Hotel Poem is a lovely, economical boutique hotel in the heart of Sultanahmet.
I think it's ideal for people travelling on a middling budget who would like comfort, cleanliness, character, charm and location without breaking the bank. People who prefer five-star luxury and facilities should expect to pay accordingly and would do better at the nearby Four Seasons (the ab fab refurbished prison in which Midnight Express was set).
The Hotel Poem however is set in a refurbished traditional 19th century Ottoman house. It's located in a quiet side street just off a characterful road lined with many shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. A few doors down from the hotel there is a wonderful traditional bakery - the smell of fresh bread is gorgeous and the taste even better.
It's a very short walk away from all the main sites (Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar etc) & handy for the city hop-on-off tour bus stop. The Poem is just around the corner from the Fez bus office (if you happen to be hopping on and off buses all around Turkey).
The Poem is a quiet oasis from the bustling city. It has a shady little garden terrace where you can eat a decent buffet breakfast or sit with a drink. There's also a lovely roof terrace that looks out to the nearby sea - great for catching the breeze with a cold drink on a hot summer evening.
The 17 rooms are named after traditional Turkish poems rather than numbered. I was travelling with two others and noted the rooms varied in size from large with balcony to a bit small and cramped - our bathroom was very small but everything was clean and worked fine.
Overall the Hotel Poem had everything we needed. It was charming, comfortable and clean, the staff were hospitable and the location fantastic. I would stay there again and recommend it as a great base from which to visit the exciting city of Istanbul.
By Post: Akbıyık Caddesi, Terbıyık Sokak No:12, Sultanahmet 34400 İstanbul, Turkey
+90.212.638 97 44
+90.212.638 95 53
+90.212.458 17 92
The hotel's website says: The distance between Poem Hotel and the Ataturk International Airport is 18 kilometres (a 20 minute drive).
When you exit the customs area you may easily find a taxi since drivers are waiting outside of the arrival floor. If you ordered a pick-up service you will meet us at the exit of the customs area. If you experience any problem please dial 24 hours 0090 (212) 638 97 44 to contact our reception.
If hostels or huge faceless hotels aren't for you, chances are Hotel Poem will be. I stayed here last summer and the staff were so lovely to me - not only did they upgrade me to a three-bed room with views overlooking the Bosphorus, they also helped me out with my onward travels down to Selcuk. It was my first time travelling alone and they really made me feel welcome - in fact when I arrived at around 6pm on my first day, the hotelier said 'Ah, you must be Amy. We were wondering where you'd got to.' After the madness of navigating my way through the centre of Istanbul, it was a great relief to step into this homely hidden-away hotel and be welcomed like an old friend.
Smiles go a long way, but so does a good breakfast - especially when you're travelling on a budget. At Hotel Poem, you start your day with a help-yourself affair on a terrace hidden in the trees. Food was traditionally Turkish - and plates were piled high with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, eggs, bread and cake.
Lastly, there was the free-to-use computer in the lobby. Here, with the help of the reception staff, I mastered the Turkish keyboard, booked a bus to Izmir, and made contact with the Istanbul couchsurfing group - a really great bunch of people who meet every week.
For all this - and a gorgeous roof terrace too - it's pretty damn good considering rates start at 45 Euros.
Akbıyık Caddesi, Terbıyık Sokak No:12
Sultanahmet 34400 İstanbul / TURKEY
+90.212.638 97 44
+90.212.638 95 53
+90.212.458 17 92
Nearest station - Sultanahmet
Goggle map: tinyurl.com/ybab2u6
Without a doubt one of the finest vantage points Istanbul has to offer. We took the free shuttle service from Taksim Square to SantalIstanbul (a former power station, now the Museum of Energy/gallery space on the Golden Horn, www.santralistanbul.com), spent the morning there, then hopped in a dolmus down to Eyup. A cable car brings you up to the shady, hillside cafe. It's a little touristy, but get a good seat and with cay pretty much on tap, you will be well and truly rooted. The Halic (Golden Horn) ferry snakes back via Haskoy. Look out for the partially submerged submarine, an exhibit belonging to the Rahmi M. Koc transport museum.
Pierre Loti Cafe, Eyup
Karyagdi Sok., EYUP
Phone: +90 (212) 581 26 96
Google map: tinyurl.com/ycz2aee
I would expect my favourite night club to be in London or New York.
However, when I first came to Reina in Istanbul I was absolutely fascinated. The amazing view of the lights of Bosphorus, the music, the beautiful people - 1001 Nights in modern Istanbul way.
We have stayed at İstanbul suite home aparts in deluxe apartment five which was on the top floor with a big balcony and an amazing seaview.
The place was exremely clean, well decorated in a modern way and very well maintained with more then enough space for the five of us.
Very close to the all the historical sites - walking distance to everywhere. The hotel staff were very attentive and friendly and did an excellent job hosting us.
Dizdariye Cesmesi Sok No/51 Binbirdirek Mah Sultanahmet/İstanbul/TURKEY 34122
PHONE:+90 212 458 52 55
Sultanahmet Tram Station
This is an excellent warm restaurant right in the old city center Sultanahmet, where you are always served by the fantastic friendly team.
You will have a gourmet experience and live any food lovers dream, with many different options on the menu - Turkish and Ottoman, international ( very good steak choices), and some seafood options. All were so good but we have enjoyed the Ottoman part of the menu most - the apple steak was amazing too. We ate at Amedros many times for lunch and dinner during our one week stay in İstanbul.
Divanyolu Cad Hoca Rustem Sok No/7 Sultanahmet/istanbnul/TURKEY 34400
PHONE:+90 212 522 83 56
FAX:+90 212 527 21 38
Sultanahmet Tram Station
We visited Turkey in September / October 2009 and, apart from the return flights, Veni Vidi Turkey made all the arrangements to suit our timetable and budget, including private tours with guides and drivers, hotels and internal flights and transfers. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip, which took in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale, classical sites in the Aegean area and Gallipoli. Everything worked very well and we had excellent service from Mr Bulent Albayrak and all of our guides. It was a truly memorable holiday and we would have no hesitation in returning to Turkey or in recommending Veni Vidi to anyone. Malcolm & Erica Lee, England
The Princes' Islands are a haven of peace and calm just under an hour by ferry from central Istanbul. The Karamanyan is a converted Ottoman mansion on the second largest of the archipelago, Heybeliada. Immaculately styled, with high ceilings and a sweeping original staircase, this place is a real find.
There are four apartments in total. We stayed in the penthouse which doesn't have use of the garden, but the gorgeous views from the pretty wooden balconies more than made up for that. The house is right next door to the former summer house of Ismet Inonu, Turkey's first Prime Minister. It's now a quirky museum. It's also within easy walking distance of the restaurant-lined promenade. Although if you're feeling a little worse for wear after one too many glasses of raki, you'll have to take a fayton (horse-drawn carriage) back up the hill, as motorised transport is outlawed on the Islands.
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A gem in the old city of Istanbul (a romantic place in itself), the Serkeci Konak is a boutique hotel that will leave you relaxed and loved up. A totally romantic hotel which we would go back to in a second!
The rooms are beautiful, comfortable and perfect for snuggling. An impressive breakfast spread is served until 10.30am, allowing for plenty of laying in, before either heading off into the Old City (which you can't help but fall in love in), or enjoy the delights the hotel has to offer: lounge in the pool and spa area (which offers a range of amazing massages including Turkish baths); enjoy drinks on the love seats on the roof terrace overlooking the Bosphorous; have (free) afternoon tea in the comfortable and private lounge area, and enjoy dinner in one of the two restaurants (one is a delicious sea food restaurant on the roof terrace looking out over the Bosphorous). We started every evening with cocktails on the roof while the sun set, before heading into town.
On arrival we were given free drinks and an introduction from one of the guest managers, all of whom are friendly knowledgeable, and looked out for us the whole time we were there without being imposing.
If you're not relaxed and loved up before you visit Serkeci Konak, you will be by the time you leave!
We rented an appartment for a long weekend from this company. The appartment was situated near the Galata Tower which is a fascinating area of Istanbul -lots to see and very good restaurants around the tower.
The apartment was spacious, modern, clean and warm and well priced. The company could not have been more helpful and we will defintiely use them again when we return for another visit.
The 4floors Istanbul is a beautifully renovated old building in the heart of the bustling Beyoglu neighborhood. The talented architect owner has converted a 70-80-year-old building into a modern haven of glass, iron, and wood. I stayed on the penthouse floor, which has two floors and a rooftop deck. Enjoying a glass of wine on the deck while taking in the stunning views of the Bosporus, mosques, and other residential rooftops was one of the greatest highlights of my trip - this was my first time in Istanbul. This place is ideal for independent travellers who enjoy unique experiences off the beaten track, and appreciate impeccable design. It definitely feels more like a flat than a hotel. The owner is very knowledgeable on the city, and gracious to provide recommendations. However, there is no official concierge or front desk. The refrigerator was well stocked with drinks and basic snacks...
A great place if you would like to taste well prepared kebab. The restaurant is owned by people from Diyarbakir who can really make eastern dishes. Try also their sweet with ice cream. It seems their own invention.
It is in Unkapani. Itfaiye Caddedesi, a street full of eastern shops.
Google map: tinyurl.com/ylnb39w
We stayed at one of the istanbul place apartments called galata place. The apartment was great, clean and beautifully appointed, we shall certainly recommend it to our friends.
Istanbul was fantastic, so much history, so much to see and do, not enough time to do a fraction of what we wanted to so we shall all be back.
The people are so friendly and helpful, even the shoe shine guys who manage to catch you unawares with your feet on their little box before you know it!
We have been home for nearly 2 weeks now but I wanted to write to thank you once again for organising our 5 day trip around Turkey. We thoroughly enjoyed every part of it. Our hotel accommodation was excellent, our tour guides were all very informative and we had some lovely meals. Thank you too for providing us with free transport to the airport on the morning of our departure. We are already recommending One Nation Travel to everyone we speak to about our trip and are hopeful that we will be able to pass some business your way. Our best wishes to you and your colleagues at One Nation Travel, Kind regards Gary and Jennifer Zerna
This is a luxury hotel on the Bosphorus with a wonderful view of historical buildings.
Hotel service is great with amazing buffet breakfast (anything and everything you may like to see), nice pool, sauna, etc. I enjoyed my stay very much.
Bayildim Caddesi No 2 Macka
Beautiful self-catering apartments in central Istanbul. We stayed for three nights in Galata Place apartment with our three children. The apartment was fantastic, newly renovated in a beautiful old building. The location, at the foot of the Galata Tower, was ideal for sightseeing and near restaurants, supermarkets etc. Really helpful owners, who have another couple of apartments in Istanbul. If we ever get back, this is where we'll be staying.
Do what the Istanbullers do. Escape the heat of the city with a ferry day trip to the Princes Islands. Drink tea and eat bagels served to your seat during the 1 ½ journey as the ferry stops at four of the islands before terminating at the ornate Ottoman quay on Büyükada. Take an island tour by phaeton (no cars allowed on the islands). Stroll along the shopping streets. Marvel at the extraordinary ice cream parlours. Eat fish on the waterfront, then return to the city. For just three TL (£1.50) each way, a bargain.
Ido Ferries, regular departures from Kabatas quay, Istanbul. www.ido.com.tr/en/index.cfm
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