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“Feeling Welcome in Istanbul at the Sirkeci Konak”
Review of Sirkeci Mansion

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Sirkeci Mansion
Ranked #4 of 1,159 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 August 2011

We are a family from Vermont who spent several days in May in Istanbul as the first and final leg of our family tour of Turkey and the Greek Islands. I have to admit that I had reservations about traveling with our two young kids, ages 7 and 10, when there are some obvious tensions in the world. However, my worries were completely unfounded and our time in Istanbul could not have been nicer. We really enjoyed being there, and a large part that was due to our stay at the Sirkeci Konak.

In addition to being one of the nicest hotels that we’ve ever been in, the people there made us feel incredibly welcome from the get-go. I can’t recommend this place enough, and we loved it so much that we stayed there on the final leg of our trip, as well. It made our stay in Istanbul so special that I personally can’t wait to go back. I know I’m not alone.

The hotel arranged transportation to and from the city, and that made things easier because trying to get a taxi in the big city is always a bit of a chore. You never really know if you’re being taken, especially if you don’t speak the language.

We were ideally located in the heart of the old section of Istanbul, within walking distance to the river, countless restaurants, shops, and many of the sites that visitors will want to check out, including the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque. There is a really nice park directly across the, and we arrived during some sort of massive tulip blooming whose colors were amazing. Really beautiful, and a nice introduction to the city.

The hotel offers tours of the city, as well as cooking classes. How cool is that? They can also arrange for transportation throughout the city, and the light rail passes within 100 feet of the hotel. I highly recommend walking and taking the train. The helpful people at the front desk can help you with every aspect of this, and offer plenty of helpful advice on where to go.

The hotel itself was amazing, and the rooms were very clean and simply beautiful. We could have spent our entire time inside, though we didn’t. It’s actually a resort and spa, so people go there for a romantic getaway or to just be pampered (not our thing). They have a pool, sauna, gym, and a spa where you can get a massage or have a Turkish bath. We spent a lot of time with the kids in the pool and Turkish bath after a day of exploring the city.

The food was awesome. When you travel with kids, you really have to think about things like safety and comfort, and part of that is knowing where you’re going to eat, because kids can be picky. The restaurant at the Sirkeci Konak had incredible food and the service was impeccable, though maybe a little upscale and sophisticated to eat ever day. We couldn’t wait to wake up just so we could go and eat at the breakfast buffet, which was very elegant and had a wonderful selection of foods, including freshly made bread and pastries, eggs and breakfast meats, fresh fruit, and all sorts of nuts and sweet treats. They really do a nice job with the food, it’s an experience in and of itself. Again, the service is amazing.

There was an afternoon tea time which was nice transition into supper. The guests in the hotel sit together and chat, or you can choose to simply sit quietly and enjoy your tea, either black tea or apple tea. They also serve complimentary sandwiches, or you can order any sort of beverage or cocktail, and there is a light food menu.

We really felt at home, an important consideration when you’re with your kids. Despite the fact that the hotel is a resort/spa, the kind of place where people normally seek out elegance and refinement, they were very warm to our family and really enjoyed having our kids there. FYI, they love children Istanbul, and showered our kids with attention and even small but thoughtful gifts.

I could go on for days about how much we loved Istanbul and the Sirkeci Konak. What a wonderful place to visit, and I honestly can’t wait to go back. The dollar is still relatively strong to the Turkish lira, about 2:1, so you can get good deals. Definitely check out the big sites, including the spice market and grand bazaar. I actually met a family from New Hampshire at the spice market.

When we sadly had to leave, the staff at the hotel all came out to the lobby to say goodbye, and I felt like I was leaving part of my family behind. They even gave us a departing gift, which really made the trip special.

Istanbul is a big cosmopolitan city that is culturally unique, and a great middle ground between Europe and Asia. There is a push to gain entry into the EU, so they are working hard at being taken seriously on a global scale, and I think they’ve accomplished it.

I would encourage anyone who has even the slightest inkling to see Istanbul to go, and to stay at the Sirkeci Konak. We simply loved it there.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Fred L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 August 2011

A perfect place to stay in Istanbul - very centrally located, clean, superb hospitality with friendly staff going to all lengths to make your stay a perfect one. The activities are great and the Turkish bath facility is a must. We consider this hotel to be worthy of a "very highly recommended" label.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank FranDoherty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2011

We were 2 couples travelling together within Turkey at the end of July. As world travelers from New York travelling over 40 years, we have a frame of reference in the many hotels and restaurants we've experienced. We all agreed that the friendly and helpful service we received at the Sirkeci Konak was the best we have ever had! When we return to Istanbul someday, we will again stay here.

The hotel van was waiting for us at the airport to transport us to the hotel. As soon as we arrived there we were invited into the "living room" lobby for drinks while the concierge spent time with us, answering questions, making suggestions and reservations. This reletively new small hotel is immaculate (as we found all of Turkey to be) and has "Old World" decor and charm. The rooms are small but the beds very, very comfortable. Bathrooms have great shower pressure and nice soap/ plus ammenities. The door between our room and our friends' room did not provide great soundproofing, but I wonder if this is standard for Istanbul boutique hotels? The hotel is within walking distance to the main attractions, yet on a quiet street. We didn't have time to use the pool or spa, but we did enjoy the lounges on the rooftop terrace under the stars late in the evening.

I must RAVE about the dinner that is included in the hotel's restaurant if you book directly. It was definitely the one of the best dinners we had in Turkey. The 3 course dinner- anything on the menu- including appetizer, main course and dessert was served elegantly. We all had different foods and we couldn't get over how delicious everything was.

What we loved so much about Turkey is the friendliness of its people. The Sirecki Konak staff is the perfect example of "Turkish Hospitality", even giving us lovely gifts at the end of our stay. A hotel like the Hilton or Marriott can be found anywhere in the world. However, if you want to feel the charm of Istanbul, book the The Sirecki Konak.

Room Tip: Book online or call (skipe) hotel for free dinner, free transfer from airport, and room discount.
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank travrel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2011

There's Excellence ... and then there's the Sirkeci Konak.

This was our second visit to this beautiful country. We had fallen in love with its people and culture 2 years ago and this time decided to stay at the Sirkeci Konak. I, along with thousands of others had read the reviews, the accolades the Sirkeci receives. And I confess I did wonder: are they true or inflated as I suspect some reviews may be.

Our experience supports the former. In our travels we have stayed at many beautiful hotels and some whose reputation for service is also well deserved. However where Sirkeci excels is in its philosophy of service and hospitality offering guests an authentic taste of Turkish life. Whether it's the efficiency of the dining room servers, the willingness of front desk staff to help with your itinerary or the encouragement to participate in their activities, the emphasis on service comes first.

Upon arrival at Ataturk we were met by our driver and driven to the Sirkeci, compliments of the hotel. Even though our jet lagged bodies didn't want to cooperate, we were anxious to settle in and explore this beautiful city. The reception we received was wonderful. We were immediately invited to sit in a comfortable sitting area nearby and offered our choice of refreshments. Soon after we found ourselves relaxing on the balcony of our lovely 5th floor suite overlooking Gulhane Park watching ships as they moved along the Bosphorus. A lovely fruit basket, a bottle of wine and a dish of Turkish Delight had been placed on the table. Our room was quite comfortable and we enjoyed a glass of wine on the balcony each evening before dinner. The Sirkeci had thought of everything to make our anniversary a special celebration.

By the time we had settled in it was getting late, jet lag was taking its toll and we were hungry. In the dining room we enjoyed a very nice 4 course dinner which was also complimentary if you stayed at least 3 nights. On our first visit 2 years ago we had discovered how much we loved the flavors of Turkish cuisine and the meals at Sirkeci didn't disappoint.

The next day we attended the free 45 minute cooking class in their immaculate kitchen ... more demo than class ... but it was great fun. There were 7 of us and under the direction of our female chef we chopped and sliced till we had finished an appetizer and main course. Afterwards we were led to the dining room where we tucked into our culinary creations. With the chef's help we had created an entirely edible meal!

On Wednesday morning we decided to take advantage of the market excursion and after breakfast were driven to a traditional Turkish neighborhood. Okay, our guide, was very knowledgeable about Turkish history, culture and politics and as we strolled through the neighborhood streets he told stories, pointed out historical sites and patiently answered our many questions. What a super guy! At one point, we stopped and briefly visited a tiny but beautiful mosque. For most of the morning we wandered about taking pictures, tasting treats and buying souvenirs in the busy market nearby. Later, after stopping at a local bakery to buy some traditional breads, we took a short ferry ride back to our own neighborhood and enjoyed lunch in a typical Turkish restaurant patronized by locals.

Before returning to our hotel Okay invited us to visit a sister hotel just minutes away from the Sirkeci which had opened the week before. After a cup of apple tea in the public room he showed us one of the bedrooms and we then headed back to the Sirkeci. In contrast to the Sirkeci this hotel was of contemporary design but also quite nice. It will undoubtedly have the same philosophy as its sister hotels ... one of superior service to its guests.

Our market tour was fabulous, an authentic taste of Turkish life we might never have discovered had it not been so generously offered. Many, many thanks to our guide and friend, Okay. You made an ordinary day very special indeed.

As anyone who has stayed at the Sirkeci Konak knows, it's their service that's truly outstanding and we thank the staff for their kindness during our visit. It really does deserve its exceptional reputation. I have only described a small portion of what the Sirkici has to offer ... there's lots more. Check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Unfortunately our visit ended on a sad note ... we didn't want to leave. I'm beginning to research our next trip now and trying to figure out the route ... via Istanbul. We'll be back and there's no question where we'll stay. The Sirkeci Konak is in a class of its own.

Room Tip: Book online and pay in advance to save.
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank HomedicMunes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2011

I am very slow in uploading this review... but this place was so good I did feel it was important I got it done, even if I am a little late. Travelled in mid May. Four night stay. Summary: Every bit as superb as the reviews on Tripadvisor inferred.
We booked via hotel website as we found this the cheapest. Tariff included both a private car collection from airport and a good quality three course meal in restaurant (which was an excellent option on first night). An 11% discount is given if you pay your bill in cash. Overall - superb value.
Location is the key factor: 100m from the nearest tram stop, facing the walls of the gardens round the Topkapi Palace, EVERYTHING you could want to see on a short trip (Blue Mosque, Cisterns, Grand Bazaar etc) is within walking distance. The hotel is in good condition and well maintained. Lovely roof terrace with good views. Rooms well equipped and stocked with endless supplies of bottled water upon request.
Staff are lovely - always smiling, helpful and there are specific members of staff available to answer tourist questions and they know their stuff. Enjoyed an excellent (and FREE) session with the hotel's chef, trying out some local cooking in the hotel kitchens. Very reassuring when a hotel is confident enough about its hygene standards to allow guests to come and see the staff at work. Although food was excellent you are so close to the main heart of the city there are lots of other restaurants nearby - so only had one meal at the hotel except for breakfasts which were substantial and avoided the need for eating much at lunchtime!
One small tip: Forget the tourist cruises - simply catch the ferry with all the locals across to Kadikoy. Not much to see there but as 30 minute ferry costs just 1.75 TL, it is fantastic value and gives a great view of the old city from the sea.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Hambledon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2011

We have travelled from Patagonia to Odessa. Your boutique hotel has the rarity of combining every element that made our stay memorable : a warm welcome, sincere smiles, impeccable manners and efficiency.
Our room was perfect, a cosy, tasteful and comfortable retreat.
We loved the breakfast, we thoroughly enjoyed the Happy Hour in the Lounge Bar and, after hours of walking and sightseeing, we appreciated the " simit " sandwiches and the excellent wines Turkey produces.
And the location is fantastic, we felt the heart of Istanbul !
Congratulations to all of you at Sirkeci Konak ! Gule Gule !

Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
Thank Chris T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2011

This was our first trip to Turkey (with which we were extremely impresed) and by the time we reached Istanbul we had already spent a week on the Ionian coast, two days visiting Epehsus, and a long weekend in Izmir. We had selected this hotel on the basis of previous reviews - for which thanks - and were not diasappointed.

The excellent service started even before we arrived and had to change our travel plans from a train journey to a flight from Izmir. An email to the concierge was all it took to have a complimentary car waiting for us at the airport. After being shown our room and given time tofreshen-up we were treated to a warm welcome, apple tea and explanatory talk from the charming duty manager. Complimentary afternoon tea and cake is served to guests every afternoon. There are also free events like backgammon lessons, which my wife enjoyed, and treats for a minor fee - like a genuine Turkish bath and massage.

The hotel is in a fantastic location, very near the Topkapi Palace, and an easy walk or short tram ride to the principal mosques, the bazaar and other historic attractions. Don't miss a visit to the Byzantine cistern that featured in one of the Bond films (can't recall which one).

The rooms are not huge but neither are they too small. We were given adjoining rooms with a shared internal door so we could share spave with our children. Everything was very clean and well-maintained on a daily basis.

The food is very good. The breakfast buffet is extensive, varied and plentiful. Afternoon tea is a delight. We ate at various city restaurants most evenings but we had dinner on the hotel roof terrace one evening and it was a very enjoyable experience.

Staff are extremely friendly and helpful. Top tip is to be ready to pay in cash (Turkish lira or Euros) as you will get a significant discount off your bill.

We really enjoyed our sightseeing holiday in Istanbul. I would recomemnd the beautiful city and this excellent hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: Contact the concierge by email in advance.
  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank TackleTart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sirkeci Mansion

Address: Taya Hatun Sokak No:5 | Sirkeci / Fatih, Istanbul 34110, Turkey (Formerly Sirkeci Konak Hotel)
Region: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#2 Spa Hotel in Istanbul
#4 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
#5 Family Hotel in Istanbul
#7 Business Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: £57 - £103 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sirkeci Mansion 4.5*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are located next to the Topkapi palace in the heart of Istanbul and from where we are we invite you to explore the mysteries of two thousand years. In hopes of capturing the spirit of the area, our Konak's atmosphere, decor and design take a revolutionary approach in combining 19th century style with 21st century comfort. Combined with this atmosphere, what if we offer the promise of distinctive hospitality? Just imagine! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sirkeci Konak Istanbul
Hotel Sirkeci Konak

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