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“Lovely but nothing spesh” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Empress Zoe

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Hotel Empress Zoe
Ranked #45 of 1,121 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Lovely but nothing spesh”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2014 via mobile

Having spent four weeks in different budget accommodations in Turkey with dirty showers and broken sleep, we decided to get something a bit nicer so that we could relax and recharge for a night before our long flight back to Australia.
The hotel itself is lovely for those who like boutique style accommodation. The rooms are nicely designed with a good feel. I will say though that I expected a little more for the price. Value probably isn't an issue for the clientele here, who seem to be mostly older well-to-do American and British tourists. We booked a deluxe garden suite in the Chez Zoe building which is one of the more expensive rooms. The room was clean and spacious, had a comfy bed, and a beautiful marble bathroom with a nice big shower. We also noticed that since our room was on the top floor, it was fairly quiet compared to the pumping bar scene that goes on in the streets below. We felt that it wasn't really
a 'deluxe' experience though, and not very good value for money. Might sound fussy, but it lacked the feminine touch.

Incidentally, we were woken up early in the morning by a dripping sound. Turns out a leaky pipe in the ceiling meant that water had seeped through the roof and made a puddle on our bed. Tired and frustrated we called reception to see if we could get someone to come and possibly flip our bed and provide some dry sheets so that we could go back to sleep. Housekeeping never came, even after visits to the reception, but we were offered an extra late checkout and a discount on the room rate. The staff had a pretty good attitude about it all and were very apologetic about the leak.

Breakfast was decent - a selection of fresh breads, spreads, savouries and sweets with coffee or tea upon request.

Some small suggestions for the hotel:
- better toiletries (maybe include some conditioner, body lotion, cotton buds or something)
- nicer towels
- better plumbing!
- investigate the crow nesting on the roof terrace (my husband was swooped leaving cuts on his head)

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Romara0709
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
annnevans1, Owner at Hotel Empress Zoe, responded to this review, 30 April 2014
We are so sorry about the leakage problem and firstly would like to make a heartfelt apology to our guests. This was a one-off situation which took place on a Sunday. And unfortunately these guests were booked only for that one night. What happened was a leak in the hot water boiler above the room. This has never happened before and of course we hope never again. Sunday is not an easy day to find technicians but we managed to do so very quickly and the leak was fixed. Incidentally we managed to fix it from above without entering the room. I am mystified as to why the cleaners did not immediately see to the bed. I am investigating that now. Also there were other beds in the suite, but of course that does not excuse not coming to fix this one right away. I am particularly sorry because these guests came to us as a sanctuary to rest up for a day after their often difficult times in budget hotels. This was really unfortunate.

What my receptionists did to make up for this very uncomfortable occurence was to show their genuine concern, give a very generous discount on the rate and a late check out which was arranged by moving bookings around to accommodate it.

Aside from the leak situation I did notice a tone about this letter which implied a problem with "boutique" hotels in general and the price differential with budget hotels. Our toiletries include a very nice organic olive oil and daphne soap (our guests often purchase extra soap when they leave), almond shampoo and shower caps. We do not go in for extras like body lotions, conditioners etc as people usually use their own and in our philosophy it makes for more plastic waste.

It seems like the "crowning" insult was delivered by the crow, but I will have to put that in mother nature's department.

Again our very very heartfelt apologies and we hope you arrived back in Australia safe and sound.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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746 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2014

Beautiful location and friendly staff are described in many laudatory reviews. I generally agree with them. Most important is a kind of feeling like this is the place where I have to return. Why? This is a whole complex of small thinks and features, which allow you, feel you find a home in strange city.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Uldis Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2014 via mobile

This was our first trip to Istanbul. It is fair to say that Empress Zoe was our best choice. Located in the old city and walking distance from many historical landmarks makes empress Zoe a great place to stay. Hotel staff is courteous and we're very helpful. Airport pickup & drop was right on time with no delays. The room was nice and clean. It was overall a memorable experience for us. Waking up every morning and going down for quick breakfast. Afterwards taking off to explore the city.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Ahsan Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2014

We wanted to find a quiet oasis in what we imagined (& found to be) to be a bustling city - so went for a garden suite in the Empress Zoe and got exactly what we wanted! The location is great with easy access to main sites and the tram. The suite was really lovely and exactly as the website presents it to be - spacious and squeaky clean and well serviced and had a lovely view of the garden from the balcony, a great bathroom, comfy bed and day beds and was quiet as you like! The side access to the backstreet was really useful too although I liked the quirky nature of the main entrance. We loved the view from the roof, the breakfast and the ladies serving it were lovely - enjoyed outside a couple of mornings and with the company of the hotel's cats! The whole vibe is friendly and informal and that's what we prefer over the sterility of larger chain style hotels. We enjoyed evening drinks in the bar and up on the roof and had fun chatting to lots of other guests and hearing their stories. The staff were helpful at all times both in emails communications before the trip and during our stay. My only comment would be to use the Istanbul Eats book for finding great food rather than the hotel's recommendations - we didn't like the fish restaurant 3 streets down that the receptionist recommended to us (arrogant service and burnt food!) but we thoroughly enjoyed every other aspect of our stay! Thank you Empress Zoe.

Room Tip: I spent time choosing the room I thought would suit us best from the hotel's helpful website - t...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JW52_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrisonburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
114 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

Our recent visit to Istanbul was substantially enhanced by our stay at the Empress Zoe. The location is perfect for touring the Old City, shopping the Sultanhamet District and Bazaars, great restaurants and a short walk to the tram stop to head toward Galata or the ferry docks. This boutique hotel has charm and such individually styled rooms, that you really need to spend time on their website looking at all the different room configurations, locations, and sizes before making your selection. The style is very authentic and you feel like you are back in byzantine times with the fabric selections, artifacts, furnishings, and artwork. Entering the lobby takes you immediately into the proper frame of mind and is very warm and welcoming. There are stairs - they are very upfront about that, however there are several rooms that have garden entrances and a smaller number of stairs to navigate. I had a sprained ankle by the time we got to Istanbul, and really had no problems navigating the stairs at all. The staff is excellent and very helpful - Hayati was our favorite. The breakfast is delicious with selections of local pastries, fruits, olives as well as scrambled or hard boiled eggs every morning. The rooms are comfortable, clean and the bathrooms clean and well maintained. Our room was also very quiet and we faced a busy street with shops and restaurants and had no problems with noise - even at prayer times. The breakfast room also serves as a bar in the evenings with a fire going every evening during our stay. It was only nice enough to sit in the garden a few mornings while we were there, but can only imagine how pleasant it is in warmer weather. For the money, it would be very difficult to find a unique boutique hotel room in a better location with a better staff and with more amenities. I really don't feel like I did the Empress justice with this review; but, if I ever return to Istanbul, I would stay no where else.

Room Tip: Be sure to look at all the rooms on the website. They post great descriptions and photos. We staye...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pat H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

Two of us booked the penthouse suite in early April and had four lovely nights there. Istanbul was freezing at the time but our room was always cozy and comfy. Gorgeous soft bed and lovely linen, endless hot water with great pressure and a cute little balcony to catch the last of the afternoon rays on. Only taking one point off for shaky wifi which was patchy at best, no matter when (or from where in the hotel) we tried. Otherwise all was perfect including the friendly helpful staff.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JazB333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2014

A charming and quirky place to stay on the Sultanahmet side of Istanbul. Close to all the attractions. Lots of stairs and my room was tiny but absolutely lovely. Helpful staff and a splendid breakfast. Beware of the call to prayer right outside the window though, but on the upside you do get views! As a woman travelling alone I felt very safe here. Good value.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank luxuryonabudget_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Empress Zoe

Property: Hotel Empress Zoe
Address: Akbiyik Caddesi, No:10, Istanbul 34122, Turkey
Region: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#54 Family Hotel in Istanbul
#75 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#105 Best Value Hotel in Istanbul
#167 Business Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 25
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Empress Zoe Hotel Istanbul

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