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Travel Blogs from Istanbul
... display, very upmarket waterside restaurants and hotels. There was also a private island for the jet setters (looks like a large cruise liner and functions as a health club).
Other cruise highlights included the so-called Maiden's Tower (dating back to Byzantine times) and the Rumeli fortress built by the Ottomans as part of their strategy to capture Constantinople.
... each other Topkapi palace: the Ottoman sultan's palace from the 15th to 19th century. Seemed less grand than i expected for an empire of that size. Some observations: - there's a room where the provincial governors would report to the sultan. Apparently if the sultan was displeased with a governor's report, he would have the governor strangled by a deaf eunuch. Not sure who it sucked to be more, the deaf eunuch or the soon to be executed ...
... We visited the Minelayer, Nusret and Cimenlik Castle.
Troy was a must see for us, purely because of the Troy movie.
No, I didn't get to see Brad Pitt in his Achilles outfit, but we did get
to see a replica of the famous Trojan horse...and it was huge! The
ruins themselves were not greatly excavated so it was hard to see
The Acropolis of Pergamum is certainly dramatic, perched atop a high, ...
... the bodies of saints, were in the church as well. Our guide, the librarian and priest with an encyclopedic knowledge of the tradition, was very helpful and kind. He added many aspects of the lineage of the church and it's theology which I simply couldn't scribble down or didn't have the understanding to place in context. It was obvious that he had a passion for church tradition, and who knows, we may have had a personal tour with the future ...
... met up with some people for dinner. I was unaware, but apparently other universities have set up groups of students to study here & I was fortunate enough to run into a group of them. I ended up going out to dinner with them & learned about their program and what all they were studying. Apparently they have a pretty large group which has excursions planned & everything. Talk about jealous! But then again, being able to do my own thing is an experience of its' ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Askoc Hotel Istanbul
La habitación estaba muy limpia, no era muy grande pero hay que pedir a partir del 5º piso para que tenga vistas al Bósforo. Eran 2 camas juntas.
Sólo existe buffet para el desayuno, la cena es según el menú y no merece la pena coger media pensión porque comer y cenar fuera del hotel es muy barato (5-10 euros por persona) y puedes elegir lo que quieres comer.
La situación del Hotel es adecuada para realizar las visitas de la parte antigüa de la ciudad, se puede ir andando. Para la parte nueva mejor coger el tranvía que sólo tiene 1 línea y cuesta 0,65 euros y tiene parada muy cerca del Hotel.
Friendly Staff at difficult-to-find Location.
The hotel is in a great location if you're interested in seeing most of the city's attractions and you're traveling to Istanbul via rail from the West. However, if you fly into the city (as I did), make SURE your cab driver speaks decent English. My driver meant well but had the hardest time actually finding the hotel given our language barrier. While the surrounding area isn't much to look at (including a muddy front-street road), the interior of the hotel is adequate and the views from its upper floors are fantastic. Make sure you request to stay on the side facing the water up a few flights and you will be rewarded with some amazing sun-rises and water traffic. The hotel staff is attentive and helpful. I would encourage traveling in groups outside the hotel at night in the area, only because the streets are poorly lit and there's a great deal of pedestrian traffic/ trolley car traffic.
I particularly enjoyed our trip to the Sultan's Palace and just outsdie the Blue Mosque. If you're brave enough to venture into the Bazaar, be well versed in haggling. There are bargains to be had, but you will have to fight for them! You can walk to all of these places from the hotel or take cabs. I would not recommend taking the trolleys if you are a women; apparently that is frowned upon by the locals.
Breath taking views
My friends and I stayed at Askoc in July 2005, and it was a pleasant stay. The hotel is extremely clean, and has nice decor - but make sure you ask for a room on the 5th or 6th floor, with a balcony - the views of the bosphorus are what makes this hotel so great.
We had some issues with the toilet (but i think that was our fault as we kept flushing tissue down it oops!) But it was all very clean and the staff were overall pleasant, although we again had some issues with the bellboy who gave us attitude! But the manager was lovely, and so was 'Tamer' - he was sucha sweetheart.
Everything is just how it is pictured on the website - except for the roof terrace, which was being refurbished when we went and were not informed. This was really disappointing, but its probably completed by now.
Location is fab, all the main attractions are within walking distance and theres loads of nice places to eat nearby (as well as McDonalds around the corner!) Also around the corner is the Sirkeci train station, tram stop, cash points and much more.
Would stay here again, but only if we definitely have rooms with amazing views.
Nur ein Wort...Wanzen
Nur zur Information, dass oben genannte, wunderschöne Hotel ist zur Renovierung komplett geschlossen. Als wir es uns ansehen wollten, konnten wir keinerlei Arbeiten feststellen und es sah auch nicht danach aus, als ob es dort in Naher Zukunft welche geben würde. Wir wurden leider total von Wanzen zerstochen, die wir dann leider auch mit nach Hause genommen hatten. Wir mussten den Kammerjäger kommen lassen, der uns auch nicht garantieren konnte, dass wir sie für immer los sind. Das Hotel stritt alles ab, entschuldigte sich aber trotzdem bei uns und bot uns zwei kostenlose Übernachtungen an. Natürlich werde ich aus bekannten Gründen darauf verzichten. Versuchen Sie dieses Hotel zu umgehen.
Wurden wie Könige behandelt
Wir hatten eine tolle Zeit in Istanbul, hauptsächlich dank der tollen Angestellten in diesem günstigen Hotel. Vom Moment unserer Ankunft an wurden wir sehr freundlich aufgenommen, was den gesamten Aufenthalt anhielt. Einen Morgen fragten wir den Rezeptionisten nach der nächsten Post und er übernahm meine Briefe ganz einfach und ich musste gar nichts mehr tun!! Es war einfach unglaublich. Tolles Frühstück (probieren Sie mal den Honig und den Yoghurt) und die Zimmer waren wirklich sauber. Fragen Sie nach einem Zimmer im 5 oder 6 Stock, da man von dort einen tollen Ausblick auf den Fluss hat.
2 Words...Bed Bugs
For the record the beautiful hotel terrace they advertise is closed for renovation and when we went to have a look it certainly didn't look like any work was going to commence any time soon.
We had the unfortunate experience of being bitten terribly by bedbugs and the double misfortune of bringing them home which now means the house needs to be fumigated with no guarantee that it will get rid of them. The hotel denied it but still apologised and offered me 2 free nights accommodation. I will not be taking them up on their offer for obvious reasons.
Avoid like the plague.
Treated Like a King
We had a wonderful visit in Istanbul largely because of the kindness of the staff at this affordable hotel. From the moment we arrived, we were greeted with hospitality that continued throughout our trip. One morning we asked where the post office was and the man at the reception told me that he would take my letters and mail them for me!! It was unbelievable. Great breakfast (try the honey and yogurt) and really clean rooms. Make sure that you ask for a room on the 5th or 6th floor with views of the river.
Good value but hard to get a double bed
Good hotel with clean rooms, nice bathrooms, good service, decent breakfast, and a view of the Bosphorus (be sure to ask for a room on the 4th floor or above, lower floors have a blocked view).
HOWEVER, in the 6 nights that I stayed there, they claimed not to have rooms with double beds facing the Bosphorus. The only double rooms were on the backside of the building, in TINY rooms (not even space for the luggage) and a horrible view of other buildings. Thus, though we booked a room with a double bed, we had two twin beds that are seperated by a foot. They offered us a suite if we were willing to pay 80 Euro extra/night. After getting rather upset, they finally offered to change us to a triple room with one double bed and one single bed at no additional charge (however, there aren't many of these rooms).
Also, the neighborhood isn't the best at night, having to walk down a couple of dark streets to get to the hotel, but it wasn't a big problem for us. It's good value if you get a deal on a discount website as the prices are MUCH lower than other comparable hotels.
The suite was elegant with mahogany furniture and a dazzling sea view. This hotel has five star service and amenities! Best of many hotels I have stayed in in Istanbul!
Poor location, Poor Service, def not 4-star!
My wife and I stayed at this hotel mid March 2005 for 4 nights. Having done reasonable research into its location, quality and standards prior to booking it, we were very disappointed to find this hotel unlike anything its website had made it out to be. For a start its location is next to a train station on a very poorly lit dirt road, with no other shops, hotels or public places surrounding it. It only has car workshops and other derelict buildings. The main street is about 5 mins walk away however walking back in the evenings in the dark in such surroundings is not a good idea!
Upon arrival we were shown to a room unlike anything we had seen before from a 4 star establishment. The room was smaller than most prison cells with a very sub standard double bed taking up all of the space, no real standing room at all! The view from the window was one of a brick wall - 3ft away. So much for the sea view we had specified and been promised.
Upon objecting to this we were then moved to another room, slightly bigger in length, but just as narrow. This time with a view of a huge water tank just outside our window! As this was still unacceptable we were told we would have to spend at least 1 night there due to the room we should've had not being free till the following day, reluctantly we had to accept this.
Breakfast the next morning was disappointing, no real selection, food was cold and very unappetizing. We didn't seem to be the only unhappy guests at the time.
After 24 hours since arriving we were finally moved to the room we should've had in the first place. The fact that the TV and the main light in the room didn't work, plus the toilet was faulty added further to problems at this place. In addition to this we were then told we would have 2 single beds instead of the double we had requested, much to our disgust! But by then we were too fed up to complain.
The hotel staff while polite were unhelpful in resolving the problems we encountered. We found this to be a 2/3 Star place with 4 Star prices.
Istanbul is a lovely place, lots to see and do, full of history and purpose, the people are also very welcoming and friendly, however I would not risk ruining the trip by staying at such a poor place as the Askoc Hotel!