This trip was a mix of business and a mini-vacation, and for once I was joined by my wife. That was a bad idea, because now she thinks ALL the hotels I stay at are like this mini-palace, and nothing could be further from the truth. That being said, when I die and if I go to heaven, I hope it is as nice as this hotel.
The logistics are a bit tricky. The hotel is located in a zillion-year old building next to the overwhelmingly huge Haya Sofia mosque and museum, which is a treat. You're right in the heart of ancient Constantinople, and history abounds. But the city has just turned the whole area into a pedestrian zone, so it's hard to find a taxi that knows the secret back roads that can get you to the front door of the hotel. It can be done, but we only had one taxi out of six or seven who managed the trick. Ask for the hotel car to pick you up; it's simply easier.
The lobby is small and intimate, and although this is Ottoman heritage it almost had the feeling of an small English manor house. We were given Room 202, directly over the lobby, with a balcony and lovely views. The rooms are small and the air conditioning somewhat feeble, but the bed and bathrooms were a treat. In addition, the room had a huge balcony where we sat at night and listened to the laughter from the patio restaurant, below. It was charming.
The real kick was the bathroom. It was very large and spendlidly equipped, with a shower bigger than some hotel rooms. Elegant appointments, handsome stone work, lovely amenities -- my wife was loving it.
The food in the restaurant was great, although certainly not cheap. The breakfast buffet is more than enough. There was live music and dinner and on the one night we were there a dervish came and danced (whirled?) as an example of this unusual religous culture.
The only problems: no luggage rack, and no 120v electrical power. Minor issues, really.
We asked the concierge for a restaurant recommendation and she made a fine choice; a fish restaurant on the bridge over the Golden Horn. Again, bring your wallet, but the experience was worth the ticket.
No complaints, only praises -- well worth a repeat visit.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ottoman Hotel Imperial is situated on the truly premium location in Istanbul, on an elevated position, surrounded by all the major historical and cultural sights in the heart of the old town, Sultanahmet, viewing the impressive Hagia Sophia (St.Sophia, Aya Sofya) Museum. This is absolutely the best location in Istanbul, within easy walking distance of the main monuments. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ottoman Hotel Istanbul