First, let me say I thorougly enjoyed my time here, but this is due to the hotel location rather than the hotel itself. Very close (5-10 min walk) to istiklal caddesi (excellent main shopping street), 2 min walk to metro, easy travel to the old parts of Istanbul, Mosques, Old Bazaar, Topkapi Palace. Walk down the hill (Kasımpaşa) to some excellent foot ferrys for cheap trips (2-3 lira) of the Golden Horn and a superb transport museum and a hop over to Eminou, the kick off point for old Istanbul and more ferries. Also, use the ferries at Kabataş to get to the Princes Islands, fantastic.
Now the hotel.
The staff are fine but get a little angry if you complain (I am used to this in Turkey, it seems it is usual).
Breakfast is the same every day but this is usual for Turkey. Expect basics only, bread, cheese, highly processed meat slices/sausages, eggs, tea and coffee. You will rarely get better elsewhere though unless you pay much more.
The rooms are quite varied (I have stayed here before), the building seems to be two buildings joined into one. I heard the desk clerk say to a lady that the rear (white? building) is quieter and has better rooms.
Unfortunately both times I have stayed in the front part of the building
If you stay in the more expensive front rooms (front building), they are larger, 4 star style but have the noise from the busy road.
If you stay in the rear rooms (front building) they are 2-3 star quality.
The walls and corridors transmit sound very easily and you hear door banging and speaking (dependant on other guests staying around you).
The air conditioning is appaling (I am a building engineer so I hopefully know what is good). In the Winter months (I have not stayed in the summer), the upper floors are too hot (even hotter if you turn on the room AC), the lower floors seem ok if you turn OFF the room AC.
This hotel is average for Turkey. The star ratings hotels give themselves is nearly always one star higher than what you would get in western europe.
Last tip, book your room from their website as the exorbitant desk price of 175 euros a night made me laugh every time I saw it.
This hotel is very average but pretends to be four star (the lobby is 4 star) and in its day (50 years ago I guess) I am sure it was resplendant. Now however it is tired and in need of an overhaul.
Just remember, this is Istanbul, a fantastic place to visit if you get out of your hotel room and be adventurous. Explore explore explore.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Istanbul
- Grand Halic Istanbul
- Grand Halic Hotel