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Sultanahmet Hotel 2.0

Istanbul, Turkey

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located in Sultanahmet Square, near the Blue Mosque
  • Air-conditioned rooms with TVs, some with balconies and Blue Mosque views
  • Attractive rooftop terrace with seating 
  • Rooftop restaurant serving dinner
  • Free breakfast served on the rooftop
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout 
  • Airport shuttle service (free for long-term guests)

Cons

  • Mosque-facing rooms can be noisy, while back-facing rooms have alley views
  • Dated decor and building in need of renovations
  • Mold and cracked tile in some bathrooms
  • Small bathrooms with wet-room-style showers
  • Building lacks an elevator

Bottom Line

The two-pearl Sulanahmet Hotel is a small, budget-friendly option within walking distance of Istanbul’s most popular historic and religious attractions, right in Sultanahmet Square. Features include a free breakfast, an attractive rooftop terrace that also doubles as an evening restaurant, free Wi-Fi, and a shuttle service. The 20 air-conditioned rooms are small with cramped bathrooms, but they include TVs, and some have balconies with views of the Blue Mosque. Past guest have made complaints regarding mold in bathrooms, the state of the rooms and building, and the lack of an elevator. Those looking for a budget-friendly hotel with more updated design could consider the Yazar Hotel.  

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Scene

Budget hotel dating to the 1970s catering to couples and families

The Sultanahmet Hotel has been housing travelers in the Old City of Istanbul since 1972. There are a few entrances, one of which is via a beautiful courtyard garden. Inside, travelers will find a small lobby with a gray-and-white color scheme and two couches. A glass chandelier and a large mirror with a silver frame are nice touches. The hotel lacks an elevator, so travelers should be prepared to take a curving staircase and flights of stairs to reach their rooms. Most guests are couples or families on vacation.

Location

In Sultanahmet Square, within walking distance to popular attractions

The hotel is ideally located for those looking to explore the historic and popular attractions of Istanbul on foot. Located in the Sultanahmet Square, the hotel is a mere eight-minute walk to the Blue Mosque. Hagia Sophia takes five minutes to reach on foot, as does the adjacent Basilica Cistern. Topkapi Palace is a nine-minute walk. Shoppers can visit the 3,000-odd shops at the Grand Bazaar, 10 minutes away on foot. To explore other parts of the city, guests can hop on the Sultanahmet tramway, two minutes away on foot, which connects to the Aksaray metro station. There are a variety of restaurants on the surrounding streets. Istanbul Ataturk International Airport requires a 30-minute car ride to reach. 

Rooms

Small rooms with TVs and air-conditioning; balconies and couches in some

The simplistic decor of Sultanahmet's small, air-conditioned rooms include a red checkered carpet, red-and-white checkered curtains, and dated wooden furniture. Some rooms, such as the Triple Rooms, come with golden antique couches, a few art pieces on the walls, and coffee tables paired with patterned rugs. Smoking and nonsmoking rooms are available, and some rooms have balconies.  For the most part, the decor is dated, and the age of the hotel can be seen in the worn carpet and cracked walls. Amenities include hairdryers and TVs (some are flat-screens, others are not). Bathrooms are tiny and lack counter space, toiletries come in the form of two dispensers, and there's nothing to separate the shower from the toilet or the sink. Mold and cracked tiles are also an issue. 

Note that due to the hotel's proximity to Sultanahmet Square, guests staying in rooms facing the Blue Mosque can hear the morning call to prayer, as well as noise from the nearby tram and square. For quieter rooms, request a room in the back of the hotel, though note that these rooms only have alley views. 

Features

A free breakfast buffet, rooftop terrace, restaurant, and shuttle service

Sultanahmet Hotel’s best feature is its free breakfast buffet served in the mornings, often on the rooftop terrace, which provides splendid views of Sultanahmet Square and the Blue Mosque. The rooftop terrace is also home to the Terrace Restaurant, which is open for dinner. (Note that alcohol is not served.) The hotel runs a shuttle service to the airport; guest staying less than three days pay a fee for the service; those staying three to six days get free airport pickup; and those staying seven days or more get free pickup and drop-off. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. 

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Address

Divanyolu Cad No 20, Sultanahmet, Istanbul 340110, Turkey

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