We spent the last week of August 2012 in Istanbul with 3 friends (3 young women from Finland). We stayed at the Dragos Elite Hotel for 6 nights. Our criteria for choosing the hotel was basically a good pool; we wanted to combine a relaxed poolside holiday with some sight seeing.
The rooms were in absolutely impeccable condition and very beautifully decorated. Super comfortable beds and pillows and a good bathroom. There was water, coffee and tea free to use in the rooms. The 3 person room wasn't huge, but we fit in there nicely. The room was cleaned daily with fresh towels.
The pool area was gorgeous; it is good to notice that there is a lot of shade, so we had to move around a little bit to lie in the sun. It wasn't crowded, however, so there was always room to change in to a new bed or to drag the old one away from the shade.
We didn't eat dinner at the restaurant but ordered room service one night. The food was good and reasonably prized, but the people at the room service just did not speak any English (we didn't receive a fork and I had to speak to 4 different people before someone understood me)! Overall, most of the staff didn't know any English (or very little) but there was always someone at the reception who could help. And even when their English was broken all of the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The breakfast was fantastic - although fresh orange juice wasn't free! But there was a lot to eat, gorgeous, fresh fruit and an omlet station.
Many people are critizing the location; it's definitely not in the center of Istanbul, but we didn't expect it to be. There are places to eat; Baghdad avenue is only 50 meters away and there are small, local restaurants right by the hotel or you can flag down a dolmus and go further along the avenue. There is a big mosque about 1 kilometer west and there are many shops and restaurants there. Going to either Kadikoy or the European center was quite time consuming but definitely doable. We took the dolmus all the way west along Bagdad avenue. The dolmus takes you straight to Kadikoy center. With traffic it will take you almost an hour, but if there was only little traffit the dolmus was there in 30 minutes. There is a lot to do in Kadikoy, but definitely you should take the ferry to the European side. The ferries leave every 10 minutes and the ferry ride is less than 10 minutes. It takes you straight to the center by the new mosque. We made the trip to the European side on two days. Getting there was quite tiring, but it was no problem - transportation was cheap and everything was easy to do (and we don't speak any Turkish!).
We flew from Ataturk airport. We came to the hotel with public transport which was cheap but took forever and was overall a horrible experience when we were super tired and had heavy luggage. When we left we booked an airport taxi from the internet. It cost 50 euro, so much cheaper than what the hotel offers. I recommend you book a taxi in advance both ways if you fly from Ataturk (the normal taxi will cost much, much more).
Overall, we all warmly recommend the hotel. It was a very good quality; nicely maintained and the rooms were absolutely beautiful. The service was good and helpful. Don't expect to be in the center of the city but overall it was a nice place for a holiday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The five star Elite Hotel Dragos lies on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, situated in the foothills of Dragos overlooking spectacular views of the Marmara Sea and Princess Islands. The hotel is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, and unrivalled range of facilities which include The Dragos A la carte Restaurant, Tejodo Mexican Restaurant, Captain Bar, Elite Patisserie and Elite Heath and Fitness Club. Our slogan is "Come and experience the comfort of an Elite Hotel." ... more less
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