So much has already been written on this beautiful hotel that I will try to write something personal that has still not been said.
From the very first minute we stepped into the hotel my husband and I felt we were greeted as members of the Sirkeci family and not as any kind of tourists. The hotel is very professionally run with the Front Office Attendant, Okay, and Guest Relations Team (a special mention to an adorable young lady called Ezgi) always at hand smiling and warm while not obtrusive at all: unlike other hotels they never try to sell you expensive trips, or send you to their friends’ shops; instead they organize free activities in and out of the hotel: they took us to the less well-known Fatih market and had us tour the Greek High School (not open to the public), all the while discussing Turkey with us and answering all our questions in the most clever way. We had a cooking lesson in the cook’s immaculate kitchen one night and a wine- and cheese-tasting session on another night, all thiat free of charge.
The location is absolutely perfect in a small non touristy quiet street, within walking distance of the big Istanbul sights of Haghia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar, and close to a tram line that can take you anywhere in town across the Bosphorus.
The hotel sorted out taxis and airport shuttle for us (the driver will be holding your name as you walk out - the airport shuttle and the first three-course dinner in their restaurant were free of charge: the latter idea is excellent when you get there at night after a long trip). They booked all the restaurants we asked them, found out the location of the medical lab we needed during our stay, printed all the necessary maps for the taxi drivers to take us there, always explained them how to reach their destinations.
The spotless, well-decorated room with the balcony overlooking Gulhane park will long be remembered as well-as the rooftop terrace with its elegant resin deckchairs.
The breakfast buffet was excellent and plentiful.
We had free tea & snack in the afternoon.
We had dinner several times at the hotel’s fish restaurant and enjoyed delicious grilled sea-bass (the fish restaurant is very well rated in town).
What is more, the free wireless Internet connection allowed me to continue working mornings and nights and never lose touch with my kids back home.
Both my husband and I enjoyed the Sultan’s massage in the hammam of the hotel and my only suggestion would be to have a hairdresser at hand in the hotel or - why not - encourage the installation of a hairdresser’s close by.
Because the volcano ash had prevented us to go for a week over Easter the first time we were supposed to only spend 3 nights at the Sirkeci Konak and then relocate to a lesser quality hotel close-by: Okay, the Front Office attendant went out of his way to accommodate us a fourth night. When we did leave for the hotel next door and found out breakfasts (there and the rest) were terrible they allowed us to breakfast for free and use all the amenities of the hotel, including the extensive rooftop terrace overlooking Gulhane’s Park (the park around Topkapi), as if we had still been staying there.
And finally, they offered us a box of Turkish delight for the road.
Sirkeci Konak is really the place to be staying at when travelling to Istanbul and I myself have started recommending it on my blog !
- 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