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“Charming Hotel” 5 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
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Charming Hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2014

This is a charming hotel in a wonderful location, I cannot recommend it enough. The staff are very friendly, helpful and knowledgable. The decor is beautiful and eccentric, but consider the fact that there are lots, and lots of stairs, all spiral. We stayed on the top floor at the front, and had a cute little balcony with wonderful views over the Marmara Sea, and below the vibrant old town was in view. It was little noisy, but did not wake us. The garden is a lovely place to have breakfast, and there is a bar open all evening. A magical place...

Room Tip: Research the rooms on the website, they are all quite different. And remember all the stairs!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AlexK1ss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (175)
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English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2014 via mobile

This hotel was in a great location and had lots of charm. It is close to many of the tourist sites and public transportation. Although you can hear the prayer call in the morning, with the windows closed it is hardly noticeable. Breakfast was delicious. This hotel does have quite a few stairs and no elevator but they were more than willing to carry our bags. Overall, this was a wonderful experience.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

I agree with all of the positive things that have been said about this hotel - the gracious staff, the wonderful breakfast, the charming garden, the perfect location in Sultanahmet. I used the airport pickup service which was problem-free.
Regarding Istanbul itself, I would recommend arriving at the major attractions (the Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Basilica Cistern) as early as possible to avoid the crowds. The museum pass was well worth it - you walk right in rather than wait in long lines. Be prepared for lots of solicitation - carpet salesmen, boat rides on the Bosphoros, offers of help.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • 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?
4 Thank Monkhood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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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
#103 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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