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Orka Royal Hotel 3.5

Istanbul, Turkey

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • In Sirkeci neighborhood, within walking distance of Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar
  • Rooftop terrace with seasonal outdoor pool and awesome city views
  • All rooms have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and air-conditioning
  • Spa featuring sauna, steam room, solarium, massage room and Turkish hammam
  • Large fitness center and indoor pool
  • Top-floor restaurant serves traditional Turkish cuisine and has free breakfast
  • Ground floor pub/bar serving classic Western dishes
  • Two meeting areas for events are attractive for business travelers
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel

Cons

  • Some rooms don’t have windows
  • No free drinking water or coffee/tea in rooms 
  • Policy of charging for bringing in outside food/drink
  • Neighborhood is constantly changing so room views can be unpleasant or obstructed

Bottom Line

The 92-room, three-and-a-half-pearl Orka Royal Hotel is a good choice for business travelers or visitors to Istanbul who want a nice selection of amenities and a Sirkeci location close to historic sites. Impressive features include two restaurants, a fitness center, spa, and indoor and outdoor pools. Rooms are simple and clean, and have air-conditioning, minibars, and televisions. The location is perfect for exploring the Old City, and Topkapi Palace is a 15-minute walk away. The hotel has a few quirks, like charging a fee for bringing in outside food or drink, and some rooms don’t have windows. It also won't please those seeking authentic Turkish ambiance. Travelers might compare the nearby Hotel Sultania, which has similar amenities and more inspired Turkish decor. 

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Scene

Stylish, modern hotel with a business-like vibe that has plenty of features

The Orka Royal Hotel is a sharp addition to the Sirkeci area, but doesn’t offer much in the way of character for those looking to have an authentically Turkish experience. Still, it's contemporary interiors will please most guests who want a fresh, clean place to crash after exploring Istanbul for the day. Housed in a modern building with large glass panels and international flags hung outside, The Orka Royal’s large lobby has marble floors and columns, and is decorated with quirky, mod-style furniture and potted bamboo plants that add a homey quality. The ground floor Rocket Pub has a long wooden bar and large tables that work well for groups. The top-floor Eugenius Restaurant is more formal, with tufted banquettes and chairs. Both restaurants are open to the public and tend to draw other tourists staying in the area, rather than locals. The Orka Royal generally attracts business travelers, couples, or families who want premium amenities like pools and a spa, and to be close to historic attractions. 

Location

In the Old City, walking distance to major sights and transportation hubs

The Orka Royal Hotel is located in Sirkeci, an area in the Old City full of businesses and hotels that cater to tourists due to their proximity to historic sites. However, as Istanbul pushes to catch up with other world-class cities, this district is one that is consistently full of construction sites, which means there can be a lot of noise. The hotel is situated in a spot convenient for both walking to famous historic sites and also connecting with public transportation. It’s a 20-minute walk to the seaport at Eminonu for ferries to the city's Asian side, a five-minute walk to Sirkeci Metro station or the above ground tramway that goes to Beyoglu. Several major attractions are within a 15- to 20-minute walk, including the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar. In 20 minutes on the metro, guests can cross the Golden Horn to enjoy the bars and restaurants in Taksim Square. Ataturk Airport is 40 to 50 minutes away by metro and 30 to 40 minutes away by taxi, depending on traffic. 

Rooms

Simple, business-style decor plus modern amenities like air-conditioning and minibar, but a few quirks

While other upmarket hotels in this part of Istanbul put some focus on including style details that embody Turkish culture, rooms at the Orka Royal are sleek and modern, but could be in a typical business hotel in any part of the world. The walls and furnishings are done in muted tones like gray, white, and beige, with wooden night tables and desks. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, minibars, safes, phones, and a small flat-screen TVs. The hotel has mostly Standard Twin Rooms, but guests can request a Family Room, which comes with three beds instead of the standard two. Seven of the 92 rooms at the Orka Royal are Corner Suites, which are slightly bigger than Standard Rooms with larger windows, and a tub in the bathroom instead of just a standup shower. While some rooms have good street views, others face walls or construction because of booming growth in the neighborhood, and a few rooms don’t have windows at all. All of the bathrooms are modern, but small, and outfitted with marble tiles, a rainfall shower head, toiletries, and a hairdryer. Unlike many other hotels, rooms do not have free bottled water (tap water is not recommended in Turkey) and the Orka Royal will charge a fee for any outside food or beverages brought into the hotel.

Features

A full range of amenities includes rooftop terrace, pools, restaurants, spa, and Turkish bath

The Orka Royal has more amenities than other hotels in Istanbul’s Old City, helping to add value to a stay here that complements the up-to-date style. The spa has an indoor pool, whirlpool, massage rooms, a steam room, sauna, a traditional hammam made of marble, and a spacious and serene lounge area. A rooftop terrace with a small pool and view of the Bosphorus is open seasonally and is available for special events like weddings. The Orka Royal has two restaurants: the ground floor Rocket Pub and top floor traditional Turkish restaurant Eugenius. Both are also open to the public. A large fitness center is equipped with a good selection of machines for a full workout. The hotel also has two different meeting spaces, one on a mezzanine above the lobby and another that is more secluded, but neither has much in the way or character. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.

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Address

Hoca Pasa Mah. Nobethane Cad. No 10, Behind the Sirkeci Station, Istanbul 34113, Turkey

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