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“Excellent location”

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Sultanahmet Palace Hotel
Ranked #319 of 1,175 Hotels in Istanbul
Reviewed 12 September 2010

The hotel is in an excellent spot within easy walking distance of all major sites. Room was clean and tidy. Bathroom would have been better without hammam style shower which took up too much room but was ok .Breakfast was fine without being special. Gardens and outside area for breakfast were an added bonus.

On the whole, a good place for a city break.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank caroldh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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97 - 103 of 194 reviews

Reviewed 2 July 2009

We spendt four nights at the Sultanahamet Palace after checking out of a near by hotel whose rooms were only slightly larger than my computer screen. The Sultanahamet Palace has a lot--potentially--going for it. It is a supurb location--right behind the Blue Mosque and in easy walking distance to Hagia Sophia, The Hippodorme, the Topkapki Palace, The Cistern and many other sights suchs at the Grand Bazaar. It also is very close to the Sultanahamet stop on the tram line--which is an excellent and reasonable way to get around Istanbul. For instance the last stop on the line--only about a 15 minute ride on the tram leaves you off five minutes from the Dombache Palace. The grounds around the hotel are very inviting nad most rooms have a balcony over looking the Mamara Sea. It also is near many restaurant. The hotel's resturant is very nice and has a good view of the sea, and is not expensive. The hotel includes an ample buffet breakfast with many choices. They also offer free service either from the airport or to the airport which we took advantage of for a flight leaving 6:00 a.m. Many of the service people are helpful, speak excellent English and are knowledgable. There also is free internet service available---when it is working. The rooms are clean and standard size.

So what are the problems. Here goes: While most of the staff of the hotel are pleasant and all of the people in the restaurant are pleasant, a few are quite rude. For instance when we asked for help in using the TV, it was an enormous chore for the staff member who came to our room. When you ask for directions to a sight or restaurant recommendation, the standard response is to want to hook you up with one of their tours, or have some restaurant with which they have an affiliation pick you up. They are reluctant to give you directions to get there on your own. The air conditioning is really not adequate for the rooms facing west which gets intense afternoon sun. I would suggest a room facing east, but not facing the garden. While internet service is techically available, the server was down all four days we were there. It appears that this is a not an infrequent occurrence. The major limitation, however, is with the bath. Although the hotel when we were there was primarily used by Europeans and Asians,all baths have a traditional Turkish hamam which takes up about 3/4 of the shower area in a relatively small bathroom. Moreover, when the hammam fills up with water, there is no way for it to drain out until the cleaning staff empties it each morning with a wet vac. While some may consider this an interesting aspect of enjoying another culture, we found it a bit of a nuisance as well as questionable as to its sanitary aspects with water laying around for up to 12 hours or more.

At 150 euros a night, I do not think some of these limitations should exist. Moreover, it is quite unfortunate because there are many nice features of the hotel. Since we did not do much more than sleep and have breakfast there, as we were out most days, the limitations did not interfere with our stay in Instanbul. However, I would be aware of what
one is getting at the Sultahamet Palace.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank m1128jm17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2009

We stayed in this hotel for our first trip to Istanbul in April 2009. Its location was absolutely excellent - right behind the Blue Mosque (yes you could hear the Muezzins call very distinctly but we felt this added to our experience) and we walked to all the major 'attractions' Topkapi, Sultanahmet Square, Hagia Sophia, local Turkish Bath Haman - and we are not keen walkers! Hotel Reception booked all trips and dealt with all requests very efficiently. Breakfast was ok - normal continental self service. We had one evening meal in the hotel (it was raining!) and were very pleasantly surprised. It was very tasty food, well presented and very reasonable. Very attractive hotel in the Turkish style which we wanted. Would most definitely stay here again for a second trip.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Carol000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2009

It has an excellent location, write behind the Blue Mosque, with fantastic views, especially from our penthouse deluxe room (309), on the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorous. Excellent bed, linen. Very good service. A minus on heating (it was winter and the heating was only through air conditioning, which went either very hot, or at all). Breakfast poor, low quality of cheese and meet (they even gave us in the morning the rests of the day before), very poor selection of hot servings. You could hardly eat anything. Also a minus on the fact that they made repairs on the neighboring rooms, during day, which was very disturbing, as we have a one year old toddler who was with us and couldn't sleep.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank FamilyBucharest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2008

I selected the Sultanahmet Palace for a four night stay after reading about it on Frommers' online guide. I've found this a reliable source in the past and it didn't fail me on this occasion. I did question my selection in the days leading up to my stay because of some of the things I read on Trip Advisor but I'm glad I didn't reverse course but it proved to be a perfect choice.

First, the hotel is in the Sultanahmet district which has immense character and is the location of several of the must-see sites such as the Blue Mosque. A lot of hotels are in or near Taksim Square, but while that is in the more "happening" area of Beyoglu it seemed too busy, too modern and too congested. I can honestly say that Istanbul would have been a totally different experience if I hadn't stayed in the Sultanahmet district.

Second, the hotel has the most fantastic view of the Blue Mosque on one side and lovely views of the sea on the opposite side. The hotel serves breakfast on this seaview side and this was a lovely way to start the day.

Third, the staff were uniformly gracious, helpful and pleasant and -- like so many people we met in Turkey -- had a great command of English.

Fourth, the hotel has everything you might seek if you really want to experience the novelty and attraction of being in a totally different environment (the central purpose of travel, it seems to me.) It was fun to see a hammam in the bathroom, the stained glass ceiling way above the lobby, and some of the ornamental objects here and there in the public spaces. What is the point of travelling thousands of miles from the USA if your hotel looks like a boutique hotel in Chicago? The Sultanahmet Palace's old-world charm was definitely one of the key reasons we loved Istanbul.

Fifth, back to the breakfast. This is a generously endowed buffet which seems at pains to meet the expectations of all the different nationalities likely to visit the hotel. I am a native Brit, so could enjoy familiar things like scrambled eggs, but there were selections that would appeal to Germans, Dutch, etc., plus lots of
Mediterranean specialties like olives, yogurt and on and on. There was no need to eat again for hours!

Sixth, one thing I will remember always is being woken up at five a.m. or thereabouts by the call to prayer from the Blue Mosque (heavily amplified!) More than any other city I have ever visited, Istanbul is memorable not only for it sights and smells but its sounds. For some people, this might sound like an unwelcome invasion of sleep but for us it was part of the magic of Istanbul.

I hope this is helpful and informative.

Stayed: September 2008
8  Thank HAGLEY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2008

The Sultanahmet Palace is located in the heart of the tourist district of Istanbul, very close to the Blue Mosque. The location is convenient to most major site-seeing attractions.

We stayed at this hotel three years ago, were pleased with the location, and satisfied enough with the hotel to try it again on our May 2008 visit to Istanbul. When we stayed previously, the rooms got unusually hot even in relatively cool weather, but the clunky central air conditioning system worked well enough to keep the room habitable. We figured that having that A/C available would work again this time.

The hotel was a bit tired-looking then, and unfortunately nothing has been done to update the property in the mean time. It is not in poor repair, just very tired. Senior or disabled travelers should be aware that the hotel has no elevator.

The Sultanahmet Palace unsuccessfully attempts to give an authentic feel by providing hamam-style bathrooms. This is a bit quaint at first, but quickly becomes annoying.

For 200 Euros, we had a deluxe room with a view of the Blue Mosque. While this sounds terrific, it proved problematic. Once in the room, we learned that the air conditioning system had not been turned on yet, and the A/C blew hot air (it only gives heat or cool to the entire hotel, nothing in between, and no individual controls). We were told by management that we should "just open the window" and that would take care of it. The problem is that with a room facing a street carrying a constant stream of traffic--primarily tour buses--one became overwhelmed with the noise and fumes. The window had to stay closed until night. At night, a large number of feral cats screeched and fought all night long on the hotel grounds. It was impossible to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time.

We checked out after the first night to go to Ephesus for the weekend, with a reservation to return to the Sultanahmet Palace when we came back to Istanbul. Management swore to me--and I asked and received the same answer three times--that the air conditioning would be on when we returned. I requested that our reservation be changed to a Standard room, to which they agreed, for a rate of 145 Euros. We had no interest in dealing with the street noise again, and the cats had seemed to focus their partying in the front courtyard of the hotel.

Upon our return, we found the air conditioning still not functioning. Management's response was that it was "cold" and unnecessary. The room was brutally hot in spite of seasonally normal outdoor temperatures. I reminded them of their promise, and received the response that I should just open the window, and everything would be fine. For the record, even opening the window in a Standard room does little to make the room a comfortable temperature.

As it was late, we stayed the night, but a brief walk around the neighborhood found many hotels that were both nicer and much less expensive. I made arrangements to move to a different hotel the next day. Management was surprised when we checked out three days early, and continued to suggest that the lack of air conditioning was not a problem in spite of their prominent advertising of it as a feature of the hotel. As I was getting this lecture again ("it's cold"; "we had a complaint about it being too cold"), another frustrated guest came to the front desk and asked for someone to come show him how to turn on the air conditioning.

First lesson learned, do your research ahead of time: there are many nice, newer hotels in the Sultanahmet district at a fraction of this cost. The other hotels I looked at when looking for another hotel all had larger, more comfortable rooms. Many are in more vibrant sections of the neighborhood (this hotel is a bit isolated). All were a fraction of the cost. The Sultanahmet Palace is a very poor value.

Second lesson learned, if you care about air conditioning, make sure any hotel you reserve has individually-controlled units. This shouldn't have been an issue in May, but for some reason, this particular hotel gets very warm inside even in normal spring weather.

The Sultanahmet Palace is not a bad hotel, just one in need of a significant refurbishment and systems updating. The staff are pleasant but not helpful. I would strongly recommend other local options over this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
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7  Thank Garin_Zagnot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2008

Note - my wife and I got a great deal online for one of the suites during off season (New Years day).

Excellent location, fabulous view (We were looking at the Blue Mosque out our window), room size - middlish considering it was a suite. Breakfast buffet was fabulous. Never ate any other meal there. (turkish food is great). I got exactly what I was looking for. A boutique hotel in a wildly interesting town.

  • Stayed: January 2004, travelled as a couple
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Thank Heironymous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sultanahmet Palace Hotel

Address: Sultanahmet Mah. Torun Sok. No: 19, Istanbul 34400, Turkey
Region: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#200 Business Hotel in Istanbul
#218 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: £40 - £110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sultanahmet Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sultanahmet Palace Hotel (Otel Sultanahmet Sarayi) is a boutique hotel located at the centre of the old city of Istanbul next to the Mosaic Museum and historic Blue Mosque. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sultanahmet Palace Istanbul
Hotel Sultanahmet Palace

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