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
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