BEST WESTERN Antea Palace Hotel & Spa
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TravelPod Member ReviewsBEST WESTERN Antea Palace Hotel & Spa Istanbul
I was a little surprised that Best Western had a location in Sultanahmet - normally I'd look for a BnB or the like; but this trip was a gift, so I kept an open mind and was rewarded well. It's a family owned and operated franchise arrangement, apparently.
Antea Palace is an old ottoman bureaucrat's residence that's been converted to function as a hotel. I was immediately struck by the "wabi sabi" appeal to its aesthetic. The building's ornate in almost every detail with marble and plush carpets everywhere; but with clear signs of wear that we found immensely charming. As a longtime Texas resident I immediately noticed the central air conditioning isn't all that powerful; but each room has an individual unit that covers any gap.
The staff is friendly and immensely helpful, if sometimes a little frazzled and distracted. The breakfast is an impressive buffet that's always fresh and has a WIDE array of options - from European to Asian, and a ton in between (it's almost certain to have something familiar and something new for everyone) .
The deluxe room is basically a small suite that fits a queen size bed, a small office space, a reasonably large bathroom and a wonderful marble balcony. The balcony has a sea view; but the room's view is of the building across the alley (it's the Sultanahmet District - streets are narrow and buildings are on top of each other).
The terrace restaurant's food is middle of the road for the area, but the service is impeccable and the view is just AMAZING.
The location's ideal: it's on The Marmara Sea edge of the Sultanahmet District, but the district is not particularly large - you're a five minute walk from the Sultan Ahmet (The "Blue") Mosque, Topkapi Palace, The Basilica Cistern, The Hippodrome, The Hagia Sofia, The Arasta Bazaar, and a train stop that's 2 stops from The Grand Bazaar (and three stops from The Spice Bazaar, The Galata Bridge, Yeni Cami - "The New Mosque", and the Asian side).
Americans of a more cautious, less adventurous bent who're looking for a 5 start/Four Seasons/Ritz-Carlton experience may want to stay across the Bosporus at one of the upscale hotels on the Asian side; but if you're looking for a place that combines the romantic grandeur of days past; the mystery and adventure of a medina; with a fresh sea breeze and a relaxed, filial hospitality at a reasonable price, I can't recommend Antea palace enough.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
TripAdvisor Reviews BEST WESTERN Antea Palace Hotel & Spa Istanbul
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