cleaned all every day or only towels and toil.paper but no complains from our side)
• Breakfast: selection ok, even though afrer a week you would expect at least some alternations; what was very dissapointing was
- 15 mins before the breakfast end there was no coffee and the service just responded to my question with no interest and the fact that "coffee finished" ...
- once already one hour before the breakfast finish there was almost no bread selection, people started coming for breakfast but the staff obviously did not care much
- croissants - once 2/3 of the whole plate was burnt and second time it was all spoiled - 2x out of 7 nights just seems to be too much, not mentioning that such an item should never appear on the custommer's table
• Sauna/Hammam: we ordered the sauna for certain time; at the selected time (when we even checked 50 mins before with the reception) the sauna had 26C. After 2 hours it reached 76C - not something you expect from sauna. The basement where sauna/hammam was located was obviously not used at all and the pictures in the ad was just a very nice ad completely unmatching the reality. Few chairs dirty from dust, shower the same (first we had to clean it before usage). Absolutely inadequate the price and what the hotel advertised
• Other services: we never eat in the hotel during the day which was the reason why we were not seaking anything else

Overall:
• I value my time too much for spending it by writing novels on various forums but this time I want to help other travelers to have appropriate expectations and decide right as I am a happy tripadvisor uset to seek valuable insights
• We are travelers traveling often to locations with no comfort and with very basic infrastructure (trekking, mou tains, Asia as independent travelers) on the othe hand travelling a lot for business and hve appropriate comparison - also, typically not a person who complains but I want to get value for money which in this case was not fully met.
• Hotel offered us better room for the first night - we did not use it as we did not want to move all our stuff next day in different room again
• Room was nice; even though by europen measures definitely not a 4* this is expectable in similar type of location in middle east
• Hotel's presentation created much higher expectation from what we got
• Some services were unsatisfactory (breakfast service, see above)
• Sauna - you pay for a missleading info - do not expect you can use it

In 2009 we spent 4 nights in a hotel just 100m from Artefes - price substantially lower and service adequate. In my opinion win this case we paid too much but inadequately the advertisement

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank HLUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2013

I've reviewed this hotel previously as we stayed here last year on our first trip to beautiful Istanbul, but I can't help but give it another vote of support now. Murat and his staff were just as wonderful as the last time we were there, and he went out of his way, and was more than patient, in helping us arrange a three day excursion to Ephesus, Kusadasi, and Pamukkale from home by email before we even arrived, and did an awesome job of it, by the way (thanks so much, Murat!!). We got the same room we had last time, which was great and felt, to us, like home, and the location cannot be beat. Lovely little neighbourhood with little shops and friendly merchants, and close to everything - a five to ten minute walk to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia the Basilica, and the Hippodrome, 20 minutes to the Grand Bazaar, and the metro is a breeze to get everywhere else. A couple of changes - new fridge with goodies in the room, and a nice covered area on the roof. The breakfast is something we're totally used to in Turkey now, so no issue from us. Highly recommend and we can't wait to go back. Next time I'll partake in the spa! We love this place.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank janett1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Murat_Tas, General Manager at Artefes Hotel Istanbul, responded to this reviewResponded 21 December 2013

Dear Our Guest; Thank you so much for sharing your comments regarding your recent stay in our hotel.We are so glad to see your nice words about our hotel , breakfast and staff.. We are trying our best to improve our service to make our guest's accommodations a superior experience,
We hope to see you soon again as our guest.
Kind Regards,
Murat TAS

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2013

This is the type of place to stay if you're a stickler for good service at a good price.
The rooms are of a reasonable size, and the bathrooms are more than sufficient. I've heard that hot water can be a problem in some of the smaller hotels, but I didn't have an issue even once. Our room also had a stocked mini-fridge. It doesn't come stocked with alcoholic drinks, but you can always buy some about 30 seconds away, and keep them cool in your room. The room service cleaned the room well, and provides you with a pair of slippers to walk around the hotel if you're too lazy to put your shoes on. The walls are kind of thin, but I didn't have any issues.

They have a nice rooftop patio with a beautiful view, a covered area with some cushions (very nice for early morning tea). In the basement, there's a mini gym (basic Weider home-gym machine, and an elliptical, and a sauna (I didn't use it). They might have free weights in there, but I'm not sure because I didn't use it. There are over 300 TV channels, mostly non-english, but you will get Bloomberg, and there's a music video channel which plays western and eastern videos (ch: 297)

I had a great time staying here, and was treated really well. The night manager Kenan, and employee Umit even went so far as to share food, and tea with me.

I highly recommend this place for individuals wanting to stay in the Sultanahmet area.
It's easy to walk around, however there are some steep streets, which shouldn't be a problem for any able-bodied person.

The hotel has over 5 restaurants within a 1-2 minute walking radius, which mostly serve the same food, so I wouldn't worry about one being much better or worse than any other one, although if you want to save money, I recommend eating closer to the Spice Bazaar, as prices will be a little cheaper, and it's within a 15-20 minute walk from the hotel (there's also the fish market in the other direction, where you can get a fish sandwich or plate of mussels for cheap - this is more like street meat than restaurant food, but is still extremely delicious)

Overall, I highly recommend this place! Make sure to reserve directly with them for the best deal. We used Hotwire to book while on the plane over (procrastinators...), but found out we could have saved by calling them up.
Make sure you say "What's up" to Kenan, and Umit!

Thanks for the hospitality, Artefes!

Room Tip: There's not really any rooms with a view, but if you have to have one, ask for a room facing out...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank A A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

I'm really not sure how to review this hotel. I booked the hotel months ago, a double room. When we arrived they only had a twin left as the hotel was fully booked. I had confirmed our arrival so a little miffed about this, although we were changed the next day to a double. The room that we were changed to (201) often smelt of sewers. The room was okay, bit small but useable. The safe didn't work and, despite being assured it would be fixed on Monday was not fixed until after we left, Saturday. The décor was plain, pale green and brown, but there were patches where the paint had peeled and the trim from the headboard had come off and was just hanging. The shower in room 201 was a great size due to the shape of the hotel, but the bathroom could seriously do with a scrub.

Overall, the impression I got from the room and hotel is that it could seriously do with a face lift, some care and attention and then it would be very good.

The friendliness and helpfulness of the staff depended on who you spoke to, two were great, one a bit surly. We're not sure if this is because his English is not so good and was worried what he was going to be asked, or if it was just tourist-lag. Maybe we didn't spot the tip box until way to late.

Breakfast was great and included. In good weather the open terrace is definitely the place to be. The buffet selection was very varied and well stocked. The staff clearing away the plates appreciated an acknowledgement. If the weather is not so good then the breakfast room still has great views.

We didn't see much of housekeeping, but seemed pleasant when we passed them in the hallway.

Location is the saviour of this hotel, 5 minutes walk to the Blue Mosque through the Arasta Bazar and all of Istanbul beyond. Many of the restaurants and hotels with restaurants either had a roof terrace with a view of the Blue Mosque/Bosphorous, or a terrace that looked out onto the Bosphorous so there was never a need to go far for dinner, if you didn't want to.

I have given this hotel 4/5 as we did enjoy our stay, but it's really 3.5/5.

Room Tip: Don't go for 201, smelly.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Joolz37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2013

I booked for 3 nights from the hotel's website directly because they offered free airport transfer at least one way- as this was my first trip to Istanbul, I preferred to be picked up. I faced enormous delay at the immigration because I was misinformed by Turkish Airlines agent that I didn't need a visa on arrival if I was coming from the US (on a Canadian passport). It took me over 2 hours just to get out of the airport and I was worried my pick up must have left - especially since I had read countless reports of airport pick ups not showing up at all. I must say, to the hotel's credit, the driver was immensely patient and actually stood with a placard at the waiting area all the while- I was really impressed because I was their only guest pick up that day!
Hotel location was within walking distance to the Blue Mosque- in fact great views from the rooftop as well as of the Marmara sea- and other attractions like Aya Sophya, Topkapi.. I only wish the rooftop renovation work was complete by then! I was very skeptical about the toilet, as I had read endless reviews of how tiny restrooms are in Turkey, but Artefes was just about reasonable.

Staff was very helpful in giving information, tips to get around or plan the day efficiently while being well versed in English. Breakfast was decent, excellent views, very safe to walk back to at night and I had no experience of being woken up by the call of Azaan as is the usual complaint!


Plus points - elevator available (a lot of these old buildings don't have them), location, small refrigerator, bathroom amenities (appreciated the free razors), cleanliness.

Negative points - if you want to use the hammam, you have to give them at least 90 mins heads up and that still doesn't guarantee the masseur will be available; locker in room didn't work, very limited TV channels (but who has time to watch the telly?)

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank Ayeshafarzana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2013

For its price range, Artefes was a pleasant experience. Rooms are small, but charming. Breakfast was good, and there is a super nice shisha place just across the street. The hotel is very near to Sultanahmet and all the sights. Staff were very helpful, but tips are required:) The hamam is small, and I suspect, a light version of the real thing. However, it opens on demand, and it was a really relaxing thing to do after a long day out.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank tonjemv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Artefes Hotel Istanbul

Address: Kucuk Ayasofya Cad. Cayiroglu Sok. No:17 Sultanahmet, Fatih, Istanbul 34400, Turkey
Region: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#45 Best Value Hotel in Istanbul
#65 Spa Hotel in Istanbul
#176 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#177 Family Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: £24 - £84 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Artefes Hotel Istanbul 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Artefes Hotel is located on walking distance of such historical and major city sights as St. Sophia (Aya Sophia/Hagia Sophia), The Blue (Sultanahmet) Mosque, The Cistern Basilica (Yerebatan Cistern), Topkapi Palace, The Grand Bazaar (Kapalicarsi) and Spice bazaar) Misir Carsisi. Old City and its palaces divide the historical peninsula down the middle and lead guests directly from the hotel into the heart of Sultanahmet. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Istanbul Artefes Hotel

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