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“A fantastic property in a great location”
Review of Hotel Empress Zoe

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Hotel Empress Zoe
Ranked #40 of 1,160 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Staff are very friendly, obliging and helpful. We found their recommendations for places to eat to be very good and within walking distance. Breakfast served by the hotel is 'home cooked' delicious and we found more than adequate.
The hotel has a lot of charm. It is a collection of old buildings which have been restored and converted into different combinations of accommodation, There is a fantastic courtyard which consists of a number of semi private spaces and is the ideal place to enjoy a drink before venturing out into the bustling nightlife of the area. Some of the major attractions are within easy walking distance.
There are three mosques close bye, so there was no doubt when it was time for prayer. You get used to it and it became part of the experience.

Room Tip: The Hotel does not have an elevator but the very helpful staff take care of your luggage. But you st...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank BendigoJandK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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229 - 235 of 777 reviews

Reviewed 8 August 2014

The location of this hotel is just fabulous, for Sultanahmet it is ideal. The hotel is quirky, the staff efficient and friendly. The only reason I gave 4 instead of 5 for service is that the one evening that we needed a few bottles of water from the bar it was closed (at 22H30). Empress Zoe is on a strip of restaurants and bars, but our room was perfectly quiet. The garden is beautiful, and astoundingly calm. The restaurant opposite the hotel with a neon "meat and fish" sign had an excellent terrace view and food was v good.

Room Tip: The split double is small, as stated clearly on the website. It has a double and a (narrow) single i...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Julia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

We stayed in the Empress Zoe for three nights at the end of July 2014. Having read all the reviews before going, I was concerned about comments citing the noise, the lack of lifts and shabby decor making it not worth the price. However, I personally feel these are unwarranted comments and we had no issues.

We stayed in the "Grand Double". This room has a good size four poster bed and two small single beds for small children. It is a good spaced room for a couple travelling without children too, as we were.

It was on the street side of the hotel and I was concerned about the noise, as the street is very busy and other people had mentioned this and the mosque noise in the reviews. However, there are two sets of windows and when you close them both, you cannot hear a thing! We didn't hear the mosque or any street noise once - apart from the day we accidentally left the outer set of windows open! The Mosque is indeed incredibly loud, so these windows are extremely effective. The room is well air conditioned too, so having the windows closed was not a problem with the heat. The internal sound proofing is a bit poor, you can hear people opening their doors and walking up and down the stairs, but as the hotel is quite small, you are really only affected by 2 or 3 neighbours.

The location of the hotel is perfect. It is situated towards the end of a long street of lovely bars and restaurants, all with roof top terraces. There is a wide choice of places to eat and drink. The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are just five minutes walk away, as is the nearest tram stop, from which you can access the whole city. To get a card for the tram and metro - you need to go to a news agent just up the road from the tram stop - the hotel can tell you where. This is a worth while investment. We spent 5 lire over three days between the two of us and we used the tram daily to visit places all over town. Taxis are also cheap but the traffic is not great and you do hear stories of the odd corrupt driver going the 'long way' round.

The hotel is decorated in a rustic/classical style. It is not the Four Seasons, but it is certainly not shabby. If you are looking for chrome and polished marble, then this is not the place for you. But, if you are looking for clean, well built and beautifully decorated, then Empress Zoe is the place to go. The hotel also has a roof top terrace where you can take a glass of wine and look out over the bospherous. There is also a beautiful garden where you can have breakfast/drink. Both are open throughout the day. The hotel also has a bar where you can get a good selection of cocktails, beers and wines. The breakfast was lovely, and had a good healthy option for those not wanting a hot breakfast.

The staff were wonderfully helpful. They didn't push any tours onto you but if you asked, would arrange Bospherous tours and taxi pick ups. The reception is 24 hours too, so good for those arriving late.

There are indeed a lot of stairs in this hotel, so if you do have disabilities it is not the place to stay unfortunately. However, if you can manage two flights of stairs, then it isn't a problem. There is a porter to carry your bags up and down.

Wifi is free and fast.

The taxi pick up was a bit difficult, when I came out there was no one waiting with a sign as I was told their would be. I walked up and down five times and stood around looking very lost hoping it would become obvious. Had I been a new traveller I would probably have been a bit concerned! I had to call the hotel, who did their best to contact the driver and eventually I did meet up with a harrassed looking girl who was clearly coordinating drivers for a number of pick ups. She was meeting people and then taking them to the taxi and therefore was not always at the exit ready to meet people. There were a lot of angry tourists complaining about waiting and not being able to find the driver, so I would suggest you just get a taxi, its the same price. This was not the hotels fault - it is the company that organises it and the hotel did their best to rectify it. It is also worth noting that you can get a metro from the airport into the city. This will take you within 1km of the hotel, where you can either get a tram, or walk or take a taxi. The traffice was horrendous when I arrived (two hours to get to town) and I wished I'd just taken the metro as I only had a small bag.

The hotel is quite pricey, we paid 160Euro a night, however, it seems that for a boutique hotel of this quality, this is fairly market rate. It was well worth the investment, being able to retreat out of the busy streets to a quiet oasis to enjoy a glass of wine in the garden really made our holiday. I would definitely stay here again and recommend it.

Room Tip: The Grand double, although on the street side is quiet. It is above the kitchen though, so you can h...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
6  Thank Difi10001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

This was our second stay at this hotel. We stayed in the Cistern suite this time. The suite was well laid out, with separate bedroom and sitting room. Bathroom was large, with a huge shower. Lovely private patio in the beautiful garden. Excellent breakfast served, and the staff members are friendly and helpful. The location is perfect, being right next to the Aghia Sofia. You do need to be able to climb stairs, as there is no elevator, but staff is very helpful re: portering luggage.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Richard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

This is definitely the hotel to stay! It is close to all the major sights yet in a quiet street. With its quirky labyrinth of staircases and beautiful hidden gardens, it is an oasis of calm in this buzzy city. We stayed in the Penthouse which was delightful with its own roof top terrace. All in all highly recommended. I'd love to return to Istanbul and will certainly stay at Empress Zoe.

  • Stayed: May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Angela E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Charming hotel situated close to main historic sights, very friendly and helpful staff. rooms are comfortable with good air conditioning. Wifi a little spotty at times but very acceptable. nice quiet garden where you can take b'fast and drinks. Can only recommend.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank ph h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Cannot recommend this hotel highly enough. Though it is arranged over about 6 floors without lift. Gorgeous roof terrace and garden. Friendly & helpful staff who gave us recommendations for restaurants and help with getting around. Tasty breakfast. What more can we say. It is superb value. Even though it is between the Blue Mosque & Aya Sofia in the old town it is a haven of calm.
Our room on the garden level- it was not large but was charmingly decorated - very individual with an old style stone sink. Lots of storage shelves and a good shower.

Room Tip: We were on the street/garden level in 601 at the back of the hotel - but found it perfectly quiet.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank janegardner
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

Address: Akbiyik Caddesi, No:10, Istanbul 34122, Turkey
Region: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#53 Family Hotel in Istanbul
#74 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#167 Business Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: £49 - £119 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 25
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Also Known As:
Empress Zoe Hotel Istanbul

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