My wife and I checked in at the hotel quite late after arriving from an uncomfortable flight from Kayseri. We felt at home immediately when we were warmly greeted by the friendly reception staff. Our request for extra pillows was met almost instantly. What impressed us most were the efficient staff that really went out of their way to be genuinely helpful in little things as well as the usual services that one would expect from a boutique hotel.
Although, they gave us 2 separate beds instead of a double bed, we didn't ask for a change of room as we were just glad to be able to sleep in a really clean and fresh-smelling room and to take our showers in a nice and modern bathroom. Believe me we had stayed at another hotel in Istanbul a couple of days earlier and it was not even half as nice as the Safir, but cost us 15 Euros more. Most of the staff there were not friendly at all save for one, but even he forgot to return my credit card after I had signed the slip when we were checking out on our last day. We had to go back there on our return to Istanbul from Ephesus, Pamukkale & Cappodocia late at night just to retrieve it.
We stayed only for one night at the Safir (wish we could have stayed longer) because my wife had to fly home on her own and I was scheduled to take a flight to Hamburg for business. On the last day, the nice staff at the hotel even helped me to check the weather at my next destination on their computer at the front desk because for some reason, the Wi-Fi internet connection was not working properly in my room and I was not able to check it on my laptop. My wife, who had the whole day free to shop at the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Spice market after checking out, came back to the hotel utterly exhausted after many hours of shopping on her feet. While my wife was waiting at the lobby for a good 2 hours for the airport shuttle to pick her up, the hotel front desk staff showered her with a lot of care and attention. Despite my wife's polite decline, they still insisted on bringing her some hot Turkish apple tea, which happened to be her favorite drink throughout our trip in Turkey. What a great team of wonderful staff who understand the true meaning of hospitality! We wouldn't stay anywhere else but the Safir (Sapphire) Hotel when we should ever return to Istanbul again. We say this from the bottom of our hearts!
Any downside? Sure...
Just two irritating things that we can think of. Firstly, the street in front of the hotel is out of bounds to any vehicular traffic. Hence, if one has many heavy suitcases, it is a hassle to drag or lug them from/to the neighbouring streets about half a block away where the airport shuttle or taxi is waiting or dropping off. Plus, it isn't easy to wheel the suitcases since the street is cobble-stoned and not flat. Secondly, the street in front of the hotel can get pretty noisy due to the late night revellers dining and drinking at the many Turkish & Ottoman restaurants and bars surrounding the Safir. That's why the extra pillows we ordered came in most handy as reliable "ear plugs" to send us to dreamland quite effortlessly!
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- Also Known As:
- Sapphire Hotel Istanbul