I always count on tripadvisor reviews when booking hotels. I regret to say that tripadvisor reviews don't provide a fair assessment of this hotel. I will talk about the positive sides of the hotel, then the negative sides on the basis of my 5-day stay there.
The advantages of the hotel are that it is in general clean and that it is strategically located on the Independent Avenue. When you walk out of the hotel, there are numerous shops in the neighborhood.
Probably the main disadvantage of the hotel also comes from its location. Being a tourist street, Independent Avenue is bustling which also affects this hotel. You need to be able to sleep when the neighboring pubs are playing loud music. The noises go on after midnight. Even I was able to fall into sleep, I was waken up every night (ex: 3 am, 4 am) by the noises of the pubs or people's conversations in the neighborhood.
The hotel is also very cramped. Night shift staff needs to sleep on the sofa of the tiny lobby (not sure if it is more than 10 square meters). There is not even a kitchen in the hotel. The room is so miserably small that there is no place for a desk and a chair. I ended up sitting in bed doing everything. Also, there is no elevator, so if you have a big piece of luggage, good luck!
While the Independent Avenue is full of tourists, it is not a must-see in Istanbul. Most of the tourist attractions are in the old town. So you need to travel to the old town every day and public transportation turns out to be important. Sadly, there is no convenient public transportation at the door step. The only tram runs on the Independent Avenue is for tourism purposes, and is not very reliable. You can walk downhill for about 10-15 minutes to take the tram to the old town, but it's hard to walk uphill back to the hotel because the lane is very steep. I always take the tram to Kabatas and from there take Tunel to the Taksim Square, from where I walk for another 10-15 minutes back to the hotel. Why don't I just stay in the old town?
I also feel that the hotel is not accommodating. When I check in a hotel which I don't prepay,
I always negotiate with them to pay when I check out. This is because I can use all remaining local cash on hotel expenses without having to exchange it back to Euro or USD. In general, hotels understand this and are willing to do it. This hotel, however, insisted that I pay full amount on the time of my arrival. Even I proposed that I pay for the first three nights on the first day, and pay for the last two nights on the 3rd day, they still didn't agree. This is not good service from my point of view.
Overall, I won't go back again and will not recommend it to my friends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Serene Hotel Istanbul is perfectly located within a short walking distance to Taksim square. All rooms are equipped with a king-size bed or two twin beds, private bathrooms, safe-deposit box, air conditioning and LCD television. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline, Hotels.com, Expedia, LateRooms, TripOnline SA, 5viajes2012 S.L., HRS, HotelQuickly and Cancelon so you can book your Serene Hotel Istanbul reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.