We stayed here for 6 nights at the end of April 2011. We had booked a standard double room on the 3rd floor (4th floor for us USA-ians). Maria -- the very pleasant concierge -- also showed us the 1st floor Harem room for an extra 10€ per night -- and we took it. The bathroom was far superior -- the rooms on the 3rd floor have cramped bathrooms, and also there were 2 wardrobes/armoirs, making it easy to unpack and hang up all our clothes. Can't comment on the Sultan's or Pasha's rooms, but we liked the Harem room a lot.
Breakfast (included in the room price, as is near-universal in Istanbul) includes eggs "as you like", a tower of bread, cereal, cut-up cucumbers and tomatoes, white cheese, and coffee or tea. Perfectly fine to fuel up for a day of charging around -- gets a little boring by the end of the week, but no problems here. I see that one previous reviewer complained about breakfast being on the ground floor in a windowless room. Not a real drawback as far as we were concerned.
Location -- do NOT rely on their map -- we took a printout of a zoomed in Google map to help in navigating the narrow streets to get back to the hotel. This was essential the first 2 days -- after that, we had it memorized. You can see the map I used at http://goo.gl/jdPSy -- it is a 10 minute walk (at most) to the Blue Mosque or the Burned Column. The location is near the suburban train tracks, so there is a fair amount of noise from this from the early morning to late evening. As usual in a Muslim country, the amplified call to prayer will get you at about 5am. We always travel with foam earplugs, and slept with them most nights in Istanbul (as in Cairo, etc.).
Tips -- ask Maria for advice. We went to the local neighborhood bath (Kadirga Hamamı) at her recommendation, and it was great. Only 50 TL (40 + tip) each, and things went really well. The massage I got was very firm, but just right for me. This bath is just across the street from the Kadirga neighborhood police station in the park 2 blocks North from the hotel. On the southwest end of the park, across the street, is a good baklava place.
- Also Known As:
- Turkuaz Hotel Istanbul