It has been over a year since I went to Turkey but life has finally calmed down enough to let me write about this beautiful country. I have to start with a review of the World Heritage Hotel in Istanbul because it is one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed at.
It’s not the fanciest room I’ve stayed in or the newest, but this three star hotel has the best service and one of the best locations of any hotel in the world.
This hotel is in Sultanahmet, the old city. It was located approximately 900 meters from the main sites of the city, like the Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazar which made it perfect for sightseeing. The other wonderful thing is that it was incredibly close to the Sultanahmet tram station. This made it very easy to explore Istanbul without getting stuck in insane traffic. We were also surrounded by great food (although, I highly recommend you walk two or three streets away from the main attractions to find the best, non-touristy stuff!)
There were also a lot of ammenities nearby – we were able to get our clothes washed at a laundry and buy some medicine at a pharmacy.
Arrival & service
On arrival, you enter into a beautiful lobby – well, it’s less like a lobby and more like the living room of your extra aunt and uncle.
We were greeted by incredibly warm and welcoming hosts who sat us down and poured us the first of what would be many freshly made cups of free tea offered to us by this hotel. We were then provided a map of Istanbul and were provided with some incredibly useful insider knowledge of the attractions of old and new Istanbul, when to see each of them, how to get there and – most importantly – how not to get ripped off. This advice proved to be crucial and we used it for the duration of our trip. I cannot stress how helpful we found this ongoing advice!
We were offered tea and snacks pretty much any time we were leaving or returning to the hotel. We even hung out in the lobby one night with the staff, chatting about life in Istanbul and sipping on tea.
We were visiting the country for our anniversary and we were surprised by roses and balloons on the bed, and a lovely bouquet of flowers – how’s that for amazing service?
The room we stayed in was a comfortable double room, with one bed, a charming little balcony, and of course, a bathroom. The room was on the smaller side – the bathroom and shower were particularly small – but this wasn’t anything we were worried about. We were quite comfortable.
We found the features of the room to be really charming – lovely shimmery wallpaper and hand-painted patterns on the ceiling.
On the top floor of the hotel was the breakfast saloon. This was an amazing introduction to the lavish breakfasts we’d indulge in.
We were treated to an astounding assortment of cheeses, cold meats, fruits and vegetables, olives, sweet and savoury spreads, honey, jams, freshly baked burek, breads, simit, and eggs made however you would like them.
There was such an astounding amount of variety that it would be impossible to try everything – no matter how many times you went back.
This hotel is impressively well priced. We paid approximately $100 Australian per night. Considering the service, amenities, and location, I consider that to be an incredible bargain.