We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Super Convenient to Sultanahmet Square”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Ottoman Hotel Imperial
Ranked #122 of 1,181 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 July 2014

I stayed here in April '14. While the hotel is a mix of updated and dated features (bathrooms were terrific, bedroom slightly dated but clean and comfortable,) the excellent location overcomes any drabness. Located on a side street out of the hubbub of Sultanahment Sq. its super easy to walk to the Square at any time of day to enjoy the major sites - Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and best yet, the Topkapi Gardens. IN April, it was in bloom with the national flower - tulips! It was nice to get up early before the crowds arrived to walk/jog in the Gardens surrounded by walls and well protected from cars. THe hotel location allows you to go back to your sites without feeling you have to make it a major journey. There are hundreds of wonderful little cafes and restaurants to choose from. We had a room that was large, quiet, slight views of the minarets, and as mentioned before, excellent bathrooms. Rooms were very clean, mattresses firm, duvets warm. You will wake up early due to the morning call to prayer at all the nearby mosques. Front staff will do anything to make your stay comfortable. I would stay here again.

Room Tip: If you are traveling with a companion who is not your nearest and dearest, staff will help you separ...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank fgg2918
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (1,805)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

331 - 337 of 1,805 reviews

Reviewed 30 June 2014

We were taken to this Hotel's restaurant by our walking guide, a man who seemed to know everybody in Old Istanbul. I am really happy he did. This was the best meal we had in four days in Istanbul, which included dining at some of the finest restaurants in the city. A very large menu, fresh ingredients prepared daily, in a traditional Turkish manner. May I recommend the lamb shank served on a bed of mashed egg plant. If the weather is warm, the outside terrace cannot be beat. Comfortable seating, excellent service. Try it!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank timtruett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Sea Song and Elking tours booked us at this hotel which is directly across from the Hagia Sophia. We spent five nights here and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We were able to walk to many of the historic sites within minutes. We also took the tram which stops nearby. The hotel restaurant, Matbah, serves foods made from the Sutlans' (updated) recipes. Though the room was very small and a bit loud, we would return because it was well-kept, and the service quite wonderful.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank kart1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2014

The choice of hotel was made by our “Travel Counsellor” Anne Hancock.
This hotel is a perfect location in Sultanahmet. We stayed three nights and it was so easy to access the local highlights of Istanbul - the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern are all within a five minute walk from the hotel. Further venues like the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus Cruise ship terminals are all within walking distance. If you do not want to walk, the tramline stops are only a short distance from the hotel.
Our room was 511, a standard room - clean with all the required facilities. It was not a large room but certainly not too small. It was situated two floors below the foyer level and there was no lift in this section of the hotel which could be relevant to less able patrons. We are both in our late Sixties and found no difficulty. It was Hakki, the very friendly and efficient porter, who handled our cases. The sensor activated lighting, despite comments by a previous reviewer; I considered being very “Green”.
The breakfast buffet had a selection of hot and cold foods available together with machine dispensed fruit juices and coffee. It was adequate. Although we did not eat in the restaurant, it was full to capacity each evening which we felt was a verification of its first class reputation.
On the front desk, it was Erhan with whom we had most contact and what an asset we found him to be - always courteous, efficient and really helpful in our information requirements.
On the third night of our stay we were upgraded to a suite, which was superb, and the following morning we were introduced to Handan, the Guest Relations Manager, who had authorised our upgrade. Whilst waiting for our luggage to be brought from our suite, in the course of our conversation, it was mentioned that my travelling companion was celebrating a birthday the next day.
We then proceeded outside to await our transfer transport.
Within minutes Handan emerged from the hotel with a cake, complete with candles and glasses of Turkish Tea, together with several members of staff singing “Happy Birthday”.
It was a complete surprise and it went much further than anything we would have expected.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank RobCardiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

The hotel was perfectly located in Sultanahmet, only 5 mins from everything. The hotel was very nice and the breakfast delicious (if i can be picky the juices were not fresh / squeezed).
Our room was small but it was what we needed, also very clean and view to the street.

Room Tip: Please do ask not to stay in the bottom floor - strange smell in the hallway. BUT the room smelled s...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ele m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014

When last I reviewed the Ottoman Hotel Imperial it was my favorite small hotel in Istanbul - relatively unknown but a great location, a great value with reasonable facilities and pleasant service. Now it has become a place with a split personality in a way that does not allow me to recommend it. If you get into the good part of the hotel it is fine, delightful, but if you are in the bad part of the hotel it is really awful. The risk of getting stuck in the bad part makes it a "poor" choice in my view.

My wife and I went to Istanbul for a four-day weekend recently and after considering a variety of hotels I chose my old standby, the Ottoman Hotel Imperial. It was my first time back after an absence of a few years and I wanted a reliable hotel to ensure my wife would have a good experience (...oh, no... readers of my other reviews know where this is heading!....).

About three weeks before our visit I booked the hotel through Expedia. Given the widespread duplicity among hotels in Turkey when it comes to reservations from third party sites like Expedia I usually book directly with a hotel's website, but in this case I used Expedia because I wanted to use up some of my "VIP" bonus points and was pleased to see the Ottoman was a VIP selection. I also felt confident from previous stays the Ottoman was an honest hotel in terms of not discriminating against Expedia bookings. Hah!

On Expedia's site I shopped the different rooms available at the Ottoman and booked a VIP, upgraded room, prepaying for a better rate and immediately receiving a confirmation from Expedia with the hotel's confirmation number for my room. So far, so good.

Three weeks later at the airport enroute to Istanbul I received an email message from Expedia saying that the hotel could not confirm a VIP room but would do their best to get me one. What!? Why had they previously sent me the hotel's confirmation number with a cheerful message I was booked and confirmed and good to go? Since I was literally boarding the aircraft when that email came through it was far too late, of course, for any calls to the people who took my money with the assurance everything was confirmed with the hotel, but I had faith the Ottoman Hotel Imperial would come through with the room for which I had prepaid. Hah!

Our plane was delayed with an arrival putting us into the thick of Istanbul's nightmarish traffic jams for travel from the Asian side (we flew into the Sabiha Gokcen airport) so we arrived mid-evening at the hotel. On arrival at the hotel my wife and I were greeted warmly and informed that the hotel did indeed have an upgraded room for us as promised. Wonderful! The reception tried to steer us into the arms of the concierge for a presentation on excursions and other activities. We waved that off, explaining we had been to Istanbul many times, and said we wanted to go straight to the room.

We were escorted outdoors through the restaurant's outdoor terrace to a separate building built into the slope of the hill behind the hotel, with the roof line just above the outdoor terrace for the restaurant. Upon entry we were struck by how the building smelled like a bunker, damp, airless and fetid. Lights were off but as we entered the building they automatically turned on as we walked down a short corridor to the proposed room. This was not at all the Ottoman hotel I knew from previous visits, which at least avoided the abjectly negative aesthetic of pitch black corridors with automatic lights, somewhat like a cheap gas station restroom as the lights flick on as you fumble your way in the dark.

The room was indeed larger than expected but had a much lower ceiling than the rooms I had previously had at the Ottoman. Worse yet, the large window opened onto the restaurant, with many people seated in the main part of the outdoor terrace restaurant five feet away who looked into the room to see what we were up to. The open windows, clearly necessary to deal with the otherwise fetid atmosphere, admitted every adjacent conversation.

The floor level of the restaurant terrace was just slightly higher than the room so that the seated diners looked directly into the bed area. We had arrived at dinner when the restaurant was packed and noisy, to get the complete total-absence-of-privacy effect. There was a bit of greenery on a open trellis between the room and the diners, but absolutely nothing that significantly blocked the view of the dozen or so diners who would be our guests in our bedroom if we did not close the blackout curtains and shut the windows and turned up the air conditioning. In addition, a quick look around showed the bathroom was poorly maintained with black mold visible in the joints between tiles. Ugh!

We told the porter the room was not acceptable and went back to the reception area where they said the proposed room was indeed an upgraded room, but that if we did not like it they had one more room, a "standard room," to show us. All the other rooms were booked that evening.

Back we went to the bunker building and this time we descended two floors lower to a much smaller room literally in the basement, where the one window opened into what seemed to be an air ventilation trench. Craning one's neck and looking upward it was just barely possible to see a patch of sky at the top of the trench. Truly awful! We rejected that room as well and hiked back upstairs to the reception desk in the "good" building.

The reception told us they would try to get us a better room outside of the bunker building, in the "good" building, the next day but that the two rooms we had seen were the only rooms they had available that evening. We were absolutely exhausted from a day of travel so we agreed to take the first, larger room, feeling that we could close the windows and turn up the air conditioning to help mask the restaurant noise and leave the blackout curtains closed for that one evening. The reception helpfully explained the restaurant would empty by 11 PM, not good news for a couple that needed to get to sleep earlier than 11 after a very long day of travel. I slept like the dead but my wife barely got any sleep at all.

The next day we went to breakfast and then checked with the reception, who said we could come back between 11 and 12 to look at what was available. Off we went for a couple of hours' tourism, including a visit to Hagia Sophia next door. At 11 we returned to the hotel and were shown a fine room on the first floor of the old building, with high ceilings, a view of Hagia Sophia and a very clean bathroom. Perfect! This was the Ottoman Hotel Imperial I had known in years past and to which I had given great reviews. We had coffee at the corner cafe while they made up the room and then moved our bags to the room. The rest of our stay was great, exactly the way I expected it to be when I first booked our rooms.

I really hate it when a hotel does business combining two radically different buildings with radically different levels of quality under the same name, not making it clear for Internet bookings when they will assign guest to a clearly inferior room in the inferior facilities.

When you book at the Ottoman Hotel Imperial on a site like Expedia you can spend top dollar for an upgraded VIP room and then when you arrive they put you into a grossly substandard room - that's what happened to me. It may have slightly more floor space but being in a fetid, badly smelling building with a poorly cleaned bathroom and a window that opens into an active restaurant with diners only five feet from your window, well... that's just a ripoff.

I'm glad the hotel moved us to an acceptable room after the first night but in no way do I feel grateful they did what they should have done the first place. I still feel ripped off for the time wasted and the hassles involved and the ripoff of an awful room that first night. I don't like hotels where you have to negotiate with management for them to honor the deal they made no matter how friendly the management may be. I don't like hotels where you have to cut into your planned day to come back to the hotel to look at another room, pack your bags and move again and so on.

No matter how pleasant the desk crew may be (and the Ottoman's personnel are very pleasant, friendly people), there are too many good hotels out there to get stuck with such hassles, especially now that the Ottoman has raised their prices from years past and promotes itself as a "luxury" hotel. No way is this a luxury hotel, not even in the "good" part of the hotel.

I also don't like the basic dishonesty of what is clearly a discriminatory attitude towards reservations done through Expedia. One encounters this a lot in Turkey but I was very surprised to see it at the Ottoman. You see such discrimination when you book through Expedia and you get a terrible room but if you book through the hotel website you get a much better room. Some hotels will actually tell you right up front they make more money on a direct booking so you should not be surprised they shaft you if you book through Expedia or some other third party site.

I think it's dishonest for a hotel to sign up with Expedia and then not honor the business Expedia brings them, especially if they sell a "VIP" or "upgraded" room through Expedia and then at the last minute after any cancellation deadline runs out they either a) tell you they don't guarantee a good room or b) substitute an absolutely terrible room. I'm also becoming extremely unhappy that Expedia is not keeping an eye on hotels it works with to weed out those who discriminate against Expedia clients.

For that matter, even without discrimination against Expedia bookings when a hotel has a mix of really nice rooms and also really terrible rooms and sells both at the same price, well, it's foolish to take your chances making a reservation with that hotel unless you know for sure exactly which room you will get.

On the plus side, if you know for sure you will be staying in the part of the Ottoman Hotel Imperial which fronts onto Hagia Sophia, the "good" part, the hotel is a good choice. They've increased their prices so it is no longer the outstanding value it used to be, but the "good" part of the Ottoman Hotel is a fine choice for a better-than-average, smaller hotels in Istanbul. Not even the "good" part of the hotel is a "luxury" hotel, but the "good" part of the hotel is a very pleasant choice with friendly, really nice people and is a reasonable value for money spent.

I really like the people who work there and you cannot beat the location. The people are all warm and friendly - the Ottoman Hotel Imperial I had come to know and love in years past. They are such nice people I almost want to forget what a truly terrible room we stayed in that first night. But it was too bad an experience to forget and not worth taking the risk of repeating.

It's true the breakfast buffet is nothing special (too limited a choice of fresh fruit - no bananas, for example), but the breakfast is tolerable for a short stay and is served in a delightful breakfast room with very nice ambiance. It's also true the staff has small lapses that merit a reminder now and then (see below) but that seems to be part of the charm of the place.

WiFi is free but is so slow that it becomes overloaded and unusable unless you get up at 6 AM to use it before other guests wake up and start using it. Unless you like doing your email between 6 AM and 8:30 AM on a weekend you may as well reckon that the WiFi does not exist. Regrettably, terrible WiFi is the norm in all sorts of hotels from good to bad.

For our last night the room was not thoroughly made up and, unlike the previous two nights, no Turkish delights on the bed with the turn down service. Towels were fresh and clean but too few. Robes are big, wonderful Turkish cotton terrycloth robes.

The night before checkout we asked about a cab for our next morning's ride to the airport and were assured it could be ordered on ten minutes' notice. The next morning just after breakfast at 8 we asked for a cab to come by at 8:30 and were assured it would be there. At 8:15 we reminded the reception we'd need a cab in 15 minutes, and were assured it was ordered and would be there. At 8:30 we checked and saw there was no cab. They had not ordered the cab so we waited around until about 8:50 for a cab to come. This is not a deal breaker but something to keep in mind if you are depending on the hotel to get a cab for a tight connection - order early and remind the reception and bell boy.

As much as I like the "good" part of the Ottoman Hotel Imperial the "bad" part of the hotel is so truly awful I advise travelers to choose somewhere else unless you know for sure the room you will get is in the "good" part of the hotel. I can't imagine flying to Istanbul and getting stuck in the fetid, cell-like conditions of one of what appear to be the basement, "standard" rooms. It is beyond me how anyone could describe a hotel as a "luxury" hotel that has such abjectly awful rooms as part of their establishment. The use of the word "luxury" in connection with such facilities is a total and complete ripoff.

Besides the unacceptable risk of being assigned such a truly awful room I also rate this hotel as a "poor" choice and would overall recommend avoiding it because of the last minute renouncing of the confirmation previously given. There is no excuse with modern travel technology for a hotel to take reservations weeks in advance, to confirm a better-quality room and then come back the day of arrival to say they won't after all confirm the better-quality room. For me that is unacceptable and is not a risk I will take twice.

I realize that the involvement of a third party like Expedia complicates the transaction slightly but handling such transactions is a routine part of the job of being a hotel in the Internet age - hotels which cannot handle such routine matters do not deserve my business or yours.

So, as much as I like this hotel for the "good" part the "bad" part is so unacceptable I'll try somewhere else my next visit to Istanbul.

Room Tip: Stay in the building fronting the Hagia Sophia. Do not stay in this hotel otherwise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank DimitriDonskoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2014

Dear Ottoman Hotel Imperial,

My parents and I had an absolutely fantastic stay in Istanbul and very much appreciated the hotel and its stellar service. From the moment we arrived, the attention to detail was superb. We received a complimentary upgrade to an amazing view and room, and the daily breakfast was delicious. Most important, however, was the outstanding service provided to us by your Concierge (both attendants were phenomenal, but especially the lady who had just started in Mid-April) which really made our visit a phenomenal experience. Despite that week being her first week on the job, she was very helpful when our package from the Hagia Sophia Museum was not delivered in time, despite our departure that day. Through her incredibly resourcefulness and diligence in ensuring everything worked out -- and indeed it did. The front desk staff was also top-notch.

Overall, we had an amazing time and we will most certainly recommend this hotel to all of our friends! Thank you for making our stay in Turkey one that we will cherish for years to come.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank 2014_Globaltravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Istanbul hotels
Sultanahmet
Yasmak Sultan Hotel
Yasmak Sultan Hotel
#27 of 1,181 in Istanbul
1,405 reviews
Sultanahmet
Best Western Empire Palace
Best Western Empire Palace
#51 of 1,181 in Istanbul
1,587 reviews
Sultanahmet
Hotel Amira Istanbul
Hotel Amira Istanbul
#2 of 1,181 in Istanbul
3,178 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Sultanahmet
Boutique Saint Sophia Hotel
Boutique Saint Sophia Hotel
#44 of 1,181 in Istanbul
403 reviews
Sultanahmet
Levni Hotel & Spa
Levni Hotel & Spa
#20 of 1,181 in Istanbul
2,230 reviews
Sultanahmet
Armada Istanbul Old City Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Ottoman Hotel Imperial? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Ottoman Hotel Imperial

Address: Caferiye Sok. No:6 D:1 Sultanahmet, Fatih, Istanbul 34400, Turkey
Region: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#56 Family Hotel in Istanbul
#83 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#96 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
#120 Business Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: £26 - £150 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ottoman Hotel Imperial 4*
Number of rooms: 49
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Easy Market Spa, LoveHolidays, Southall Travel, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, getaroom.com, Expedia, Ebookers, HotelQuickly, Evoline ltd, 5viajes2012 S.L. and Cancelon so you can book your Ottoman Hotel Imperial 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.
Also Known As:
Ottoman Hotel Istanbul

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing