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Chambers of the Boheme 2.0

Istanbul, Turkey

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Budget-friendly hostel with bohemian vibe
  • Central Taksim location near nightlife, restaurants, shops, and the metro
  • Mix-gender dorm-style rooms with linens, AC, and lockers
  • Private family rooms include mini-fridges and en-suite bathrooms
  • Breakfast available for a budget price and free coffee/tea
  • Cozy common area hangout spot
  • Free Wi-Fi and computer for guest use
  • 24-hour front desk and no curfew
  • Laundry in basement (extra fee)

Cons

  • Far from Old City tourist attractions
  • Bathrooms are tiny and towels are not included
  • Wear-and-tear throughout
  • Breakfast costs an extra fee
  • Limited common areas and few extra property features

Bottom Line

Chambers of the Boheme is a budget hostel centrally located in Taksim, within walking distance of nightlife, restaurants, shops, and the metro. The hostel's 14 rooms include a mix of private rooms and dorms for three to 12 people. Dorms include AC, linens, private lockers, and free Wi-Fi, but the shared bathrooms are pretty tiny. Wear-and-tear is apparent throughout, and the cleanliness levels, though acceptable, could be improved. There aren't many common spaces, but guests can hang out in a charming lounge area where breakfast is served (for an extra fee). For something closer to the Old City's attractions, travelers might want to consider the budget Sultanahmet Hotel.

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Scene

Budget-friendly hostel with bohemian decor

Chambers of the Boheme is situated in a narrow 19th-century townhouse that was refurbished in 2007. The hostel has a casual atmosphere and friendly staff who welcome guests at a small wood reception desk. The main hangout spot is the Cafe Boheme -- a lounge area where breakfast is served -- which is situated on the main floor and features wood floors, cream-colored walls, and an eclectic mix of benches, cafe tables, and vintage upholstered armchairs. There is a busy, bohemian vibe to the decor that feels at once charming and low-key, but it's still a hostel and wear-and-tear is evident throughout. Other than the cafe area, there are no other common spaces. This hostel's real upsides are the hip location and knowledgable, friendly staff, attracting budget backpackers and young travelers who don't mind being a bit far from the Old City attractions and prefer the proximity to nearby nightlife. Travelers should note that there is no elevator.

Location

Hip and central Taksim location filled with nightlife, but far from the Old City

Situated in a narrow alley in Taksim, this hostel is well located for party people who want to enjoy nightlife. The immediate area is packed with restaurants, cafes, shops, and bars. The wide pedestrian street Istiklal Caddesi, often considered the heart of the hip Beyoglu neighborhood, is right at the end of the alley, just a one-minute walk from the hostel. Taksim Square, an open area that includes the Monument of the Republic as well as several transportation options like the metro, tram, and funicular, is a five-minute walk from the hostel. The Atatürk Cultural Center, a main city concert hall, is a seven-minute walk, while the Galata Tower and Dolmabahce Palace are about a 20-minute walk away. Guests should note that most major historic attractions are in the Old City, which is situated across the water, about a 15- to 20-minute drive to Sultanahmet Square. The Taksim Square metro offers easy access to this area. Atatürk International Airport is a 30- to 45-minute drive, depending on traffic.

Rooms

Dorm-style rooms and private family rooms with lockers and linens -- but some obvious wear-and-tear

Mix-gender rooms, private rooms, and family rooms are available for three to 12 people. Decor in rooms can be surprisingly charming for a hostel, especially in the smaller rooms, which have wooden floors, velvety drapes, and ornate vintage furniture. Rooms show definite signs of wear-and-tear, however, with some stained walls or floors and average levels of cleanliness. Larger dorms have bunk beds and can be quite packed, but some of the smaller rooms have single beds, double beds, or, somewhat oddly, a lounge chair as a bed. Shared bathrooms can be quite cramped, with a tiny wet-room style shower and a separate room with a toilet and sink.

Rooms include linens and bathrooms have soap dispensers, but towels must be rented separately. All rooms have spacious personal lockers and air-conditioning, but guests occasionally complain of broken AC units. Wi-Fi is free and guests find the connection good. Private rooms may have more amenities like mini-fridges and en-suite bathrooms. Street-facing rooms can be noisy in this nightlife-heavy area, but rooms are fairly well-insulated when the windows are closed.

Features

Dedicated staff, free Wi-Fi, and daily breakfast available for an extra fee 

The hostel's main common spaces are the reception area and a cozy lounge, or "Cafe Boheme," where seats and tables are available for breakfast and hanging out. The hostel has a 24-hour front desk and no curfew, and guests go out of the way to mention the helpful staff who can help book tours and tickets at fair prices. A daily breakfast is available, and while it's not included in the room rate, guests say the price is reasonable. Coffee and tea are free. There's a computer in the common area for guest use, and Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. Laundry is available in the basement for an extra fee. 

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Address

Kucuk Parmak Kapi Sok. No:13, Istanbul 34433, Turkey

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