Walking distance to the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and other sites
Guest rooms are decorated in a punchy, modern style
Rooms include coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs
Outdoor pool with covered daybeds
On-site restaurant serves Ottoman and international dishes
Family-friendly services include free babysitting, a kids' club, and children's pool
Free airport shuttle for guests who book three or more days
Spa offers massage and facial packages
Business center with computer stations
Breakfast included in room rate
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Basement rooms can be small
Splashy design won't suit traditionalists
In walking distance of several historic sights, the Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel has impressive amenities and glitzy decor: plenty of polished marble and glass. The 232 rooms range from Standard Doubles or Twins to King Suites measuring 1,076 square feet (100 square meters), all decorated in a playful style. But be aware that basement rooms can be small. Bathrooms, depending on the size of the room, are either lined with tile or finished in marble. Hotel amenities include a pool, spa, business center, and free breakfast. Guests who book more than three nights get free shuttle service from the airport. Child-friendly amenities -- for no additional fee -- include a kids' club and pool, and, surprisingly, babysitting. Travelers might want to also consider the Best Western Premier Acropol Suites & Spa, which has similar amenities and comparable rates.
The design of the Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel is inspired by the traditional Turkish architecture and motifs of the Hagia Sophia Museum and the Ottoman State Archive Building. But intricate iron doors, Roman columns, and neon lights in the entryway add a Las Vegas touch of glitz. Polished marble lines the lobby floor and reception desk, and clear, red, and blue glass baubles dangle from the ceiling. The hotel restaurant has a mod, urbane style with avocado-hued chairs and dark-wood tables. The designers' Ottoman inspiration is a little more evident in the spa, with a marble slab for the Turkish bath and a marble fountain in the rest area.
In the Sultanahmet section of Istanbul's Old City, near several historic sites
The Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel is in an excellent location for tourists interested in visiting historic buildings in Istanbul's Old City. A walk to the Hagia Sophia Museum, which was once a Catholic basilica and later an Islamic mosque, takes about three minutes. Three minutes in a slightly different direction brings visitors to the Basilica Cistern, an astounding system of ancient underground waterworks, and to the Blue Mosque (more officially known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque). The Sultanahmet lightrail station is also within a three-minute walk from the hotel, which connects to several other major points of the city, as well as to trolley routes that go deeper into neighborhoods. Ataturk Airport is about a 40-minute drive away.
Through the windows of the Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel it's possible to see some of the most austere examples of Turkish architecture. The 232 guest rooms, however, are cheery and bright. Much of the furniture, such as the high-back chairs and comfy sofas, are fun, contemporary takes on classic elements. Over the beds are tulip petals painted in primary colors, shapes that play a recurring role in Turkish art. Beds are either two twins, queens, or kings. Superior Rooms, Lofts, Penthouses, and Family Rooms differ in size and layouts. Penthouse Rooms have dramatic, arched ceilings as well. Lofts have separate tubs by the window to take in the view. Bathrooms vary depending on the room category, with bigger rooms covered in marble and smaller ones finished in tile. Connecting Rooms are available, along with 1,076-square-feet (100-square-meters) King Suites. Rooms in the basement can be small, and guests complain that they're claustrophobic. All rooms include coffeemakers, mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi.
A spa and fitness center, an adjacent restaurant, free kids' club and pool, and breakfast
Five-pearl properties tend to heap on the luxury features, and the Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel is no exception. The hotel's fabulous spa includes a steam room, salt room, ice fountain, and Turkish bath, along with massages and facials for a fee. The outdoor pool is compact yet does the job on hot days, or in between steam baths. The gym includes a range of cardio- and weight-training machines, along with free weights. Deraliye, the adjacent restaurant, serves classic Ottoman cuisine such as pot stews, lamb dishes, and cheese pie, as well as more international fare. Breakfast is included in the rates. The free family-friendly amenities include babysitting, and a kids' club and pool. The business center includes individual computers and a printer. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
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