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Hotel Sari Konak 3.0

Istanbul, Turkey

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Very close to the Blue Mosque, and within walking distance of all the Sultanahmet historical sites
  • Pretty guest rooms have chandeliers and hardwood floors; most have soaking tubs
  • Next to Arasta Bazaar, a shopping and cultural hot spot
  • Free breakfast buffet
  • Rooftop terrace cafe/bar has sea views and orange trees
  • Quiet patio garden area with seating
  • Close to restaurants and bars, and the hotel hosts a happy hour
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • No full restaurant
  • No gym
  • Street-facing rooms pick up some noise

Bottom Line

Sari Konak is a charming budget boutique hotel with just 23 rooms, located in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet neighborhood, within walking distance of many sights. Housed in an historic, converted Ottoman mansion -- Sari Konak means "yellow mansion" in Turkish -- this family-run hotel is warm and welcoming, and all the rooms are spacious, comfortable, and tastefully decorated in a modern-meets-Ottoman style. A free Turkish buffet breakfast is served each morning in a leafy garden or on a shaded roof terrace with views of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Just around the corner, there's a bustling bazaar; the Grand Bazaar itself is only five minutes away on foot. With free Wi-Fi throughout the building and free parking, this little hotel offers more than most of the hotels with higher rates in the area.

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Scene

This historic Ottoman mansion has been restored with Turkish charm and a scenic rooftop terrace -- but little else.

Located in the historic Sultanahmet neighborhood, the Sari Konak's Ottoman-era yellow exterior is unassuming. Inside, it’s a different story; the Okan family, who run the place, have decorated the hotel using traditional fabrics, Ottoman antiques, and Turkish artwork. The stairway is dotted with traditional urns, and on the roof terrace, panoramic sea views are accompanied by small orange trees and clusters of wicker chairs. The hotel is frequented by couples and families who want budget accommodations without having to forgo the charm of a boutique hotel, or a prime location.

Location

Steps from the Blue Mosque, in a prettyhistoric neighborhood in Sultanahmet

The Hotel Sari Konak is located off a cobblestone street in Sultanahmet, Istanbul's oldest district, near the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. The street is lined with shops, restaurants, and boutique hotels. Next door is the Arasta Bazaar, selling items like carpets, kilims, Turkish tiles, and clothes; it’s a great spot for drinking traditional Turkish coffee as well. The Blue Mosque is only five minutes away on foot, as is the Hagia Sophia. The Mosaic Museum is a 10-minute walk away, and the Basilica Cistern is even closer. The first Ottoman palace, Topkapi Palace, is less than a mile away and and is probably best viewed via a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait. Istiklal Street -- home to shops, restaurants, bookstores, galleries, libraries and nightclubs -- is only minutes away on the tram. The hotel offers free street parking and can arrange airport transfers.

Rooms

Uniquely decorated with polished wooden floors and antique furnishings

The Deluxe rooms at the Sari Konak are spacious and elegantly decorated, and the Superior rooms are almost as nice. Standard rooms, though small, are similarly attractive. Each room is uniquely decorated; some have Turkish rugs and authentic Turkish antique furniture such as carved wooden chairs and side-tables, and most have floor-to-ceiling windows. The color palette is neutral, which makes the rooms feel bright and airy. Chandeliers and gilded mirrors can be found in some of the rooms, and most views are of the neighboring, pink-painted houses and surrounding greenery. All the rooms have air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, safes, and good closet space. Bathrooms usually have deep soaking tubs, though Standard Rooms have showers only. Rooms facing the street are noisier than the ones at the back.

Features

Free breakfast on a shaded roof terrace that doubles as a bar -- but no full restaurant

The feature that makes the Sari Konak stand out is its outdoor space. The rooftop patio is picturesque and pleasant. Here, guests eat the extensive free breakfast served daily, or enjoy the happy hour specials. The garden patio is an equally relaxing space. There’s a small computer station and free Wi-Fi throughout. Free parking is provided.

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Address

Mimar Mehmet Aga Cad. No:26 Sultanahmet, Fatih, Istanbul 34400, Turkey

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